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Having housing that is suitable in terms of design, location and affordability will have an impact on your well-being as you grow older. Living in a place where you have friends or family nearby, and can easily access your social groups and activities, will make it easier to maintain your social connections.

The home you are in now might be suitable for your early retirement years but as you age, and especially if your health declines, your housing needs can change. Thinking through your options and what you would want, if you cannot remain in your current home is a useful activity in your retirement planning.

It can be hard to leave a family home full of memories, but if you can’t go out easily or your neighbourhood has changed and no longer supports you, finding a new home may be the best option for your social well-being. Alternatively you might want to think about what support you would need to stay in your current home if your health, spouse/partner or social situation altered.

There are a variety of housing options for older people that come with built in community – retirement villages and housing complexes built specifically for older people not only provide disability-friendly environments, but usually offer a wide range of activities and opportunities to meet and socialise with others.

If you don’t own your own home, there are rental options – some local councils and community housing providers, have rental accommodation for older people.

Things to think about:

  • In what ways does your current housing situation help, or get in the way of you being socially connected? Think about location, access to family and friends, interests, public transport etc.
  • If your current housing was no longer suitable for some reason, what type of housing might be a better alternative?
  • What are the housing options in your area?
  • What support services are available to help you remain in your current home if that is your wish?