Retirement is a huge milestone in one’s life when all the years of hard work pay off and it is finally time to enjoy a well-earned rest. If your parents or grandparents have reached this important period of their lives, it is up to you to help them go through this transition smoothly, and find a retirement home that will completely suit their needs. There are a lot of factors that should be considered when it comes to choosing a retirement home, ranging from financial questions to the house’s location.
Determining the budget
Getting a retirement home or any kind of home can be really emotional and overwhelming. A third, impartial side could be very helpful. That’s where you come in. Help your parents or grandparents get a clear image on how much they can spend on a retirement home. Assess their income and savings, and check the median cost of the homes. Don’t forget to calculate the fees (home association fees and fees for maintaining the community). Check how taxing works, especially if they are planning on getting a home outside their current state.
Make a list of the must-haves
Retirement settlements can be very different when it comes to design, communities and amenities. If your parents/grandparents are on a tight budget, they may be forced to give up on some additional amenities that often charge a lot. Considering their budget and their needs, you should make a list of the things the retirement community needs to have in order to work for them. That can be access to recreational facilities, proximity of public transportation, greenery, etc.
Health care as a priority
Even if your seniors are in perfect shape and have no chronic health issues, they should have access to immediate health care after the age of 45. Any high-end retirement community should be able to provide them with that. Before you decide for one, you need to ask around whether there are health care services and fitness programs tailored for seniors.
A house/apartment that can be a home
Your parents/grandparents shouldn’t be in a property that makes them feel like they are in a senior care home. Great retirement homes should be spacious enough to have guests over and equipped with quality furniture, the best of appliances and a functional design. If you can’t make up your mind based on the photos and brochures, it is best to visit the community and see how it looks and feels.
Look for financial stability
Again, your parents/grandparents will need you to be impartial in this process. They may get carried away by the perfect settlement with a view to the beach or a rainforest, but you need to be the one who will check the records of the community which is usually run by a homeowners association. Talk to the people who are running their board to see if they are collecting dues from everyone on a regular basis.
Location, location, location
Finally, deciding on the location is one of the most important steps in choosing the retirement home, and there are many factors your parents/grandparents should consider here:
- Do they want to preserve their current social network or are they ready to move far from their friends and neighbors?
- Do they want to be close to their children and grandchildren?
- Do they want a mild climate or prefer warm sunny weather throughout all four season?
- Are they willing to check top international retirement spots?
Only when they answer these questions (thinking long-term) can you start narrowing down the list of the potential retirement settlements.
Your parents and grandparents probably helped you when the moment came for you to go to school and choose your career. Now it is time for you to do the same for them, and help them avoid common retirement home traps.