Research and Planning Equals a Good Retirement

It is never too early to start planning for your retirement. Leaving your retirement planning until you hit retirement age can make the process stressful and hectic, especially if you have little or no help mapping out your golden years. You will need to decide where you will live, taking into account your financial situation and health needs. There is no escaping this reality, you are going to need to put in some serious planning.

However, there are many things one can do to make these decisions not only easier but also future proof themselves for other, potentially unexpected occurrences down the road. One of the first decisions you are going to need to make is location. Moving to a fixed retirement income generally requires a cheaper living situation, and many seniors of retirement age have health concerns that need to be taken into account when deciding on residence. Most seniors will prefer someplace warm and affordable to better accommodate their health and finances. To find the correct place to retire to you will need to put in some serious research.

Everyone’s needs and concerns are different so focus on what is important to you. For example, the Villas at La Canada located in Tucson, Arizona offers a number of services that will appeal to those who have limited mobility and may need assistance in their daily lives, while at the same time not putting too much pressure on the bank. Mobility, in and out of the home is a major issue- will you continue driving when you reach retirement age, or will you need to find alternate modes of transportation? The following list is just a small selection of things to take into consideration when attempting to choose where to retire too, whether you are looking into senior apartments or a full scale retirement community.

  • Activities Onsite

Are there readily available activities that you are interested in? Many retirement communities and senior apartment complexes have activities like golfing, senior classes, and weekly community events.

  • Food Services

Does your chosen community have a local dining hall or clubhouse with food services? Are there local restaurants and grocery stores?

  • Complimentary Transportation

Are there transportation services available? Will you need to maintain your own car? Does the community have senior shuttles for residents?

  • Medical Services Available

Does the community have on site medical and dental services available? Are there local medical services? Do you have easy access to those services you might need?

  • Home Care and Hospice Care

If you need in home assistance or potentially even hospice care, does the community have access to those services? Are they included in the cost?

  • Monthly or Yearly Cost

Possibly the biggest consideration is cost. If you are looking to simply rent a senior apartment outside of a senior or retirement community you may find that your monthly cost can be quite low, or quite high, its all dependent on location. Senior communities generally have higher yearly costs that serve to cover many or all of the above benefits. The median rent for an unaffiliated senior apartment is about $850 per month in the US, put cost can be highly variable.

Online Research Resources:

The above sites are all fairly common and should serve as a good base when starting your search for your retirement living arrangements. In addition to doing online research you should consider seeking retirement advice from friends or family who have already gone through their own retirement preparations. Especially those that currently live in retirement communities or senior apartments. Getting a first hand look will let you see if the reality matches whats advertised, and you'll get plenty of opportunities to ask questions of people you trust. The most common issues that need to be addressed are usually access to medical care, weather, and affordability. Remember to focus on yourself, only you know what you are going to require in your retirement.