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Retirement Living: A Beginner’s Guide


Whether you’ve recently retired or it’s on the horizon, you’ve probably got big ideas for this next chapter. Maybe it’s time to finally take that trip, or learn that second language, or simply enjoy the fruits of a well-lived life. Whatever your vision of the perfect retirement looks like, you’re bound to have some questions about how to make it a reality. Let us help by exploring your senior living options and the benefits of retirement communities.   


 Senior living communities have a lot to offer both residents and their families, but all the information that’s out there can be overwhelming. Once you’ve seen what’s out there, you’ll be more knowledgeable and better equipped to choose the option that’s right for you and your family. Some signs that you’re ready for modern senior living:      

  • Feeling as if your current home is now too big, cluttered, and more work than you want to handle at your age 
  • No longer wishing to cook for yourself every day, and wishing for the convenience of chef-prepared meals instead 
  • Wanting to enjoy a steady schedule of experiences like fun social events, group fitness classes, exciting outings, and great meals with new friends 
  • A desire to explore all the sights and highlights that your city and community has to offer with good friends by your side 
  • Finding that everyday tasks are becoming a little tougher than they used to be, and you’re worried about future health problems that could arise 

  If any of these statements apply to you, then you’re likely ready to start considering an independent living community.   


If you’re not sure where to start, take the factors below into consideration. List out your preferences for each one, and as you browse communities, you can check some off the list while others rise to the top. 


Consider where you’d like to retire. You may choose a location close to family or friends, or you may decide you don’t want to travel too far from home. Seniors typically consider the area and surrounding areas of the community. Once you narrow it down to a couple of different locations, you can start to explore communities within them. 


If you’re considering an independent living community, then you likely don’t need to worry about healthcare just yet. Still, it can be comforting to understand the care options that are available in the communities you’re considering. Make sure to add this to your list of topics to check out as you’re browsing. 


How do you envision spending your days in retirement? Maybe you just want to enjoy a quiet and relaxing setting, surrounded by nature and like-minded people. Or you plan to make every day an adventure, staying active with group or solo exercises, exploring new interests, and enjoying available amenities. And don’t forget about the food. Gourmet dining options are one of the most popular parts of senior living communities, so be sure to take a good look at the menus and visit the dining venues.  


Consider how much you think you can afford and explore all of your most cost-effective options, while also taking a close look at how much you currently spend to maintain your own home, in addition to any current healthcare costs. Ask about any additional charges for extra services and amenities, and make sure you know what is included and what’s not to avoid going over budget.  


A continuing care retirement community (CCRC) provides a full continuum of healthcare services to those in need, and there’s so much more to enjoy than just age-related support. As your search gets underway, focus on the positives that you’ll soon get to enjoy every day, rather than getting hung up on the many common myths and misconceptions that abound when it comes to retirement communities, things like:  

“They’re only for old people.” 

Visit a CCRC and you’re bound to find residents as young as 55 enjoying full, active, and engaging lifestyles. Independent living options in a CCRC allow residents be as independent as they want.  

“It’s far more expensive than staying in my own home.” 

The cost of senior living is not as prohibitive as many people think. In fact, it’s often comparable — or even less — than trying to pay for the same healthcare services while staying in your own home.  

“I don’t need to move until I really need the help.” 

It’s never too early to enjoy independent living. Not only do you get to experience a carefree, low-maintenance lifestyle, but you’re doing so while still healthy and in control of your choices. This makes the transition to a higher level of healthcare easier, should you ever need to do so. Myths like these are easy to come by, however what’s even easier to find are the truths about modern senior living. It only takes one visit to the right independent living community to find the lifestyle that will fit your future. 


Moving also means selling your home and figuring out what to do with all of the things that have made your house a home over the years. Don’t let downsizing intimidate you; freeing up space to allow for a better flow of energy can be liberating. The reason for this is bigger than just getting rid of some household items. You’re in fact making room for health, freedom, and more time spent with loved ones. Downsizing and making the move doesn’t have to be a scary experience. It’s been reported that the majority of residents currently living in a CCRC believe they’re happier overall after downsizing to a smaller personal residence because the lifestyle they now enjoy beyond their door is so much richer.      


If you’re ready to start your search for a senior living community to call home, consider Viamonte at Walnut Creek — a community where you can feel confident in your decision to enter life’s next exciting phase. Learn more about what you can expect at Viamonte by contacting us at 925-332-0802. We are happy to answer any questions you may have, and to arrange for you to visit our Preview Center. Visit our website to learn more about your options. 

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