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Ready, Set, Retire …What’s your next step?

LeeAnne Opie
LeeAnne Opie

The carrot has been dangled in front of you for years and your due diligence is finally paid off, you have spent the last five to ten years enjoying retirement at home. Perhaps you have purchased a second vacation home, taken those long travel trips on your bucket list, lovingly tended your lawn and garden, enjoyed extra time to entertain friends and family, but what else have you been forced to occupy your time with both monetarily and physically? Your house. Your home is a continual source of time, energy and money; painting, flooring, appliances, utilities, siding, roofing, windows the list goes on. You have gotten your time, money and energy out of your home now is the time to be thinking about an easier more relaxing way of life. It is time to downsize? Move to a townhome or perhaps an apartment maybe even try something new a downtown loft? These choices, as nice as they are, present challenges and opportunities. Many factors come into play… location, location, location… shopping conveniences, doctor, pharmacy, church, bus lines, parking, and of course overall price. Do these campuses provide a community room for guests or parties? Do they offer fitness classes or swimming on site? Do they have indoor parking or additional parking for guests or an RV? These are a few items you need to think through when you are ready to downsize. What is your daily routine and what do you intend to change with your new living arrangements that you are not getting now? If it is socialization you crave be wary of the various age groups. Are you neighbors still working? Does your next door neighbors have a family with younger children? Are they swinging singles with late hour’s and friends in and out? Are there people near your age with the same general hours? Do they have pets? Once again these are considerations especially when moving into a smaller quarters. Last but not least do your homework make sure the owners of the condo or apartment complexes are reputable and live up to their end of the bargain when it comes to maintenance and upkeep? What are their contractual expectations from you when you choose to leave your home? These downsize opportunities vary greatly and just like retirement communities they all have a different “feel” or lifestyle as people generally ban together hoping to meet similar acquaintances. What is your next step?

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