As people approach retirement, many have certain ideas about where and how they’d like to spend the coming years. But retirement dreams can easily turn into something you’ll regret if you make the wrong choice.
While it might seem ideal to buy some oceanfront property or relocate to the mountains, moving to a new area takes careful planning. Here are some common pitfalls you’ll want to avoid when buying your dream home in retirement.
1. Know that it’s about more than just the weather.
The scenery of your retirement destination is pretty important. But don’t let that be the only factor you consider when choosing a retirement destination. Some people who have lived up north all their lives dream of retiring in Florida and end up disillusioned with the extreme heat and traffic once they rush into a decision. Likewise, a place in the mountains might seem peaceful until you have to drive 30 minutes to get groceries or over an hour to see a doctor.
Before you jump into any decisions, research the area carefully. What is the climate like year-round? Will you have easy access to things like retail outlets and medical care, as well as the recreational activities you want? Finally, what about proximity to major highways and airports so that you can stay close to distant family members and friends?
2. Find a home that’s built for aging in place.
As you get older, the type of home you purchase is going to be more important. Specifically, a home with a lot of stairs may not be practical. The same holds true for a home with a large yard unless you are willing to pay for upkeep. Consider these factors as you look for your retirement home so that you won’t have to find another one in a few years.
3. Avoid tying up all of your cash in a home.
You might be flush with cash going into retirement but avoid the temptation to use a large chunk of it when buying your dream home. Interest rates remain low and financial planners generally recommend against paying cash for a home.
Instead, make a healthy down payment on your retirement home and take out a low-interest mortgage. Then, let your cash continue to make money for you in your retirement years.
4. Don’t forget other financial factors.
It would be a mistake not to consider other financial factors that could impact your retirement decisions. Among these are any additional housing costs you might face and the economic climate of your new area.
Since you aren’t paying cash for your retirement home, you should be able to set aside some money for additional expenses and an emergency fund. These include property taxes, insurance, and repairs and maintenance. Don’t forget to take a look at how your taxes might change in a new area as well. In general, most places that are popular with retirees have favorable tax climates.
5. Don’t try to go through this process alone.
To make the best plan for a retirement life that works best for you, find out how Creekmore Realty Group can help. Chris Creekmore specializes in helping retirees plan and complete their retirement move to coastal North Carolina. We’d be happy to give you information about what makes the southeastern region of NC so special and can help you choose the community that supports your interests. Contact us today to learn more.