How to Decide Where to Live in Retirement
You work hard, you raise your family, you build a wonderful life—retirement is the time to enjoy it to its fullest. Whether you’ve already retired or are planning ahead for it, retirement is an exciting new chapter where you get to focus more on you and seek out experiences on your own terms. We like to call this the “you” chapter. But before you jump in, it’s important to plan ahead, including looking over your finances, thinking about how you want to spend your time, and mentally preparing yourself for this big step.
One of the biggest factors to consider when planning for retirement is choosing where you want to live, because where you live really can make you happier. At Trilogy®, we believe that this chapter can be the best chapter of all, and we’re here to help you prepare for the journey. Along with reading this blog, make sure to download our new Live Happier® Guide as your roadmap in navigating the big decisions that will lead you to your happy place. Let’s get started!
Common Misconceptions About Retirement
Your life in retirement can truly be whatever you want it to be—but there are a few misconceptions about this new phase in life that sometimes hold people back from making changes that could actually enhance this unique time. As you’re deciding what you want your post-retirement life to look like, let’s first debunk these misconceptions, so that you can make the best decisions and not miss out on opportunities to live your best life.
Misconception #1: Retirement is a time to slow down.
Life doesn’t have to slow down when so many opportunities open up. In fact, no other life stage gives you as much freedom to experience the things you’ve always wanted to try, to pursue a new path to personal wellness, and to connect more deeply with those around you. Each day can be as laid back or action packed as you want it to be. This is your story, and you get to write it.
Misconception #2: Retirement life means losing touch with friends and people you care about.
If you think retirement means not being able to maintain the friendships you’ve made over the course of your life, or that it will be hard meeting new people if you move—that absolutely does not have to be the case! This is a season of connection—both in reaching out to old friends, and in meeting new ones. Without the stresses of work keeping you busy, you can focus on making meaningful relationships with peers who are as excited about this new chapter as you are. Expanding your social circle is half the fun of this stage! Hear what Trilogy homeowners have to say about how easy it is to make new friends.
Misconception #3: Retirement means you won’t be able to contribute as much or continue to learn new things.
It’s true that retirement means shifting away from a way of life you’ve grown accustomed to over the years—but that doesn’t mean that you won’t continue to grow and evolve as a person. It just means that you’ll do less of what you “have” to do, and more of what you “want” to do. In fact, now you have the time to not only focus on your passions, but to discover new, exciting things you’ve never tried before, while finding new ways to engage with your community and others who share your interests. No matter what you pursue in retirement, the possibilities are endless to create a meaningful life you love.
Top Factors in Choosing a Retirement Location
With these retirement misconceptions out of the back of your mind, it’s time for the fun part: thinking about your ideal place to live. So, where do you begin? There are several things to consider, depending on your personal lifestyle wishes and the kinds of activities and hobbies you want to be able to do. Here are a few key factors to think about when choosing a retirement location.
Climate and Atmosphere
Choosing a new place to live gives you the freedom to move to your ideal climate, so you can live the way that makes you feel most comfortable. Do you prefer a dry climate or a bit of moisture in the air? Are you dreaming of year-round warmth and sunshine, or do you love to see the seasons change? If it’s difficult to pin down the kind of climate you’re looking for, consider the types of activities that different landscapes might lend themselves to. When you close your eyes and imagine your life in retirement, what are you doing? If you desire easy access to the beach, consider coastal environments, which tend to have temperate climates but possibly higher humidity. If golf is your game, pick a sunny spot that’s tee-time friendly all year long. If you love rugged hikes among wild flowers, the drier climate of the desert or mountain states might be right for you. Whatever atmosphere or climate you choose, make sure it can meet your lifestyle needs.
