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RISMEDIA, May 28, 2007-Doing your homework before retiring can help prevent aggravation and stress, and can save you money.

Ellen Kale, President of the Monmouth County Association of Realtors® suggests that people looking to retire to the Jersey Shore should be aware of several factors, including the local economy, mass transit, medical care and recreation. “The Monmouth and Ocean County region has a superb quality of life and so much to offer to our aging population. Choosing a new home and new community to settle in are big decisions for seniors and their families.”

Kale offers five key factors to consider when in the market for a retirement home:

1- Visit the community during both the busy season and off-season. Many towns have different ‘feels’ to them depending on the time of year. Some people make the mistake of buying a home in a town that they have only visited on vacations or during the peak summer period.
2- Find out where medical care is located. According to AARP, more than 60% of Americans ages 50-64 have at least one of six chronic conditions such as hypertension, high cholesterol, arthritis, diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Once seniors reach the age of 65, more than 80% are affected by these chronic diseases. Close proximity to hospitals, doctors and medical facilities should be considered when retiring.
3- Think about gas prices. If your new home is far from family and friends, and there is no public transportation, you may be spending a lot of money on gas and tolls. Twenty percent of people over 65 do not have a driver’s license. Many who do drive prefer not to drive at night or in inclement weather. Cost of living should be factored in as well.
4- Determine how much living space you will need. Without a family at home, your space needs will diminish. Pay attention to stairs, basements, garages, and attics when looking for a home. The average size of a home for people over the age of 55 is 1,800 square feet.
5- Look into social aspects of the area. If you like people, dining out and shows, you may not want to opt for a remote location. Think about the activities you enjoy, both during the day and at night. Many active-adult communities offer entertainment, bus trips to tourist attractions, and on-site shows and programs.

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