Retirement Planning Guide: Finding Your Dream Home

Today, there are more options than ever when it comes to settling down into your retirement home. So many choices can feel overwhelming, and many retirees make the mistake of going into the process without a plan. To make sure you move into your dream home, we've summarized what to consider when outlining your retirement.

Since 2000, the number of Americans retiring daily has nearly doubled. Roughly 10,000 people turn 65 each day, and they’re healthier and living longer than before. This means that Americans are spending more and more time in retirement, so it is critical to think about where and how you are going to live when you are ready to settle down.


Ultimately, the relationship you have with your realtor is critical to successfully finding your retirement home. If you find the right realtor to advocate for your interests, it can make a huge difference to have a sort of friendship with them, so they have incentive to find you your dream home. A good realtor will also be a skilled detective and listener, making sure to show you homes that suit your interests and also don’t have major red flags.

But the work isn’t all up to your realtor; it is also important for you to think about what you will prioritize and what will be important to you throughout retirement. You may think you want to downsize, but what about when your family wants to visit? Have you considered any amenities you’d like to have, like pools or recreation centers? Your realtor should know all aspects of your life and needs, not just your budget.

When looking for a retirement home, it is more important than ever to consider your location. Think about the make-up of your area; do you want your neighbors to be other retirees, or do you want a mixed community? Is it important to be near a major airport so you can visit family? It is always a good idea to spend time in a rental home in your area before signing any major commitments to a home. This way, you can feel confident that you’d be happy living in your community.

At the end of the day, it is important to make an honest assessment of your finances as a retiree to truly understand what you can afford. Make sure to calculate all your retirement income, including social security and pensions, then all of the expenses that are foreseeable as a homebuyer. Keep in mind that you may need to stretch a fixed income for longer than you realize, so be sure to play it safe and plan for long-term when setting your budget. Additional expenses include HOA dues, taxes, home insurance, travel costs, and medical bills that could potentially impede future mortgage payments.

The good news is that the market is preparing for an influx of new retirees looking to move out of their homes. According to Barron’s, developers are brainstorming in preparation for the nearly 2.5 million seniors expected to move out of their homes each year starting in 2035. Not only will this result in a surge to the Real Estate market, but it also means that you can look forward to more options for assisted living and catered communities when it comes time for you to retire.