The COVID-19 crisis changed much about the way we live. It may also have changed your plans for retirement. A growing share of American adults are now retired, thanks in part to pandemic pressures. For many Americans, though, retirement does not offer the certainty or security they hoped for. Nearly half of retirees say the pandemic changed their retirement savings or retirement plans.
Planning ahead for senior living might seem premature, especially if you’re newly retired or only looking ahead to your retirement future. But the ideal time to make senior living plans is always well before you want to move. By weighing your senior living options now, you avoid a rushed decision and can fairly evaluate and compare all communities and living arrangements.
Myths about senior living persist: that it’s just another name for a nursing home, that it compromises independence or that senior living is sterile and boring. So many older adults feel that senior living is not for them — or not for them yet. The reality is much different.
Senior living offers a vibrant lifestyle for seniors of all ages and ability levels. Today’s senior living communities are not nursing homes. They’re lively, beautiful neighborhoods that offer a welcoming community, a myriad of amenities and a chance to lead life on your own terms. Whether you’re considering independent living or need a bit of extra support, senior living has something for everyone.
Here are the reasons you should consider planning ahead for senior living now.
You can avoid having to make a rushed decision.
Often, people make the decision to transition to senior living after a crisis. They realize they no longer feel safe living at home alone, feel overwhelmed by loneliness, or they find out their kids are moving and can no longer check in on them. Sometimes the crisis is life-changing: a medical diagnosis, a fall or the death of a spouse. You may need to move immediately to avoid moving in with a loved one or to cope with a sudden life transition. And even when you don’t, a new diagnosis can leave you or your family feeling pressured to make a decision about your future.
Starting early on your research allows you to be a proactive planner by deciding how you can best ensure that you are living life to the fullest. You can tour communities at your own pace, asking as many questions as you feel you need to, ensuring you find the perfect match for your needs.
The decision about the next place you call home shouldn’t be stressful. Every year, seniors move to senior living, excited about what comes next. But high-stakes scenarios add pressure, making you feel like you have fewer choices and less control over the process.
You can get on waiting lists.
Many seniors think senior living is something people only transition to when they “need” it rather than an enticing option that young and healthy seniors routinely select for themselves. As a result, many seniors wait until the very last minute only to learn that there are long waiting lists for the highest-quality communities.
Many of our communities offer exceptional amenities that are difficult (and sometimes impossible) to get at home, such as:
- Movie theaters and performing arts centers.
- Fully stocked fitness centers.
- Gourmet dining and restaurant-style dining spaces.
- Plenty of walkable green space.
- Pools and hot tubs.
- Exactly the level of support you want and need — no more, no less.
- Event calendars filled with meaningful programming.
- Welcoming communities of seniors who crave lives of purpose and adventure.
Real estate is hot everywhere, and senior living real estate is no exception. Looking now affords you time to get on waitlists so that senior living is there when you’re ready.
You’ll shape a future you can feel excited about.
No one knows what the future holds, but with the right senior living community, you can be confident in a fun, safe, rewarding next chapter of your life. You only get one life; ensure you’re living it to the fullest. Your hopes for the future may just lead you to a Life Plan Community sooner rather than later.
Today’s senior living communities are enticing options that embrace seniors from all walks of life. Exploring your options now ensures the right community is there for you when you’re ready — whether that’s next month or in five years. And by moving now, you become part of a community that feels like home.
Researching your options now can help dispel myths about senior living and get you excited about your next chapter. Some benefits include:
- A chance to chart your own course: Senior living empowers and inspires you to live life on your terms, doing what you love most every day.
- Less reliance on family: Your family loves you. They want to help you. Yet many seniors would prefer not to have children check in on or worry about them.
- Making the most of your hard-earned money: Senior living is an all-inclusive option that stretches every dollar, so you can spend more time doing what you love and less time worrying about a budget.
- Reduced stress: No one gets excited about a leaky roof or a landlord who says it’s time to move. Senior living alleviates many common burdens of homeownership and renting, so you can focus on enjoying your life and your time.
Forget about the stereotype of a nursing home. Senior living is not that. Seniors who move to our communities report a happier quality of life, a healthier lifestyle and a renewed sense of purpose. Many wish they had moved sooner. You might be one of them. You might even elect to accelerate your moving plans so you can begin enjoying all senior living has to offer today.
Want to learn more and explore all your options for the next chapter of your life? Check out our free “Complete Guide to Senior Living Options” to begin planning ahead for senior living.