If you are getting older, and are finding your home too large to manage, there are many alternative options to think about. For many retirees, a retirement village or community offers the perfect balance of independence and community. You will be able to live alone or with a partner in your own unit, but will also be able to benefit from a range of common spaces and social activities. However, it is vital that you choose the community that is right for you, and in order to do that, there are several things you need to consider.
Understand Your Finances
One of the most important aspects when choosing a retirement village is the cost, as you need to choose something within your means. Look at how much money you have, how much you receive from your pension, and whether you want to sell your home. You will then have an idea of what you can realistically afford. As This Is Money points out, there will also be service charges for the maintenance and upkeep of common areas, and you should find out how much these charges are, and if you are willing and able to pay.
Look At The Facilities And Activities
Consumer Affairs Victoria describes how retirement villages often have a range of facilities, from bars to bowling greens to hair salons. Make a list of all the facilities you might want, and then try to find a place that suits your needs. Think carefully about what is completely essential, what you could live without, and what you don't mind leaving the community for. You should also try to find out about the organised activities that take place in these common spaces - if you have a favourite hobby, it might be good to find out if other people there share your passion. Many communities have an activities coordinator who can speak to you about this.
Consider Your Support Needs
At the point that you move into a retirement village, you might have few support needs. However, you should cast your mind forward to a time when you might need more help to live independently. As Anchor explains, you should ask about the care options in advance. What will happen if you need someone to help with cooking and cleaning? What happens if you need more personal support, such as help washing or dressing? They also point out that you should make sure your GP and local hospital are easily accessible from the retirement village.
When choosing a retirement community, do not be afraid to ask as many questions as you like. Find time to visit the community on an open day or organised visit, and try to speak to current residents. If you take the considerations above into account, then you are sure to find a retirement village that suits your individual needs.