As our parents get older, we often find ourselves in the ultimate role reversal. Instead of relying on them for advice and moral support, we're the ones providing guidance.
This is especially true when your parents are moving to a retirement community. The process of helping your parents move can be extremely stressful. However, it doesn't have to be this way.
Phyllis Ashcraft, a senior transition specialist and owner of Solutions for Transition, says that moving is hard at any age, but even more so for an aging parent. "When you are young," she says, "a move is generally a touchstone of moving forward in your life, a looking forward to what's to come.
"When you are older," she adds, "a move can be more emotional, especially if it is away from friends. The emotional aspect can be much more difficult than the physical move itself."
While you may view retirement as a long-anticipated emancipation from the work world, it is also a period of considerable change and adjustment. If you are married, some of the most profound changes will take place within the context of your relationship with your spouse.
For some couples, the fact that they have been drifting apart for years could be masked or ignored because most of their time and attention is devoted to their careers or raising a family. For these couples, suddenly spending more time together may present a reality they aren’t prepared for. They may find that they no longer have as much in common as they did while they were dating and during the early years of their marriage.
Even happy, well-adjusted couples will find that many aspects of their relationship will undergo change and require adjustment. Not surprisingly, honest discussion and a willingness to compromise and explore new solutions will help you deal with most challenges.
Here are ten suggestions that will help you and your spouse navigate the inevitable changes that will take place when you retire and enable you to better enjoy your remaining years together.
Retirement can be a lifestyle game changer. Most people work hard their entire lives and dream of the day they can finally retire. And so they should; retirement is a well-deserved reward for a life’s hard work. Some people find themselves running towards the goal with fierce determination, while others may crawl and collapse across the finish line. Either way you’re here and well done!
Hopefully, you have spent some time thinking about how you will spend retirement. Even if it’s just a few glimpses and daydreams here and there, chances are you’ve got a bit of a plan.
But what happens when those plans clash with your significant other’s?
After you retire, you may believe that you no longer need to manage your time. Perhaps you regard time management as something you get to leave behind when you end your working career. After all, you have been a slave to your work schedule for decades.
If you are not retired yet, you may envision that the ultimate retirement lifestyle will consist of getting up whenever you want, eating whenever you want, doing whatever you want or nothing at all, and going to bed whenever you want.
That may be therapeutic for the first few weeks after you leave your job. It can help you decompress from decades of work. But that approach won’t remain satisfying for very long.
With no discipline or direction, you’ll discover that days and weeks will pass without doing much that’s meaningful. The next thing you know, months will have passed and you’ll have no idea where the time went or what you did. You will end up bored, unhappy and sedentary. You’ll spend most of your time in front of the TV or the computer. That’s probably not what you had in mind for your retirement. It’s not very healthy, either.
For over 60 years, millions of retirees have chosen to move to age-restricted active adult communities where they can live out their remaining years surrounded by golf courses, swimming pools, organized activities and – perhaps most important – other retirees.
Many people are drawn by the appeal of living in a safe, leisure-focused environment that is isolated from many of life’s realities, such as rush-hour traffic jams, undesirable neighborhoods and families with children.
Although many active adult communities are located in warmer states such as Florida, Arizona, and the Carolinas, they may be found throughout the United States and in some foreign countries.
While the lifestyle and amenities that age-restricted active adult communities offer are a good fit for many retirees, these places are not for everybody. If you are considering moving to a retirement community, here are ten questions you must consider before you put your house on the market and start packing.
It’s rewarding to see people of every age embracing what makes them feel alive! What’s wonderful is that the older you get, the more you are able to cultivate and enjoy the things that make you feel alive. Here are four ways to make the most of the rest of your life.
When it comes to selecting a highly desirable retirement destination, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) people have a few additional criteria to consider than do most Americans. In addition to considerations such as low cost of living and low taxes, LGBT people tend to value cities with strong LGBT communities, higher levels of acceptance and the presence of non-discrimination laws.
Cities that are most famous for their prominent LGBT communities, such as New York City, San Francisco and Los Angeles, are also very expensive. LGBT baby boomers who want to stretch their retirement dollars farther would do well to consider these cities that offer lower cost of living, cheaper real estate and lighter tax burden, but still have thriving LGBT communities. These cities are excellent retirement choices for non-LGBT people as well, because cities where LGBT people enjoy greater acceptance tend to be more welcoming of all types of diverse people and offer plentiful art and cultural amenities.
During the early years of working, you probably viewed retirement as a far-off dream. As retirement looms closer, however, the thought of leaving behind the familiarity of work can raise questions about your readiness. As you are planning for your retirement, you might be asking yourself the following questions. Luckily, we have answers.
Among the most popular features of retirement websites are the articles and lists of top places to retire, domestically and internationally, which tempt you with new possibilities for exciting, exotic, yet affordable places you can live after you retire.
While it’s fun to imagine what living in those places would be like, most people don’t actually follow through. According to an AARP study on aging in place, nearly 90% of people over 65 want to stay in their home for as long as possible, and 80% believe that their current residence is where they will always live.
Just as there are good reasons to move after you retire, there are several compelling reasons to stay right where you are. You may love your current home and have a strong emotion connection to it. Perhaps you want to remain close to your network of family, friends, and support systems rather than start over with making new friends, learning a new area, and finding new doctors and other service providers. If you are planning to start a business, you will need the network you have built up over many years. Sometimes moving is not financially feasible. Or perhaps it boils down to inertia and it’s easiest just to stay put.
If you want to remain in your current home for the rest of your life, here are several considerations that will help you decide whether this is the best choice for you.
Volunteer vacations have grown in popularity over the past several decades. Today there are hundreds of opportunities to travel to nations around the globe and spend a week or two volunteering for a wide variety of good causes. While some volunteer vacations are designed for young people and families, there are many that are well-suited for retirees.
There are several benefits to a volunteer vacation. There is the rewarding feeling that comes from helping the environment, animals, or people who are less fortunate. Volunteer vacations offer you the opportunity to experience a local culture in a more authentic way than you possibly could by staying at a luxury resort and only seeing famous tourist landmarks. The organizations that offer these vacations handle the planning and logistics, so there are fewer arrangements to be made by you. And since you will travel and work in a small supervised group, you will meet and work with like-minded people in a safe environment.
But all volunteer vacations are not created equally. Here are eight essential tips that will help you select and prepare for a successful volunteer vacation.