Settling in after some travel and several social events, there has been one phenomenon that has caught my attention: Middle age (plus) singles.
Perhaps it is merely coincidence, relating to the types of events and locales visited, but more and more there appears to be mature singles arriving singularly at events, and travel destinations. (Good for you!)
During informal chatter, many claim in their estimation to be "disposable spouses," where one member was presented with “unconscious uncoupling,” (my new term for apparently being blindsided), as opposed to Gwyneth Paltrow’s “conscious uncoupling.”
This is certainly not the outcome of a scientific study, but just a general observation about the new dynamics of social outings.
Many of my new acquaintances were gathering their wits, self esteem, and good humour to face the next adventure, and were considering new possibilities for future planning. Retirement Lifestyles were a hot topic of good natured debate, and reflection.
Food For Thought about Retirement Communities
Retirement Communities vary in descriptors:
Social Demographics: Are there opportunities to meet others looking for friendships? Are there socials and mixers to meet new people?
Age demographics: Is the age demographic appropriate for your lifestyle?
Active Lifestyle: What types of scheduled activities are available? Is there a weight room or pool? Are there exercise, hobby and other active groups?
Transportation: Is there convenient access to the local amenities (shopping, theatre etc.) and are you close to friends and family?
Responsibilities: What type of property upkeep is incumbent on the owner? What rules and regulations exist to insure the community remains pristine, with policies regarding changes to the structure of the building?
Are there rules regarding décor; inside and outside?
Accountability and Jurisdiction: Is there a tenant’s board that responds to concerns and complaints?
Fees: Are you a tenant or an owner?
What costs exist for services and amenities?
Have there been regular increments annually to these fees?
Research your prospective community’s track record to be certain there are no financial red flags. What is the resale protocol if you choose to sell your home/unit?
Track Record: What is the local “buzz” about this new place?
Talk to other residents and do some reconnaissance work. I like to drive by a prospective home at different times of the day/evening to assess the noise, activity, parking, and overall atmosphere of the area.
Storage: is there adequate room to tuck away those seasonal extras, and the things you just can’t quite wrap your head around disposing?
Pet Friendly: Is Fido a welcome tenant, or are there limitations regarding pet ownership?
Parking: Think about carrying groceries, and the convenience factor in accessing your unit.
Will visitors have difficulty coming to your home because of parking?
Are there restrictions about parking, or will you be staring at someone’s trailer, parked in their driveway six months of the year?
Health Care: Is this the type of residence/community where individuals age in place, or is it geared to a specific lifestyle?
With the newly single status, and retirement approaching, this is probably a good time to take stock of what is on your wish list, as a vital, mature, and "ready to get on with life" adult.
Consider financial planning: with an eye on short and long-term goals to help in understanding your new, current, financial status.
Take time to heal and redefine yourself; your wants, your needs, and your future wishes to avoid the pitfalls of hasty decision-making. This is an entirely new, and most likely a challenging, scary, and exciting time. Some individuals find counselling helps facilitate the journey.
Embrace your “go to” people as they are waiting in the wings... like they always have been.
Making decisions about a Retirement Lifestyle Community or residence, is an impacting and important change. Is this the right time for a choice like this? Are you ready?
Avoid the rush when reviewing options, and devote time, energy, and advocacy towards the one person that needs, and deserves the most consideration: YOU.
Download the free Elderpilot: Retirement mobile app (iPhones and Androids) for more information. The resource section is full of tips and strategies. The app will guide you on your tours, providing a report to share with others. Looking for more help? Visit us at www.elderpilot.com