Planning Retirement: Saving with a Destination in Mind


Individuals planning their retirement often make the mistake of focusing on only two points on their journeys. The first is the starting point: today. Do I have enough money to retire? How much longer do I need to keep working? The second point is the finish line: your dream retirement. This is typically an abstract goal in the future. What will I spend my time doing? Traveling? Fishing? Enjoying nights on the town? Will I have frequent guests and visitors? Planning your starting point is straightforward, you can set financial goals, you know how much you earn now and you know how much you can afford to save. You can even calculate your cost of living, generally speaking. The question becomes, how do you plan something as abstract as your dreams?

After you finishing reading this, perform a thought exercise. Close your eyes, and imagine you’ve been retired for 5 years. Imagine you’re holding a photo album. Open the cover and start turning the pages. What pictures do you see? Are there photos of you gathered with friends around a dinner table? Is your album full of pictures of you bundled in winter clothing at the steps of a lighted Courthouse Square? Whatever you see, you can already start taking steps to realize those dreams. It begins with planning and research. It’s not uncommon for Dorn Homes to hear from homebuyers that see their retirement 2, 3, or even 5 years down the road. We’ve asked our Online Home Advisors to compile some common questions they’ve received from other homebuyers that were still a few years from retirement, and we’ve answered them here.

It’s Never too Early to Decide Where

Deciding where to retire is probably the most important factor in planning your dream retirement. Not only does the town have to meet your lifestyle needs, but it also has to meet your financial needs. A big part of your financial planning will center on determining an income and a budget. Research factors like taxes, cost of living, and the cost of real estate in advance of your retirement, and discuss those things with your financial advisor. At the same time, recall the exercise above. Research the places you’re considering retiring and find out if your dream retirement can happen there. If you have questions about whether Prescott meets those lifestyle needs, reach out to one of our Online Home Advisors today.

Bring a Lender into the Financial Loop

If you anticipate that you’ll be taking out a mortgage when you buy your retirement home, talk to a lender in advance. Getting information about the down-payment requirements for area homes and monthly costs can help you gather information for your own financial planning and can set you up for success when you decide you’re ready to make a home purchase.

It’s Never too Early to Find a Home and Builder you Love

Instead of spending your first few months of retirement wandering through model homes, start researching builders in advance. Explore the Building Science of homebuilders you favor, and examine communities and floorplans. If your retirement album featured a lot of photos of friends from out of town, look for homes with plenty of guest bedroom space and room for socializing. If your album was full of photos of your classic cars, or you touring the country in a new RV, look for builders that provide expanded parking or RV garages.

Retirement drastically changes the way you live your life. You transition from a highly structured schedule built around work to wide-open days that are full of possibility. At Dorn Homes, we understand the concerns of homebuyers making these transitions and are here to help make your decisions easier. If you’re considering Dorn Homes as the builder of your retirement dream home, even if it’s 2, 3, or 5 years away, feel free to contact one of our Online Home Advisors to ask questions or schedule an appointment to visit our model homes.