The retirement years are considered an exciting time in many people’s lives. When you leave the workforce, you have the freedom to choose a new place to live , and that choice can be based almost entirely on your preferences. If Louisville isn’t already on your short list of potential retirement destinations, it should be added.
Louisville is located on the northern border of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, affectionately called the “Bluegrass State.” Thanks to the Commonwealth location, the people of Louisville are known for their blend of Southern hospitality and Midwestern warmth .
Retirees quickly find their place within this welcoming environment and can enjoy the wide variety of urban services. The city boasts museums, most notably the Kentucky Derby Museum, as well as parks, restaurants, distilleries, and a vibrant music scene. It is, by most accounts, a perfect place for retirees .
Ready to start looking for a retirement home? Read on for some tips to help keep the process as smooth as possible.
- Consider your budget before aiming for your dream homes
It should come as no surprise that your budget is one of the top concerns when shopping for a home, especially when it comes to looking for a retirement home. As you shop, you should keep in mind that paying off a house requires more than just accounting for the down payment and the mortgage. You will need to review your financial situation as a whole to determine if you will be able to manage the cost of buying and owning a new home for the long term. This can be tricky for retirees who plan to live on their fixed income.
Some steps you can take to get a clearer picture of your finances over the long term include:
● Evaluate your eligibility for Medicare or Medicaid for your present or future health expenses
● Check your 401k or other retirement plans to calculate your expected monthly income after you’ve left your career
● Review the property tax situation and other applicable cost of living nuances for Louisville
Retiring to a tax-friendly place with a low cost of living can stretch your earnings enough to retire a few years early, and Louisville is among the most affordable cities to retire in .
Consumer finance company SmartAsset ranks Louisville fifth on the list of most affordable cities in the US for retirees, earning especially high marks for health care affordability and state tax rate and local.
Social Security income is not taxed by the Commonwealth of Kentucky and other forms of retirement income (pension income, 401(k) or IRA income) are exempt up to a total of $31,110 per person. Kentucky also has a 6% sales tax, which is below the national average and well below sales tax rates in neighboring states.
- Make Sure Your Prospective Home Is Senior Friendly
An important consideration that seniors should take into account when buying a home for their retirement is how appropriate that home will be in the future . Changing health and mobility needs may ultimately limit your ability to safely move around or care for your home. Ideally, any home you choose will be a good fit for you for years to come.
To avoid having to move a few years after you buy a home, you should work with your real estate agent to make sure that potential homes you look at have the amenities that will allow you to age in place. Amenities to aim for include:
● One Story Layout/Floor Plan
● Grab bars for the shower
● Stepless entrances
● Wide corridors
● If there is grass, it should be small
- Explore other senior housing options in Louisville
Owning a home during the golden years of retirement isn’t for everyone. Even if you decide that buying a home isn’t right for you, you can still retire in Louisville and enjoy all the benefits the Commonwealth of Kentucky has to offer.
One such option is a retirement community , which is ideal for seniors who want to own a home and remain independent, but don’t want to be responsible for managing the full upkeep of their property. However, buying in one of these communities often carries additional fees, so you’ll want to discuss each community’s specific financial obligations with your real estate agent before visiting.
If you think you’ll need help managing your activities of daily living, you may be a better fit in an assisted living facility . There are over 30 top rated communities in and around Louisville. These facilities offer more specialized health services and always have someone on staff to help you handle any emergencies you may experience.
- Connect with a Trusted Real Estate Agent
Finding a property you feel comfortable with is a crucial component of a successful home search experience, especially if you are moving to Louisville from another city. Ask potential real estate agents if they have been trained to help homebuyers age 50 and older.