Hill Country Beckons Retirees with Great Location & Scenery
Among the top retirement destinations for baby boomers is an unlikely area of land in central Texas where cedars sway and tall hills rise above canyon floors.
Nestled in a triangular geographic region west of Austin, north of San Antonio, and east of Junction lies an unexpectedly lush area of tall hills, canyons, oaks and cedars. Among the inspiring scenery are quaint towns, friendly faces, and some of the best barbecue in the United States. Known as the Texas Hill Country, this area has become home to many retirees who seek a serene yet active retirement.
Retirement Living in the Hills of Texas
According to Bob Moos in the Dallas Morning News article, “Boomer Retirees Are Loving What Texas Hill Country Affords Them,” scenic natural surroundings and affordability have put quaint Hill Country towns such as Boerne, Kerrville, San Marcos, and New Braunfels on national lists of sought-after places to retire. Moos also points out the abundant wildlife in the region including wild turkey, deer, rabbits, peacocks, wild boar, and of course, armadillos.
Jim Gansle, president of the Canyon Lake Lodging Association, retired to the Texas Hill Country in 1995. Describing the area around his home just steps from scenic Canyon Lake, Gansle says, “The Hill Country is a great place for retirees. Life is leisurely, with pleasant surroundings, hills of course, woods, lakes, milky green rivers, wildlife, and lots to do.” The Canyon Lake area enjoys close proximity to Austin to the north, San Antonio to the south, and numerous quaint small towns in between.
The emerging picture of the Hill Country as a retirement hotspot abundant in wildlife and natural surroundings is not overstated. According to Kimberly Palmer in the July 31, 2008 U.S. News and World Report article, “10 Best Outdoorsy Places to Retire,” the area is well known for water activities including boating, fishing, canoeing, kayaking, and lazily tubing down the San Marcos River. Other outdoorsy things to do include hiking, bird watching, and hunting.
For a change of venue, retirees can enjoy big-city life within a short distance. To the north, the Texas capital city of Austin is a vibrant town that offers a wide range of exciting diversions in the arts, music, and history. Visitors can also catch a glimpse of the largest urban bat colony in North America, located in central Austin underneath the Congress Avenue bridge.
To the south lies San Antonio, a city famous for the Alamo and its colorful Hispanic flair. Visitors can stroll among the sprawling oaks and lush palms of the Riverwalk, dine in authentic Mexican restaurants, watch live shows, learn about Texas history, and enjoy a romantic evening aboard a candlelit dinner boat.
The Texas Hill Country Retirement Advantage
Several retirement hotspots including some in Florida are becoming overpriced and crowded. In contrast, the Hill Country area of Central Texas offers retirees a more peaceful, laid back lifestyle. Given a lower cost of living, beautiful scenery, an abundance of wildlife, numerous activities, and proximity to major Texas cities, it’s no wonder the Texas Hill Country is fast becoming a top retirement hotspot.
How to Choose the Right Retirement Housing
In the past, retirees had two basic options for retirement housing: live solo or in a nursing home. Today, a far greater range of living options is available to seniors including independent living arrangements, assisted care facilities, and resort-style active adult communities. And with many seniors thriving well into their 70s, active lifestyles have made retirement a far less stressful transition, opening the doors to a wide range of retirement lifestyle choices.
Consider Retirement Lifestyles and Health Needs
Selecting a place to live in retirement should be treated just as any other real estate decision. Some independent-minded retirees choose houses in the suburbs, while others choose a condo in a beachside retirement community. Some have a strong desire for socialization, while others are more reserved. Still others have health needs that require around-the-clock care. All these factors should be taken into consideration when deciding upon retirement housing.
Retirement Homes for Seniors
Retirees need to take a close look at their finances before they decide on where to live. Is that luxury retirement community affordable? Or should they stay in their home which is already paid off? Or maybe it is more important to live in a retirement community for 24/7 access to healthcare? Here are some housing options seniors may want to consider:
- Independent Living Communities. Like active adult retirement communities, independent living communities provide retirees with independent living in houses, townhouses, condos, or apartments with other seniors. Independent Living is an umbrella term for housing communities designed specifically for those 55 and older.
- Active Adult Retirement Communities. These retirement communities provide not simply a place to live for seniors, but also a wealth of activities including golfing, boating, walking/hiking trails, swimming, working out, and tennis. Many active adult retirement communities also feature a country club. Living is independent with a strong focus on socialization and physical activity.
- Assisted Living Retirement Communities. Unlike active adult retirement communities, assisted living communities combine housing and healthcare to respond to the special health needs of seniors. Assisted living provides seniors the help they need to carry on their activities of daily life. Living is independent, but with help when the person needs it.
- Alzheimers Care Centers. This retirement housing option specializes in providing care for those with Alzheimer’s Disease, a degenerative brain disorder that effects memory and cognition.
- Continuing Care Communities. Continuing Care communities are a sort of mix between independent living, assisted living, and hospice care. Seniors living in a continuing care community can receive the desired level of support based on current needs.
Choosing a place to live during retirement has many emotional considerations as well as considerations regarding health, finances, and socialization in the Golden Years. Once seniors understand the housing options available to them, they can choose their retirement housing based on activities, socialization, and access to healthcare among other factors important to their health and happiness.
- Hill Country Beckons Retirees with Great Location & Scenery
- Retirement Living in the Hills of Texas
- The Texas Hill Country Retirement Advantage
- How to Choose the Right Retirement Housing
- Consider Retirement Lifestyles and Health Needs
- Retirement Homes for Seniors
- Bottom Line on Choosing the Right Retirement Housing
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