Making significant changes like retirement or becoming an empty nester and thinking about the next stage of life may seem daunting. Still, you can maintain your independence and keep getting what you want out of life with a bit of proactive planning. There are many perks about getting older to enjoy, like more free time to pursue hobbies, do the work you’ve always wanted to do, make new friends, spend time with family, or all of the above. We recommend three strategies for preparing yourself now for an exciting and fun new chapter in your life.
What To Do In Retirement: 3 Strategies For Independence
Be Proactive, Not Reactive
Don’t tie your future plans to a specific event. Rather than waiting for an adverse health event to happen, start thinking now about ways to make life easier and safer as you age. You want to start making decisions now while you have the most number of options. If you wait until you have no choice but to make changes, you may be stuck with whatever is available at that moment. No matter your age, a lack of options when choosing a new home can have a significant impact on your quality of life, level of independence, personal fulfillment, and overall happiness.
For example, will the stairs in your multi-level home eventually become a tiresome hassle? Are you located in an area where help can quickly arrive if there’s a medical emergency? Is your current home conducive to recuperating from injury or illness? Can you guarantee you’ll always be able to go out and get groceries? The importance of planning ahead for issues of health and safety as well as overall convenience can’t be overstated because the amount of control you can maintain over your life as you age depends on it.
If you’re used to living on a property with a lot of space and privacy to yourself, you want to start looking now for a community with independent living options that help you maintain that sense of personal space and privacy. Whether you’re the type that prefers a quiet night in reading a good novel or someone who would rather go out to dinner with friends, you’ll want to find a community that makes it easy to socialize as much or as little as you like. These types of options are available at places like Meadowood. All “retirement communities” are not the same, which is why Meadowood is considered a life plan community rather than a “retirement home.” Now is the time to begin identifying these preferences so you can reserve space in a community that’s just the right fit for you.
Many Meadowood residents who move in together with their spouse greatly appreciate the opportunity to spend time together enjoying the community. They are often glad they didn’t wait until one of them had to make the decision alone. Making the transition to a life plan community together makes the entire process less daunting. The excitement of making new memories together in a place that makes daily life easy, stress-free, and fun makes it more manageable to begin letting go of possessions you no longer need or a home that isn’t ideal for this new chapter in your lives.
Don’t Take On Downsizing Alone
Speaking of letting go of possessions you no longer need, downsizing commonly becomes part of transitioning to a new home, and it can be a stressful process. However, you can make the process much easier on yourself by trusting a downsizing professional to help you through it. Some communities, like Meadowood, even offer moving assistance to new residents.
There’s no getting around it: the toughest part of this process is usually the emotional aspect of choosing what to let go of, if necessary to do that. What makes downsizing professionals unique from movers is that they can help with that part, too. You can work with downsizing companies who will not only pack, move, and unpack you in your new home but will also meet with you before the move to go over the new floorplan and talk through what fits, what may not, and which items are must-haves. They can help you decide which items to keep, help coordinate donation or selling of items, and help you move things into storage if you aren’t ready to get rid of them. Many of our residents start with a storage unit for their extra items while they get used to the idea of parting with them or waiting for a family member to travel to the area to pick them up.
The important thing to remember is that this process doesn’t have to be as unpleasant as it might seem at first thought. With the availability of storage units in the area and the expertise of downsizing professionals, you don’t have to be willing to toss out beloved items without a second thought. Instead, the community you choose should recognize what this process is like from your perspective and work with you to make it a painless experience.
Don’t Compromise — Plan To Continue Living Life On Your Terms
Did you know that moving into a life plan community doesn’t mean you are or have to be retired first? Many Meadowood residents still work and lead extremely active lifestyles not only for fun and leisure but also for professional fulfillment and a sense of accomplishment. If you start planning now, you can find a place that supports your drive toward your professional and personal goals. You may not want to move to a community that makes you feel like you’re throwing in the towel on achieving new things. Instead, you can find a place that empowers you to feel as young and energetic as you are instead of a place that makes you feel like you’ve joined the ranks of “the elderly.”
You shouldn’t have to give up on your hobbies and talents to choose a more convenient place to live as you mature. Residents at Meadowood get full use of art and ceramics studios, a woodworking and craft shop, and areas for flower and vegetable gardening. Those who love to read enjoy cozying up to the fire in our 8000-volume library. Fitness enthusiasts appreciate our lap swimming pool, 1600-square-foot training room, aerobics studio, and free membership to the Worcester Golf Club. The ability to pursue what we’re passionate about is pivotal to everyone’s quality of life, so Meadowood focuses on offering much more than just the status quo. Check out a fuller list of amenities here.
Freedom and Independence Are At the Core of Meadowood’s Life Plan Community
You may not be familiar with the term “life plan community,” but a life plan community is ideal if you are looking for a fulfilling, independent retirement. Each person has unique needs for this next stage in life, so our community offers several contract options. From independent living to personal care and skilled nursing, Meadowood offers comfort and ease to those transitioning from each stage to the next. We partner with you through each step, so you never have to find your way through the process alone. Contact us to schedule a visit and learn more!