Moving into retirement, the plan for where you live will depend a lot on your budget, your tastes, and your interests. You could even say that there are as many retirement plans as there are retirees.
Many retirees plan to stay put for their golden years, perhaps enjoying a paid-off mortgage and already established community.
For other seniors, though, it’s time to embrace a new adventure, try a new city, and downsize to a home that reflects new priorities for a new life stage.
Bert Sperling runs Sperling’s Best Places, a site that ranks 370 metro areas on various factors, including quality of life in retirement. Cited in this Kiplinger article, he says that about 15% of people in households with incomes of more than $100,000 move to new destinations when they retire.
If this describes you, here are a few retiree-friendly features to consider in the neighborhood you choose to live in for your golden years.
Shared amenities can make it easy for you to enjoy all of the perks of living in a larger house or estate — without actually having to worry about (or directly pay for) their maintenance. This can be ideal for retirees who may have limited mobility or don’t want to worry about significant fluctuations in their budgets — or just for those who want to spend their time and energy outside of their property.
Condo and apartment communities may offer amenities such as party rooms / banquet halls, fitness centers, swimming pools, and open spaces. Some community centers even have cafes or bars where neighbors can meet and chat.
Look for a community that’s welcoming to both kids and adults so you can feel comfortable having your family over to visit.
Of course, condo and apartment amenities (or HOA) amenities can go beyond just physical things like pools and cafes. There may be other neighborhood services that you can take advantage of, from dog sitters to dry cleaning delivery to other concierge services.
A Live-Work-Play Community
The suburbs have their perks, with privacy and relative quiet (beyond the sounds of leafblowers and lawnmowers) being a few of them.
However, as we wrote in our ebook on the benefits of live-work-play communities, the suburban lifestyle can have some serious downsides. Those include the sedentary habits that tend to accompany car-dependency, and the time wasted on annoying commutes that are required to get to dining, shopping, and entertainment destinations.
Some seniors are choosing to ditch car ownership completely, along with the maintenance headaches and gas expenses, to live in a walkable neighborhood that promotes health and community. They can do that in neighborhoods where dining, shopping and fitness options are within a short, safe walking distance.
To learn more about how to measure the walkability of a potential new home, check out this post: Walkability and Property Value: A Match Made in Heaven.
There’s nothing particularly “new” about urban neighborhoods embracing the values of density and mixing residential, commercial, recreational, hotel, and even business use within the same neighborhood. However, new mixed-use communities are now so popular that many new developments are being carefully planned by experts, giving seniors more living options than ever before.
Shown: A rendering of the live-work-play community Eastern Wharf in Savannah
A Chance to Embrace Passions
Many seniors look forward to their retirement years as a chance to fully embrace the hobbies that never got enough attention during their years of working and raising kids.
Of course, you don’t have to have your hobbies picked out in advance of choosing the city or neighborhood you’ll retire in. However, it certainly helps if your neighborhood has access to features like these:
- Local colleges or universities – Community colleges or local universities offer a wide variety of classes that could interest seniors, whether you already have an established hobby or are looking to explore a new one.
- Parks and Nature Preserves – Everyone loves the chance to occasionally explore the outdoors. But access to nature is even more important if your passions include outdoor sports (such as kayaking or hiking), nature photography, or eco-friendly volunteer opportunities such as habitat restoration.
- Arts and culture – Have you ever dreamed of spending your days volunteering at the local art museum, history museum, or theatre in exchange for free access (and a sense of pride in your community)? Now might be your chance if you choose a neighborhood that’s within easy distance of these types of venues.
Easy Access to Travel Infrastructure
Another perk that many retirees look forward to in their senior years is the ability to travel to their favorite destinations whenever they like.
For many retirees, this means heading down to tropical destinations during the winter or escaping the summer heat in the mountains. With no work schedule to worry about, seniors can embrace the freedom to visit their favorite tourist destinations at the best times of year to avoid crowds or take advantage of great weather or scenery.
Of course, this type of travel gets a lot more complicated if there’s no easy access to a robust airport with plenty of direct flights.
If your retirement dreams include plenty of travel, a long drive to the airport, less than convenient parking options, or flights with too many layovers can end up being a big inconvenience and expense.
This also works in reverse: If you’re hoping to have family members come visit you frequently, it will be much more likely to happen if your home is located in a city with a convenient airport.
Have You Considered the Southern City Life for Retirement?
In addition to being a sought-after destination known for its pleasant weather and historic architecture, Savannah, Georgia also boasts a world-class arts and cultural scene, a nationally acclaimed arts and design school, and an international airport.
Eastern Wharf is redeveloping one of the last remaining riverfront properties in Savannah from an industrial space to a vibrant live-work-play community with curated boutiques, greenspace, modern offices, a boutique hotel — all within an easy and safe walking distance of one another.Savannah, Georgia boasts a world-class arts and cultural scene, a nationally acclaimed arts and design school, and an international airport. Click To Tweet
In addition to apartment options, Eastern Wharf will also feature luxury townhomes, industrial-style lofts, and exclusive penthouses with river views. Residents will be able to take advantage of the George Meyer House, a resort-style amenity center with indoor and outdoor pools among other things.
To learn more about the residential opportunities at Eastern Wharf and about the neighborhood, check out our full web site at Upper East River.