When it comes time to hang up that work apron for the last time and transition into your well-earned retirement, it’s almost natural to feel like the sky’s the limit. You’ve got every single one of your golden years ahead of you, and you’re finally free to enjoy the fruits of your labor! Whether it’s pursuing hobbies you’ve always wanted to, traveling the world and enjoying exotic sights from across the globe, or simply spending uninterrupted quality time with the grandkids, retirement offers the kinds of priceless rewards that you’ve most certainly earned.
At the same time, though, let’s be honest with each other: there are some things about retirement that aren’t always so great. No longer pulling in a steady paycheck means that your ability to enjoy your environment hangs directly on the amount of retirement savings you have. Your living expenses further diminish this amount; paying property taxes, utility bills, and maintenance for a family-sized house can certainly eat away at your resources and can restrict what should, by all accounts, be a time of freedom and joy for you.
But don’t fret! There’s a light at the end of the tunnel. You can regain the freedom you’d otherwise lose by being tied down to a large piece of property with ongoing maintenance needs and bills. Downsizing to an independent living community holds all the answers you seek, and opens brand new doors for excitement. Here’s how independent living can give you more freedom to do what you want.
The Costs of Aging in Place
You might not want to give up your existing home. It’s filled with happy memories of raising a family, and these memories mean a lot. At the same time, however, choosing to retire in your existing home (a practice called aging in place) places some major financial hurdles in your way that can end up disrupting your ability to live the independent and engaged retirement you want.
Many of these financial costs are self-explanatory. While it’s true that by the time you reach retirement age you’re likely to have paid off, either fully or in part, the lion’s share of your home mortgage, your ongoing costs don’t end there. Upkeep costs like property tax, electricity, heating, water, trash removal, landscaping, and maintenance all add up to a pretty penny — to say nothing about the costs of repairing major damage or replacing broken appliances!
On top of all this, as your physical needs change through retirement, you might find that that big house of yours is no longer suited to your capabilities. One example is how having a bedroom on the second floor or a laundry room in the basement can be killer on anyone who has bad knees.
How Independent Living Offers You Freedom
So what’s the alternative and how does it provide you with better levels of freedom? It’s no secret that a retirement community, sometimes also called an independent living community, is perfectly positioned to resolve many of the problems that retirees face when it comes to being tied down to a large, expensive-to-maintain property.
First and foremost, the costs involved for an independent living community tend to be much more convenient, as a single monthly fee covers many of the same individual costs that you would face as a traditional homeowner. These communities routinely include services such as maintenance and repair, landscaping, trash removal, utilities, and other line items into one. This frees you up financially but also makes it less burdensome to find providers for all these different services on your own.
But even more to the point, independent living communities come with additional perks folded into that single monthly cost. Think swimming pools, fitness centers, clubhouses, art rooms and wood workshops, classes, organized activities and excursions, and even fine dining. The added value of these amenities is immense, offering you the kind of bang for your buck that helps you afford to live a more carefree retirement and providing you avenues for enjoyment that you might not be able to access otherwise if you remained in your existing home. Why continue living alone when you can be amongst a community of people, playing bridge or poker every night, watching your favorite TV show together, and so much more.
Hatch That Nest Egg
Retirement freedom is absolutely tied to the amount of retirement savings you have at your disposal. Moving to an independent living community helps you hatch that nest egg of yours by reducing your overall monthly costs when it comes to upkeep and maintenance, but it’s also likely to help you even further, and it all has to do with that old family home that you leave behind.
Instead of aging in place in your existing home, putting it up on the real estate market is likely to fetch you an excellent return on your investment. Even if you still have a few mortgage payments left to make, the amount of equity you’ve built up over the decades means you’ll end up with more money than you had before a home sale, and this is a major asset when it comes time to take a permanent break from the rat race.
Some of these proceeds will go towards settling down in your new independent living community, of course. However, the rest can go directly into your retirement savings, providing you the all-important financial stability you need to live a free and independent retirement lifestyle. This is just what the doctor ordered for anyone looking to enjoy their retirement instead of pinching pennies.
Plus, if you move into what is called a Continuing Care Retirement Community, your healthcare will be covered as well, for the rest of your life. If you ever need a higher level of care, it’s already included in your monthly fee, and you can continue living within your beautiful new campus. This means you truly never have to worry about affording your future.
Take the Next Step to Secure Your Freedom and Learn More About Independent Living
There’s a reason it’s called “independent” living. Designed for the active retiree who doesn’t want to be bogged down with the minutiae of owning and maintaining a home, these retirement communities are perfect for anyone who wants a comfortable place to come home to in between their many life adventures. Thanks to their consistent costs, how painlessly easy they are to maintain, and the selection of bonus amenities that often come alongside these other qualities, the independent living community is simply the perfect choice for any retiree who wants to spread their wings and fly.
In these uncertain times, Acts Retirement-Life Communities is here to help. For more information on retirement or how to plan your next chapter in a recession, read these articles: