Our readers living in Spain may have noticed a certain grandparents online guide ‘making’ the local press recently. That grandparents guide was, of course, Ask Granny (http://askgranny.com), making an appearance on the country’s number one English daily news website, The Olive Press, to give advice to seniors on where they may opt to spend their retirement years. Of course, we’re sure that you might well want to spend a lot of time on an expensive yacht somewhere, but what we are really referring to is your main residence.
It is true, though, that what you want to do in your retirement years can greatly impact on your choice of retirement location. You might be eager to indulge a lifelong hobby like painting or music, or you may barely want to leave the beach. Your own preferences will do much to dictate whether you stay in your present home or head off to pastures new. Consider the climate that you would be best suited to, for example. Would you prefer a sunnier, drier climate or perhaps the mountains and trees of northern climates, where rainy and cloudy days tend to prevail? The requirements for a particular grandparent’s health may make this decision an easy one.
But before we proceed, we can’t ignore the most compelling practical factor behind a senior living in a certain place: money. Chances are that once you’ve retired, you’ll need to reduce your monthly budget slightly, not least as your income will probably be reduced while your health care costs increase. You’ll need to account for such costs as buying a new home, as well as food, gas and other monthly expenses. Consider, too, the tax climate of your favoured place of residence. Readers of our grandparents blog are advised to research thoroughly, as in some areas, there are special tax breaks for retirees, while in other places, you could be charged more.
Try not to choose somewhere that you wouldn’t be comfortable living in, though. General living conditions can vary drastically from place to place, and certain important things aren’t immediately apparent even when you visit an area. Is the locality a safe one, for instance, or is crime and gang activity high? How easy is it to find doctors, dentists and hospital care? Does your target living area have libraries and other places where seniors can meet, socialise and enjoy their hobbies and interests?
You should also ask whether you want to live somewhere close to the children, or whether you’re happy enough to reside further afield and simply travel when needed. Bear in mind, though, that young people can and often do move away for work or other reasons these days, so you’ll still need to love your new retirement location in its own right. As fun as cooking with grandchildren can be, there’s so much more that you can do in your retirement, and here at Ask Granny we want you to be doing it in the best possible place.