A common myth about living in a senior community is that everyone who lives there is retired. Not at all! The truth is, since today’s seniors are living longer, many are also choosing to work longer – well beyond the traditional retirement age of 65, in many cases. And working longer doesn’t minimize the appeal of living in a senior community with like-minded peers and easy access to numerous activities.
Today’s retirement-age Americans are rewriting the rules. Who says you have to be retired to enjoy living in a senior community? The rise of what’s called “Independent Living” communities is a great solution for seniors who want it all.
Working, But Looking for Senior Living
A growing number of working older Americans are finding that independent living communities can be just the thing. It’s resort-style senior living that actually supports their busy working schedule. By design, these communities are set up to help residents find more time for doing the things they enjoy. Without having to worry about home maintenance or basic housekeeping, they have time for socializing, staying fit… or working.
From maid service to lawn care and even the option to have meals ready for them when they get home, it’s all designed to help seniors maximize their time. Whether they choose to use their extra time for hobbies, volunteering or paid work is completely up to them!
Amenities to Suit the Working Man (or Woman)
Many seniors who are still working appreciate the amenities they find at independent living communities. From a ready-made social life to the on-site barber and beauty salon, there are a lot of convenient perks that come with residency. They’re fun perks that take the stress out of daily living when you have to look presentable and professional for work.
Working people also enjoy access to a whole host of fascinating classes, restaurants, laundry service, and plenty of activities to keep them busy on their days off.
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The Emphasis is on ‘Community’
Socializing can be hard on working seniors who have to jump through hoops just to meet up with friends. Some just live too far away from everything while others are just too busy and tired after their work week is over. Sometimes many of their friends have moved away to be closer to their far-flung families.
Whatever the case may be, old friendships can be difficult to maintain when you work during retirement. New friendships can be even more elusive.
It’s for these reasons and more that working seniors appreciate the ready-made social network that senior living offers. They know what it’s like to watch their social circles dwindle over the years. Having a supportive network of friendly faces around them makes a positive impact on their lives. Each has their own reason but in general, all seniors tend to value the idea of community, whether they’re still working or not.
Ideal for Transitioning Couples
Married couples sometimes find themselves with one foot in retirement and the other still firmly planted in the working world. It’s common, when both spouses had a career, for them to retire at different times. Either for financial reasons or for lifestyle choices they’ve made, they end up taking separate paths to retirement.
That doesn’t mean they live separate lives, however. By choosing to live in senior communities, many find that it’s easier to make the kind of compromises that half-retired couples often face. They may even discover there are actually fewer compromises to make.
For instance, household chores are a common bone of contention when only one spouse is working. There’s pressure on the retired spouse to do all the work. That can mean struggling to keep up with home maintenance, daily chores, and all the little things that keep a household running smoothly.
Moving to a senior community changes all that and relieves a couple of most of those kinds of worries. Even though they may still live independently in their own home or apartment within the community, their load of chores is much lighter. From lawn care to shoveling to major home repairs, the bulk of that load is taken care of by the association.
Now consider that many people are surprised to find that their co-workers made up a large part of their social network. When they retire, that network is cut off and they start relying more on their spouse for social interaction. When only one spouse is retired, that can become a difficult situation. Living in a senior community, where your network is close by and there are lots of ways to meet people, solves that problem, too.
Are you or your spouse struggling with the idea of retirement? Read about how to deal with post-retirement depression. Spoiler alert – a senior living community can help!
Pursuing Your Passions
People who truly enjoy their retirement are usually good at finding ways to pursue their passions. They take up a new hobby, they volunteer for a cause they believe in, they find a fulfilling mentoring situation, or they take exciting new classes.
When opportunities are right outside your door and at your fingertips in a senior community, pursuing your passions is no problem. For seniors who are still working but who want to enjoy the retirement lifestyle, that can mean a lot.
Living in a community gives you freedom to explore any sort of hobby you like! Read about the importance of finding a hobby that makes you happy and embracing it.
Independent Living: Making Your Best Choice
If you’re not ready to stop working but you’re interested in becoming part of a senior community, your choices abound. The trick is finding out which communities best fulfill both ends of the spectrum – the work as well as the play. More often than not, it’s independent living that fits the bill.
Independent living is a solution that brings together the convenience and companionship of community living and the independence of an active senior lifestyle.
The best advice we can give is to visit as many communities as you can. Speak with the team that works there and make time to stay for lunch or attend a social event. It’s a good way to rub elbows with the people who actually live there and who may possibly be your neighbors one day.