Senior couple choosing travel destination on map at home.

How to choose a property to retire to

Retirement is a reward for all the hard work you have done in your life so far, and what better gift to yourself could there be than ensuring you spend your last home loan wisely? When people are young, they want to be close to the city and the action; when they have a family they want to be near schools. But what makes a good home for a retiree?

Here are just a few things to look out for.

Does it have safety features or can you install them?

Taking a tumble is one of those things that people can just shrug off when they are younger, but the latest statistics from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare tell a different story for older Australians.

Almost 80 per cent of the 126,000 hospitalisations in 2011-2012 for those aged 65 and over were due to falls, and the rates of injury only got worse as people got older.

Shower rails, simple tap sets or even something as simple as a bannister for the stairs could be the difference between taking a tumble or landing on your feet. If the home lacks these features, inquire about solid anchor points and other supportive structures that will make installing these yourself possible.

Consider your future income

The whole point of retiring is to escape from the world of work, but something that people often forget is that with work comes income – and that the opposite is also true!

Unless you have been particularly diligent with your savings accounts or superannuation fund, you are likely going to have a little bit less money than you did while you were working. When taking out a home loan, consider this appropriately and consider if you will be able to make consistent repayments.

Choose something you love

After a lifetime of labour, you deserve to live somewhere you love. The priorities of needing to be close to work or school are gone, so you have so many more options to choose from. Fancy growing your own vegetables? Try a hobby farm. Want to remain active? Pick somewhere near to a sports centre. Want to have the kids and grandkids over for Christmas? Time for a big living room.

Ultimately, choosing your final property is just as important as your first. Pick carefully and get the right home loan advice, and you will find yourself with the perfect place to enjoy your retirement.

Police Bank offer a number of products to cater for the retired. It’s worth speaking to one of our Professional Member Service Officers about Financial Planning, Edvest, Retirement Plus and Edvest RediFund Plus savings accounts.