Where will You live in Retirement

Retirement is on the horizon, with everyday being one step closer. Everyone has a slightly different view of what their retirement may look like, and some might struggle to see what their next steps should be. This is completely normal, with so many options, making a decision can be daunting. One of the first things that need to be addressed is where you are going to live during your retirement.
With a solid financial plan in place, you can have the freedom to explore the many housing options available to you and find the one which best suits your wants, needs, and financial realities.

Living Options

Retirement Communities
Retirement communities offer a thriving center of activity bustling with other seniors and many activities to explore. You can opt to have your meals made for you, or you can cook for yourself. New hobbies and skills can be nurtured, and it is very easy to have a lively social life. 

Retirement living pros include:
•    Access to a community atmosphere of people who are in the same stage of life and enjoy the same activities as you.
•    Medical staff on hand 24/7 in case of an emergency, as well as three meals a day for you to enjoy. 
Cons to consider are: 
•    Higher monthly expenses compared to other options (starting at $4,000 - 5,000 a month)
•    Substantial downsizing (furniture, keepsakes, etc.) that goes with leaving the family home

Apartment/Condo 
Another avenue you might consider is a move to an apartment or condo. Downsizing your home doesn't mean you have to downsize on life! 
Without the upkeep of a yard, you can settle in with all the comforts of home, with the security of knowing that your neighbors and friends are mere steps away. 

Apartment Pros include:
•    No yard work
•    Privacy of a private home with simultaneous option to be social 
Cons to consider are: 
•    Possible regulations against pets 
•    Possibility of noise and smells from close by neighbours
•    Downsizing your personal keepsakes and mementos

Townhouse
If you're not quite ready to say goodbye to your yard or the suburbs, relocating to a townhouse could be the right move for you. Making the switch to a townhouse can be a great investment as well as a great way to keep the independence and feel of house living without having to cut your own grass. 
Townhome Pros include: 
•    Remain in private housing
•    Less maintenance than a detached home
•    Continued independent lifestyle
Cons to consider are: 
•    Older townhouses may not be easily retrofitted for an aging individual's needs

Moving South
Perhaps you want to live the ultimate retiree's dream and settle somewhere south. Moving south can be a great way to get where all the action is (or isn't!). Quiet, peaceful serenity can be yours somewhere sunny and warm, and don't worry…your family will be making excuses to visit more often than you think! 
You can even offset costs by renting out your space when you aren’t using it.  
Pros include:
•    Warmer climate with a vacation-type atmosphere
•    Maintain your independence 
•    Maintain a healthy social life by living amongst a community of fellow retirees
Cons to consider are: 
•    Distance from children, grandchildren and other loved ones 
•    Requires a larger financial investment   

Continue Living at Home
One final option to consider is deciding to continue living at home. Adapting your home to suit your needs as you age comes with its own expenses, as well as paying someone to upkeep the yard, or the strain of continuing to do it yourself.  Many service companies offer year-round exterior maintenance packages that allow those do not or cannot do the work themselves to outsource this activity.
Pros include:
•    Familiar comforts and surroundings
•    Remain close to family and friends
•    Maintain your independence
Cons to consider include: 
•    Commitment to household upkeep and repairs
•    May require renovations to adapt the house to your aging needs
•    It might be more space than you need or are able to properly care for
•    Your priorities may have shifted since you moved into this home and your needs may be better served elsewhere.

Bottom Line
Planning for your retirement living arrangement requires careful consideration, but there are many viable options available. Taking the time to sort out your priorities in this stage of life can assist you in making a decision that will give you a life full of enjoyment and comfort.