Monday, August 17, 2009

My next home buying decision gets complicated

We hired a friend to paint some trim along the roof of our house last week. I'm not as good on ladders as I was a couple decades ago and Ms. Ktnomics is not thrilled with our medical coverage since the layoff.

We expect to face such decisions more frequently as time passes. Turns out that one logical solution -moving into a maintenance free retirement or continuing care community - may be more challenging than we imagined.

Canada's Atlantic Seniors Housing Research Alliance already reports that few communities are equipped to handle hordes of first wave baby boomers that are demographically projected to start knocking soon on the front doors. That's scary because other observers believe Canada may be better prepared than we are in the Lower 48.

There is a solution. Move in early to beat the rush. Some people already are starting, Coldwell Banker, the real estate concern, found earlier this year. Not many numbers have come in yet, but retirement communities appear to be becoming some of the perkiest real estate markets around. Just as in traditional suburbs, the most economically priced properities are going fast, say data base crunchers at Clear Capital, a Truckee, Calif., information seller.

Developers already are planning some big changes in the way future retirement communities will be built. Don't count on much shuffleboard.

How to pick a good retirement community when you are still relatively young and active gets interesting too. Web sites such as and the Gilbert Guide outline hosts of things to look for, including crime rates, personal safety, the proximity of colleges or other senior-discount friendly educational and social outlets, and good medical care.

Oh, and one other thing. Look for part time job opportunities in the area too, the mavens say.
Someone apparently has to pay for all this stuff.

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