According to an article published by San Diego University, your “golden years” or the Third Age, are linked to better self-esteem, well-being, and feelings of stability. This phase of life post-retirement is for many a period of reflection, and planning for the future especially when it comes to where, and when? Healthy lifestyles and self-awareness have active seniors looking, and feeling better than ever with thoughts of getting older on the distant horizon. In the same way that keeping a first-aid kit on hand is a good idea in case of illness or injury, knowing that your home and community will be ready for you in the coming years is peace of mind for you and your loved ones.
It isn’t as motivating to prepare when you’re feeling robust, but life happens, and having a safety net that’s ready to catch you is something to consider. Financial planning is critical, but evaluating your living environment is going to have the greatest impact on day to day life. Do you live in a rural location far from medical facilities, and shopping or in an apartment with stairs? As comforting as aging in place is, remaining in your current home may not be realistic in the long term placing the burden on both you, and your family.
Since the first 55+ community opened its doors in 1960, the goal of building homes for empty nesters, and seniors were not just to market homes, but offer a way of life. Depending on the specific need whether it’s assisted living, or continuing care that provides specialized services, many are set up with on-site amenities like fitness centers, restaurants, and social clubs to encourage healthy, independent living. Most retirement communities are ideally located near shopping and medical care with some providing transportation services. Considerations when shopping for a home in an active adult, or assisted living community are knowing what features are most important to you, and what accommodations might be necessary down the road.
It’s never too soon to shop around and compare amenities, HOA fees, and maintenance services. Residents and community managers can also offer helpful feedback about the lifestyle, and give an insider perspective. Plan on visiting a few to get a feel for the community atmosphere, and experience the surrounding city before making the investment.
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