Retirement is something that many of us look forward to. It is supposed to be that time in our lives when we are free to do whatever we want, whenever we want. However, that freedom doesn’t simply come at a whim. Just like many things in life, we need to plan for retirement in order to fully enjoy what it has to offer.
One of the things that you need to plan for is where you are going to live. While some people do not have any intention of moving to a retirement community, it is the best choice for others. If you are thinking of moving to a retirement community in the future, here are some questions that you need answered before you make a decision.
1. What type of community do you want to live in?
There are many kinds of retirement communities today. You may opt to purchase property of your own and spend your retirement there. This property may be in a ‘regular’ community not specifically created for retirees, or it may be in an area meant especially for retired individuals. You may also opt to stay in a more structured retirement community, especially if you have special needs.
The idea is for you to determine exactly what type of community you want to live in. Your choices include:
Active Retirement Communities
Assisted Living Retirement Communities
Independent Living Retirement Communities
Continuing Care Retirement Communities
Alzheimer’s Care Communities
Skilled Nursing Care Retirement Communities
Naturally, you will have to consider the varying costs associated with the different kinds of retirement communities.
2. Who owns the land?
If you are purchasing a retirement house, you ought to ask this question just like any other potential homeowner would. You need to know about the developer and its track record. You need to know if they have a reputation for building excellent communities and if they maintain their properties long after the houses and lots have been sold.
3. What are the facilities included in the community?
Communities meant especially for retirees usually have a range of facilities built in. It is to be expected that you have certain needs and wants when it comes to these facilities. Before making a decision, make a list of what you want to have in your retirement community. This list can include a pool, a park, a gym, and so on.
4. What are the local services available?
Living in a retirement community does not mean that you will stop interacting with the rest of the town’s population. In fact, that is perhaps the worst thing that you can do! So, when making a decision as to where to retire, you also need to find out about the outlying areas. What is there to see and do in town? What are the services available? A hospital? A supermarket? A recreation center? A library?
5. What are the plans for the nearby properties?
Adjacent properties and their development can greatly affect your retirement life. This is why it is important that you have some inkling as to what the plans for the nearby properties are. I highly doubt that you would want to live near a prison or a casino. While having one built in the next 10 years right next to your retirement community is unlikely, it is still best to have an idea about these things.
6. Are there any rules that you have to live by? What are they?
If you opt to live in a strictly-retirees community, you might have to live by certain rules. You need to inquire about these at the outset as you do not want to be bound by regulations you do not agree with later on.
7. What are the neighbors like?
If the retirement community you are looking at is already established, it would do you good to pay a visit or two. You can take a look at the premises yourself, which will definitely help in making your decision. More so, you can get to observe the people who reside in the community. This is quite important as they will be your neighbors for a long time. The last thing you want is to be around people you think you cannot get along with. Retirement is for you to enjoy, not to suffer through!
8. Are there extra costs included?
It is a given that you need to determine the cost of living in any kind of retirement community. However, you also need to delve into the details of other costs. If you’re buying a home, you might have homeowners’ dues and the like. The same thing applies to condo units. There might be maintenance fees, security fees, and so on. Ask about ALL fees so that you have a clear picture of how much it is going to cost you in total.