Am I’m ready to consider a move to a retirement community?

Am I’m ready to consider a move to a retirement community?

Am I’m ready to consider a move to a retirement community?

Determining the time frame of when you may want to consider moving to a retirement community is a very complicated decision process.  Many people wait for a crisis to occur before considering such a move; while others plan ahead and move before something happens.

So when is the right time?

As we say in this business, it is always better to be 5 years to early than 5 minutes to late.  Planning for your tomorrows today is some I am constantly sharing with my clients, No one is invincible and unfortunately, waiting for something to occur before you have a plan in place is not a smart move.

So why should you consider a retirement community now versus later?

Many (if not all) of the folks that I have helped move to a retirement community all told me prior to their move that they are not ready.   It is a mantra that I hear in my sleep.  “I love where we live and I don’t see any need to do anything right now.”  “We’re just not ready.”

What is interesting that if you speak with these folks today, 99.9% of them will tell you that it was the best decision they ever made, they only wished they would have made it sooner. So, here are intelligent and successful people all saying the same thing… we wish we would have done it sooner.”

So when it the right time?

Unfortunately, there is not an easy answer.  In my opinion, there are different time frames to consider.  When do you want to start your research, when do you see yourself narrowing down your choices and when do you want to move?   By doing your research early, you may find that the community you are considering has a long waiting list or is planning to expand.  Getting your name on list is many cases is a positive first step.

If you have a long term plan to move, try to figure out what needs to occur between now and this fictitious date in the future to make you ready.  Trust me, you are not going to wake up 5 years from now and all of sudden be ready to move.  It does take planning, however procrastination is a form of denial, which creates its own problems.

A the root of the timing question is the misconception that retirement communities are nursing homes and by moving to a retirement community, you are losing your independence. Retirement communities offer a wide spectrum of services and amenities, including dining, social activities, fitness & wellness programs and residents are able to keep active and healthy longer.

We do meet people who, through their own stubbornness, elect to “stick it out” in their own homes.  This then creates a tremendous burden on their family and friends.  There is also a great deal of loneliness and isolation that occurs and well as a level of vulnerability to abuse from outsiders.  Access to services is very limited, plus simple chores like driving to the grocery store or picking up your prescription medication becomes a major challenge. Maybe these won’t happen to you, but this needs to be factored into the equation.  What is important to consider is your life, not only today, but tomorrow as well.  Try to look into a crystal ball and image what your life will be like a year from now… five years from now.    This may be difficult to for you to do, but it will help you plan ahead.  Denial doesn’t make it any easier either. It is important that you are realistic and that you thoroughly think through this process.

An important factor to consider when determining if you are ‘ready or not” is that some retirement communities will have a medical acceptance criteria to be considered for residency.  People who wait for a crisis to occur are frequently denied residency.

Today, retirement communities are more like luxury resorts than an old folk’s home. Moving does take physical and emotional energy so it is much better to move while you are healthy and active so you can enjoy all the amenities of the community.

Bottom line… don’t wait for something to occur.  Plan for your tomorrows today!

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