Where you live is important. This seems to be a burning question for many of us in the retirement age. I hear it from my clients and my friends, and I’ve been thinking about it myself. Urban or suburban? Mountains and forest or sea and sand? In the vicinity of my family or as far away as possible? House? Gated community? Sprawling apartment complex? Old or new? So many questions, so little time!
Here are three lists to get you thinking about your environment.
List 1: What I want in my environment?
- physical layout (think stairs, for example),
- Storage space
- own or rent,
- display or do not display,
- City, suburb or country,
- Access to Transport,
- Price range (including ancillary costs such as maintenance, heat, water and electricity),
- the access to activities (trying to do be realistic about the things you thought, actually the, the always, they could),
- Access to friends,
- the access to medical providers, climate,
- you keep adding your own article.
List 2 – What must I absolutely need?
This is a list of your bare minimum requirements winnowed-down list from #1. There are also cost factors- – I can’t spend more than $XXXX.
List 3 – What I absolutely do NOT want?
You may be surprised by what is shown here. Perhaps you don’t want to ever shovel snow or upstairs neighbors, or within spittin‘ distance of their relatives.
These three lists to research every possible position. Take good notes of how each meets your criteria. Try your top three for size, before you can be a big decision if. Use the suggestions below while you can get your trial version:
Are you looking for a socio-economic match – feel that you can live well within your means.
Identify local groups who share your passion – Hiking, cooking, theatre – there is a group for almost everything.
Watch the social networks to see if they meet your needs – think of how much interaction you want or need. How much time have chat with the neighbors spend? You need to join? There is pressure to be a part of the local Church or temple? The Environment Club? Not everyone maintain a strict isolationist policy?
Read the local Newspapers to see if the activities appeal to you. This is a great way to get information about the tone and the values of the area as well.
You can visit their new neighbors, a network begin to develop. This can also be nasty surprises – such as howling dogs, or chain to uncover Smoking directly under them.
Invite people to lunch or to join you in one of the local restaurant – dinner, a weekend brunch – it’s casual and easy and for a lot of interaction.
They are involved at an early stage to guest for clubs, civic or religious organizations, a book club or special interest group. You connect to a local friend in a volunteer activity. Check out the gym or the club.
I have a visit to the quiet friends over the last couple of months and can attest to the power of the situation. Those who have chosen to be involved in all kinds of new activities as well as be able to continue to those who’ve always loved her. A few have even much more beautiful, people get away from the stressors in their old environment. Some chose poorly and miserable, struggling with the stairs or financial limitations or noise or undesirable neighbors.
Who will you be?