Retirement has the potential to be one of the best and most fulfilling times of our lives. We finally have the freedom to enjoy the world to the fullest — indulge in travel (well, maybe soon), pick up new hobbies, or simply spend time with those you love.
But the first step toward this new independence may require moving on from the center of our old lives — our homes.
For many of us, aging in place may not be an option. A larger than necessary home, perhaps in need of some updating, can cost more than you should have to pay in upkeep and maintenance, becoming a drag on our time and resources. Downsizing is a buzzword for a reason — it makes logical financial, healthy, and time sense. If you’re thinking about selling the beloved home to better enjoy the well earned gold years, here’s a short guide on what type of living arrangements might work best.
Different Types of Independent Living Arrangements
When we talk about “independent living” in the context of retirement, an image of an apartment complex might spring to mind. This is absolutely a common form of community, allowing for less maintenance, less mobility, and heightened opportunities for socialization. But it is also not the only option. Many independent living communities offer semi-detached townhomes, single-home cottages, or even lush retirement villas. The right choice for you depends on what you want out of your retirement living experiences.
Putting the “Community” in Retirement Community
Highly social people need an independent living arrangement that caters to “social.” In this case, an apartment complex for retirees is likely an excellent choice. Apartment-style communities are ideal for socializing, and not just because you’re constantly passing your neighbors in the hallway; independent living apartment complexes often feature full-time entertainment staff, capable of organizing some of the most well-organized community events.
Whether it’s weekly events like casino night or movie night, providing fine dining experiences, or simply providing ample space for socializing over a cup of coffee, independent living apartment complexes offer some of the highest opportunities for socializing and building a true community feeling. If you’re a social butterfly who enjoys human interaction, this may be the independent living community for you.
Don’t Fence Me In
If you’re anything like good old Gene Autry, you like your wide-open spaces. An apartment complex might not be the best choice for you, but there are still plenty of independent living communities that can satisfy your needs for great retirement living without feeling like you’re stacked on top of your friends and neighbors. In fact, the majority of retirement communities offer you the opportunity to enjoy as much or as little social interaction as you desire.
More “traditional” independent living communities are often indistinguishable from ones that don’t cater to retirees, as they typically feature well-manicured green spaces and spacious detached cottages or semi-detached townhomes. If you feel like it, you join in with community-based activities like included amenities such as a local clubhouse, pool, or gym; or you can opt out altogether and go your own way. The choice is yours!
Enjoying the Villa Life
If you really want to embark on relaxing luxury, consider a villa at one of these communities. The same freedom to socially engage or not engage as with cottages, but with a bit more indoor and outdoor space. Perhaps a larger yard to enjoy gardening. Lawn care will of course be covered by your fees, but you can have as green a thumb as you want. It’s the true leisure lifestyle.
Affordability and Practicality
It’s true that a new home, whether it’s an apartment, a cottage, or a villa, can be a significant investment. Retirement can and often is expensive, as you’re no longer working for a living. This is, of course, why saving for retirement is such an important goal. But the other consideration is that the aforementioned costs of maintaining your family home, from repairs and routine maintenance to energy costs, cable, etc. are all covered in an independent living community. And if you move into a Continuing Care Retirement Community such as what’s available through Acts Retirement-Life Communities, your future healthcare is also covered, should you ever need a higher level of care. This means you can enjoy your preferred sized home — apartment to villa — and all the amenities, activities, and perks that come with it, without having to worry about how you’ll pay for your future. Your costs are consistent, you can have everything budgeted in advance.
Additionally, if you plan on downsizing by selling an existing residential property, you can use the proceeds to finance your move. It’s a win-win situation, and just one more reason to look into independent living accommodations when it’s time to retire.
The Last Word on Independent Living Accommodations
Retirement is your time to shine, but you can’t do it if you’re tied to a big, expensive home that unnecessarily eats up too many resources and energy keeping it maintained. Consider downsizing to an independent living community to not just save on expenses, but to regain your precious time. Choose your perfect living arrangements and unlock the full potential of your retirement years in comfort and style!
For more information on retirement, read these articles by Acts Retirement-Life Communities: