Living in the Golden Years

As time passes, your home collects a lifetime of memories. Marks on door frames to track changes in height… retouched paint where a “young artist” took to the wall with a crayon… the window that annually frames the family Christmas tree… You could tell a story about every inch of your house. Also, as the years go by, a time arrives when starting stories in a smaller home or living situation makes more sense. Here are just a few option when you’re living in the Golden Years.

Rightsizing

When your children are grown and living on their own, downsizing, or as we like to say, “rightsizing” your home can be a logical step. All the space of your current home may seem unnecessary. Finding a smaller house, condominium or town home could be a great adjustment. A smaller home can be more easily managed, often requiring less time to clean. They also tend to be less demanding of your utilities, thereby saving you some money. Money can also be saved since smaller living situations require less furniture and décor. In a condominium or town home, you may have to get accustomed to sharing a wall and other common outside areas, but the benefits could make it all worth it. Besides, your new neighbors close by could be your new best friends!

Multigenerational Living

It is very common now for homes to be built or renovated to accommodate multiple generations living. A section of the home can be designed almost as an independent apartment with a separate kitchen and entrance. Tangible benefits include saving costs of a completely separate home as well as sharing expenses for utilities and groceries. Intangible benefits are many. There’s peace of mind that additional care and help can be given as the older generation ages. Grandparents can enjoy more time with their grandchildren while maintaining their independence. Parents can have easy access to eager and loving babysitters. Perhaps best of all, grandchildren can know and learn more from their grandparents and carry on family traditions for many more generations.

Senior Adult Communities

Over the years, not only have more senior adult communities been built, they have evolved into active and exciting places to live. When considering rightsizing, you may prefer to live around other senior adults and share in social interactions with those from a similar time. If you are looking into this option, here are a few good things to consider:

1.What ages are invited to live in the community? Age is just a number, but sometimes that number makes a difference. Some communities open up to residents starting at 50 years old. Find out the average age of the residents and gauge your comfort level. Would you want to be an 80-year old in a community with the average age of 55 (or vice versa)?

2.What do you have in common with the residents? As you already know, just because you’re the same age as someone else doesn’t mean they’re your kind of people. Age says nothing about common interests. When looking at a senior adult community, consider if there is one built around a common interest and/or profession with which you are connected. You could make fast friends with built in conversation starters.

3.How will you stay active? One good way to determine if you’re a fit with a senior adult community is to look at the recreational programs. How active are they? Do they fit your lifestyle? There’s a big difference between playing tennis and playing bridge. Also, what outings are planned and available? Typically, communities near college campuses have quick and easy access to the university’s theater, art shows, concerts, and scholarly speeches. The world is still out there, so how will you participate in it?

4.What about your special visitors? Nothing quite brings joy to a heart like a visit with the grandparents. How is this community set up for your very important visitors? Is there a pool or playground nearby? Does the community have a cap or limit on the number of nights visitors are allowed? If unlimited visits are important to you, be sure you choose a community that has no restrictions.

5.Are there any hidden charges? Be sure you understand your full monthly payments and dues and verify everything it includes or doesn’t include. There may be an on-property gym but are special classes like yoga extra? Senior living often means living on a fixed income so ensuring there are no hidden fees or charges is vitally important for you to live comfortably.

6.Can you age in place in the community you choose? Depending on if and when you decide to move to a senior adult community, how long could you realistically live there? What services are available to those in more need? You may be running 5 miles a day and driving all over town presently. What if a day comes when those are no longer options for you? Does the community provide help for those in need of more assistance? It might be something to consider when thinking long term for yourself.

Wherever you decide to live your golden years, choose the place and situation that’s best for you! You deserve it! The Crosby Team at First Choice Loan Services is here to help you rightsize just right!

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