This was the very first question I asked myself when thinking about researching the beginning of the “next leg” of our journey. And believe it or not, this is the most crucial question to ask and research at the very beginning.
Surprisingly enough, most of us seem to start the search process ignoring the deeper questions. According to the Wall Street Journal, people seem to avoid the full scope of what kind of life they want. These are not simple questions…they require a great deal of thought and discussion.
I spent 6 years researching “where” we wanted to live. I had an extensive list of what was important to us, specifics about the communities, and of course, the financial aspect. On my 6th year of searching, I accumulated over 750 catalogues and dvd’s from all over the country. I did my homework, and I have never once regretted the choice of living in our beautiful Bristol Village Community!
So, take a look at the 6 important questions listed below. We should ask ourselves these questions “before” we determine “where” to live:
- What do you want to do when you retire? Even though this is a very basic question, it is important to be truly honest with yourself about what really matters to you and your family before choosing where you will live for the rest of your life. Make sure you take time to think first about the kind of life you want to have. Location plays a large role in “where,” so don’t forget about “what.”
- Is it enough to Skype your Grand kids? Hmm. It doesn’t always work out. My parents moved to Florida and built a pool primarily for all the visits from the Grand kids all year round. Well, it started out about twice a year, then down to once a year for family visits. Funny thing happened, the kids were growing up, plane tickets for everyone were a major expense, and the kids didn’t want to spend every vacation in Florida. Don’t base your decision strictly upon this premise. And if you decided to move close to your kids and Grand kids, ask yourself this: How likely are they going to stay put? How likely are you willing to be “trailing grandparents?”
- Will your doctor accept Medicare? As you have probably guessed, health care is often not on your list of considerations. Let’s be honest, people in their 40’s, 50’s, and even 60’s really find it difficult to anticipate any physical ailments somewhere in the future. I was guilty of this. However, we were fortunate to have a great number of neighbors in Bristol Village that gave us their choices of doctor’s in the area. This is most definitely an important consideration.
- How are you going to get to your favorite restaurant? This question is actually about knowing what makes you happy, and making sure you know you’ll be able to get there even if you can’t drive, arrange a pickup, or have a friend or family member take you. It all boils down to your choice of “where” you retire, and whether you have access to it.
- How are you going to clean the gutters or change the light bulbs with high ceilings? This is a difficult thing to ask because we definitely don’t plan for when we can no longer climb a ladder to clean the gutters or change light bulbs. And think about this; people are living longer, so it is worth it when looking at a possible community, to think about 20 years ahead. You may not need help with these things right away, but when you’re 85, this might be a struggle.
- Who are you going to hang around with or have lunch with? So, this is an important social question. The MIT AgeLab stated that isolation is perhaps the greatest pandemic facing an aging society. As you age, you do less and get out less. As a result, fewer people are coming to you.” It is critical to make sure you put yourself in the flow of new friends and relationships.
Hopefully, these questions will help you in your research as to “where” to live in retirement. I am glad I took that added time to really think about what we wanted and needed in a retirement community. This makes for a very smooth transition.
So, join the dialogue and let us know if this works for you, or if you have tips or suggestions to share with our community.
As always, I am…the Boomer Explorer.