Choosing which retirement community is best for you can be hard. From finances to fitness, there are a lot of factors to consider and so many great retirement communities to choose from. So how do you do it? Here are five quick tips to help you get started:
1. Location, Location, Location
Real estate agents say it, and we agree—location is key. Where do you want to be? Close your kids or grandkids? Perhaps you like being close to the shops, restaurants and the theater that a thriving city brings. Perhaps the quiet beauty of the country entices you—either way, discover where you want to be.
Consider proximity to hospitals, gyms, shopping centers, salons, golf courses, etc. There are many wonderful retirement communities that suit different people in different areas. Get to know where they are and what they offer.
What does retirement look like to you? Are your days filled with crossword puzzles, bingo and reading? Or do you prefer tennis, happy hour, and entertainment? The social life and activities at a retirement community will be an important part of your new home. Ask yourself: what do I like to (or want to) do with my free time?
It’s good to have organized activities and clubs as an option—even if you only partake in them from time to time. Community shouldn’t just be part of the title; it should be a vital component of how a retirement home structures their operations and their amenities.
Plan for today and tomorrow. Yes, independent living chock-full of vivacious activities may interest you now, but look to the future—when you will need more care. Some communities have a “Continuum of Care,” which is essentially a system that helps you remain in the same community over a long period of time, with a comprehensive variety of health services at all levels of care. If, at some point, you need additional care, could you stay at that retirement community, or will you have to move to another? Aging in place can be a huge benefit of a community.
The level of healthcare is an important factor to consider as well. What are the staff to resident ratios? Is there 24-hour care? Do they offer rehabilitative care on-site? What is their approach towards Alzheimer’s, dementia or memory loss care?
Ah, that dreaded bottom line. You plan and save, and now you want to use your savings wisely. Speaking with a financial advisor and your family/trusted friends will help you, as will comparing communities.
Times Inc., pulled the average cost of various retirement communities and broke it down. For instance, a retirement cottage may cost more than another, due to the clubhouse fees and/or activity fees. One style of living (apartment vs. cottage/house) may offer more/less space and greater/fewer amenities. The real bottom line: know what you value and what you’re paying for.
5. Ask Questions and Ask for Help
Ask questions, go for a tour and dive into all aspects of your future home. You can even stay for a night, stay for dinner, or join in on an activity to get a true feel for the life you would have if you lived there.
The sales and admission staff should be kind and helpful and answer your questions fully and promptly. Also, there are many resources available online that can guide you as your research and look for your next home.
Tying It All Together
It doesn’t matter which community you choose as long as it’s the right fit for you. This isn’t an easy decision, but if you start by considering the location, lifestyle, care, and price, and you ask for help, you’ll be on the right track. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to our caring staff who can help guide you to your retirement community.