How to choose the right retirement living option

9 tips for finding your ideal over 50’s lifestyle

Choosing where you’d like to live in your retirement is a big decision. While you’ll no doubt meet many well-meaning folk who advise you to “go with your gut”, for many of us it’s a better idea to go with a structured decision-making process.

Of course, deciding on where you’d like to live for many years ahead is anything but simple. So to help guide your thinking, we’ve put together this list of nine tips you might like to bear in mind, as you choose the retirement living option that’s just right for you.

1) Prioritise your wish list

A good place to start is with a list of the things that are important to you and your partner. For example, do you wish to stay within a reasonable drive of family or friends? Is a tree change on the cards, or are you looking to live near the sea?

Would you like a spare room for when the kids or grandkids come to stay? Does the caravan need a secure, weatherproof storage area when you’re not exploring the country?

You can see how this list of must-haves will be very personal to you. Though it might not help you find the one ideal answer, it should assist you to knock of a few options that just don’t have what you’re looking for.

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2) Think about your home security

When you’re weighing up living options, consider the feeling of security that your potential home provides. Would a gated community offer you the peace-of-mind you’re looking for? Or would you be comfortable living in a detached home in the suburbs? When you go away on holidays, will you be confident your home is secure? 

If you’re looking for a community of people who look out for each other (and keep an eye on things in general), an over 50s lifestyle estate can be a worthwhile option to consider. Having a close-knit group of like-minded people on hand can provide some of the best home security there is.

3) Consider the financial aspects

Once you’ve retired from full-time work, your income and finances will no doubt change significantly. So before you choose a living option, consider what costs (both upfront and ongoing) will be involved with each type. 

Is the detached family home in suburbia a cost-effective option? Would you be better off downsizing? How would living in an over 50’s community fit your financial situation? Is there any Government assistance available depending on the choice you make?

4) Decide what environment you’d prefer

We touched on this above, yet it’s worth emphasising. What sort of setting can you see yourself living in for the next few years?

Is your new community close to family and friends? Can you easily get to the places that are important to you, such as your favourite beach, golf course, and fishing spot? What about those necessities of life such as handy shopping, quality medical services, and convenient public transport?

By thinking about the environment you want to live in, you may be able to knock off some living options from your shortlist.

5) Ask your trusted friends and family for their perspective

We get it – this one sounds like a no-brainer. But you’d be amazed by how many people think their retirement living decision has to be theirs alone. Yet that’s not the only way to go.

While of course you’ll have the final say, why not speak to your family and friends as part of your decision making? If you know people who’ve made the move to an over 50’s lifestyle community, get their thoughts on what it’s like “on the inside”.

And of course, financial advice about the different lifestyle options and how they’ll impact your lifestyle is never wasted. 

6) Consider the home maintenance needed

Once you’ve reached your 50s, you’ll probably find that your enthusiasm for completing mountains of home maintenance has reached an all-time low! That’s why it’s important to investigate what kind of maintenance services and caretaking are offered at different living communities. 

If you have a green thumb that just has to be exercised, make sure you look into the opportunities for gardening and veggie planting. And when you’re thinking about “home maintenance”, ask about both interior and exterior work, as many living destinations treat these differently.

7) Check whether the available home designs are right for you

When you’re weighing up retirement living options, take a close look at the available home designs and make sure they suit your lifestyle.

For example, if you plan on having frequent visitors, will your new home have enough room to comfortably welcome them? Will your pets be welcome, or are they frowned upon? When you’re not on the road with your caravan, is there suitable secure storage available?

Getting a home design that fits around your intended lifestyle is much better than curtailing your future life to suit your new home.

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8) Investigate what recreation options are available

With more free time on your hands in retirement, you’ll want to ensure you have a variety of recreational options to choose from.

For example, do you need to get in your morning laps in the pool before you start your day? Do you enjoy having a wide variety of different hobby and interest groups nearby for you to join? If you’re a movie buff, is there the option to watch movies in a cinema without leaving your community?

The level of resources available will vary widely from community to community, so take the time to fully look into them before you commit. 

9) Don’t forget about your long-term plans

This is one you might not think of – since you’re only just thinking about moving in! Yet it really pays to put some thought into what happens when you want to sell your home in future.

What sort of resale value can you reasonably plan for? Will there continue to be demand for homes in the community you’re buying into? A little attention today could potentially save you much heartache tomorrow.

Like to know more about your retirement living options?

If you’d like more information about the Kensington Gardens lifestyle, or you have a question about your living options, you’re welcome to give us a call at Albury on 02 6049 3100 or Shepparton on 03 5820 5100 or get in touch with the contact form here.

What to look for in a home for retirement