Give Cottage-Living A Trial Run

As another year draws shortly to a close, many will start thinking about goals and plans for the coming year and what life will look like five or even ten years down the road.  For older adults nearing or in retirement, the dream of moving to the cottage full-time may be on the table for real discussion.

For those lucky enough to have a second home, weekends at the lake in the summer or skiing in the mountains in the winter can hold a great appeal but it’s important to look at all angles before packing in city living.

With growing numbers of seniors retiring to cottage country or small towns in Canada, there are many considerations to consider before making a permanent move.

Cottage Living Questions

  • How accessible is the property and the home?  There may be renovations needed before transitioning to a slower pace of life that will fit your needs in the coming years.  Being able to access medical care, especially in winter, is an important consideration.
  • Will there be a social community?  Older adults can become isolated if they cannot easily participate in activities in the area.
  • Will you become bored?  Is there enough to keep you busy, active and engaged even during the often long winter months?
  • What are the costs of keeping the cottage open year-round?  Upgrades, property taxes, snow removal, water, sewage and heating costs all need to be taken into account.
  • Can you access internet and other services to keep connected?  Many seniors continue to work part-time from a remote location.

A test-run may be the best way to determine if full-time cottage living is the right fit.  If possible, try to book an extended stay during the off-season.  Get involved in local community events, make the drive for supplies, settle in and see how it goes.  You may decide that the grass isn’t necessarily greener on the other side or you could wonder, “What took me so long?”  Only one way to find out…