We know everyone has unique tastes when it comes to their retirement way of life, which is why Trilogy’s® thirteen 55+ and all ages resort communities are built in a variety of amazing locations in seven popular states, giving our homeowners the freedom to thrive wherever is best for them. For example, our Arizona communities such as Trilogy® at Vistancia® and Trilogy® at Verde River™ enjoy nearly year-round sunshine and a warm, dry climate that’s perfect for dipping in the pool, playing a round of golf, or simply gazing at the beautiful desert mountains. On the other hand, Trilogy® at Lake Frederick in Virginia is in the heart of the verdant Shenandoah Valley, where homeowners can fish, hike, and watch the seasons change from red fall foliage to springtime cherry blossoms. No matter your climate or lifestyle preferences, there’s a Trilogy community just for you.
City, Suburb, or Rural Living
Once you’ve figured out your ideal climate, it’s time to consider what kind of environment will help make this stage in life even sweeter. Are you called by the hustle and bustle of the city, the convenience and slower pace of the suburbs, or the peace and quiet of the countryside? Let’s weigh your options.
When living in an urban or in-town environment, you have endless options for food, shopping, and entertainment, public transit is easily accessible, and you can be close to medical facilities and public amenities.
The suburbs are quieter than the city, yet still offer quick access to modern amenities—with easier parking and less crowded spaces. You can typically afford a larger home in the suburbs, with options for multi-generational living.
If you opt for a rural location, you can be closer to nature in a more peaceful, quiet environment. You’ll typically get more home and land for your money in the countryside, and if you choose a resort-style community, you’ll have all the lifestyle features you desire within your community, with natural beauty and quiet countryside all around.
Downsizing or Upsizing
Once you’ve determined your ideal location and environment, it’s time to think about the size of home that’s right for you. Many people opt to downsize in retirement, as they may not need as much space once their kids have left the home or their needs change. A smaller home means less upkeep, and the more attractive price point gives you the freedom to focus on travel and other activities. Downsizing is also a chance to simplify your life, cutting down on the clutter that’s accumulated over the years and making room for a fresh start in this new stage.
Upsizing is another option to consider if you want to host out-of-town guests or accommodate your children and their families when they come to visit. A larger home also gives you more room to devote to your hobbies—like a craft or exercise room—and more space to get social, hosting the neighbors for happy hour or a spirited game night.
Whether you choose to go big or simplify, it’s important to find a home that gives you the space you need to soak in all that this exciting new life chapter holds. Learn more about these options and other considerations to keep in mind when buying a home after retirement.
Finding a Community That Fits You
Just as important as deciding your ideal location and home is deciding the kind of community you want to become part of. For many people, living in an active, social community gives you new opportunities to find shared passions, create new connections and friendships, and deepen your happiness and sense of well-being. So, how do you find the community where you feel most comfortable? When you’re choosing a place to live in retirement, experience resort clubs, restaurants, or other social hubs, and see if they host any community events or gatherings that you can attend. You can also try chatting with a homeowner when you tour a potential community to get the inside scoop and to learn what kinds of activities the locals like to do. The Discovery Stay program is an incredible way to get a real feel for life in a Trilogy community, as it gives you a chance to live in the community—and try before you buy—to make sure that it’s the perfect fit. Ultimately, what’s important is finding a home in a community that you enjoy, with a culture and people that resonate with you. It’s why Trilogy® communities create spaces that encourage deeper connections with yourself and others, as you all enjoy the best years in life together.
Start Choosing a Place to Retire
Everyone has different lifestyle goals in retirement, and there’s no one place that suits all. You might choose to live in a partial 55+ community, where you can cherish the quiet of a 55+ neighborhood while still enjoying the day to day with neighbors of all ages. Or, you might prefer a 55+ only community, where you can explore all that life has to offer, with friends that are sharing in this same journey. No matter the way of life you choose, there’s resort-style, amenity-rich Trilogy community designed for you.
Ready to kick off your next chapter? While there are a lot of factors to consider when choosing a retirement location, it’s how you live in it that makes all the difference. As you continue to explore the possibilities, check out our Live Happier® Guide to take the first steps on the path to your happy place—then plan a time to come by and check out a Trilogy community in person. See for yourself what it’s like to have the time of your life at Trilogy.