Coastal NC

VOL13ISS1 2017

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28 THE ORIGINAL RELOCATION GUIDE — CAPE FEAR NC | VOLUME 13—ISSUE 1 SENIOR LIFESTYLES Senior Lifestyles BY MARIANNA STACY Director of Outreach, Brightmore of Wilmington It's been said that what makes you happy makes you healthy, which is why health and wellness experts highly recommend taking time to relax, reduce stress and enjoy life. These are all things we look forward to in retirement, but thinking about and planning for retirement forces the reality of our own mortality into full view. It's so much easier to just simply avoid exploring our options and making the decisions, but that places the decisions about our future happiness and well-being in someone else's hands. How we handle our healthcare can produce a similar result if overlooked, but with the focus in recent years on preventive healthcare, we're much more accepting of the need to make preventive healthcare decisions and be proactive in order to be happier, healthier and to live longer. So, what is the reluctance to be proactive about making the choice to live a less stressful, more relaxed lifestyle in retirement? Just as making preventive healthcare choices can lead to happier, healthier and longer lives, making the choice to make an early move to a retirement community can improve your health and happiness and maybe life expectancy. What is there not to love about someone else doing the home and yard maintenance and household chores, preparing daily meals and serving us restaurant-style, paying the taxes and insurance, and providing security to protect our belongings while we travel and see the world? Ending the stress associated with managing a house allows for time to relax and enjoy life. What are we waiting for? Dispelling Myths of Retirement Living at Delay Decisions Is the delay in moving to a retirement community due to the idea of relocating or is the perception that the cost of living in a retirement community is more than remaining in the current home? Many who research retirement lifestyle options in their area or explore life in new areas, complete a cost comparison for the first time and are pleasantly surprised that the cost of living in a retirement community would actually be less than remaining in their current home. What a value! Another deterrent to making the move into a retirement community could be the erroneous perception that retirement communities are "rest homes" or "nursing homes." Nothing could be further from the truth. Most retirement communities are similar to traditional country clubs, grand hotels and/or resorts and offer beautiful apartments and other types of living accommodations with fabulous amenities included in the cost. Then there's the perception that one has to "give up" so much when in reality, making the move offers a great opportunity to "make a new and exciting life" and "gain" lots of new friends while remaining connected to many long-time friends. Also, there's the perception that retirement communities are for "old people" and we refuse to see ourselves as old. Independent living retirement communities are for the active, not those with care needs. Residents' days are filled with freedom and the pursuit of interests, both within and outside of their new home. Research shows that equity-based retirement communities requiring large buy-ins that guarantee access to assisted living, memory care, and skilled nursing services are less desirable to today's retirees. Today's upscale rental retirement communities offer continuum of care options and the opportunity for retirees to hold on to their financial resources and pay as needed, should care ever be needed. Plus, they provide all of the amenities that today's retirees are seeking such as stimulating and engaging, intellectual, recreational and social opportunities, wellness and fitness programming, and continuing care healthcare options. Research also shows that fewer of today's retirees are interested in home ownership after retirement, making the rental retirement community a popular option for many. So, open up your mind to life in a retirement community now! Explore options near your current home or in areas that you love like the mountains or beach and start living your retirement dream today! Don't Delay! []

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