Maintaining your lifestyle in a retirement village

by the Editor, SeniorInsider | Jun 02, 2011

Whether you choose a retirement village, a continuing care community, or any number of other long and short-term housing options, you will want to carefully consider how you will be able to maintain your current lifestyle once you have transitioned into your retirement. Selecting your housing can be a large part of your senior living considerations, and many seniors choose a retirement village because of its cost-effectiveness.

Can I Maintain My Current Lifestyle After Moving to a Retirement Village?

In order to fully answer this question, you will need to look at several factors. First, are you carrying debt into your retirement, and exactly what lifestyle are you looking to maintain? Are there certain things you would be willing to give up? And what about those you would not want to give up? It’s extremely important to take a realistic look at exactly how much you can afford to live on, then decide on a monthly budget strategy which will work well for you after moving to a retirement village.

Advance planning is the key to your eventual retirement housing success, and will allow you to make the smoothest transition possible. Think carefully about how you want to spend your days, whether you want—or need—to work part-time, whether you want to volunteer, travel, or simply relax. What is your lifestyle like, and can you conceivably afford this lifestyle over the long haul? Make sure that you feel fairly confident in your abilities to make your present level of cash and assets last throughout your retirement prior to deciding on a retirement village.

Various Types of Retirement Village Living

Many seniors, especially those who have lost a spouse, come to the conclusion that their home is just too much for them to maintain, and the upkeep is simply not worth being able to remain at home. At this point, many will look at the various forms of senior housing, and a large number of them will choose a retirement village as the most viable financial option. Most retirement village living caters to those who are over 55 years of age (although some set the age at 62), and are still capable of taking care of themselves--although they may need relatively minor forms of daily living assistance.

For those seniors who have reached the point where they feel they need additional security, assistance, or more social contact, yet still want to maintain their current level of self-sufficiency and privacy, a retirement village can be the perfect choice. Retirement village living options usual include three different levels, including self-care units, serviced units, and, in some cases, residential aged care homes. The self-care unit is perfect for the senior who doesn’t want to maintain an entire home, or one who is excited about the lifestyle and on-site facilities offered by the retirement village. Self-care units are much like your average apartment, with one or two bedrooms as well as a bath and kitchen, allowing residents to cook their own meals and, essentially, maintain their own home.

A serviced unit generally lacks a kitchen. Instead, residents either eat in a communal dining area, or opt for meal delivery. Serviced units will usually offer housekeeping assistance as well as yard services and any other necessary maintenance. A certain level of nursing assistance is available as needed. The residential aged care home can include varying levels of care, depending on the specific retirement village.

Retirement Village Financing

The majority of retirement villages require an up-front amount fee to move in and this can vary widely, depending on your geographical location as well as the type of retirement village you choose. This retirement village “entry fee” can sometimes be as much as the actual purchase price of a housing unit, or can be much less.  You will then be responsible, in most cases, for ongoing fees as well as service and facility charges.

Before choosing a retirement village—or any other form of senior housing—get organized and create a personal game plan for your retirement. After all, retirement is supposed to be a time to relax and enjoy your life, not to worry constantly about how you will maintain your lifestyle.



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