Retirement can be a major turning point in your life. For many it’s also seen as an ideal time to move. For some, the plan is to move to your dream location. For others, it’s a time to downsize or move closer to family members. Whatever the reason, here are four things to keep in mind when choosing a new home.
Consider how much you’re willing to commit to when buying a new place. Don’t forget to factor in any ongoing costs such as maintenance, service charges, and utilities, as your monthly income may be lower. And, according to Paradise Valley Estates resident Marilyn Isherwood, the same holds true when choosing a retirement community. “You might consider a community because there ‘s a low entry fee, but you have to be very careful,” she said. “You may end up paying double, even triple that fee per month down the road.”
Think short term as well as long-term. Will the new place meet any special needs you might have or those you can probably expect as you age? Narrow doorways and multi-level homes may be fine for now, but could present problems in the future. Beyond difficult-to-reach switches and windows that don’t open or close easily, there are larger problems to consider. Without family nearby, would you have access to emergency support if you needed it?
Now think about the layout of the new home. Is there enough room for the hobby you’re going to pursue now that you have the time? Can you garden on your own property or do you have access to a community gardening space? Is there enough storage? How does the community feel to you?
Another decision point is pets, which some communities do not allow. When Kim and Susan Marshall moved to Paradise Valley Estates, they planned to have a quiet retirement. Part of that plan turned out to be a beloved Labradoodle puppy named Moxie who now enjoys the community’s abundant walking paths, a 5,000-square-foot off-leash dog park, and many dog-friendly community events with them.
The location of your new home may be ideal if you want to be close to friends and family. Or, maybe you prefer a community that comes complete with access to services such as health care or onsite shopping. Doug Ochandarena says one of the most convenient aspects of living in Paradise Valley Estates is being within walking distance to just about everything he needs. “I actually go days without getting in the car,” he laughed.
Uprooting and moving at this stage in life is a big decision — one you’ll likely not rush. Take time to identify exactly what you want and do your research. That’s the secret to finding the ideal place for a long, happy and satisfying retirement.