For some people retirement is a time to rethink where you want to live, possibly fullfilling a lifelong dream of living by the sea or similar
When it comes to retirement, choosing a property that allows you to enjoy yourself should be at the heart of any plans you make
As well as ensuring you have enough space, you may need to factor in any health or mobility problems you have or predict will develop. And you should also consider your interests and ambitions for this period in your life and how your new home will fit in with them.
Some want to stay put, while others see this as an opportunity to start afresh in a new property. This is when lifelong dreams of living by the sea, moving to the city or setting up home in a beautiful mountain valley can finally come to fruition.
You can find somewhere that can accommodate the vegetable patch you always wanted or that is just a stone’s throw from your favourite golf course.
There are plenty of options available: from flats, apartments and traditional houses to retirement villages and sheltered housing where health needs can be catered for.
Flats and Apartments
Downsizing at this stage in your life can make life easier: buying a smaller flat or apartment will free up time and money you might otherwise spend on maintenance and general upkeep.
We are not all green-fingered and for some people a garden becomes a burden that gets in the way of other hobbies and activities. Moving into first or second-floor living means this ceases to be a problem.
For some people this is also a time when they can rethink where they want to live; it provides an opportunity to move physically closer to family members who might previously have moved away themselves.
That way you know that if you need more support from them as you get older your loved ones will be close at hand.
Others would prefer to join a retirement community that will provide the opportunity to remain independent while enjoying the benefits of a wide range of services. These are private developments, often in beautiful parts of the country, where homes are usually restricted to those aged 55 and over.
Many offer services such as cleaning, laundry, meals and hairdressing, and there is of course the social element of living in a community where people are at a similar stage in life. Some also offer the option of care in your home if you become less able when older.
Those who require some support from the outset may prefer to rent a small and easy-to-manage home. Some will have a warden living on or off-site, and all should provide 24-hour emergency help through an alarm system.
Accommodation is normally self-contained but there are often communal areas, such as the lounge, laundry room and garden with social events organised for residents.