Studies reveal that most people want to live out their retirement years at home. This is not surprising; after all, “home is where the heart is.”

The word “home” conjures images and feelings of warmth and comfort. It is the place we feel most emotionally connected, filled with pleasant memories. And, the idea of aging at home can be symbolic of maintaining your independence.

But does “aging at home” necessarily have to mean aging in the same home? Perhaps it depends on appeals most to you about “home.”

People move from one home to another for many reasons. In retirement—after your children have grown and established themselves in their own homes—it may make sense to find a house that is more suited, in size and location, to your current and future lifestyle. As time goes on and families age, many of your closest neighbors- those who have helped provide that sense of familiarity- may also end up moving to be closer to their adult children or because of health reasons. Neighborhoods can change dramatically over time, particularly as residents of the neighborhood begin to age. As with most every aspect of life things change.

In real estate, location is everything, and the same can be said of retirement living.

Imagine living in a home that is still your own, but also having guaranteed access to nearby support services and health care if you need them. This win-win scenario is available at many retirement communities that offer freestanding homes and villas to their residents, along with a continuum of care that can ensure your future care needs will be met.

Rather than “downsizing,” a move to your own home in a retirement community can be considered an upgrade. If and when you need additional services or support, you will already be living in a community that will provide them to you. In addition, as many retirement communities shift to an emphasis on the “whole person,” you will also have access to programs and facilities that cater to your emotional, spiritual, intellectual, vocational and social well-being.

Choosing where you live in retirement requires some research. Do you want to own your home, or pay for rights to your residence through entry and monthly fees? By giving thoughtful consideration to your options, you can make an informed decision that will define “home” for you for many years to come.

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