When it comes to places to retire, the town of Spanish Fort, Alabama is a popular destination. And for good reason. Its gorgeous location on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico provides retirees with a pleasantly warm climate; its close proximity to major Gulf Coast cities like Mobile, Pensacola and New Orleans provide plenty of cultural opportunities while maintaining a relaxing, small town feel; and the generally low cost of living in Alabama means your retirement income will go farther there than elsewhere. Of course, living in an affordable area doesn’t by itself mean you’ll be living the high life. It also matters where exactly you live. Regardless whether you plan to move to Spanish Fort or already live here, we recommend celebrating your retirement years in a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC). Read on to learn about your best, inexpensive retirement options, including our community in Spanish Fort.
Home is Where the Heart Is
For starters, if you’re relocating to Spanish Fort from just about anywhere in the country, there’s some good news for you: the town’s cost of living is rated at almost precisely average for the United States. This means if you’re coming from somewhere with a higher than average cost of living, you’ll be able to realize some serious savings on your living expenses. The good news doesn’t stop there, either. It’s highly likely that whatever home you sell for this move will put enough financial resources in your pocket to cover the entrance fee of a CCRC, plus any ongoing monthly fees. In case you don’t know, a CCRC includes an entrance fee that, in essence, locks you into any form of healthcare you may need as you age. For example, if you live in a beautiful cottage, but then at some point need a higher level of care such as assisted living, you will receive it, for no increase to your standard monthly fee based on this increased need. You will be moved to a facility right on your same campus, surrounded by your same group of friends, for the same consistent cost you’ve already been paying. What this means for you is that, for the cost of your current home, you can secure the rest of your future, in an environment you love, surrounded by a thriving social scene, enjoying top-notch amenities, activities, fine dining, and other benefits of independent living and retirement communities, with an inexpensive but luxurious lifestyle. You will have a new home for life.
Picking a Home That’s Just Right
Of course, there will also be monthly fees as mentioned, which like an HOA helps cover upkeep on the pool(s), fitness center(s) and other facilities, as well as lawn care, snow removal, home maintenance, etc. That being said, the cost will likely be influenced by the type of Spanish Fort home chosen. Do you want a more traditional single-family home such as a cottage or even a larger villa? Would you prefer a semi-detached. What about an apartment environment in order to feel fully enmeshed within the community? The amount of space, privacy and independence you prefer will alter your cost of living, meaning you need to decide what’s more important to you: the amount of space where you lay your head, or having additional funds to spend traveling or however you see fit. The good news, of course, is that your CCRC will cover much of your expenses for you, from utilities to entertainment — access to hobbies, classes, excursions, and other excitement are part of the deal. But if you want to take occasional trips to the city to catch a show, or weekend flights to visit family, you may need to weigh your finances and expenses against the type of home you crave. A good general rule of thumb is that the less space you take up in retirement, the more space you’ll have to enjoy it.
Why Independent Living?
We seem pretty enthusiastic about CCRCs, and for good reason. But let’s talk about the other option for a moment. You can absolutely use the sale of your house to move into a wonderful, modestly-sized, moderately priced traditional home in the area. There are plenty, and frankly anywhere you live in Spanish Fort is a wonderful place to live. We’ve just been at this long enough to recognize the downsizes to home ownership in retirement. They include:
- Even if you have no mortgage, you still need to pay taxes on the home.
- You also need to pay for utilities and entertainment such as cable and Internet.
- As you age you may be less interested in or even less able to perform typical yard work, leaf removal, snow removal, etc., and will either need to risk injury doing it anyway, or pay someone else.
- Likewise, home ownership still requires home maintenance, from broken water heaters to replacing roofs.
- If you live alone, large homes can pose fall risks and other concerns as we continue to age. For these reasons and more, we think the safest and most fulfilling option is to move to a CCRC, which alleviates all these concerns and expenses while gaining the additional aforementioned benefits of daily activities, social opportunities, fine dining, access to healthcare, and more.
Types of Independent Living
Hopefully we’ve made it clear that when we discuss independent living, we aren’t talking about “old folk’s homes.” Oh no, we’re talking about active, resort-style retirement living in beautifully-furnished living environments with access to top-notch amenities and experiences. Think putting green, performing arts center, art studio, beauty salon, indoor pool, fitness classes, woodworking shop, walking trails, and so much more. Plus with constant social activities and private dining available for parties and your family, you’ll never be bored again. It is truly the retirement life you always envisioned, all as an inexpensive retirement option your responsible side demands.
The Final Word on Inexpensive Retirement Living in Spanish Fort
Let’s close by making this clear: no matter what you decide for your living arrangements, settling down in Spanish Fort is the right idea. Thanks to the low cost of living, the beautiful climate, and the close proximity to everything the Gulf Coast has to offer in culture and entertainment, you’ll be sitting pretty wherever you lay your head. If you would like to learn more about the many joys of retiring to Westminster Village, our CCRC in the heart of Spanish Fort, get more details here. We wish you the healthiest and happiest of retirement in one of the best little towns anywhere!