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Small Town Retirement - Check List

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Many of us dream about a small town retirement, either within the municipal boundaries of the community itself, or on an adjacent small farm.  

Provided that you have done adequate research, ticked most of the boxes on your checklist, and have done a few field trips to become familiar with the available civic amenities, then there should be no reason for you to delay your relocation any longer.

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A small rural community is definitely OK for a vacation, but will it be right for your retirement?

Are goods & services, infrastructure and amenities available?

Once you have established the broad criteria for your search - for example, what would entice the grandkids to visit? - most small town retirement destinations have health and medical services, but they may have limited access, restricted hours, and wait times can be longer that you have been accustomed to.

And there may not be any medical specialists, or 24 hour clinics, or even a hospital.

You will need to consider:

  • What exactly is the availability of physicians locally?
  • How far is the nearest hospital?
  • Where is the closest cluster of medical specialists?

When you're looking for the best places to retire find them by continuing to research the topic.

Small town retirement communities are generally welcoming

Your retirement lifestyle checklist should also list the social activities that you intend to participate in.  

  • Which existing community activities actually interest me?

As an outsider, you'll have to work at making new friends, and common interests and hobbies is an excellent access into your new community.   However, as the population is generally falling where you want to retire to, you'll normally be welcomed. 

Small town retirement centres generally have many activities and events, and as long as you don't try to enforce big city values onto your new friends, you'll get along fine.  

However many rural townships don't have sidewalks, street lights or paved roads.  

Public  transport may be minimal, so think carefully about those later years when you won't be able to drive.  

Security can become an issue for the elderly.  So to give yourself peace of mind, ask locals for their opinion of their police department, and about those fees and charges that city hall requires you to pay.

Other issues to consider are in this article Ultimate Guide to Retirement.

Small farm retirement

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Many Extenders (i.e. those retirees who never expected middle age would extend so far into their retirement years) feel that they have another 15-20 years to make a contribution, and are happy to take on a small farm on the outskirts of a small town retirement community.

However, if too many Extenders move in, tractors and other farm equipment may add to congestion on the rural road network, and if the are is popular with tourists, this can impact on the "ideal lifestyle" sought by new arrivals.  

  • Ask yourself - will there be more sub-divisions to enable additional hobby farms to be established?

A final thought - great retirement advice covers all the components of a successful retirement.  These remain fairly constant, no matter where you end up.

For additional discussion Achieving a Successful Retirement, click here

for more comment on Best Places to Retire Find Them via Research, click here


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EXTENDERS belong to that demographic who  understand that "middle age" now extends well into their retirement

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