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?

Financial variations

  • 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