While many seniors look forward to retiring and spending some time in their family home, others look forward to downsizing or moving into a smaller, more compact home with nearby amenities. If you’ve spent your life driving to work, driving to the grocery store and going hither and yon to take care of errands and responsibilities, you may actually like to have things closer to home and be able to get out to the store if there’s a snow storm or you find yourself unable to drive. Here are some considerations for what might make the ideal retirement neighborhood or community:
There are many things about a good neighborhood for retirees that really work for just about anyone. However, if you are looking to move into a community where you’ll be able to settle and stay as you continue to age, there may be some concerns specific to your generational needs. A community that is in a flat area with well-kept streets and sidewalks and frequent, well-marked crosswalks is important for active seniors. A more sprawling, hilly neighborhood or community can make it tough to get out and about in inclement weather or should you develop health issues.
A neighborhood or community that has nearby restaurants, shopping, medical services, beauty and barber shops, recreational and social activities, and possibly even close to a library and theaters is also optimal for a retiring adult. You’ll be able to stay active and involved without traveling far. Even if you do still drive, if you are planning to stay put for a significant number of years, look for neighborhoods and communities with good, close public transportation. This will help you stay active and mobile regardless.
Some retiring seniors prefer to live in a mixed-generation neighborhood–with families, students and older adults all living as neighbors. These neighborhoods can feel full of life and energy and there are often plenty of activities going on. However, other seniors look forward to retirement and being able to interact with their peers and have friends and neighbors nearby with whom they share interests, schedules, activities, etc. You will need to evaluate just what sort of lifestyle you intend to live in retirement and let that be one of your guides in choosing the right neighborhood or community. If you are looking for retirement to be more quiet and sedate–you wouldn’t want to move next to a bustling elementary or high school. However, if you like that youthful energy and sitting to watch some six-year-olds play baseball on a warm summer night–that might be just the neighborhood for you!
Most cities also keep demographic and crime reports by neighborhood which you can get from the appropriate city office. If crime rate and the type of crimes reported in a neighborhood are important to you, you should check into the communities you are interested in. Seniors can be especially vulnerable to property crimes and fraud and unless a neighborhood is secure, communities that cater to a senior population may attract a certain type of criminal an criminal activity.
Each individual has his or her own idea of what the perfect retirement will look like. By putting some time and energy into researching and considering your own dreams and retirement lifestyle, you can find just the right neighborhood or community in which to enjoy your retirement.