6 Things to Live Near When You Retire
Many people look forward to retirement, as well they should. After years of hard work and careful planning, retirement can offer people a chance to slow down, travel, volunteer and spend time with family and friends they weren’t able to while working full time. While aging in place is increasingly popular, many people choose to relocate. For some, it’s a fresh start in a more moderate climate or quieter area; for others it’s a chance to downsize or be closer to family. Whether you know you’re looking to move or still on the fence, here are some things you want to make sure are close to home once you retire.
Friends and family
The most important thing anyone, of any age, can have is a strong support structure. Everyone needs help from time to time. Particularly as we age, tasks that once were simple or routine become more difficult — and sometimes we may need help. Having friends or family members who are close enough to drive you to a doctor’s appointment, help with yard work, or just stop by for coffee and conversation will make your retirement much more enjoyable.
No matter how healthy you are and how well you take care of yourself, aging means you will be spending more time around doctors than you did in your youth. That means you want to live close to quality health care options, including a general physician, a hospital with emergency services, an optometrist, and a pharmacy. Even if you don’t have serious health issues, regular checkups are a must, and they will be much easier to keep up if they’re close to home.
Nutrition is key to maintaining your health, which means you need access to proper food. While several big retail chains have full grocery sections, such large stores can be physically difficult and mentally overwhelming for older people to navigate. Having a smaller grocery store nearby — maybe even within walking distance — ensures that you’ll be able to gather healthful food for yourself for many years to come.
Not everyone maintains the ability to drive into their golden years. Being able to hop on a city bus or join a senior ride-share service can help many people maintain a level of independence they wouldn’t otherwise have.
Things to do
Don’t forget, you want to have fun in your retirement. Staying active and social is key to maintaining physical and mental health as you age, so make sure you have access to things that will keep you stimulated and entertained. Proximity to city parks will make it easy for you to get outside and enjoy the fresh air. Finding a community center, church or other group nearby can provide meaningful social interactions. If there’s a volunteer organization that’s near and dear to your heart, don’t situate yourself so far away that you won’t be able to get there on your own after a certain point. And if there are hobbies that you enjoy or have been wanting to try — golf, line dancing or yoga — situate yourself close enough to be able to take advantage.
Public libraries are an often overlooked gem in communities, and they are wonderful resources for people of all ages and income levels. But particularly once you retire, you might not have the income that you once did. Not only do libraries offer shelves and shelves of books that you may finally have time to enjoy once you reach retirement, they often have other items like movies, board games and audiobooks. Depending on the size of your community, many libraries also have programs and classes. Learn to knit, hear live music or participate in community discussions, often at no charge.
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