It’s a big decision: Your last move. Here are some tips and things to think about.
Pick a location that will work well when you are older. As you age, getting around will be tougher and access to quality healthcare, groceries and other necessities will be paramount. Las Vegas has all of those things in most parts of town. Don’t think about what you need now, but in five years.
Single-story homes are a must. You don’t want to face going up those stairs when your knees and hips start to hurt. Maybe they do already. What if you or your spouse ends up in a wheelchair? Single-story homes are the most marketable for a reason. If you need to move into an assisted-living facility you want a house you can sell.
Do your research about retirement communities. Want to be surrounded by people your own age? Think it through carefully. The rules at such communities can be strict. There will be rules about decorating the outside of your house or how long your kids or grandkids can stay over, and so on. Plus, a number people have a hard time going from a home into a condominium, for instance. Think about it – you’ve been in charge for many years, and now a group of people (some you like, some you don’t) will determine whether you can plant flowers in your yard.
Step-in showers are more accessible as you age. Forget the bathtub, get a step-in shower Better yet, get a shower with no step at all, making it handy to get wheelchairs into.
Go for big hallways, entryways, bathrooms, etc.Wide pathways are much easier to navigate with a wheelchair, including hallways, entryways, and bathrooms. Fortunately, the current style for homes focuses on spaciousness, so it should not be too complicated to find a home that has the room you may need.
When buying new construction, work with your builder to make sure your final home has spacious walkways.
Make a plan with your significant other. Don’t assume, take some time and have multiple conversations with your spouse about what you both want in a retirement home. If you communicate, you should be able to come to an agreement that makes both of you happy.
Make a financial plan that includes you not working. You need make sure you are able to afford your new home, including all the related expenses – repairs, renovations, taxes, etc. – while still being able to enjoy yourself and the things you love doing. You want a realistic financial plan before you buy.
It’s hard to think about, but, consider a fundamental question – what happens if my spouse dies? Having a solid financial plan in place for the unexpected.
Choose realistic financing. Don’t make yourself house rich and cash poor. While you may be able to put a big down payment on your retirement home, doing so may not be the smartest move you can make financially.
You need enough money to live the life you want, even if it means having a mortgage. No one wants a mortgage, but it may be the best option. Whether or not you should have a mortgage differs from person to person.
Remember your pets. If you are a pet person, consider what will work best for you and your furry friends. Most condo and retirement communities have rules regarding pets that you want to be aware of. Have your real estate agent check to see what the pet policy is for the association. Some places restrict the number of pets, some have weight limits, and others don’t let you have them at all.
Try to set a reasonable budget. Purchase a home that you can afford no matter what happens. Life is unpredictable, and getting older means you may find yourself unable to make as much money as you used to, or you may have medical issues that come up.
Finally, being careful, purchasing your retirement home is a big life decision that shouldn’t be taken