Retirement is the time of life when you want to take it easy and enjoy your favourite hobbies (which do not include constantly cleaning a large four-bedroom family home!) Moving into a retirement villa gives you a chance to embrace a community lifestyle surrounded by those of a similar age. However, choosing the right retirement home needs a little forethought. Now that you are gearing up towards choosing a real estate agent to help you find the next home of your downsizing dreams, be sure to remember these pointers before you put in an offer on retirement villas:
Consider medical needs when choosing next floorplan
It is difficult to predict what your future medical problems will be, but, you can still choose the next house layout based on existing issues. For example, if you already suffer from arthritis in the knees, you don't want a two-story home which makes you ache each time you move up and down the stairs. If you or your spouse are in a wheelchair or have a condition which will lead to a wheelchair shortly, look for a home with a wide hallway and big bathroom, so the home accommodates your future needs.
Consider the impact of short versus long moving distances
When you have family living in the next state or on the other side of Australia, moving to a location closer to the kids and the grandkids is appealing at this time of life. However, there are negatives to making a large, interstate move. The downsides include:
- locating new medical support such as doctor and dentist
- saying goodbye to long-term friends
- getting used to a new climate which may impact medical conditions (for example, heading to a colder climate which makes your arthritis ache more)
While having family time is great, there are instances where expectations of the amount of family time are not comparable to the reality of what happens after you've moved. If you are planning to move a long way, make sure you have a blunt heart-to-heart with your family members about what you want when you get there.
No matter where you decide to go, moving into a retirement home means culling down your belongings, so they fit in a smaller floor plan than what you previously had. A good real estate agent knows just the right places which offer fewer rooms to clean, but which has plenty of storage for your things. All you need to do is find a reputable agent who can do all the hard searching work for you.