The decision, where to retire, is as big as any you will make in your life. Here, we offer an overview of that decision process, some of the things you want to consider, and we advise you on many different possibilities.
There are many different aspects to the decision:
Your actual retirement age will also affect your decision. If you are older (in your 70’s or older), you’re probably thinking this is the last move you want to make. However, realistically, you may live longer than you anticipate, so you need to consider this carefully. It’s convenient to deny that you’ll need care in the future, but it’s better to consider this possibility and have plans that open up this possibility. This choice might be different if you are over 75.
There are many different ways to think about the best place to retire, and this is often a personal preference. For many people, the best place to retire is where they have lived for a long time and where they are familiar. The best place for many people to retire is near their children or grandchildren. If you're open to new possibilities, though, we offer a look at some of the best cities and places to retire across Canada:
For people who have emptied the nest and are looking to explore their newfound freedom, we recommend a deep look at active living communities. These are found in superior locations from BC to Ontario. These are often called retirement communities, but are also known as 55 plus communities, active living, adult lifestyle and other names. You’ll find these throughout the provinces, with the widest selection and variance in cities and towns across southwestern Ontario. A brief look at some of the more spectacular and noteworthy options:
Waterfront communities are found in locations around the country: Grand Cove, on the shores of Lake Huron in Grand Bend, Ontario. Balmoral Village is not far from the shores of Georgian Bay. Wilmot Creek is just a short drive east of the GTA and looks out over Lake Ontario. Arbutus Ridge by the Sea lives up to its name ideally, also.
There are also more rural gems that offer quiet country-living in a community of peers. Towers in bigger cities like Toronto, Calgary or Vancouver offer you all the conveniences you will ever need, right in your building.
If you’ve never explored the world of active adult living, read some recent stories we have published, from people inside these communities:
You should also consider the variety of styles of home and keep an open mind. For example, you may never have lived in an apartment tower before, but now that you are older, your needs are changing. This setting offers many advantages and conveniences you can’t experience when living in the suburbs. Here’s a look at the variety of housing styles:
Bungalows are a popular choice for many people. As time goes on, knees, hips and back suffer from more wear and tear, and stairs are a consistent pain. Bungalows in urban neighbourhoods are nice, but we’ve talked to many people who are ecstatically happy about their retirement bungalow in a 55 plus community. These are ideally sized and built for people at this stage of life. Many of these communities allow you to upgrade and customize the home when you move in. Take a closer look at retirement bungalows.
Condos are found everywhere, but there are exceptional condo communities for those 55 and older.
Townhouses are more affordable than detached homes. You feel closer to your neighbours, while keeping just enough privacy. Learn more about townhomes and townhouses.
Those who are a decade or longer into retirement see a lot of changes around them. Some friends have passed on, your social circle may be dwindling, and you may feel that your home is no longer as comfortable as it once was. Active living communities, like those discussed above, are a reasonable choice at this stage.
There are other possibilities to look forward to, though.
Today’s retirement communities offer an ever-increasing flexibility and independence. The fact is that living in a community with many people your own age is revitalizing for many people.
Ask Bill K., a retired high school teacher in central Ontario, who was living alone in an apartment he had held for many years. He was in a familiar routine but one that included a lot of solitude. Without really being aware of it, Bill was losing weight while living on his own. When a friend suggested that he might need more companionship than he currently had, Bill “thought I’d give it a look” and toured several local independent living communities.
To make a long story short, he moved into a wonderful retirement home and it really changed his life. He soon found himself surrounded by great new friends. “People adopted me soon after I moved in here,” he says. His friend Lois adds, “Our group of friends gets along very well. We discuss everything, politics, the news, food, whatever’s going on!”
This short anecdote is a story that is repeated in many retirement homes across the country. The community he lives in is a larger retirement home. But there are other options, too.
For people who want to be certain that this is the last time they will have to move, look at continuing care communities. These are the right choice for couples who have varying care needs, but they’re also the right way to anticipate the fact that you may require increased care in the future. Continuing care communities are the best choice if you want to make sure that you never need to move again.