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Where should I live- taking yourself with you

A few years ago, I read this comment, which resonated with me, “When we question or think about where we will live in the next season of life, be reminded that happiness is an internal process, and we can be happy wherever we are if we have done the inner work”.

As a retirement life coach, the question of downsizing, buying into a retirement estate or staying where you are, is one I am often asked. It is one of the biggest financial decisions we make in this season of life, so it can’t be taken lightly.

Each person is unique, and circumstances differ for each of us. Here are some questions to consider and tips for making this decision.

  • Be clear about why you want to move and what options you would like to investigate.
  • Ensure that you and your partner agree with the options.
  • Discuss the possibilities with your Retiremeant™ Specialist
  • Are you ready to let go of some of your possessions and downsize?
  • Understand the different legal offerings.
  • Life Rights is a long-term lease with many benefits, but not all contracts are the same. Read carefully and understand the pros and cons.
  • If the possibility exists, experiment by selling your primary residence and renting in an area to ensure you are making the right decision. Many people have a romantic illusion about living at the coast, only to find it’s not for them.
  • Ask yourself the question about friends and family as these relationships form part of your life in a more profound sense during this season of life.
  • Analyse your current living costs versus the levies you will be paying.
  • We are living longer than our parents’ and grandparents’ generation. Are you looking to have two seasons in the same place? Firstly, as a lock-up-and-go and then settling into a community lifestyle supporting you as you age.

I sold my home and moved from Hartbeespoort Dam to Somerset West in late 2020. I decided to rent in a Retirement Estate so that I could understand the culture and the complexity of this move at this stage of life. I am 65, still working and wanted a lock-up-and-go environment, a safe place to sleep at night and an opportunity to experiment living in a new city and community. I have appreciated the support of the staff in finding highly recommended service providers and having access to some of the readily available support services like a laundry, a clubhouse, fibre, gardening, and cleaning. I live a full life outside the gates of the community but value the support of the staff in the community. The move was not easy, the early days were a challenge, especially since I knew no one, but I made an effort to treat this as an adventure and push through. Change gets harder as we age, so don’t leave it too late. I am happy I moved out of my comfort zone and into a wonderful new adventure, and I look forward to many more happy years ahead in the Cape.

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