As retirement approaches, it’s time to start thinking about what comes next. Many seniors choose to downsize the family home, opting instead for a smaller space that is easier to navigate and less work to maintain. Today, retirees have many more options for senior living than in the past: apartments, single family homes, and active senior living communities, to name a few. You’ve worked hard and earned your retirement. Now, it’s time to find your happily ever after.
Benefits of downsizing
As you move towards retirement, your real estate needs change. The kids are grown and gone, eliminating the need for exceptional school districts or plenty of bedrooms for everyone. Downsizing your home allows you to buy the house you want.
Not only does downsizing cut down on square footage, but it also offers financial freedom. Selling your current home frees up equity that allows you to live more comfortably in retirement.
Plus, downsizing could allow you to live independently longer. Many of today’s retirement communities build homes with aging in mind. Homes offer safety features you wouldn’t find elsewhere. You may not need a ranch-style home, grab bars, and a wheel-in shower now, but having these amenities built into your forever home will allow you to live on your own longer, and more safely.
Options for retirement real estate
The current housing market is embracing Baby Boomers as they reach retirement age. Modern-day seniors are living longer, leading healthier lives, and staying active long after they leave the workplace. Active adults want housing options that allow for both independent senior living and a sense of community. Retirees have a variety of housing options:
Senior living communities
One of the most popular options in the past few decades, senior living communities offer housing and amenities for active adults. These retirement communities usually consist of single-family homes, paired units, or apartment living for adults ages 55+ (some require residents to be 60 or older).
Most senior communities take safety and accessibility very seriously. Homes incorporate elements that allow seniors to live safely in their homes well into the future. Most retirement communities also feature recreation activities, transportation options, and daily events to keep residents active and engaged.
Aging in place
Of course, some seniors decide to stay where they’ve been all along, or move in with family members. As you age and become less mobile, you might rely on family and friends for care, or on outside assisted care organizations. Aging in place might also require some home renovations that will make your space safer in the coming years.
Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC)
A comprehensive care solution that is gaining traction, CCRCs are an excellent option for seniors who want to live in one location for the rest of their lives. Essentially, a CCRC is an all-in-one facility. Seniors move to independent living spaces (apartments or condos) in the community. Then, when necessary, staff provide assisted living and skilled nursing services in the same facility. Therefore, residents can live somewhere they feel comfortable, no matter what services they require.
Senior housing for retirees on a budget
If you want more economical senior living options, US News offers these tips for affordable senior housing.
While the type of retirement property is important, the location is important as well. After all, you want to be somewhere that feels like home and offers all the activities and amenities you desire.
- Live close to family or friends, if possible. More than 40 percent of American seniors report feeling lonely as they enter retirement, so having a support network can significantly increase your quality of life.
- Consider your proximity to medical facilities. Let’s face it: many of us will encounter more health problems as we age. Living close to a quality healthcare facility will allow you to live a longer, healthier life.
- Live close to public resources. Your retirement property should provide easy access to public transportation, senior center, and community centers. Many cities across the nation offer free or low-cost programs for seniors, so place yourself close to these amenities and take advantage of them!
You’ve earned your retirement. Make sure you live the life you love in your retirement years. Contact your local Realtor today to learn more about downsizing for retirement.