Every financial planner will tell you that when it comes to your retirement, the first thing to do is determine what kind of lifestyle you want to have during those years. What’s your senior retirement lifestyle? Do you intend to have your house paid off? Will you travel a lot? Do you want to downsize to a smaller place with less maintenance? Are you interested in an independent or assisted living community? All of these factors will play a part in determining how much money you should put away for the future – and how much you can take out once you get there.
Determine your lifestyle requirements early. While many seniors enjoy the option to age in place in their family home, this may not be practical. As we get older, maintaining a large home will become more difficult. If you have mobility challenges, your current home may not be able to accommodate you, as you may require larger door frames and ramps to make getting around easier. If you intend to travel extensively, staying in your “home base” for longer may make sense. But ensure that you have also considered what would happen if you suffer a long illness or injury that requires long-term care. Do you have savings in place to handle this?
Gone are the days where one went from staying in the big, unwieldy family home right up until nursing home care was needed. Today, more and more seniors are discovering the benefits of independent and assisted living communities that offer them opportunities to socialize with their peers in a safe, friendly environment that allows them to be as independent as they choose to be. Costs will vary depending on the community you pick, so be sure to scout this out now and secure yourself a place.
If you have a chronic illness or condition which you know will worsen over time, you should look into a community with a specialized care unit for those with your condition. These residences can provide therapy and rehabilitation in a soothing environmental. While these units may cost a little more than traditional nursing care, the difference is not as much as you think. Inquire about specialized care at any retirement community you plan to join.
There are an extensive number of residences for seniors to choose from, so be sure to factor in your lifestyle needs and challenges during your search.