Independent Living Options Offer Many Benefits for Retirees

There are many options available for 55+ retirement communities. As people get older health and aging needs may require a person to need long-term care. Assisted living, memory care, and nursing home options are also available for those who require extended care services.

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Independent Living Options Offer Many Benefits for Retirees
3 Min Read November 4th, 2020

Many people work hard to save money to enjoy a successful retirement. Your retirement is dependent on several factors, including your future income. Retirement income will help provide you with a lifestyle you wish to enjoy in the decades ahead. The right amount of retirement income will impact more than just your lifestyle. One thing people focus on is the cost and availability of housing.

Few people want to spend their retirement keeping up a large, empty house. Some retirees are looking for compact but comfortable living space without the maintenance that usually comes with homeownership.

Will you downsize? Perhaps you will move to another location or spend part of the year in a better climate. Your income will help drive your ability to have choices. Several factors to consider are your retirement age, budget, well-being status, family fundamentals, individual goals, and preferred lifestyle.

Retirement Can Be Fun and Exciting if You Plan

The traditional image of retirement is changing. You have some people starting retirement at younger ages. Many people who retire today enjoy better overall health than in decades in the past. Many people are looking for an active lifestyle when they retire. Others will approach retirement at older ages with added health issues to consider. 

Life expectancy is also a consideration. People are living longer than ever before. The Social Security Administration offers a life expectancy calculator, which is a handy tool for retirement planning.

Indeed, some people will wish to remain in their homes or downsize to a smaller home and maintain their normal lifestyle near friends and family. Others are looking to either relocate to a different climate or seek a community for social interaction and activity options.

While many people either plan on staying in their home when they retire, many are looking to retirement communities. These independent living communities combine lifestyle and social interaction as key elements so people can enjoy their retirement. There are several types of these retirement communities.

Types of Retirement Communities

One example is Faith-based retirement communitiesThese retirement communities provide residents with the chance to live healthier and well-rounded lives after retirement. In addition to opportunities to enjoy active lifestyles, faith-based communities offer opportunities for spiritual growth. They can live their faith in their retirement. 

There are many other 55+ communities to consider when you retire. These communities offer many amenity types, lifestyle options, and price ranges. In addition to your residence, which includes homes, townhomes, and condos, they offer an assortment of amenities, activities, and clubs to enjoy depending on your preferences. Many include golf courses, tennis courts, swimming pools, exercise equipment, and classes, and so many other social activities so you will never be bored.  

Some older adults may choose to live in a continuing-care retirement community (CCRC). These communities usually have a variety of living options. As your health changes these facilities offer assisted living and nursing home care in the same community.

When people get older, some shift into a community that primarily supports those who need help with daily living activities or even light supervision due to cognitive decline.  

No matter, many people choose this way of life to avoid worrying about maintenance and housework. Couples or single people can also enjoy the socialization that a retirement community can offer.

Pets and Retirement Communities

Many people 55+ have pets or add a pet for companionship. A pet is not only an animal; it is also a family member for pet owners of every age. Owning a pet means you have the responsibility of taking care of the animal. Many people do not want to leave their pets. Luckily, there are Retirement options for pet owners that could solve this problem.

Maintaining a good lifestyle will allow you, or a loved one, to enjoy your retirement. A variety of choices you make will contribute to your overall health and the lifestyle that will allow. These include your diet, activity and exercise habits, and health programs. There are many community options based on your current health and abilities and willingness to take advantage of opportunities to improve your overall health. 

What to Expect in Retirement Community Living

Retirement communities are typically more than just a residence. Many communities, like faith-based communities, allow you to live with those who hold the same shared values. These communities are designed for easy access and mobility since as you get older, your mobility often becomes more limited. The amenities are all within the community for easy access. Communities usually provide a safe and secure pedestrian environment. They are located near destinations such as libraries, stores, and places of worship, allowing residents to remain independent, active, and engaged.

Retirement communities identify a series of standards and regulations that make their living spaces safe for their residents. They typically have age restrictions for visitors, security, and an on-site emergency response service.

Some people will need accommodations due to physical issues, even though most of them retain a basic range of conveniences that make living easy and safe for their residents. There are generally accommodations for those with reduced functional capacity.

While these retirement communities have varying sizes and amenities, you still enjoy a real sense of individual ownership without the burdens that come with owning your own home outside of a community. You can enjoy a secure and peaceful atmosphere.

Healthy Delicious Meals

We all like food. Most retirement communities include dining rooms offering many types of healthy meal options. The restaurant-style dining offers healthy, delicious meals, all prepared by a chef. Often there are specials from time to time in addition to the regular menu items. Nothing stops you from cooking yourself in your own kitchen for some or all your meals.  

As you get older, your ability or willingness to cook may wane. However, many people enjoy a restaurant-style meal without the effort of cooking. Plus, if you and your spouse have different tastes, you don't have to prepare different meals; you just order them.

Activities & Wellness Programs

As we get older, we face changes in our health, body, and mind. Most retirement communities offer several types of programs and activities to encourage residents to stay healthy. These well-designed physical activity programs support the ability to live independently. 

Some facilities are better at providing a motivating culture within the community that will engage residents and encourages them to participate in these activities. If your personality is such that needs additional motivation, you may wish to investigate if the community has this type of culture.

Wellness programs also include socialization. Involvement in group activities assists in overall well-being. These programs include outside dining, movies and plays, shopping trips, and more. Socialization also can include game nights and other activities to enjoy within the community itself. 

Security & Safety

Retirement communities are prepared for health events and accidents. There are, however, other security concerns. The communities will have various types of emergency plans to ensure that you or your loved one is secure and safe all through all types of natural disasters in addition to health events or other emergencies.

The security and emergency support needs are always reviewed and revised and cover risk planning for geographical areas, emergency cases related to the care sector, equipment failures, communication disruption, including cyberattacks, and loss of all/part of facilities and/or supplies.

Unfortunately, with time an individual may need to leave independent living and move into assisted living, memory care, or even a nursing home. The cost of these types of facilities can be expensive as it includes the cost of care. 

While you could get home care, which you would pay for yourself, in the independent retirement community, often, your needs may require help in a facility able to handle those needs easily.  

Care Not Paid by Health Insurance and Medicare

Don't expect your health insurance or Medicare to pay for these options. Only Long-Term Care Insurance will offer benefits to pay for the costs that come with long-term care.

LTC Insurance is medically underwritten, so you are unable to purchase a plan once you need the care. You must obtain coverage when you still have reasonability good health. 

There are many solutions available to prepare your family and finances for the costs and family burdens that come with longevity and long-term health care. Research your potential solutions by using the resources on LTC NEWS.

Preparing for retirement before you retire makes it easier on everyone.

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About the Author

She loves to write about everything related to pets and is a frequent writer and contributor to top online pet publications and blogs, including Faith Based Assisted Living and Pet Friendly Senior Living.

LTC News Contributor Holly


Contributor since November 4th, 2020

Editor's Note

The problem of long-term care is both a cash flow issue and a family issue. Preparing your family and finances for the financial costs and burdens associated with long-term health care is key to enjoying a successful future retirement.

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