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How To Chose the Right Home for your Retirement

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Retirement means having more time on our hands and one of the first considerations is whether we want to move house and get the most out of life. Do we want to live in the country, by the sea, move nearer to family or into a retirement community? Do we want to down-size to release equity, or perhaps be able to rent a property in an area that would previously have been beyond our means? Here are a few points to ponder before making a final decision to move somewhere different.
Check out transport facilities if you are planning to do without a car, or if one of you doesn’t drive. Is there regular access to the local town for shopping, doctor and dentist? There may be community ‘Dial a Ride’ transport services for retirees that is more convenient than local bus route services.
Do local supermarkets deliver to the property? Although it might fall within the prescribed radius of the store, is the property too difficult to locate or has poor access? Enquire at the local store about specific postcodes.
Will you still have access to the things that are important to you … such as sports facilities, theatre, library, etc?
If you like the idea of living on the coast, visit the area out of season as many resorts close down for the winter. What about flooding and adverse weather conditions.
If you prefer the country, does the property get cut off in the snow? Will it suit if you no longer drive? ‘Signposts For Country Living’ by Suzanne Ruthven and Garrett Kelly and published by Good Life Press might help you decide.
Check if rooms, doorways, halls and access areas of the new house can be modified should it be necessary due to a decline in mobility for you or your partner.
Is the garden easy to manage? Avoid features that require clambering around on ladders, such as high hedges, tall trees, etc.
If considering moving into a retirement community, check whether they allow pets; enquire about any service charges (which can be high; and whether there is an exit fee should you not settle there.
As a way of obtaining extra cash, some retirees decide to step off the property ladder completely and rent, freeing their equity to spend on holidays or families. Property experts say this approach is on the increase because it allows older owners to realise the capital that they have built up in their homes.
Another trend is using the equity to rent in a location where we may not previously have been able to afford to buy. Check out the average rental prices in the area.
With the army of retirees growing in number, these new means of enjoying later life may become more commonplace in the future, and careful forward-planning will mean that you make the right decision in choosing your new home.
If choosing an apartment, a motor home would enable you to live away from home for longer periods of time.
Good health may not last forever


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