Exploring Retirement Housing Options

Exploring Retirement Housing Options

We speak daily with clients who are contemplating where they might live in retirement. Now is the time to explore various retirement housing options and strategies for aging individuals. From aging in place to retirement communities, consider your individual preferences and needs when choosing the most suitable housing option.

What Is Important to You?

Where we live is a very personal choice. It should reflect our values and lifestyles. How do you like to spend your time in retirement? What activities will you be doing? What kind of people do you like to be around? Here are some other considerations:

  • Environment – Rural vs. city, weather, culture, nature, politics, crime, laws
  • Lifestyle – Activities that you enjoy doing or want to do in retirement.
  • Accessibility – Nearby restaurants, shopping, entertainment, library, classes; Walkability
  • Access to care – Proximity to caregivers, availability to high-quality healthcare
  • Cost of Living – Food, transportation, housing, entertainment, taxes
  • Proximity – Close to family or support systems

Examples of Housing in Retirement

There are many different options out there to explore.  Here are the most popular:

  • Aging in Place: Staying in your own home while bringing in any necessary assistance and care as you age.
  • Home Sharing: Sharing a home with roommates, similar to the concept portrayed in the TV show “Golden Girls,” offers companionship and cost-sharing benefits.
  • Active Adult 55+: Independent living communities designed specifically for individuals aged 55 and above, providing amenities and activities tailored to older adults.
  • Senior Co-housing/Village: Communities formed by older adults who live in close proximity and share services, fostering a supportive and collaborative environment while maintaining independence.
  • Life Plan Communities (CCRC): Housing communities offering a “continuum of care” throughout the remainder of one’s life, ranging from independent living to assisted living and skilled nursing as the need arises.
  • Assisted Living Communities: Independent living arrangements for people who require some assistance with daily activities but still desire privacy and autonomy.
  • Skilled Nursing: Medical facilities that offer a higher level of care, particularly for individuals with complex health needs, providing specialized medical services and round-the-clock support.

It’s Never too Late to Start Planning

There is a saying, “If you don’t make a plan, a plan will be made for you”.

It’s important to start thinking about your retirement housing options now, so you can be in control of your choices when the time comes.

  • Young person – Pay attention to the experiences of parents, grandparents, and other family members regarding housing in their retirement. What challenges do you see? Start thinking about what’s important to you as you age. Begin saving for retirement to allow the most flexibility in your choices.
  • 40s to 60s – We should have some idea about how our support system will look. Do we have kids to help with support? What will you be able to afford? What does your quality of life look like in the future if you are not able to care for yourself? Continue saving for retirement to allow the most flexibility in your choices.
  • Older adults – Assess your financial situation and review retirement savings. Evaluate your housing needs and options.  Health issues may be a concern and limit your choices. Other factors in life may dictate choices (would you like to be near family, what will your finances afford, etc.)

Begin thinking about where you might like to live in retirement. Ultimately, our role as financial planners and coaches are to empower you to select the option that best suits your lifestyle, preferences, and evolving care needs as you navigate the aging process.

Check out these websites for resources when starting your own research on your retirement housing options.


Jennifer Bush
Jennifer Bush

Jennifer has a background of over 15 years working in the financial services industry. Prior to joining Mainstreet, she worked 13 years for a wealth management firm helping to develop, create, and implement financial planning strategies for clients. Before that, she was a consultant and educator in the area of financial related employee benefits for SF bay area companies and their employees.

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