8 Truths About Downsizing in Retirement

When it comes to healthy aging, quite honestly, there’s a lot to do. You’re supposed to make sure to keep your body active and your brain engaged all while maintaining your social connections as well. Sure, the benefits to your overall well-being are worth the effort, but retirement is supposed to be a time with less responsibility on your plate, right? Well, it turns out that in senior living you can have your cake and eat it too, so to speak. Here’s how programs like our Vivid Life make keeping active, engaged, and connected easy and fun! 

Benefits of Healthy Aging 

Good things happen when you focus on healthy aging. In addition to feeling better overall, which in and of itself is a win, other benefits of keeping active, engaged, and connected include:  

  • Improved ability to do everyday things ​ 
  • Reduced impact of illness and chronic disease​ 
  • Enhanced mobility, flexibility, and balance
  • Improved sleep
  • Increased energy level
  • Reduced feelings of depression and stress
  • Increased feelings of happiness and self-confidence
  • Reduced risk of cognitive decline 
  • Increased mental adaptability and cognitive reserve 
  • Improved memory recall and problem-solving skills 
  • Improved concentration and attention to detail  

How Senior Living Can Help 

At home, particularly when living alone, it can be hard to stay as active, engaged, and connected as you’d like. From lack of opportunity to lack of motivation to lack of transportation to mobility challenges, and more, it’s tough, we get it! That’s why we created the Vivid Life program in our senior living communities. It’s composed of three parts: Vibrant Body, Vibrant Brain, and Vibrant Connections. Here’s what each entails:  

Vibrant Body We offer amenities such as a state-of-the-art fitness center, a pool, walking trails, gardening opportunities, and even a dog park to help you stay active. A sample of activities includes:  

  • Walking club – Daily walks at different outdoor locations using pedometers to measure steps. 
  • Yoga – At least once per week for gentle yoga, and once per week for mindful breathing. 
  • Fitness classes – At least two times per week using a variety of hand weights, resistance bands, and circuit-type exercises. 
  • Tai Chi – At least once per week with a live instructor. 
  • Non-traditional exercise – Dancing, gardening, etc. at least two times per week. 
  • Physical games and sports – Golf, putting, bowling, croquet, bocce, and ping pong available daily with organized events one to two times per week. 

Vibrant Brain We offer monthly calendars filled with classes, events, creative arts, and enrichment opportunities to help keep you engaged. A sample of activities includes: 

  • Visiting lecture series – Twice per month with topics such as cultural, historical, local interest, career-oriented, etc. 
  • Creative art series – At least one per week with a theme that runs 3-6 weeks, such as poetry writing, storytelling, painting, digital photography, etc. 
  • Learning series – At least three times per month with an emphasis on learning something new such as foreign language, sign language, technology, hobbies, etc. 
  • Games – At least one time per week and may include poker, bridge, Scrabble, etc. 
  • Mindfulness – A meditation class once per week and gratitude discussion group twice monthly. 
  • Church service – At least once a week through visits by local churches. 
  • Stress reduction – At least once per month class that offers deep breathing exercises, nature walks, music appreciation, spa-type treatments, etc. 

 Vibrant Connections We offer resident-led clubs, social events, outings and volunteer opportunities for any interest to help you stay connected. A sample of activities includes: 

  • Outings – At least twice per month and may include going to concerts, art shows, museum visits, theatre productions, etc. 
  • Intergenerational programming – At least once per month and focuses on building relationships between young adults/children and residents. 
  • New resident welcome party – At least once per month to formally introduce all new residents, and includes ice breakers, social games, etc. to encourage connection. 
  • Philanthropic program – At least once per month provide residents the opportunity to give back to the community, such as volunteering for a local food bank or pet shelter. 
  • Resident-led clubs – May include game clubs, professional clubs, common interests, etc. that meet at least monthly.  

What’s more, it’s all right outside your door (or transportation is provided offsite) and all in a supportive environment with home maintenance, housekeeping, and restaurant-style dining freeing your time to make it even easier to stay active, engaged, and connected. 

Learn more about Vitality Living’s Vivid Life programs. Or find a Vitality Living community near you today to schedule a tour. 

blog-family-decision-guide

 

If you’re retired or soon-to-be, chances are you’ve thought about downsizing. In fact, according to this TD Ameritrade Investor Pulse Survey, 42 percent of Americans plan to downsize in retirement. But that leaves a majority of retirees who aren’t planning to downsize; the question is: why not? Common concerns are about being restricted in terms of space and belongings, that a downsized lifestyle is somehow less prestigious, and even hesitancy to change in general. But as you know, perception is not always reality. In fact, we think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by these truths about downsizing in retirement:

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  1. Increased cash flow – In many areas, the real estate market is hot right now. If your neighborhood is thriving it may be a good time to sell at a profit. In addition, a lower mortgage payment on a new place will also give you a monthly cash boost. Not to mention, you won’t be paying for utilities and taxes on the extra space you’re not using which can save you cash and some frustration.
  2. Less responsibility, more time – This one is a no-brainer as the less space you have, the less you have to worry about in terms of household chores and home maintenance. This means you have more time to do the things you actually enjoy!
  3. Better location – Often, retirees look for smaller homes closer to their family, closer to things they like to do, and/or a more desirable climate. In fact, according to that same TD Ameritrade survey, 25 percent of retirees plan on moving to a warmer climate, and 17 percent plan to move closer to family.

Downsizing in Retirement
to Active Adult Retirement Living

Even of those Americans who plan to downsize, most consider simply moving to a smaller place, not necessarily to an active adult retirement living community. Again, it’s a matter of perception that retirement living isn’t for healthy retirees, which couldn’t be further from the truth. The reality here is that there are many more benefits to downsizing in retirement when the move is to active adult retirement living, including:

  1. More freedom – Yes, you’d have less responsibility in a smaller home, but there will still be some chores, some upkeep, and the possibility of unexpected repair bills. On the other hand, in active adult retirement living, the maintenance, groundskeeping, housekeeping, pest control, and trash removal are all taken care of for you- not to mention more predictable expenses.
  2. More fun – Even with more free time, if you live alone in a smaller house it may still be difficult to connect with others and stay as engaged as you’d like. In active adult retirement living, you’ll find a full calendar of events and activities right outside your door.
  3. A focus on wellness – It’s clear that wellness is a key to healthy aging. Active adult retirement living makes it even easier to achieve with amenities that support all aspects of wellness such as: a fitness center, exercise classes, and spacious grounds with walking trails, as well as nutritious dining plus educational and enrichment programs.
  4. Location plus convenience – You can certainly apply your location preferences when downsizing to a smaller home, but in active adult retirement living you’ll also enjoy the on-campus conveniences such as concierge services, a hair salon, and even transportation. Not to mention, communities are often located near shopping, dining, entertainment, and daily services like banking, for example.
  5. Peace of mind – Retirement living offers several types of care, often on the same campus. So, while active adult retirement living is a great fit for healthy, active retirees, should your health needs evolve over time you can enjoy added peace of mind that extra support is available.

Check out our Active Adult Decision Guide to learn more. Or, contact us today to schedule your virtual tour!

 

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