Over 55 living retirement properties are a popular option for retirees, offering a strong combination of lifestyle, security and community; and which one you choose to live in will have a big impact on your retirement years. Here are the essential factors to consider when choosing an over 55 retirement property.
Your proposed post-retirement budget is a huge consideration when it comes to choosing an over 55 living property. The amount of money you have available for your retirement will very much dictate your range of options. Your budget needs careful consideration and planning, and it’s wise to consult a financial planner to get an accurate estimate of how far your budget will stretch, and discover ways to maximise your budget.
The cost of living
Of course, the cost of living in a retirement property needs to be factored into your budget. Retirement properties operate under different types of financial arrangements, from leasing arrangements to outright ownership. As well, over 55 living facilities come in all shapes and sizes – from basic to luxurious, from affordable to pricey. You’ll need to understand exactly what you’ll be paying for, how much you’ll need to pay and when, and how you will make these payments. This information is vital, as you need to be able to tailor your expectation to meet your budget.
You’ll also need to take factors other than the cost of your retirement housing into consideration. Factor in the cost of daily living, as well as the plans you have for your retirement. There’s no point buying into the most expensive complex around if it doesn’t leave you any leftover money to spend on travel, if that’s what you want to do. You need to look at the cost of everything you plan on doing, and then make decisions on your housing choices based on a reasonable estimate of how much you can set aside for those costs.
Location is another important factor to consider. Would you prefer to choose a retirement facility near where you currently live, so that you can remain in your familiar surroundings where you’re already a part of the community? Or do you see your retirement as more of a seachange – the chance to branch out from the familiar and move to a part of the country where you’ve always wanted to live?
There are many aspects of this decision to consider. Staying in familiar territory means you’re likely to adjust to a move into an over 55 facility much more easily, as not everything around you will change. However, moving to a different area might open up opportunities that you’ve never been able to access before, and might be worth the sacrifice of the familiar. Whichever way you go, you’ll need to research the area and compare prices and locations of different retirement facilities. Consider your needs and desires, and whether you’ll be able to fulfill those at a particular location.
Everyone has different preferences, and you’ll need to take them all into consideration when making the choice of where to move. Make a list of preferences and priorities, and consider each retirement facility in light of how well it can meet the criteria on your list.
Proximity to family and friends
Most people are eager to stay connected with family and friends when they retire, so you’ll need to consider proximity and location of your loved ones when choosing a retirement home. Moving closer to family is often a big consideration for retirees, and can help them make the choice of exactly where to retire.
The amount of support available
Many retirement communities offer a range of health care services within their facilities. Some also offer a continuum of care, where residents can move through into more supported areas of the facility when it becomes necessary. Look for any services you might need, including house cleaning, meal preparation and delivery, laundry, personal support, allied health access, community support or on-site nursing care. Consider your health care needs and the amount of support you currently need, both now and into the future. This will ensure you can receive the right amount of support with minimal hassle and disruption.
Your physical wellbeing
Your health is important, particularly as you age, so you need to consider whether a retirement facility can support your physical wellbeing needs. Consider proximity to walking trails, sporting facilities, recreational centres and on-site fitness and wellness programs. Look for an active community that encourages and enables you to stay healthy, fit and active as much as possible, in order to maintain good health well into the future.
Your mental wellbeing
You can’t ignore mental wellbeing either when it comes time to choose an over 55 retirement community. Consider facilities that will support your mental wellness, keep you mentally engaged, look after your happiness and provide strong community connections.
Make the best decision
The most important thing is not to rush your decision. Where you choose to retire is a big commitment, and the choice cannot be made lightly. Take the time well before you retire to consider and research your choices, so that you can make the best and most informed decision possible.
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