Where is Your Retirement Haven?

The concept of home takes on a completely new meaning in retirement. In fact, home is considered one of the foundation elements, in addition to health and finances.

Right now, the primary question is what do we want in our new home? Not just the home, but what factors determine the community and surrounding area? These are all questions to consider.

My husband and I decided a couple of years ago we wanted to leave our home of twenty-five years. Our family is scattered all over the country, so we aren’t using them as a factor. With the exception of my mother, who is almost eighty-five and living by herself in central Texas.

As we have looked at different communities, becoming clear as to what we want in a new community is paramount. For us, living within an hour of an international airport is important. I figure as long as we’re close to an airport, we’re close to family and friends.

My husband is a pilot and his first retirement project is to build a small plane. Therefore, he wants to be close to a small municipal airport.

Having lived in Southern California for the last twenty-five years, climate is a factor. In fact, it is the second most important factor in considering a retirement home. We don’t want to live in an area where we’d have to shovel snow. I’m not crazy about 100+ summers either.

Are you thinking about retiring to a new area? What are the factors you think are important? There are a number of considerations to think about as you plan to move to a new retirement home.

What size of community do you want to live? Population and the number of people in the community is a factor for many.

What other elements of the community are important to you? Is outdoor recreation a key factor? How important are cultural activities? Do you want to live in a place of historical significance?

Cost of living is an important factor to many new retirees. Included in the cost of living is housing, healthcare, taxes and transportation.

As we get older, personal safety becomes more of an issue. What services do you want your new community to offer? Examples might include medical, libraries, and continuing education.

The new retirement for many will include work. This may be full or part time work, as well as starting a business. What are the opportunities in your retirement community?

What personal factors do you need to consider? I’m an artist, so it’s important that I live in a community with a robust artist group. For some people, it might mean a strong spiritual community. Are there any other personal interests you want in your new home?

Moving to a new area has been an exciting proposition for my husband and me. It’s also a bit scary. We don’t want to move to a place that we won’t enjoy. We plan to stay in the new community for a number of months before actually making the commitment.

Or maybe we’ll just stay put.