For some, retirement freedom inspires dreams of changing residences, perhaps several times. The February 21st workshop led by Michelle Watkins prompted participants to imagine what their next move might be:
- To stay in their current home, but with more help and services (aging in place)
- To move to a place one can close up and leave without worry for travel
- To spend a year living lakeside or on a beach
- To be near assisted living or an infirmary where a retiree or a partner can receive care
- To exchange homes with a scholar in another country
- To join a high-rise community with a campus lifestyle, food service, and more
Before retirees commit to any choice, they need to understand what they are paying now to support their lifestyle and where hidden costs lurk. Then they need to know their many residential options and how to think about the range of associated costs. In a little over two hours, Michelle Watkins led participants through the first steps to documenting costs and making these choices. Ms. Watkins is a retirement counselor with Brazos Towers – Bayou Manor with many years in the field who spends most of her time helping people evealuate choices.
Plenty of attendees had already made at least one move and were able to contribute comments about the benefits and challenges of living in a high-rise, renting in a retirement village, moving to the Hill Country, choosing a campus-style complex with multiple types of living arrangements, and so on. While no presentation could specify the exact costs for any one person, checklists and references plus several handouts gave participants plenty of resources for looking toward new surroundings.