Buying Your Dream Retirement Home (A Few Things to Think About)

Retirement has a lot of moving parts and pieces. Men and women, singles and couples, all approach their retirement years with very different consideration sets. Individual goals, preferences, and activities, along with the freedom (and free time) to pursue lifetime passions make the opportunities and challenges exciting. Where you live might be the most exciting (and challenging) choice of all. Here are a few suggestions:

 Make sure you plan well.

 Thoroughly test the waters. Moving is a big decision in any circumstance and moving to enjoy your retirement years may be one of the biggest of all. The ability to do the things that make you happy, keep you active, and feeling purposeful all play a role. The climate you desire, the proximity you’ll have to family and friends, the amount of familiarity you’re willing to give up, versus the sense of adventure and new experience you’re looking for, should all be considered and part of the plan.

Make sure your financing makes sense.

 What kind of a mortgage will you need, or do you want? Have you considered the cost of selling your old house, as well as any capital gains, etc.? How much are the fees associated with maintenance on your new home, or the fees in a retirement community? Asking all the right questions, and preparing for every foreseeable scenario, can prevent financial headaches down the road.

Make sure you insure properly.

 Too often, insurance—particularly a personal umbrella policy— isn’t given the consideration and priority it deserves. The security of shielding yourself with a one or two million dollar policy can far outweigh the minimal cost.

Make sure to factor in conveniences and must-haves.

 Can you get everyplace you need to go without a car—shopping, dining, your fitness club or church? Is being close to an airport or golf course important? Are there cultural events or attractions—ballet, opera, theater, symphony—that are dear to you and should be near to you? Obviously, everyone is different. But the thought that goes into your lifestyle considerations, right down to the smallest conveniences, can mean the difference in long-term satisfaction, or moving again in no time.

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