Finding Your Perfect Retirement Home: Tips for Empty Nesters


With the kids finally out of the house, you have traded in hectic family schedules for calm downtime. This new lifestyle brings exciting freedoms, but also the opportunity to re-evaluate your living situation.

Visualize Your Ideal Lifestyle

Before diving into housing hunts, take a step back and envision how you would like this next phase to unfold. Maybe you picture low maintenance living with plenty of travel and leisure? Or an active social hub for hosting frequent gatherings with loved ones? Getting clear on your priorities makes it easier to identify living situations accommodating that vision.

Write out all the features and amenities that support your ideal retirement lifestyle. Having a concrete checklist focuses your home search and identifies which potential trade-offs truly matter versus nice-to-haves.

Rightsizing for the Future

With little need for expansive homes anymore, many empty nesters crave downsizing to something more manageable. Smaller abodes mean less cleaning, maintenance, and overhead costs, freeing up time and money for actually enjoying retirement. 

But streamlining should not mean sacrificing spaces suiting your current needs, hobbies and future aging plans. A three-bedroom ranch may provide just enough living area without wasted space. Or look into condos or patio homes with community amenities reducing yardwork and maintenance. Ambitious retirees might even consider a custom home builder, such as those at Jamestown Estate Homes, to craft their perfect rightsized dream home.

Communities to Match Your Vibe 

Do you envision an active lifestyle filled with fitness, clubs, and social calendars? Then a lively 55+ community with pools, recreation centers and neighborhoods designed for walkability could be perfect.

For a quieter, more private pace, low-density residential developments offer intimacy without the resort aesthetics. Golf course communities cater to the sports minded. And master-planned villages with mixed housing types, retail and healthcare facilities create convenient urban-suburban hybrids.

The key is finding settings that mesh with your unique personalities and interests. Explore potential areas by renting short term, making day visits or even attending community events to get a true sense before buying.

Design for Aging in Place

Even if completely independent today, most retirees want homes supporting their needs through every stage of aging. Carefully evaluating home layouts and construction with an eye for future mobility is crucial.

Prioritize single-story designs forgoing stair navigation, or homes with main-floor master suites for easy living. Open layouts, wide doorways and maneuverability around kitchens and bathrooms prevent future renovation costs. And focusing your search on communities within easy reach of medical facilities provides huge peace of mind down the line.

Be Tax-Savvy

Do not neglect evaluating tax implications. Relocating across state or even county lines through a home purchase may trigger higher or lower property taxes. Some areas extend sizable tax breaks to retirees on fixed incomes too. Selling your existing home means clearing capital gains hurdles to maximize profits.

Teaming with financial advisors and real estate experts well-versed in taxes related to housing transitions prevents mistakes draining funds you will rely on during retirement years. With some strategic planning, it is very possible to optimize your housing budget.

Location, Location, Location

Last but absolutely not least, choose your next community carefully for reasons beyond just the home itself. Proximity to family and medical facilities rate highly. But also consider the cost of living, local amenities and culture fitting your retirement dreams.


With thoughtful planning and prioritizing, there is no reason you can’t design the perfect living situation celebrating this wonderful season of life. So dream big on the ideal retirement nest, then take action making that cozy new reality your well-deserved home sweet home.