Retirement planning requires several key points to be kept in mind. Do you want to travel? Will you want to be able to give money gifts to future or present grandchildren? Where do you want to to live? What city? What kind of house? Perhaps you wish to upgrade your present house and keep it. That way you don’t have to consider the cost of living change which moving to a new place might bring. Many retirees choose to live in retirement communities where they are around people of similar ages and interests. These can have a very different cost of living that where you currently live.
If you are still some years away from retiring, you might be able to prepare for your post-retirement budget change by finding a home in your preferred retirement area early in the process. Many retiree friendly areas are also near popular vacation areas such as the coast of Florida. Your chosen retirement home could double as your vacation home, or maybe use it for rental income until you are ready to live there yourself. The housing choices in these areas include high rise towers and condominiums for time-share renters and retiring baby boomers. It’s wise to get such a property early on as, notwithstanding the current economic slump, property values do tend to increase over time. The current economic climate might provide the perfect buyers’ market. Finding your perfect place early and renting it our until you need it, can provide a bit of extra income while you wait for your expected retirement date. You will find every kind of housing available with retiree communities associated with them. The September/October copy of a popular senior magazine lists their picks of the top 5 cities for retirement living. Here’s their top five list: Tucson, Arizona, Greenville, S.C, Montpelier, Vt., Logan, Utah, Ames, Iowa.
Watch for such retirement friendly location lists in magazines and newspaper articles. They can help you learn about cost friendly retirement places you might never have thought about. Once you’ve decided on your property and its location, you can begin to compare the price of goods and services in that area with what you currently spend. It will make it much easier to plan how much money you will need for comfortable life after you retire. You do not want to end up, as many retirees sadly do, living in sub standard housing with barely enough money for food and medicine. Make sure your retirement plan includes some play money for some occasional fun. A cruise once a year or several annual flights to visit family can make your retirement come alive. Don’t become another couch potato with nothing to look forward to because you failed to plan fun into your retirement.
I want to thank my sponsors Sandman Painting (www.sandmanpaintingwinnipeg.com), who happen to be planning their own retirement getaway in Arizona and was kind enough to lend me some information about a smart retirement plan.