Many Baby Boomers are using the real estate downturn as an opportunity to buy a second home.
Quality of life features should be considered before making such an important decision.
We have all daydreamed about living in an exotic location that we’ve seen in a movie or a National Geographic special. But if you want to enjoy your vacation home as long as possible, you need to consider practical details as well as dramatic scenery.
What to Look For in a Vacation Community
An Environment that Encourages Physical Activity
Research has shown that regular exercise is key to a vigorous old age and good mental and cognitive health. Exercise that has a social aspect to it encourages people to get out. Many boomers are enjoying kayaking and biking clubs, as well as recreation centers. A mild climate helps.
Opportunities for Intellectual Growth
The average lifespan is increasing, creating opportunities to learn new things. It also helps us stay adaptable in a world that is changing rapidly.
Purpose in Life
Research has shown that people live longer and have less depression if they pursue an activity that is meaningful to them.
Patrica Boyle, PhD, a neuropsychologist with the Rush University Medical Center found that people with a higher purpose in life had lower mortality rates among older adults. Research has even shown that volunteering has a positive impact on health.
Opportunities for Social Interaction
People often find that they have to make more of a conscious effort to see people after they retire. Check out the availability of clubs and activities. Of course, if you want the grandchildren to visit, make sure there are fun activities for them, too.
Easily Accessible, Good Quality Healthcare
Let’s face it. We are going to need to visit the doctor more often and you never know when an emergency will happen.
Reasonable Travel Times and Cost
Keeping travel costs and distances as low as possible ensures that you will use your new home more.
Some Baby Boomers are choosing traditional warm weather vacation spots. Others are choosing to purchase second homes in college towns. College communities provide recreational and educational opportunities. Small college towns may also have an intergenerational atmosphere that many find appealing .
Keep an eye out for a future post on financial details to consider when buying a second home.
“Under the Microscope: Purpose in Life May Protect Against Alzheimer’s Disease” Rush University Medical Center
“During the holidays and beyond, helping others will also help you stay healthy” Rush University Medical Center