5 Tips for Buying your Retirement Home

Planning for retirement means making a lot of decisions, including when you’ll stop working, how much you’ll withdraw from your savings each year, and where you’ll live. Many Canadians view retirement as an opportunity to move into a new home; in fact, 64 percent of retirees either have moved or plan to move.

Here are five tips to get you started.

  1. Location, location, location
    Ideally, you should think about where you want to live long before retirement, but it’s never too late to think about your priorities. Do you want to be close to family or health care resources? Do you desire a home in the mountains or somewhere you’ll never see snow again? Make a list of what you want in a home location so you’ll have a starting point for your search.
  2. Don’t delay
    If possible, don’t wait until poor health or declining finances force you to move somewhere that’s not your ideal location. Move while you’re still young enough to enjoy your dream retirement home.
  3. Get professional financial advice
    It’s important to protect your nest egg and keep it growing throughout retirement. A professional financial planner can help you understand what size mortgage is right for you, so your dream home doesn’t strain your finances.
  4. Be mindful of amenities
    When choosing a location and a home, in addition to your personal priorities, it’s important to keep in mind accessibility to amenities important to seniors. Community features such as good transportation, quality of roads, safe neighborhoods, and access to health care, socialization opportunities, shopping and cultural venues are all options to consider.
  5. Focus on must-haves
    Make a list of must-have features and those you would like your retirement home to have. Share the list with your real estate agent to help him or her focus on properties that meet your criteria. Your list of must-haves and desirables will likely be very different from the list you made when you bought your first home. Now, a single-level house with large bathrooms and a level lot may be more desirable than a two-story with lots of bedrooms and a big backyard.