We hear the phrase “retirement community” and many of us immediately think “not me” or “not us.”
I had conversations recently with women that are hip in every way. These three women made a huge life change. They made a major decision and moved out of their family home into a retirement apartment community/housing retirement community. They took the plunge and are not looking back and they are so happy and raved about their recent moves.
One woman is a widow. One is divorced. One is married.
Here is the story of my widow friend who moved into an apartment complex in a major city.
She owned a large home and wasn’t comfortable managing it any longer. She made the decision that the pluses for a new “life style” out weighted the minuses. With the help of her children, she sold her home and moved into a two-bedroom apartment in a community retirement building.
There are no “minuses” now. She leads a vibrant lifestyle and is catered to. Housekeepers clean her apartment. The building’s dining room offers three meals a day. She fixes her own breakfast in her apartment, lunches out with friends and has lively dinners in the dining room. If she needs a picture hung or a light bulb changed, she calls down for maintenance. There is always a staff member to help. She has made new friends. Their communality is comforting. She has traveled with her new friends and has a “new male friend.”
After our conversation I wanted to discover the lifestyle of living in a retirement “home” community. I had the resources to do just that. I spoke to two of my girlfriends who live in Sun City, one of several retirement communities.
The first wave of baby boomers are moving out of their larger homes and Sun City seems one of the most popular places to buy. These communities are located across America.
The average age is under sixty-five. The price range of homes: $100,000 to $500,000. The communities offer tennis courts, golf courses, indoor pools, a clubhouse for dining and social interaction. Several multi-purpose rooms include card rooms, an arts and craft studio, computer labs, etc. My friends told me they have a grand ballroom for receptions, educational events, movies, and theatre productions. We cannot forget a fitness center with many classes and a beauty shop!
My girlfriends summed up their reason for moving into a community. It was not about age. They enjoy having maintenance-free living in a community with everything they need at their finger-tips.
I came away from our conversation with an education. I don’t like the term “retire.” I will never retire from life. I live outside the box. But, my once negative view of these communities changed with my broader understanding of listening to my two friends.
Hopefully for grandmothers looking for a life change, this has opened your eyes to a possible new lifestyle that may be more invigorating then your present one. And, if you are not so inclined…you might pass this on to friends.