December 3rd, 2010

Retirement Housing: Downsize Your House, Upsize Your Dreams

You may think that your only retirement housing choices are to either stay in the house you’re in now or move into a senior citizen’s community.  But you’re wrong!  People who are in their 50s and above today can use medical science and the things we know about nutrition and exercise to keep ourselves healthy and active for a good, long time.

At the same time, I understand that you’ve probably got a lot of memories tied up in your house.  If you had kids, you raised them there.  And you got to feel the kind of pride that only comes from walking into your very own house for the first time.

But you’ve got a lot of living left to do, and a lot of memories yet to make.  Does it make sense to hang on to your current house?  If you’re housing a mostly empty nest, would you’d rather save the money you’re spending on payments, utilities, and upkeep—and, say, take a trip to Mexico?

As for staying in a senior community, there are a lot of drawbacks to them.  The housing and other amenities are much more expensive than the same amenities in a regular apartment complex.  And a lot of them are segregated from the greater community, making it easy for residents to just spend all of their time with each other.

Again, you can save the housing money and spend it on living your dreams.  And the best way that I know of to stay young in heart and mind is to spend your time interacting with all sorts of other people, young and old alike.  For the most part you can’t do that if you stay in senior housing.

So as you’re looking at your options for retirement, I urge you to make decisions about your retirement housing that will serve you for the rest of your life and help make these some of the best years of your life.

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