Life is full of choices, some of which can be quite difficult. In your early adulthood, you likely made tough decisions about where to attend school, which career to pursue, who to spend your life with, etc. As you get older, you will face the difficult choice of where to spend your retirement. There are several different factors to consider and each person’s decision is based on their own specific circumstances. If you’re considering spending your golden years in a retirement community, here are a few factors you should consider:
Typical age-related changes include high blood pressure and cholesterol. For some, there will be more complicated problems, which could require daily medications for treatment. If your health is in poor shape and you believe that daily assistance in some form or another could be beneficial to your health, a retirement community may be the right choice for you.
Along with health problems, aging can bring with it changes in mobility and limitations in movement. Some of these can be adapted to or addressed with medical care. However, some changes may make it more difficult to function in your typical settings and daily life. If your mobility is compromised and your activity is limited, or you are becoming dependent on assistance and care from others, you might consider moving into a retirement community. In this setting, you can get care and assistance.
As your children leave home and you become an empty nester, your social activity and connection to others may decrease. As you retire from your job, you will also lose much of the daily social interaction and activity you may have once had. If your spouse passes away, you may become even more socially isolated. Oftentimes, senior adult’s social connections decrease as the community around them changes. If you face or fear social isolation, a retirement community may be the right choice.
Just as aging can bring with it social isolation, it can also bring changes in emotional health. Some feel sadness as their children move away. Leaving a job that you enjoyed and felt fulfilled in can leave a void. There may be other losses that lead to grief and depression. Changes in health and functioning, along with thoughts about the end of life can lead to anxiety. Retirement communities can be a good option for those facing changes and declines in their emotional health.
For some, there may be fears that aging will leave them frail, destitute, and relegated to a nursing home. One might even picture the nursing homes of the past where there were limited staff and few amenities. However, with some financial planning, most people can instead choose to enter a retirement community. Today’s retirement communities are more than just assisted living. These settings also offer many amenities making them a great option for one’s later years.
It may be scary to think about planning for retirement and older age. Many leave this decision unmade until it is too late, and they are forced to enter whatever option available. However, by thinking early about your retirement options, you will be taking a more proactive approach. You will have more options available and more say in the final choice.
No matter your current health and level of functioning, it is never too early to plan for your retirement years. Retirement communities offer a range of options and it can be helpful to check out your options and find one that will be the right fit for you. You can talk over your options and choice with friends and family, making sure they know your plans. Doing your research early will also help you to prepare yourself for that setting both in your mindset towards it and with your financial plans.