It is never to early to plan for retirement. You hear about retirement everywhere you look from 401Ks and investment advice to Medicare and Social Security. It becomes so over bearing you almost start to ignore it though you know you shouldn’t because of it’s importance.
Knowing you shouldn’t ignore it is probably what brought you here.
Real estate and home ownership is the American dream. Most of us think of real estate as either an investment or where we want to raise a family, but we don’t always think about it for retirement. Maybe we are thinking we are still to young to worry about it or we don’t think we will be in the home long enough. Whatever the case, at some point the next home you buy will be the one you will live in for the long haul.
Here are some things to consider when you do buy the home you plan to retire in:
The Neighborhood and Surrounding Amenities
We all have to consider that time when it won’t be as easy to get around. To make our life easier, it would be great to find a centrally located home with easy access to public transportation and parks, restaurants, and shopping within walking distance.
Finding a local community filled with easy to access amenities, such as local dog parks, museums, movie theaters, libraries, churches, ect., will make your time there fun and enjoyable. As you get older, close proximity to resources like these will become more important.
If you can pull it off, an added bonus would be living near your doctor and pharmacy.
The Right Fit and Accessibility
You will want to make sure you are comfortable, but not overwhelmed with maintenance. The large home with the acre front lawn surrounded by lush greens and the expansive diving pool in the backyard may sound great now, but are you wanting the expenses and responsibility of maintaining it as you age? The larger space also means more items to take care of and more space to cover as it becomes more difficult to get around. Sometimes it might be better to downsize, especially as you think ahead for retirement.
This also brings up, the importance of accessibility. Again, you will want something easy to get around, so it would be better to consider a single level over two or more stories to avoid stairs. Open floor plans, walk-in shower, walk-in closets, larger hallways are all things you will want to look for and consider.
Easy to move around with-in your home is important. If you find it hard to move around in your current home at your current age, just imagine how it will be as you get older.
The most important thing is finding the home you love! You plan on spending many years in it, so you have to be happy there. House hunting for the “perfect” home can be very daunting and you won’t always find EVERYTHING just right, so keep in mind you can always make changes and additions.
Beyond the trouble of multiple stories, you can always make accessibility changes as you age. For example, if the home permits, you can add handrails in bathrooms and outdoor steps, replace doorknobs to be easier to grab and open, install more lighting throughout the home, add non-slip surfaces in certain areas like bathrooms, and so on.
Keep these tips in mind as you hunt for your next home and plan for retirement. It will make your life easier and you will be happier for it!
Have questions about a neighborhood and it’s accessibility, contact us and we will help provide you with information and find an area that will be suitable for you in the Phoenix Metro Area.