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Considerations when selecting a retirement community

Retirement is a major milestone. Deciding to enter the next phase of life is exciting and comes with many decisions, primarily where and what type of community is right for you. The overarching priority when selecting a retirement community is finding a place that matches your interests now and will also provide the necessities five, ten and twenty years down the road. Let’s consider a few things:

Recreation – A diverse and organized recreation schedule is important for your physical and mental fitness. It provides an opportunity to be active and social with those living nearby. Look for a program that offers activities for various mobility levels and locations with transportation options if necessary.

Medical care
– Gain an understanding of the medical options available to you near your new community. If you need a specialist be sure that they are taking new patients. How close is the nearest hospital? Are there ample general physicians accepting new clients? Even if you are a healthy individual now, consider what your future health needs may be before relocating.

– Each retirement community has rules. Before signing on the dotted line be sure that you understand any restrictions that may hamper your experience. If you have a furry friend be sure that the community allows pets. Check on limitations on how long guests can stay. If you are a grill master or have a green thumb, there may be rules against having a grill or a garden. Be sure to review all regulations before you make a final decision.

– Whether your new home is a condominium or house it will require maintenance. Before committing, find out how repairs and upkeep are handled. Some communities offer maintenance services as part of a monthly fee and others charge for work needing done. Some communities also offer home checks during extended leaves at an additional cost.

– You can change the size and location of your home, but you can’t change the weather! Be sure that you have an awareness of all climate factors of your new location. Florida may seem nice in winter and spring but if you can’t take the humidity and storm scares, it may not be the place for you. Visit the area you are considering at different times throughout the year before packing the moving truck.

– Last on this list but a high priority overall is budget. Consider what fits your financial situation now and what can be sustained in the future. If you haven’t done it already, sit down with a trusted financial planner who can assist you with calculating costs, taking into consideration factors such as death to a partner, health concerns and other unknowns. Determine a monthly budget and decide if you have the means to move.

Some retirement communities charge an entrance fee and monthly fees – be clear on all charges before signing the contract. If a buy-in fee is charged, find out what percentage of this fee your estate will get back. Be sure to go over all the fine details and don’t hesitate to call an attorney for a review.

Selecting a retirement community requires a visit, and Hilton Head Lakes offers Discovery Packages for those interested in moving to Lowcountry. Go online or call 866-396-3230.


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Discovery Packages starting at $179(includes accommodations and local area attractions).
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