Is Northern Virginia “Retirement Paradise”?
Just a few years ago, the original “baby boomers” hit what we used to call “retirement age” – the age of 65. People don’t necessarily retire at age 65 any more. But as Boomers age, they often start thinking about lifestyle changes. And one of those decisions involves finding the best place to retire.
Based on our experience of working with seniors and soon-to-be-seniors (you are eligible to join AARP at age 50!), we’d like to offer up that Northern Virginia is the PERFECT retirement paradise.
Photo Credit: Keeping Current Matters
Here are a few reasons why we think so:
Retirees often consider university towns because of the wonderful opportunities to experience cultural life at a lower cost than in big cities. Here in Northern Virginia, we have multiple universities that offer all kinds of events – theater, classes, sporting events, talks. With George Mason University, Marymount University & Northern VA Community College right here in Northern VA; and with American University, Georgetown University & Catholic University just minutes over the bridge into DC – there is a plethora of cultural opportunities. Add to that awesome places like the McLean Community Center’s Alden Theater, Vienna Community Center’s Vienna Theatre Company, Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, tons of FREE museums in DC. And the list goes on and on!
Northern Virginia is a mecca for those who want to stay young in their retirement. You will find many golf courses, fantastic hiking, great parks in Fairfax County, nature walks, places to fish & boat, jog trails like the W&OD and more.
Living in Northern VA means you have access to world-class health facilities like National Institutes of Health, Georgetown Hospital, Inova and more. The top specialists are plentiful and easily accessible. Even more interesting is Inova’s recent 99 year lease of the facility being vacated by Exxon Mobil. They will be creating a new facility that specializes in research & treatment of complex diseases through personalized medicine. This means doctors will be able to personalize treatment to individual patients’ genetic makeup. We believe this will make Northern VA an even more attractive place for seniors to live as the new facility will likely draw in some of the premieer doctors in the world.
If you are a young retiree, locked & loaded & ready to travel – you can’t beat Northern Virginia. We have 3 airports within 30-60 minutes of one another (Dulles, Reagan & BWI) – two of which are international airports. You can fly in & out to your heart’s content. The world is your oyster.
If you’re an aging retiree, the convenient transportation is a plus for your family. It used to be that our families stayed close by. But in today’s global society, it’s not unusual for families to be spread around the globe. If this sounds like your family, living in Northern VA might mean you see them more often, because it’s so easy to get in and out. In addition to the 3 airports, we’ve got great train service and a fabulous public transportation system. Once you hit the age where you prefer not to drive, this is an added bonus!
Keeping Your Youth
I remember when my in-laws retired to Florida. One of the biggest concerns my mother-in-law had was “I don’t want to live around a bunch of old people. That will just make me feel old.” If that’s how you feel, then Northern VA is an ideal place. With a heavy millennial population in the area (per Forbes Magazine, Arlington is in the Top 3 Cities Attracting Millenials) – you will definitely keep your youth!
This may be the one area where Northern VA is not ideal. Home prices here are high compared to some retirement areas. But here’s the thing. If you already live in Northern VA and are trying to figure out where to retire – you just might want to add Northern VA to the list. Why would we say that if the prices are so high in comparison? Well, The Belt Team has been selling real estate for almost 50 years. In those years we have helped many, many retirees sell their homes so they can move out of the area.
And we have helped many of those same folks a few years later when they moved back.
The grass is not always greener. And although it may cost a bit less elsewhere, it’s hard to replace things like the network of friends you may have built up over the years, the familiarity with stores & back roads, the relationships with doctors, and the communities you may have developed within your church. The money saved by living elsewhere often pales in comparison to losing these other treasures.
So what do you do?
Our past clients have found that downsizing is a great retirement compromise. And that actually it turns out it’s not a compromise in the end, but truly an ideal solution. In addition, there are a number of 55+ Communities in the Northern VA area. Many of our clients have embraced the amenities & activities this easy lifestyle offers – especially in their younger years. One of them told me “I had no idea it would be so fun!”.
If you are thinking about retiring in Northern VA – whether moving here or downsizing here, give The Belt Team a call at (703) 242-3975. We are VERY experienced with the special needs & concerns seniors and soon-to-be-seniors have. And we even have 2 members of our team who are seniors who have downsized! It would be our pleasure to help you make the RIGHT move.