Housing in Retirement: Conclusion

Gary Silverman, CFP® |

By Gary Silverman, CFP®

Throughout the last few weeks, I’ve been sharing my own thought process about moving from and selling a house to moving into a rental home in a retirement community. Remember that this is MY life and MY circumstances. I have many friends who enjoy tending their gardens, or sitting on the back porch watching the wildlife, or spending time with their visiting children and grandchildren throughout the year. For them, a retirement community might not be the best thing. It wouldn’t fit their lifestyle.
I’m an investor by profession. The modest pool of investments I’ve been able to accumulate for myself is going to generate greater returns because the majority of them are in growth investments—meaning stocks. The risk of stocks is that sometimes they shrink instead of grow. I am very experienced and comfortable with that risk. Many (most) others are not. If I invested my home-sale proceeds in less risky CDs, I wouldn’t be able to make my new rental payment. While Rolling Meadows fits in our budget, I cannot classify them as cheap.
Each of us is different. Each of us has different needs, wants, circumstances, family situations, wealth, abilities, and opinions. What is the right answer for you will probably not be the right one for me. But I hope that some of the decision process about my next living arrangement will spark thought and discussion within your family. You will have to make similar decisions in the future.
For us, a cottage at Rolling Meadows fit us well. It also makes it easier as we get older and can’t do what we can do now. My wife and I have no problem driving, cooking, shopping, etc. We exercise at the Wellness Center at North Texas Rehab and, as you know from my articles, I’m still an avid runner. I also continue to work at the office daily. In other words, we are active now. But one day that will not be the case. 
Another bonus for us,  if we live too long and our money runs out (this should not happen, but the planner in me knows you can’t plan for every possible future) Rolling Meadows has a charitable fund to help long-time residents who outlive their resources. If we need the cooking done for us, the cleaning done for us, the shopping done for us, it is available. In addition,  the Gables and the Pines are available; meaning if our health fails us we can stay in this community and be cared for.
Having now been there several months we’ve had no regrets (except for that scorpion we found once). Through good planning I hope your next home, or the decision to stay where you are, will have the same results.

Gary Silverman, CFP® is the founder of Personal Money Planning, LLC, a Wichita Falls retirement planning and investment management firm and author of Real World Investing