After years of living in an old farmhouse in rural Massachusetts, I’ve decided it’s time to live in a seniors’ community to free myself from the burden of full home ownership.
Our proposed move into a senior community requires a few basic requirements – maintenance-free living, enough space for three people (my husband, mom and I) and a vibrant community spirit. Along with a few wealthy folks, we set out to find the entire senior community.
I won’t leave you in doubt; We have found a lovely brand new 55+ age community close to our grandkids. It offers everything we were looking for. Now all we have to do is tear down, downsize, enlarge and sell our current home – not for the faint of heart.
1. Maintenance free life
Maintenance-free living is high on our priority list. Like many seniors, none of us have the time, energy, or desire to fix the home, paint, and update anything that requires our care and attention. As I approach my third act, I want to savor every selfish minute and not be tied down to a honey to-do list.
Clearing snow is backbreaking work; I live in New England and snow removal is a winter job that I’d like to pass on to someone else.
Gardening is another big time commitment. I love my big vegetable and flower gardens, but I can get fresh flowers and veggies at the farmer’s market for little effort! Also, mowing and mowing an acre of land is essential work that I loathe. When I think about fitness programs, a salsa dance class strikes me as more attractive than mowing the lawn.
Pro Tip: Ask an attorney to review your condo contracts and restrictions. When it comes to planting your retirement home, you need to be clear about what is acceptable and what is not.
2nd place for all
We all need a personal space to call our own, whether it’s an office for me, a TV room for my husband, or a loft for mom. A key requirement in our search was to find a retirement condo that would give each of us a place to stretch out. Living in a small space requires a mental shift to come to terms with how many things you really need.
Reducing the size is an important task. Wading through years of endless collections of treasures hidden in the little corners of attics, basements and garages is an important task. Personally, I don’t want to force my kids to do this clean-up, so limiting our belongings to the bare essentials will help break down any inhibitions and bring us closer to the available storage space we have for living in the senior community. will be available
Pro Tip: Take photos for gifts while browsing stored items – they take up less space on your phone than in real life.
Retirement communities are everywhere, but they are not all created equal. A row of many townhouses makes it not easy to make new friends or develop a sense of community. A 50+ person condominium complex that offers a community center, pool, fitness center and scheduled active activities for adults reinforces the sense of community.
Transitioning into a senior living community can be difficult, but having the opportunity to make new friends can make the transition easier.
Seasonal parties, field trips, game nights, pool parties, and other social gatherings are important to leading an active lifestyle. Making new friends and learning new skills is key to improving your physical and cognitive health. My goal is to live a long and healthy life and being surrounded by a vibrant and active community will enhance my daily life. I’m on board with all of this.
Pro tip: Examine the social structure of your desired community. Talk to your potential neighbors about how the neighborhood is growing together socially.
4. Brand new construction
I don’t know about you, but a brand new condo is important to me. It’s the time in my life when I want to completely clean up and streamline my decor – a hip, fresh and vibrant living space makes me feel younger and more energetic.
Whatever your current style, even a refreshing facelift — like a new sofa or an unexpected piece of art — can make you feel good. It’s important to feel young and happy in retirement; We deserve it.
Pro Tip: If you choose to build new, you can have time to sort out your current housing situation while you wait for your new home to be completed.
5. Social Activities
According to a study in Medical News Today, “Several findings suggest that frequent social interactions may protect the brain, either by helping to build cognitive reserves or by reducing stress and promoting healthier behaviors.”
Bring clubhouse events, group visits, parties, impromptu get togethers, and walks around campus to chat with neighbors. If it can help keep my mind active, I’m willing to go out and party.
Pro Tip: go out and enjoy someone’s company; Staying healthy in retirement is the most important thing.
6. Active adults
As seniors, we need to stay active and fit; It’s important for our health. FamilyDoctor.org lists six reasons why you should exercise as you age.
- It improves strength.
- It improves balance.
- It gives you more energy.
- It prevents or delays diseases.
- It can improve mood and fight depression.
- It can improve cognitive function.
A pool and clubhouse were high on our priority list to choose the right senior community. A campus with swimming, exercise classes, and sidewalks can be the foundation of an exercise program for seniors. Enjoying the company of other residents of our community while being active should be part of our daily lives.
Pro tip: Of course, before you start walking around the block, you must consult your doctor.
Many retirees are concerned about their personal safety. As we age, we are more prone to falls and other medical emergencies. When you are part of an orderly community, there are friends and neighbors who care about your well-being.
In addition, the compact design of the communal apartments, especially in the case of terraced houses, conveys a feeling of security. An active senior community has people around during the day and night. Living in a bonded community brings a sense of security to your own home.
Pro Tip: Organize daily check-in arrangements with friends or family members. If you don’t check in, it can set off an alarm to activate the feel-good check.
8. Extended social circle
If you are a young professional, your social network revolves around work colleagues. If you have children, bond with their friends’ families. As we get older, our social circles tend to shrink and lose touch. Neighborhoods change and change, our lives get hectic and soon we find that we have a handful of close friendships and a vast circle of acquaintances.
The benefit of moving to a senior community with a clubhouse, pool and social gatherings is that we have a great opportunity to build new relationships. Everyone is at the same stage in their life and makes new friends quickly. You’re sure to find golf buddies, card players, shop-a-holics, and backyard barbecue buddies to spend your day with—an important consideration when you’re fully retired and have plenty of free time.
Your new friendship will help you walk down the endless paths of books or TV shows and enjoy getting outside and discovering new experiences.
Pro Tip: Trying something new that’s outside of your comfort zone is a great way to make new friends.
9. Independent living alone
At some point during our third act, half of the couple will experience being alone. The relief of personal housekeeping will take the heavy burden off your shoulders.
Also, I want my living situation to be filled with friends and neighbors I can rely on, thereby reducing the burden of parenting for my children. Living independently and in my place for as long as possible is an important part of my retirement plan. I don’t want to see this room unless absolutely necessary; is never the best option.
Pro Tip: Assisted living and active retirement are different ideas. Plan the transition to assisted living in the hope that you never have to make it.
10. Peace of mind
Living communally in retirement gives me the confidence that I can live in my own home for as long as I can live independently. Hope it lasts a long time!
I have chosen to live in a senior community that has a strong social network, engaging activities, and a home that has enough space for everyone but is not overcrowded. This frees me from the work of private home ownership and allows me to do my best third-party job on my terms. These terms include many new friends living our best senior lives.