BOSTON (CBS) – Almost one in every six Massachusetts residents belongs to the Over the Hill Gang. And that number will increase as the Boomers age. If you are in the planning stage, how much money you will have in retirement is important and will dictate where you can live.

And it truly is a myth that we all want to retire somewhere far away. AARP had a recent article on the 10 best places to live in retirement. Having visited seven of the 10 cities, I would question their wisdom on all counts. Some retirees do have wanderlust, but most don’t. They may want the warmer weather in January and February but the summers and falls here in New England.

Most Massachusetts communities have the basics of a support system in place. Most cities and towns have a Council on Aging or a senior center that offers various activities and services for their elders.

So how do you stay in your own home or your community so you are close to your support system? For starters would you consider downsizing and moving into a smaller house that you can grow old in? Can you retrofit the house you live in or build a new home so it can accommodate your needs as you age?

Would you consider some of the 55+ communities that are sprouting up. You can own your own home or a townhouse. Could be a gated community with a golf course, recreational center, a pool. All have rules about such things as putting up Christmas lights, visiting grandchildren and dogs you will have to live with!

As we age there is also assisted living facilities where you can rent an apartment and use as much or as little of the services offered such as meals or laundry. According to a GenWorth study the average cost of assisted living here in Massachusetts is about $55,000 a year.

Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities, NORCs is a demographic term to describe neighborhoods or buildings in which a large segment of the residents are older adults. And there may be services available to allow the elder to stay in their homes. Beacon Hill has such a community and has formalized a network to help seniors. It costs $675 a year for single membership, $975 for a household.

As a last resort there are the kids. If you are considering that, think about a granny flat so that you have some distance from the family and can come and go as you please. This could be an addition attached to their home or a carriage house in the backyard.

One more thing:


Magazine: Where to Retire, every place featured sounds wonderful. But more like places I would like to visit than live.


You can hear Dee Lee’s expert financial advice on WBZ NewsRadio 1030 each weekday at 1:55 p.m., 3:55 p.m., and 7:55 p.m.

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