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Voice of Experience

Voice of Experience: August 2023 | Where to Live

Choosing a Community for Retirement

Michael L Goldblatt

Choosing a Community for Retirement
Mario Guti via Getty Images

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Downsizing is a 2017 dramedy that portrays the travails of moving to a new community. Starring Matt Damon, it explores relocation issues like financial problems, lifestyle choices, and marital discord. The film opened to mixed reviews, but has aged well. It is available for renting from streaming services like Amazon Prime and Apple+.

About 40% of American retirees downsize or move after retirement. Some retirees opt to relocate to a new community, and others decide to age in place. Below are things to consider when choosing a home for retirement and resources to help make the best choice.


Alternatives - consider changing lifestyle, downsizing to a condominium, or living with family. Benefits - moving provides opportunities for improving health, lifestyle, and happiness. Communities - choices include active adult, assisted living, life plan (also known as continuing care retirement), and lifestyle communities (e.g., beach and golf communities).

Cost - consider financial and psychological expenses of moving; rent before buying to reduce risks.

Dwelling - varieties include apartments, cabins, condominiums, garden homes, mobile homes, and townhomes.

Family - explore alternatives with family members to achieve consensus.  

Health - plan for the go-go years, the slow-go years, and the no-go years.

Purpose - rank selection factors for things most important to you.


Living in comfortable housing is essential for a successful retirement. Use the considerations mentioned in this article to select the best home for a fun future with family and friends. Consult the accompanying list of resources for additional help.