Advances in medicine and healthier lifestyles mean people are living longer than ever. While the average American retires around 65, many continue to live into their 80s or 90s. The Golden Years are a time to relax, enjoy life, and have fun, which is why many people choose to move into retirement communities.
When you think of a retirement home, you might picture something like a hospital, but today’s communities are meant for active retirees. Seniors can find a home that specializes in a particular theme, like art, athletics, or even a community that caters to the Margaritaville lifestyle. As you grow older you might need assisted care, but until then, modern retirement homes can offer convenience and entertainment.
Living longer, active lives means people have to manage their finances to extend their retirement funds over several years. In some cases, that might mean rethinking their structured settlement or annuity payments.
Where Do You Want To Live?
Before you start touring retirement communities, it’s important to understand that there are different housing options that can cater to retirees at various stages of their life. The most basic option is a 55+ community.
In many ways, a 55+ community will feel like living in a traditional neighborhood, except everyone around you will be around the same age. Depending on the community, they might have a service that takes care of your yard or snow removal, but you’ll be mostly independent.
For seniors who want additional help with everyday tasks, an independent living community could offer what they’re looking for. While these look like 55+ neighborhoods, they tend to offer more amenities. Residents have more community-provided activities and might have their meals covered as well. In some instances there may be a maid service to change their linens and clean their rooms.
If a senior plans to live at the same location during their entire retirement, they may consider a continued care community . These apartments are ideal for people who enjoy being independent for most of the day, but might require some extra help performing common tasks like cleaning and cooking. Continued care communities often have trained medical staff on-site, and many will include a meal plan in your monthly rent. The level of care a senior receives will increase as they need it, without requiring them to leave the community.
Assisted care facilities offer constant support to seniors who can no longer take care of themselves. This can include requiring assistance to move around, eat, or receive frequent medical treatment. There might be more nurses and medical professionals on-site for these communities to make sure the residents are healthy and following their treatment plans.
Research Costs and What is Included
Unless you’re moving into a 55+ community, your monthly rent may include benefits that you won’t find in most apartments. Before making your decision on where to live, it’s a good idea to add up your total cost. In some cases, your monthly fee might give you access to gyms, a meal plan, or entertainment. Other communities might charge you an extra fee for these services, or leave it up to you to purchase them on your own.
Knowing what is included in each facility can help you budget for your expenses over the next several years. For example, if you move into a retirement facility that covers all of your meals and offers transportation around town, then you won’t have to budget for groceries and car insurance, and gas.
Ask About Freedom and Flexibility
As you research potential retirement communities, it could be helpful to ask about their flexibility options for residents. Can you bring your own furniture, or are the residences pre-furnished? Can you use your own car, even if they offer transportation services? In some cases, they might have pricing tiers based on these options. If you fall in love with a place but can’t afford a furnished apartment, an unfurnished one could be a more affordable option.
Knowing your options will also help if you want to change your situation after a few years. You might decide that you want to prepare your own food instead of eating from a cafeteria each day.
Consider Retiring Outside of Your Current Community
While some people want to retire and live close to their family and in their current community, others see this move as an opportunity to live someplace new. Popular destinations include Florida, Arizona, Colorado and North Carolina. The warm weather and exotic scenery can make your golden years seem like a vacation!
However, there are financial considerations that go into relocating for retirement. If you’re planning to move to a different state, you should budget for the cost of the move as well. Along with the moving expenses, it could also be beneficial to research to cost of living in various destinations.
For example, it might be more affordable to move to one county in your favorite state instead of another county due to the cost of groceries and entertainment, but both locations might be cheaper than a retirement community in another state depending on your taxes, or how often you plan on having family visit. Make sure you can afford that seaside view before you grow too attached to it.
Create a Financial Plan for Your Residence
As you research the costs of your retirement community, you have to take your financial situation into account. Some people prefer to move somewhere and pay monthly in to the community -- almost as if they were renting a room. Meanwhile, some places require a down payment or require residents to buy into the community, purchasing your room in the same way you would a home.
If you have to purchase your apartment with a lump sum, saving that money can be difficult. If you’re receiving payments from a structured settlement or annuity, you could have another option. At Peachtree Financial, we can help you get the cash you need to purchase your retirement home by buying some, or all, of your future payment stream.
To learn more, give us a call and we’ll connect you to one of our representatives. After asking you a few questions about your structured settlement or annuity and how much money you need, they’ll give you a quote for what we can offer to buy your future payments. We give you options so that you don’t have to let your finances hold you back from enjoying your retirement.
Peachtree Financial does not provide legal, tax or financial advice. Please contact independent professionals for those services.