Many adults approach choosing retirement housing with a sense of trepidation. There can be pressure from friends and family to make certain choices, which can be at odds with your own wants and expectations. Understanding your retirement housing options is one of the best ways to approach the decision, so you end up in a healthy and productive environment. Here are six retirement housing choices, including two that you may not have considered before.
1. Pool Resources in a Co-Living Community
The previously obscure living arrangement of co-housing is becoming more popular. Co-housing is sort of like sharing student housing during college. It allows individuals to live as a cooperative small group in a home or apartment, with each one contributing their skills and talents to the mix. For example, one resident may be great at cooking while another enjoys keeping things neat and clean. At the same time, expenses are divided among the household members, making it more affordable than living alone.
2. Take a Permanent Vacation on a Cruise Ship
Every so often, you hear a story about a couple who has decided to retire to the sea. However, unlike others who purchase sailboats, these people have booked back-to-back cruises. While this may seem extravagant, it actually makes a lot of sense. Look a little deeper to see if a Hawaii cruise could be your gateway into a luxurious retirement lifestyle.
Cruises provide all your food and entertainment, and it is all in one convenient location. You'll travel around the world, so you will have a chance to travel — all without technically leaving your home. Plus, basic medical needs can be addressed at the onboard medical center, and emergencies are taken to nearby ports, making it a good choice for individuals without serious health concerns.
3. Connect With Family in an Intergenerational Household
American families moved away from intergenerational living for a while, but the trend appears to be returning. Part of the reasoning is increasing housing costs, which makes buying a home cost-prohibitive for many young families. At the same time, many parents and grandparents are hitting a stage where they want to downsize. Turning the family home into an intergenerational haven is the perfect solution for some families. So, if intergenerational living hasn't been on your radar, now may be a good time to take a look at it.
There are several approaches to this trend. Some families live within the same space, with each person having a bedroom but sharing the kitchen and other living areas. For other families, converting a garage or basement into an apartment makes more sense. Others choose to add an accessory dwelling to the property for even more privacy.
4. Live Among Your Peers in an Age-Restricted Retirement Community
Don't fret if the idea of living with children or teens underfoot isn't your idea of a relaxing retirement. You have plenty of options that encourage social interaction with others in your age group. One of the most popular choices is to move into an age-restricted community. These come in all shapes and sizes, so you'll have plenty of choices.
Many retirees choose to downsize into smaller homes. Townhouses are a nice choice for this since they have much less exterior upkeep than a single-family home. However, patio homes are an excellent choice if you want a detached unit. These tend to be built on single levels and on smaller lots requiring minimal upkeep. Some communities may even provide landscaping as par to the HOA services.
5. Downsize Into an Independent Living Apartment
If you are looking for even less maintenance, you might want to explore an independent living apartment as a great retirement living choice. In addition to low-maintenance living in a community with similarly-aged residents, many also offer other services. You can expect to find features such as walking trails, fitness facilities, games and social mixers. Some also offer transportation and regularly scheduled trips.
6. Get the Help You Need at an Assisted Living Community
No matter how much you want to maintain your independence, a fully independent living situation isn't possible for everyone. Luckily, there are great assisted living communities where you can get the help you need without depending on family and friends.
You have choices when it comes to finding retirement housing. Be sure to consider all your options, including lesser-known ones like co-housing and long-term vacationing.