Planning to retire in your dream location is exciting, but it does take some practical planning to ensure your home will truly embrace you throughout the second half of your life. Empty nesters who are planning to retire in their 50s or 60s should consider not only how their needs may change as they age but how they can modify their retirement home design now.

Here are the Three Things

House Plans for Seniors

Although you may still be active and have no difficulty getting around, that could change as the years go on. Even mild cases of arthritis can make going up and down stairs a challenge, and the last things you should have to worry about in your home are safety and comfort. Accessible home designs not only protect seniors throughout their golden years, but also make wonderfully open, bright living spaces that are inviting for company, family and, of course, visits from the grandkids.

The first thing you should consider is whether you want a second floor at all. Many seniors opt for a one-story house plan, or at least one that has the master suite located on the first floor. If you do decide to go for a two-story model, you may want to consider installing an elevator. Researching home elevators costs in Florida will give you an idea of how much you would need to install one in your Gold Coast retirement home.

Simple Amenities That Make a Big Impact

You’ll find that things like walk-in tubs, showers with built-in seats and motion-activated lights can make your life much simpler. A good retirement home helps prevent the side effects of aging as much as it accommodates them; having multi-level countertops in the kitchen and bathroom can ensure you and other family members will always be able to get a firm grip and reach whatever you need; slip-resistant flooring with minimal transitions throughout the home can reduce fall risks and are easier to clean.

You could also invest in touchless faucets to ensure you always have the ability to wash your hands and adjust water temperature. You should also look at big-picture additions such as a swimming pool, which is a wonderful tool for senior exercise, and a sun porch. Have fun with the process, and don’t be afraid to treat yourself. You’ve worked hard to retire, and this is the time to begin exploring hobbies, interests and passions that you may not have been able to pursue when you were working. Convert your garage into an art studio, or make your home office a personal library. The choices are limitless.

A Home for the Whole Family

While this is your dream home, you will likely also want space to host visitors. Consider how many bedrooms would reasonably work for your next house; do you want the grandkids to share a room, or would you like each of them to have their own? Will a guest space be more temporary and transitional, or do you want a designated suite for your visitors? If you are a pet owner, you may want to install certain accessibility features for your aging pets, too, like ramps, pet steps, raised bowls and anti-slip rugs.

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