When you bought your house, you were probably focused on finding a place you could afford, in a part of town you liked, with a solid school district and a tolerable commute to your job. Now that retirement is around the corner, your priorities will be changing. You don’t have to pay top dollar to live in a big house in that school district. You might want to be closer to your friends, doctors and shopping.
About three-quarters of people over the age of 50 say they would like to stay in their current home or at least in the same part of town, but fewer than half can afford to do so. Are you looking to relocate in retirement? How to find age-friendly states.
Know the Right Questions to Ask
Here are a few pointers about things to check out in the states you are considering, to make sure they are age-friendly:
Your changing needs probably mean you can downsize your house and off-load some of the things that created significant monthly expenses, while you were raising your family. Many people go down to owning only one car after they stop working, saving themselves hundreds of dollars a month. Since you will not be commuting to work or running the children around to their activities, you and your spouse might find that one car meets your needs.
If you see this option as a possibility, you should make sure the area you move to has an easily accessible public transportation system. The system needs to have routes in your future neighborhood and lines that go to the grocery store, other shopping, medical facilities and community venues.
Find out where the hospitals and doctors are you want to use for your medical care. Choose a location that is not onerous to get to, particularly if you might have mobility issues one day. When you are not feeling well, inconvenience can make you miserable.
Parks and Walking Paths
With your new-found free time, you might find yourself spending peaceful afternoons at the park or strolling on walking paths. You should make sure these and other desired features are nearby. You do not want to have to drive an hour to get to a pleasant park.
AARP Livable Communities Initiative
Check to see if the community you are considering is a member of AARP’s Livable Communities. AARP has partnered with state and local governments around the United States to identify the areas in which those communities do not meet the needs of seniors and implement programs to correct those shortfalls.
These states and cities are making employment opportunities available for older adults, addressing safety concerns, creating affordable housing and increasing access to technology that can make life more comfortable as we age. They are launching business and tax incentives that encourage companies to hire older workers.
The initiative is a five-year process to make a community more livable for seniors. The AARP guides the participating states and cities throughout the journey.
AARP. “What You Need to Know About Age-Friendly States.” (accessed July 16, 2019) https://www.aarp.org/disrupt-aging/stories/info-2019/age-friendly-states.html