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Reaching retirement age is always a cause for celebration. But slipping off the shackles of that nine-to-five you worked for decades comes with important questions you can’t ignore, the biggest of which being where you should live during your retirement. You might want to just spin the wheel and take your chances, but that’s not always the best choice. Here’s what you need to know about living at home or somewhere else during retirement.

The Luxury of Choice

Once you punch that time clock for the last time, a world of possibilities opens up to you. For many retirees, you’ll have no dearth of living arrangements to choose from. Feel like staying in your own home and simply aging in place? That’s a possibility, as long as your existing home is well-situated or adaptable for retirement living, and you’re on track financially.

While satisfying your needs and working within your retirement budget can take some doing, it’s not impossible. Careful planning, starting before you retire, can help you to understand what types of resources you have at your disposal once you do. Activities like using a retirement planning calculator or consulting a financial investment planner go a long way in making sure you’ll be in good shape once your last day of work comes and goes. 

Tired of empty-nesting in a massive house? Downsizing to a smaller property with a house that’s more senior-friendly is another great choice. While there are complications inherent to this process — namely selling your old home, finding a new one, and then packing up and moving — plenty of seniors go this route. In this case, knowing your housing budget is a bare necessity.  

Speaking of meeting needs, if you have medical concerns that need looking after, then a retirement community, especially one that offers assisted living or continuing care services,  is one of your best bets. Modern retirement communities are as varied as blades of grass, which means there’s likely one out there that’s perfect for whatever your circumstances. 

The Downside of Retirement Living

While retirees have a surplus of choices when it comes to retirement living, there are complications. The costs associated with retirement living can be massive, depending on your needs and your resources. 

Retirement income being what it is, some housing choices might not be available to you. Aging in place in your existing home is less of an option if, for example, you’re empty nesting it in a rambling, two-story, four-bedroom home on two acres of lawn. In this case, you’re going to spend so much time, energy, and cash keeping the place up that you won’t have the resources to do much else. 

Such circumstances are why selling your existing home and using the proceeds to help finance the costs of living elsewhere is so popular with retirees. Where you go, however, is a function of what type of resources you have and what type of living arrangements would be best for you. Purchasing a newer, smaller house, a condo, or an apartment is great if you’re active and healthy, for example, but if you have medical needs that require addressing, a better choice is likely an assisted living community or something similar.

Don’t Leave It Up to Fate

Luck may be a lady tonight, but leaving your retirement living arrangements up to fate is probably not the best idea. Sort your options carefully so you can play your best hand.  Doing some planning well before you retire will help you pick the best home for you — one that fits your desires and needs, as well as one your budget!

Feature by Harry Cline |

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