news & Blog

Retirement Living: A Beginner’s Guide


This is what you’ve been waiting for; you’ve reached retirement and are ready to start living life on your terms. Naturally, you’ve 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 life well-lived. Whatever your vision for the perfect retirement looks like, you’re bound to have some questions on 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. However, it’s still a big decision that shouldn’t be rushed into without full consideration of all your retirement options. 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. Don’t worry if you find yourself asking, “What is independent living and are we ready for it?” That’s just the first of many questions that you’ll have throughout this process. You shouldn’t be surprised if, once you start exploring the best retirement communities in your area, you ask yourself another question: “Why did we wait so long?” The signs that you’re ready for modern senior living will quickly become clear when you consider things like:   

  • Feeling as if your current home is now too big, too cluttered and too much work for you to handle at your age
  • No longer wishing to cook for yourself every day, and enjoying 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.   


  A major reason why some people wait so long to consider senior living communities is what they think they’ll find upon starting their search. For many, retirement communities are synonymous with nursing homes. In truth, they’re wildly different. Even though a continuing care retirement community (CCRC) like Viamonte provides a full continuum of healthcare services to those in need, 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 lets 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. Common 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.  


  At the end of the day, everyone’s individual decisions will come down to personal preference and comfort level. Still, there are several universal factors that you should consider to help make your search a little easier.  


  They say, “location, location, location,” for a reason. Moving into an independent living community doesn’t have to mean saying goodbye to the people and places you already know and love. Instead, a community like Viamonte can actually enhance your local lifestyle. Favorite Bay Area attractions like The Gardens at Heather Farm, the Broadway Plaza, the Ruth Bancroft Garden, or Lesher Center for the Arts are all nearby and ready for you to enjoy.  


  If you’re considering an independent living community, then you likely don’t need to worry about healthcare just yet. Still, it’s important and comforting to understand the care options that are available in the communities you’re considering. Viamonte residents enjoy complete peace of mind knowing that higher levels of care like Assisted Living and Memory Care are available within the community, if they’re ever needed.  


  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.  


  When you start comparing prices at senior living communities, don’t let sticker shock slow you down. 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. To learn more about specifics at a community like Viamonte, check out our blog on Understanding Your Financial Options.   


  As the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to evolve, it’s important to consider community safety measures. The health and wellbeing of both residents and staff should be an ever-present priority throughout the community. Obviously, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to how a community responds to these unique times, but you should be acutely aware of the best practices that are in place at every community you visit.  


  One of the final hurdles that people face when considering senior living communities is the nerve-racking nature of being “the new kid.” Moving to a new place is an adjustment, but it’s one that’s made easier in a community of like-minded people who are all enjoying the full benefits of retirement. These years offer the opportunity to explore old passions and new hobbies alike, allowing you to engage with a diverse network of people who share your same interests. Thanks to a thoughtful calendar of activities, residents have the opportunity to get to know one another. When nothing formal is scheduled, there are still plenty of opportunities to socialize by the fireside lounge, in the art studio, on the bocce court and more. You’ll quickly find that those nerves were for naught, and that learning to feel comfortable in your new community is easier than you could have imagined.   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. Here, residents enjoy the active and inspiring lifestyle they desire, with fine dining, world-class fitness and incredible amenities. Located within The Orchards, Viamonte keeps you close to all the retail and dining there is to love in Walnut Creek, along with the incomparable resources of the Bay Area.    Learn more about what you can expect at Viamonte by contacting us at 925-621-6600. 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.

  • By providing your contact information to Sequoia Living, you are giving us your express consent and permission to call you and otherwise contact you using your contact information. View our Usage and Privacy Policy.


Viamonte is Guest Ready and Open for Appointments

This is default text for notification bar