“Planning” is something we all do. Well, at least those of us who try to be wise and organized. But, planning early for the future isn’t only smart, it also implies confidence in one’s future.
So, why exactly, do experts continually encourage people of retirement age to think carefully and plan early for their retirement years? In short, because it’s better for you! Taking the time to think about what you want and exploring a variety of options allows you to be confident and happy with the decisions you make.
Why Start Planning NOW?
The younger you are when you choose to move to a Life Plan Community, the more likely you are to:
* Select the ideal residence that meets your wants and needs
* Take advantage of financial benefits and refundability options
* Enjoy abundant wellness offerings of communities like Generations at Shalom Park
* Develop friendships with like-minded people with similar interests
1: Hopes and Dreams Make a Home Ideal
“A house is made of bricks and beams. A home is made of hopes and dreams.”
This well-known quote captures the ideal of retirement living. As we age, we say we want to enjoy our retirement. Work less. Play more. Travel. Pursue hobbies. Socialize with friends. But how easy is it to do these things when our home — that many of us have lived in for decades — needs constant cleaning, upkeep, repairs, yard maintenance, and much more? For many seniors, that “Honey Do” list becomes too long and practically impossible to complete.
One of the most rewarding benefits that seniors enjoy when they choose a Life Plan Community is maintenance-free living. Think about that! No more worrying about mowing the lawn, shoveling snow, paying for landscaping, replacing the roof…and on and on.
Seniors who enjoy Life Plan Communities quickly come to realize how much time all those chores and responsibilities require. They experience a new “lease on life” when they start to explore all the options for education, fitness, spirituality, community development, volunteering, and traveling that these communities offer.
They also have the time and freedom to make their new home exactly what they want. Finally turning that extra bedroom into an art studio. Enjoying their patio and lush garden that someone else maintains. Setting up their new home with all their treasured art, furnishings, and collections.
2: Planning Early Opens Up Financial Benefits
As you may know, most Life Plan Communities require residents to move in when they are fully “independent”. That means you don’t require assistance from caregivers or nursing staff to get through your day. As such, many communities have waiting lists for independent living residences. Today’s retirement communities offer many tailored independent living options such as free-standing homes, cottages, large or smaller apartments. Being on a waiting list helps you select the residence you want, when it – and you – are ready.
Planning early also allows you to take advantage of smart timing. For example, the post-pandemic housing market of 2021 has allowed many seniors to take advantage of one of the hottest seller’s markets in years. The boom in home sales in metro areas such as Atlanta, Charlotte, and Raleigh has increased demand at many Life Plan Communities as retirees realize unexpected cash flow from selling their primary residence.
There are other significant financial assurances of moving to a Life Plan Community:
- Priority Lifetime Access: Life Plan Communities assure you priority lifetime access – if ever needed – to all levels of care.
- Life Plan Contract: As the name implies, when you sign a Life Plan contract you are essentially “locking in” your monthly fee, with the guarantee of no increases, other than inflationary adjustments.
- Assurance of Pre-Qualification: Life Plan counselors will carefully pre-qualify you, not only to confirm what you can afford, but also to assure that your finances will not run out.
- Choice of Entrance Fee Type: Entrance fees can be partially or fully refundable.
- Monthly Fee Options: Monthly fees can be tailored to fit your income-producing assets.
3: Delighting in Wellness
If you have friends or family members who enjoy retirement community living, it is likely that you have heard them say “If I had to do it differently, I would have moved here sooner!” Staff members of retirement communities hear it every day. Residents simply can’t believe how welcoming, peaceful, warm, and enjoyable life is in their community.
Life Plan Communities truly are the hidden gems of retirement living today. One of the main reasons is because these communities are dedicated to each resident’s complete wellness. “Wellness” is defined as optimal, connected health, in each of these areas:
Life Plan Communities are dedicated to incorporating each element of wellness into all aspects of community design and operation. From extensive fitness centers with one-on-one guidance, to continuing education classes taught by local educators, to multiple dining options and beautifully landscaped campuses that welcome walking and exploration, today’s Life Plan Communities offer a cornucopia of life-enhancing pursuits.
4: Discover New Friendships
Thousands of Americans make the move to senior living communities each year, not only seeking quality care and comfort but also new friendships and meaningful connections. However, adapting to a new place, with new people, can seem intimidating.
Do not fret! Here are a few tips to help you.
- Developing friendships (at any age) positively affects the immune system. It also improves mental health, decreasing feelings of depression.
- Friendships reduce feelings of loneliness and reduce opportunities for loneliness. Studies have shown that seniors who enjoy companionship and emotional support are less likely to develop dementia than those who are more isolated.
- Join community events. Check out the daily calendar of events and activities.
- Seek out activities or events that interest you and make it a priority to attend regularly.
- Make mealtimes a social time. Invite people that you meet to join you.
- Seek out other new residents. You can learn the ropes together, offer each other advice, and join each other in new activities.
- Invite family or a trusted friend to join you for a meal or an event.
- Ask for introductions. By the time you move to a community, you will certainly be familiar with a few staff members. Ask them to introduce you to people they think you will enjoy.
Generations at Shalom Park, affiliated with Aldersgate Life Plan Services, a renowned senior living provider in the Charlotte region, will soon bring a new Life Plan Community to the area unlike any other. Coming to SouthPark in 2024, Generations at Shalom Park is a new vision in active Independent Living that is Jewish in spirit, making it open to all. To learn more, call (704) 532-5400 and get a closer look at generationsatshalompark.com.