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May 15, 2019

Retirement Living Alternatives to Staying Put

by Shalmali Kulkarni
When it comes to post-retirement living, there are many options to choose from. In our last blog post, we focused on the benefits and considerations for staying put after retirement. However, this is far from the only possibility, and it may not be the best one for you. With that in mind, we would like to take this opportunity to look at three retirement living alternatives to staying put.

Senior couple riding a classic scooter

The first option is moving to a retirement community.

Retirement communities have a reputation for being only for the sick and feeble, but this is not accurate. Over the past few years, we have seen many seniors living out their best years in vibrant communities with wonderful new friends and caregivers. These communities have a range of living options so that, depending on the life stage you are in, you can choose the type of facility you need. The following list shows the types of facilities available to you ranging in an increasing order of care:

• Active Adult Neighborhoods (55+)
• Senior Apartments
• Rental Retirement communities/Independent care only
• Assisted Living Care only
• Skilled Nursing Home only
• Life Plan Communities (Continuing Care Retirement Communities)

The first three in the list above have almost no care provided. They may or may not provide meals, housekeeping, transportation and other services. It is like living in your own home, if your home was located in a community of seniors only.

The next two provide higher levels of care as compared to an independent living facility. In assisted living, you receive help with activities of daily living but no medical assistance. In a skilled nursing home, you receive full-fledged nursing care.

That leads to the last option, life plan communities, which are a combination of independent living, assisted living, and skilled nursing, plus memory care. This is a complete retirement package, where depending upon the level of care you need, you can move from one to another within the same facility. Several people have moving into a life plan community/continuing care retirement community as a major goal in their overall retirement plan.

The second option is to move closer to family (perhaps even in with them).

If you are lucky enough to live near your family, you know how special this can be. For many seniors, a move closer to your loved ones can provide you with a sense of emotional, economic, or physical security. It can also greatly improve your quality of life. With loved ones around, you are less likely to suffer from feelings of loneliness or isolation.

Most retirees prefer to live in their own homes and be near their family, rather than move in with them. But, if you do plan on moving in with a member of your family, be sure to talk this over with them before you make any final decisions so that you are all on the same page.

The third option is to use your retirement to fulfill lifelong dreams.

If you have planned and saved appropriately, retirement can be a great time in your life to do all of the things you couldn’t do while you were busy working. For example, you may have lived in one city all your life due to job commitments. Now that you are retired, you have the option to try living someplace new.

Perhaps you’d like to travel for most of the year, or even move abroad for a period of time. You can take advantage of this time in your life to fulfill these goals and dreams.

As you can see, there are many retirement living options out there.

And, as we have stated before, no one option is perfect for everyone. You must choose what fits best with your individual wants and needs, and how you envision your life in retirement. However, there is one thing that all of these possibilities have in common, from staying in your own home to traveling the globe – they all require saving and planning.

It is important to take the time now to decide what you want your life to look like when you retire. Only then will you be able to make the necessary arrangements and put a plan into place to ensure you have the quality of life you have always imagined.

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