For many people, dreaming of retirement is an idle way to pass the time. As we age, however, those dreams begin to take on a more concrete shape, including things like a warmer climate, a home on the coast, and a leisurely life filled with the finest things. When you put it like that, who wouldn’t be excited about this next stage of life?

In fact, some people are so excited about retirement that they’re buying a second home for those golden years now, while they’re still working. Not only is this a good investment, it’s also a way to plan ahead and ensure that your retirement is everything you’ve been dreaming about. If you’ve reached a certain age and are wondering if buying your retirement home sooner rather than later is right for you, there are a number of things to consider.

Location, location, location.

You probably have a general idea of where you want to live, but choosing a location is more than just picking a state or general area. For example, if you’ve got your eye on southeastern North Carolina, the options are endless. Do you plan to travel often? Then a home close to the airport might be a good decision. Do you dream of playing endless rounds of golf? A golf course community could be for you. Did you children move for jobs or college? Now could be a great time to close that distance and strengthen your family bonds. As you age, you’ll also want to stay close to the things you need, such as grocery stores, department stores, and hospitals, rather than choosing a home in a rural county where your closest neighbors are cows – literally.

Plan for the life you’ll have.

There was a time in your life when buying a house meant considering things like the quality of school districts and the size of your growing family. Those days are over! Instead, you should be planning for the life you’ve always wanted to lead. If you’ll travel often, you may want a smaller house or a condo. If you plan to host large gatherings for holidays and birthdays, a large main room and guest accommodations might be right for you. And even though it’s more fun to dream about world travel, playing golf, and going on cruises, you also need to keep the fewer fun parts about aging in mind. If this is going to be the last home you buy, make sure you can age in it comfortably. A single-level home that’s handicapped accessible means you won’t be forced to move again.

Have you considered a condo?

Some people have lived in a house their whole lives and can’t imagine choosing a condo instead. Others relish the idea of an apartment-style life and are looking forward to the benefits a condo can offer. No matter what you end up buying, at least consider a condo. Many of them offer yard service, pools and gyms, golf club memberships, and a built-in community of other people in a similar stage of life, which you may appreciate.

Become a landlord first.

While it might seem wasteful to purchase a house you don’t plan to live in for another five, seven or even 10 years, your future retirement home can actually work for you as a rental property. This will give you an opportunity to pay off the mortgage before you retire and, as anyone who has lived on a fixed income will tell you, relieving your future self of the burden of a mortgage is the ultimate gift.

While owning two houses now might seem like a handful, the long-term benefits are often worth it. If you’re considering buying a retirement home now, contact Network Real Estate. We can help you make the decisions that will improve your life so that your retirement truly is a dream come true.