Retirement is an exciting yet challenging time in your life. You’ve invested into the economy by working and paying your taxes. Now it’s time for the community to give back. You’ve worked hard and deserve to enjoy the next phase of your life.
Retirement requires preparation so you can enjoy the experience in the comfort of your own home as long as possible. It’s important to prepare your finances, look after your personal health and consider what your ideal lifestyles looks like once you retire. It’s also important to prepare your home to suit your new lifestyle as well as your physical requirements that may change throughout your golden years.
Your Future Needs
Inevitably, the physical condition you find yourself in right now, has the potential to change in the coming years. Activities you find easy now, may not be as easy in the future so with some adjustments to your home, you can set yourself up for the future. There’s also the advancement of smart home technology that is worth considering.
Your Financial Needs
There are also financial considerations to factor into your decisions. Maybe you’ve not going to have quite as much disposable income as a retiree so you should plan for your home to become more energy efficient.
The Little Things
Even the minor things are worth considering, for example are your light bulbs easy to change or are their longer life options that will require less maintenance? Are these long-life light bulbs also more energy efficient? There are certainly many options to consider as we plan for the future.
The Big Things
There are also items within your home that may be worth replacing or repairing. For example, maybe your old windows need replacing with modern options that are easier to open and also seal better, making your homes more cost effective to heat or cool. Possibly your hot-water system could do with replacing and maybe a smaller unit is more suitable now that the children have moved out of home. You could also consider solar panels for your home to save on electricity bills in the future. While there are upfront costs for these investments, they may save you financially in the future when your income may not be to the level that it once was.
Accessibility to your home is a key aspect of preparing for retirement. Are there any large steps at the entrance, at the back door or within your home? While this may not have been an issue in the past, they may prove to be a problem in the years ahead so consider installing ramps with handrails where practical.
Consider the fittings of your home and how suitable they are as you age. Is the shower or bath easy to get into? Would it be worth installing handrails? Handrails beside the toilet can also be helpful in lowering yourselves down or standing back up as required. These simple installations can help you maintain your dignity by being self-sufficient in the bathroom. Are your floors non-slip and also unlikely to be a tripping hazard? It may be worth considering a new, good quality carpet option.
You should also consider the security of your home and whether security cameras may be worthwhile for your peace of mind. A wireless video door phone will allow you to check who’s at the door without physically opening or even walking to it.
Low maintenance outdoor spaces are ideal for retirees. A garden that requires little work and using the right aids can be a huge advantage. Also consider the ground covering and its suitability as you age. Any tripping or slipping hazards should be removed so you can enjoy your outdoor space safely for many years ahead.
All this planning may sound overwhelming however retirement doesn’t need to be a negative experience. It’s all about setting yourself up at home (if possible not renting it out and moving into a nursing home) so you can remain there long into the future. It’s your retirement years and they should be fun, social and with reduced stress. It’s time to sit back and enjoy the fruit of all your hard work over the years.
Previously you may have lived in a home filled with your children. Now you may be by yourself or with your partner. You may now have the space for your own personal use so why not set up an art studio or personal gym in one of your spare rooms.
Life is for living in retirement – enjoy it!
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