Retirement Living Considerations
Start with a few basic questions --- Do I need/want to change residences? What do I require in an residence? What might I want/need in the future?
These considerations will vary with each individual/couple ... but can help guide your decision making
A tool to use is writing considerations like these on business cards, and sequencing them according to your priorities.
- how close to "town" (library, shopping, coffee shop, theater, OLLI)
- how close to the "woods" (walks, birds, critters, water, ...)
- how close to transportation (airport, bus/..., freeways -- transportation provided by community)
- how close to friends and relations?
- access to recreation/Activities - skiing, water, ocean, theater, life long learning
- Proximity to your medical care - Doctors, dentists, pharmacy, specialists, etc.
- Proximity to groups with which you are involved? Church, clubs, etc.
- Comfort in the climate, neighborhood, etc.
- Importance of community, or avoiding isolation
- Proximity to neighbors
- Average age of folks in community (do they do things you want to do?)
- shared facilities - meeting space, theater, exercise, pool, workshops, gardens
- "intentional" community -- designed to bring residents together?
- Security - at outer doors, onsite staff, cameras, other
- walk to dining options
- garage, car port, storage, special storage (boat, kayak, ..)
- exclusions - Pets (dogs, cats, other), age specific (55+), non-smoking, ??
- Facility wide services - snow removal, external maintenance
- life-planning -- accessibility, proximity to medical services, in-home options, assisted living, nursing care
- personal services - meals, laundry, cleaning,
- Continuing care - assisted living, nursing care, memory care, other?
- How does it relate to impact on your family, possible care-givers, etc?
- Up front costs (buy-in, entrance fees, long term care insurance, ...) -- and possible return of all/part in specific time frames
- (NH residential communities requiring significant up front fees are registered with the NH Insurance Commissioner)
- Monthly costs (rent, condo fees, utilities, Internet )
- Expected changes in costs (taxes, condo-fees, rent, maintenance) -- and what control do you have over these?
- Implications of your life style options? Travel,
- Taxes - State, property, etc. -- some fees may be tax deductible (property tax, pre-paid health care in CCRC's etc.)
- how does this choice play into your estate planning?
- How long do you expect to live? -- and what happens if you live much longer? (Some facilities have "Charity Clauses" to assure continuing use)
External factors and the future
- Climate change -- impact of rising water, stronger storms, greater variations ...
- Tax changes (national, local) how they might impact costs, deductions
- Health care law changes \
- Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid