NEW YORK – If you're planning to retire soon, you may be feeling tempted to buy a new home. Perhaps you'd like to relocate to a warmer climate or move closer to your children and grandchildren.
But before you buy, you need to assess what your standard of living will be in retirement so that you'll know what house will meet all your needs.
Your new home should fit the changes you'll be experiencing in your lifestyle, finances and physical health. The residence should be suitable for you now, as well as years down the road. AARP reports that many people 65 and older plan to stay in the same house for the remainder of their lives.
Here are some things to consider before relocating for retirement:
-- What size home do you require? Do you need more space to house guests?
-- Is there enough extra room for storage or space-consuming hobbies?
-- How much yard work do you want to do?
-- How old is the home? When will key features, such as the roof, need to be replaced?
-- How much will you pay in local and state taxes? How does this compare with other communities where you might relocate?
-- What is the home's proximity to places you'll visit in the community? Consider the distance to necessary stops such as food stores, gas stations, banks and doctors' offices, as well as "fun" stops such as entertainment venues, restaurants, houses of worship, sporting facilities, etc.
-- How close are you to major roads, bus stops and transportation hubs, such as airports or train stations?
-- Will you pay more for basic expenses, compared with where you live now?
-- What is the weather like? Will you need to worry about natural disasters such as hurricanes or wildfires?