When you hear someone say "I'm going over to Grandma's house," you picture a nice, cozy home with doilies, knitting yarn, and muffins cooling on the kitchen counter. When you hear someone say "I'm going over to Grandma's condo" however, the muffins are replaced with martini glasses and the doilies and knitting yarn become video games and a widescreen TV.

More and more these days, condominiums are being snatched up by retirees. The days of settling in to a nice, quiet home during the golden years of life seem to have taken a back seat to living it up in a high rise condominium. But why the sudden change? Why are Mom and Dad suddenly selling off your childhood home to move into a condo unit?

Let's face it - if we were our parents and had to spend twenty years raising and providing for kids, the opportunity to live a little after they left would be too much to pass up. After working for years to provide for a family, it's no wonder today's retirees and empty nesters are putting up their home for sale and moving someplace more carefree and relaxing.

Without question, the biggest luxury of retirement is relaxation, and what could be more relaxing than finding some secluded property for sale, snatching it up, and spending your free days lounging in the sun while listening to the waves? What could be better after 30 years of driving septic trucks than to sell off your fixer-upper home and buy a nice little condo where your only worry is what to do with your day?

One of the biggest reasons for retirees buying condos may simply be convenience. There's less upkeep, most condo buildings have amenities such as recreational rooms and indoor pools, and there is ample opportunity to make friends with other retirees looking for a break. For older retirees who cannot take as good care of themselves but wish to avoid nursing homes, there are retirement condos that provide home healthcare, soaker bathtubs, and some even come with on-site dance floors and pubs!

Another big reason is the changing lifestyle for seniors today. Rather than sitting at home whiling away the days, today's retirees prefer to be active. So in a city such as Vancouver, many condos near Stanley Park are occupied by retirees who make running around the Sea Wall every morning a regular activity. The vicinity to downtown amenities is another factor for condo living, allowing them to go shopping, to the theater, or out for dinner without the hassle of driving.

For most, however, it's simply about changing scenery and enjoying life's many pleasures. Retirement is meant to be leisurely, relaxing, and fun, and leaving suburbia for a cozy little city condo provides all that and more. The days of our grandmothers staying home to bake bread are gone. Today's granny would rather be out jet skiing or sipping wine next to English Bay, and who can blame her?

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Wednesday, May 29, 2024