Senior Citizen's Guide digital books
Senior Citizen's Guide to Detroit

Retirement Communities
Busting the “Old” Myths

There is no denying that making a move into a retirement community, even under the best of circumstances, can be a challenge. Making a decision can be a difficult and trying proposition. What is the current state of the real estate market? Is the timing of the sale beneficial to me or to the seller? Given the uncertainties in the Metro Detroit real estate market is this the right time for me to make my move? Is a retirement community meant for me? There are many old myths and stereotypes about retirement lifestyle from the media that often discourage people from exploring new options and therefore need to be busted!

The most common myth is that retirement communities are boring. Most people are surprised when they visit an active retirement community and see that it is not the dull and lifeless place they expected. Instead, the seniors have days packed full of interesting activities. It's not uncommon to find seniors keeping fit with a Wii game system or partying by the Karaoke machine. Playing board and card games are common entertainment options in retirement community areas. This is especially true if one lives in a community with full amenities like a movie theatre, card- playing lounge, woodworking shop, arts & crafts room, and computer room, gardens and nearby outdoor walking trails.

Does living in a retirement community resemble staying at a hospital? No, that is just one more myth that is hanging around. A traditional nursing home is more like a hospital because a nursing home has a full time nursing staff available that is able to administer medicine every day and help with everyday activities. A retirement community is totally different from a nursing home. These communities cater to seniors who can live independently, and each senior or couple has their very own condo or apartment on the community's campus. The great thing about a retirement community is that medical facilities are within hand’s reach and there is always staff on duty to help in case of emergency. Activity coordinators or social directors are often around to plan events such as golf tournaments, picnics, day trips and many other activities. Many seniors take pride in their communities - volunteering on committees, working in their garden, performing in the community band; surrounded by friends on the lookout for something interesting to do.

Most people are surprised to find that seniors living in retirement communities still have cars and are able to drive around town. There's no reason for seniors to give up their independence just because they choose to live in a retirement community. On the contrary, the security of such communities allows flexibility to travel and enjoy your time. Snowbirds know how wonderful it is not to worry about maintenance and numerous bills to be paid, they can spend their time instead on warm weather recreation, traveling south for winter and back to Michigan for summer to reconnect with family and friends.

One of the concerns retirement community members have is that their families will not visit often and there will be no activities that younger family members can participate in. Find the right retirement community and your family will be calling to ask when they can come to stay for the next carnival, canoe race, golf tournament, woodcarving event, or a local Paul Bunyan festival!

Is it is too expensive to live in a retirement community? Check the numbers and you’ll find that a retirement community is more affordable than you thought. Expensive home upkeep and high tax rates won't be a concern anymore. Seniors no longer have to worry about monthly costs since utilities, internet, TV, and insurance costs are often included in one low association fee. Seniors who live in a retirement community have the best of both worlds: maintenance-free living and the independent ownership of your own home.

So when you hear the phrase “retirement community” what does it mean to you? Everybody would answer this question differently based on their experience. According to some residents at a retirement community, choosing to downsize and live in a community of your peers can really make sense. It is the perfect opportunity to maintain your independence and the freedom to do all the things you always wanted to do at retirement. You get freedom of time! No yard work, no home maintenance, and a “turn key” scenario with a home that you own, where you can leave and take that cruise, or visit the children and grandchildren and not have to worry about what is going to happen while you are gone.

There are so many different retirement communities to choose from and with a little research every retiree can find the perfect match for his or her lifestyle and needs. Senior Citizen’s Guide is a good place to start your search!

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