Retirement is a season of life most of us look forward to throughout our working lives. Even those who enjoy their career, have visions of how they will spend their free time. For some, those dreams include traveling, learning new hobbies, or devoting more time to spoiling grandchildren.
As you are planning for your future, remember that where you live impacts your quality of life during retirement. Enjoying a successful retirement relies on a variety of factors. Here are a few of the most important ones to keep in mind as you figure out how to turn your retirement plans into reality.
Thriving During Retirement
- Location: The decision about where you will live is likely the first one you will need to make. Where should you retire? While some older adults who live in northern climates consider relocating to warmer destinations, it might not be very realistic. Are you prepared to leave everyone and everything you love behind? Even though you will have more free time to travel, leaving friends, adult children, grandchildren, religious organizations, and even your doctor behind might be daunting. Carefully consider where you choose to move for retirement and the changes that may accompany this transition.
- Environment: Aging in place is a phrase many older adults have been inundated with in recent years. It’s a philosophy that encourages seniors to remain in their existing homes during retirement, and have support services come to them as needs change. In reality, aging in place might only be a short-term solution. Few older homes are designed with the needs of seniors in mind. Unsafe stairs, narrow doorways, and inaccessible bathrooms are a few drawbacks. Unlike a continuing care retirement community (CCRC), aging at home might prevent an older adult from living their best quality of life. By contrast, CCRC residents benefit from thoughtfully designed features like accessible floor plans, step-free showers, emergency alert systems, and single-story living.
- Life enrichment: Research shows that socializing and staying actively engaged with the world around you allows older adults to enjoy longer, healthier lives. Social seniors typically remain healthier, both mentally and physically. As you think about where to retire, keep that in mind. For every retirement option you are considering, ask yourself how easy it will be to participate in art classes, craft workshops, gardening, wellness programs, and other favorite hobbies.
- Friendships: Along the same lines of participating in life-enrichment activities is the importance of avoiding isolation. Older adults who experience loneliness and isolation are at greater risk for health issues ranging from diabetes to depression. Isolation has even been identified as a health risk that contributes to early mortality. When you are choosing where to spend your retirement, consider how easy it will be to make friends and maintain your social network. While you are active and independent now, what will happen if you need to give up driving?
- Access to care: Finally, access to higher levels of care should be another consideration when planning for the retirement years. Whether it is short-term rehab following a planned surgery or a permanent need for assistance with daily activities, how easy will it be to access more support? A CCRC that is located close to a medical center could be an ideal retirement choice.
Visit The Amsterdam at Harborside
If you are starting to search for your retirement destination, we hope you will keep The Amsterdam at Harborside in mind. Our beautiful campus is located on Long Island’s North Shore. As the only not-for-profit CCRC in Nassau County, we offer a vibrant living option for older adults to call home.
Call us at 516.472.6636 to schedule a private tour today!