Suggested Intro: When it’s time to retire, do you stay put, or head for the beach? Regular neighborhood or retirement community? Bankrate.com offers tips to find the perfect spot to spend your golden years.

Voice over 1: Leo and Shirley Bloom found just what they wanted in their retirement home-sweet-home.

SOT: ?It?s very quiet, very secure, with lots to do if you want to…”

Voice over 2: They didn’t “luck” into a great place. Their Realtor helped with some house-hunting homework.

SOT: ” …the first thing I tell them is to come down for a vacation first…”

Voice over 3: Great Suggestion: you should always “Test drive” any community before you commit. Visit in different seasons. Ride the transportation system, try a few restaurants, shops and activities!

SOT: “…I tell them to knock on doors, amazing how many want to tell you everything… come at nights, weekends…”

Voice over 4: And don’t fall for marketing hype! The sales pitch will always play up the positive and ignore the negative.

Voice over 5: Make sure the community fits YOU. Do you want a very Active lifestyle, or something slow-paced? And ASK about ongoing cost…

SOT: “…they’re going to tell you how much have in reserves in case they are assessed for anything… whether landscaping, roof repair, etc…

Voice over 6: And if there are association fees, find out if they’ve been increasing.

Standup: If you can afford it, think about buying before you retire…and renting it out. Prices are soft in many parts of the country? and it may appreciate while you punch the clock for a few more years. For Bankrate.com I?m Kristin Arnold.