If you're retiring soon, you may be thinking about venturing into the world of retirement communities. The term retirement community isn't actually the best description nowadays. Some of these developments are more like luxury communities with exclusive amenities, and they are in big time demand. Behind this, naturally, are the baby boomers, who account for about a quarter of the U.S. population. Born between 1946 and 1964, they started hitting retirement age a few years ago, and in the next decade, they’ll drive up the number of retiree households by about 10 million.
Weather Prep. Weather is a key consideration when you’re buying a retirement home, especially for year-round residents. Places like Florida, Arizona and southern California are significantly more seasonal than they probably seemed during your annual one-week holiday visits. If you’re planning to make one of these vacation locales your primary residence, consider renting during the off season before you buy.
Off-season deals like half-price golf might even make Florida’s humidity bearable in the summer. Here in Virginia, you will get your (4) seasons and beware of February.
Get to know peeps in the hood. Take some time to appreciate the personality of the neighborhood and your prospective neighbors. Even if your still out an about, your neighbors may have nothing else to do but hang around. So find out who is grumpy or happy. JUST ask your neighbors to tell you who is who.
Medical Care. Many retirees endeavor to experience an active lifestyle. Does the community provide medical services? If there are no on-site health care facilities, how far must you travel? This is important, especially when your older parents come to visit.
Factor in local tax rates. Some states are more retirement friendly than others. Income, property and estate taxes are crucial considerations when choosing a location in which to invest. Find the recipe that suits you.
Scope out the approval process. Big-city residents who live in condos and co-ops are used to being scrutinized by boards, but are you? Some retirement communities have stringent approval processes.
Memberships. Full-service communities frequently offer specific club-membership structures. Study the requirements and options. In some communities, for instance, the purchase of an ownership stake known as an “equity membership” is mandatory.
Where is the party at. For the moments when you want to let loose, you have to have somewhere to go. Of course we are talking about suburban communities. Check to see how far you are away from area attractions.