If you’re retiring soon, you are likely starting to think about where you’d like to live next. Buying a new home in a new city gives you an opportunity to focus on the things you want to be doing and enjoying yourself. If Austin isn’t already on your shortlist of cities, it needs to be added.
Austin, Texas certainly has a youthful vibe, but not all who venture to the city are young. According to the most recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the Austin metropolitan area is home to the second-fastest growing population of adults age 65 and older in the country with more than 950,000 people. Austin also has the fastest-growing population of adults between 55 and 64 years old.
The city is known for its vibrant music and art scene, as well as warm temperatures. Those looking to escape the cold and those who have a passion for the arts are especially drawn to Austin. Below you’ll find information about all you need to know about buying a home and retiring in Austin:
The Benefits of Buying a Home in Austin
There are a few reasons why Austin is an attractive city for retirees. The city offers year-round mild weather, plenty of parks and outdoor space, and a tax-friendly environment. Texas has no state income tax and it does not tax retirement income. As an Austin resident, you get to keep more of what you make in your pocket and use it to enjoy everything the city and surrounding neighborhoods have to offer.
The city is also home to nationally-acclaimed hospitals offering some of the best healthcare. St. David's Medical Center and the Heart Hospital of Austin are both considered to be within the top 1% of hospitals nationwide.
What to Look for in a New Home
As a senior, there are a few important factors that you need to keep in mind when buying a new home. Your health and mobility needs should be at the forefront of your decision making, even if you do not necessarily require housing adaptations right now. A new house is an investment, and you’ll want to make sure the house you choose will make sense for your circumstances for as many years as possible.
The best way to ensure your new home will be appropriate for you in years to come is to work with your real estate agent to ensure any home you look at was built with “Universal Design” principles in mind. Homes are considered to be universal design homes if the changing needs of seniors are apparent in the layout. Over time stairs could become difficult to manage, or maybe you could start having issues balancing in the shower. Examples of amenities found in universal design homes include no step entryways, one story floor plans, wider doorways, open floor plans with extra floor space, and bathrooms that are senior-friendly with balance rods and low sinks for people in wheelchairs.
Other Housing Options in Austin
If you ultimately decide that buying a home isn’t the best choice for you in retirement, there’s no reason to worry. Austin is home to many other housing options that are appropriate for seniors.
A retirement community, also known as an active adult living community or “55-plus” community, is a living option for older adults who want to maintain as much independence as possible without the headache of home maintenance. Seniors who purchase a home in a 55-plus community typically have the luxury of not being responsible for certain home and lawn maintenance chores. Such communities are “age-restricted” or “age-qualified,” which means that everyone who lives there is at least 55 years old.
Assisted Living Facilities
If you feel that owning a home will ultimately be more of a burden than it is worth, you may want to consider moving into an assisted living facility in Austin. Assisted living facilities are a great option for people who need some degree of assistance – whether that be for activities of daily living or for health care needs. There are 34 assisted living facilities in Austin, TX and 30 assisted living facilities in nearby communities. The average cost of assisted living in Austin, TX is $4,200 per month.