There are a number of benefits of living in a retirement community, especially here in the Lowcountry. If you are thinking of the possibilities, here are seven good reasons to consider.
- Meal plans included. All senior retirement communities offer a "meal plan" - whether it's one, two or three meals per day - with the flexibility of "taking out" or having meals delivered, typically for a nominal charge. Most residents are tired of cooking and are perfectly fine with someone else preparing their meals ... and the food tastes better!
- No yardwork necessary. Who wants to cut grass, lay down mulch or hop over to the garden store for new shrubbery to plant? It's time to retire hubby's "green-less thumb" and let someone else take care of the yard.
- No home repairs. Living in a larger, older home poses some challenges in that there is going to be a need for repairs. Never get on a ladder and try your hand at "do-it- yourself" repair work. It's easy to lose your balance, fall and break something and possibly change your life. With retirement living, your maintenance staff is onsite. Problems solved.
- Ability to downsize. Condominiums are the most common accommodations when moving to a retirement community (Hilton Head offers homes and cottages as well). Most retirees are moving out of a single-family residence and downsizing to a two-bedroom condo roughly 1,000 to 1,400 square feet. The equity in their home helps pay for the less expensive retirement property and, in most cases, there will be funds left over.
- Socialization. If you've lived in a neighborhood for 25 to 30 years, there's a good chance a number of your neighbors have moved or passed away. If you don't have convenient access to friends, it's easy to become isolated - even more so if you no longer drive. Retirement communities offer numerous activities that enable residents many social outlets to have fun.
- Exercise programs. Clinical studies have proven that physical exercise can lead to a longer and more productive life. Most retirement communities have an exercise room with cardio and weight machines as well as offer exercise classes that stress balance and flexibility as well. Your health club membership is no longer needed.
- Immediate access to health services. Retirement communities will differ based on the level of care they provide. CCRC's offer three levels of care: independent, assisted and skilled nursing. Some communities offer just independent and assisted living, and others offer independent only. Bottom line: If you need immediate medical help, it's available.
Regardless of how many reasons there are, the most important question is: Which community is the best fit for your lifestyle and pocketbook?
Joe Agee is the marketing and sales director for The Seabrook of Hilton Head. www.TheSeabrook.com