Common Retirement Mistakes to Avoid

Written by Ken Tritle, Realtor®, Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES®), DreamWell Homes Realty in San Diego County, Lic# 01777754 Call/text 760-798-9024, email jeanken@dreamwellhomes.com

Common Retirement Mistakes to Avoid

We fully believe you will love the San Diego retirement lifestyle. However, don’t rush the decision, or move here without carefully considering your own circumstances. Here are some of the most common mistakes retirees make…

Not Fully Understanding Community Rules and Regulations 

Get enough due diligence from your agent before considering homes in communities. Know all the financial or legal issues affecting you and investigate the regulations in advance. Some San Diego 55+ retirement communities may be more laid-back or too conservative for your liking, and all have restrictions that you’ll want to understand before getting too deep into the process.

Moving Too Far Away from Family and Friends 

If you’re not close enough, how often will they come to visit you? If not… are you willing to go visit them for holidays and events? Easy access to airports is important – and San Diego has got that covered.

Moving to an Active Adult Community, and Not Being Social 

If you’re not comfortable with this, then consider options with more privacy. On the flip-side, moving into a socially closed environment, with small cliques and unwelcoming people is another problem. If your neighbors seem uninterested or insincere you could regret your decision. 

Be sure to spend time in the community that you’re targeting to purchase in. Spend time walking the neighborhood and at the community clubhouse. You’re likely to find numerous residents who are more than happy to describe life in their community. 

Moving Closer To Family, Children & Grandchildren  

Retirees like Sharon Roberts warn... be careful not to rush in and find yourself in a place where you don’t like the weather, the political or social scene, geography and environment. Factor in what you enjoy personally and give yourself the chance to reinvent yourself and explore life.

Assuming Children Will Have Time for You 

Many retirees realize there’s little room in their children’s lives for them. Depending on your relationship, if you’re not necessarily on the best of terms, then don’t expect all that to change when you move nearby.

Working – If A Younger Spouse Is Still in the Workforce 

Changing jobs and locations is a whole new dilemma at this age. How likely is your spouse to find a comparable job in terms of pay and experience? San Diego’s economy is strong, but you’re not guaranteed to quickly find work in-line with your skills and salary expectations.

Retiring Too Soon 

Realizing you’re not ready to stop working can be emotionally difficult. The feeling of something missing is natural at first. Financially it’s also a potential disaster. And many retirees find themselves short on funds and realize it’s too hard to find any meaningful work, or get back in the job market.

Planning Retirement Too Late 

Avoid rushed decisions. Start early to develop a plan with a few fallback options. Neglecting details brings fear and worry, instead of looking forward with joyful anticipation.

Not Knowing the Area Well Enough 

Research, or better yet, spend some time in your target retirement home area during the hottest or rainiest season of the year. This will give you a good indication a whether you can live there or not. Besides researching the off-season climate and getting a feel for neighbors and the location, know your potential taxes and the cost of living, especially for items and services you depend on.

San Diego 55+ Communities Search Tips video by Ken Tritle, Realtor® at DreamWell Homes Realty. For more information, please call or text 760-798-9024.

Proximity to Medical Care 

Are there nearby options, or how far away is your doctor? Research doctors, especially for specific health issues. Find one you like and verify your insurance coverage. Even if you’re healthy before entering retirement, things could change quickly as you approach your 70’s and 80’s.

Maintaining Two Homes in Retirement 

Especially for snowbirds, a second home could be costlier than you think. Even with low home prices and mortgage rates… hidden costs and expenses for two homes add up quickly.

Living Too Lavishly, Not Being Frugal 

Live comfortably within your means.“Keeping up with the Jones’s” could put a big dent in your retirement planning. Curb your lifestyle to build up savings. Get advice, stick to a budget, and use good judgment on spending.

Carrying a Mortgage into Retirement 

Will it be feasible to pay a mortgage into your 70’s, 80’s and 90’s? Will Social Security, IRA distributions and other savings last you long enough with a mortgage still in place? If possible, do everything you can to avoid it. 

Another viable option may be a reverse mortgage. These mortgages earned a bad rap when they first appeared. But since then have been totally restructured and the negative issues addressed. For those who qualify, this could be a good vehicle to preserve much needed cash. 

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