The concept of retirement is something that many people look forward to with great anticipation. The mention of retirement has some in the workforce instantly drifting into dreams of sitting on a beach sipping every day away in style. There’s an almost magical element to the notion of leaving responsibilities behind and savoring an open schedule.
Retirement is undoubtedly a milestone that the vast majority of professionals are consistently and actively working toward. It’s a time of life many of us begin saving for in our early twenties without really knowing what it entails.
- What Does It Really Mean to Retire?
- The Importance of Focusing on Community in Retirement
- What You Can Expect from an Active Retirement Community
- The Appeal of an Active Retirement
- Activities to Enjoy When You Call a Retirement Community Home
- Picking a Place Where You Can Thrive
What Does It Really Mean to Retire?
Ultimately, retirement means something exponentially different to every person who steps into this season of their life. In general terms, retirement is a time to leave the workforce and view life through a more relaxed lens. In reality, retirement is much more complex.
Once upon a time, our average lifespan left us with little flexibility in how retirement could be spent. People simply didn’t live long enough to set goals far beyond taking time to relax, unwind, and enjoy the fact that work responsibilities were no longer theirs for the carrying.
These days, the story is much different. As the average lifespan continues to grow, the potential that exists within the realm of retirement does, too!
There’s no longer a need to cling to the idea that retirement is about shutting yourself away from the world and leading a schedule-free life. Instead, more retirees than ever before are opting to go the route of an active retirement.
The Importance of Focusing on Community in Retirement
We’re conditioned from a young age to follow specific pathways to success. Organization, prioritizing tasks, and climbing professional ladders are lauded as the only tried and true routes to reaching our goals.
We lean on these beliefs to grow our careers and sustain our families over the years. Then retirement comes along, and we’re left without a clear path to follow at all. The contrast with the rest of our life experiences can be jarring.
This is why it’s so important to create a sense of community within the retirement experience. For many people, this takes the form of seeking out an active retirement community to call their own when they leave the workforce behind.
Active adult communities come in many shapes and sizes. They’re found in a variety of locations across the country and many senior living/55 plus communities cater to residents with just as many varying interests and passions.
The one characteristic that aligns them all is a fantastic focus on keeping retirees connected in a meaningful way as they venture through this exciting season of life. Active retirement communities eliminate the stress of having to maintain social circles once you’ve left a professional life behind. Instead, you make those connections right in the place you call home, alongside those who are going through a similar experience.
Knowing how to identify the best retirement communities involves an evaluation of personal interests, health needs, and long-term goals. Not everyone is looking for the same thing and fortunately, the variety of active retirement communities across the map makes it possible to find one that fits your style to a tee. The best retirement communities aren’t necessarily those that have one feature or another, but the community in which a resident easily finds a way to thrive.
Active adult communities cater to those who are not only looking to maintain their sense of independence in retirement but are also looking forward to fun and engagement with others. Active retirement communities pair the peace of mind residents are looking for with options to make retirement a customized experience rather than an overwhelming season of life.
Mentioning a senior living/55 plus community experience may conjure up visions of a quiet, reserved space. This couldn’t be further from the truth!
Yes, active retirement communities offer up the peace and tranquility one would expect from great living accommodations. That said, the many activities, events, on-site amenities, and upgraded extras allow residents to immerse themselves in a vibrant culture alongside others who are excited to live life to the fullest!
What You Can Expect from an Active Retirement Community
Retirees begin their search for the best retirement communities with many different expectations in mind. While active retirement communities come with all different types of amenities and features available to residents, some standards can be anticipated.
Active adult communities, no matter where they may be located, should offer residents options to pick and choose between on-site homes, apartments, or cottages that balance comfort and ease. Maintaining a sense of independence begins with choosing an active retirement community that values both versatility and impeccable safety standards when it comes to accommodations.
The vast majority of active retirement communities will also put an emphasis on low-maintenance living. It’s common for senior living/55 plus communities to provide on-site maintenance for residents such as lawn care and snow removal. In-home maintenance is often readily available upon request, as well.
The inclusion of these convenient services means that residents of active retirement communities don’t have to worry about the stress or potential injury that might come with handling these tasks themselves. Instead, they can focus on socializing with fellow residents, participating in activities, or taking part in community excursions.
Community is the heart and soul of an active retirement community. Thriving in this season of life comes easiest when it’s enjoyed alongside others of a similar age who are looking forward to new experiences, as well.
To this end, active retirement communities can be expected to provide residents with a wide variety of on-site activities, classes, and excursions that get everyone out and about. These activities should be well-planned, include transportation, and go beyond a trivial experience to pass the time.
The role of the active retirement community is to engage residents in a meaningful way. Community staff should be invested in planning events and activities that teach, engage, and enlighten those who participate. A variety of health and wellness activities are often a part of achieving this goal.
Additionally, active retirement communities can be expected to host a lineup of on-site amenities that might easily remind residents of a resort-style experience! Residents will frequently find that their community includes access to spacious dining rooms served by great chefs, elegant visiting areas for families, salons, theaters, tennis courts, and even pools if on-site aqua-therapy is offered, too.
One of the great benefits of joining an active retirement community is access to complimentary transportation. Whether residents need to get to and from medical appointments or are gathering to go see a movie in their community, transportation should be provided by staff.
Health considerations are another major factor when choosing an active retirement community to call home. The best of the many options out there will also include access to important facilities such as hospitals and clinics to give residents and their families the peace of mind they deserve at all times.
The Appeal of an Active Retirement
The thrill of having years of open-ended options ahead of you is strong on day one of retirement. Many retirees take some time to relish in their well-deserved free time and in the fact that they don’t have to set an alarm clock if they prefer not to.
As time goes on, the appeal often begins to wane. For those that are used to a structured life and environment, it doesn’t take long to become slightly bored with the prospect of having nothing pressing to do.
Fortunately, no retiree ever has to settle for a mediocre retirement experience. Refocusing this season of life to revolve around active retirement standards transforms retirement into an entirely new adventure to be enjoyed!
An active retirement is one that emphasizes time spent in environments that promote wellness. This includes time spent building authentic connections with the community and engaging in activities that stimulate the mind and body.
Stepping into retirement doesn’t mean stepping out of growth opportunities. In fact, when you’re able to let go of work responsibilities, you find you have free time to focus on pursuing your passions and enjoying experiences you’ve put on the back burner for far too long.
An active retirement should even provide opportunities for taking on new challenges. Perhaps you’ve always wanted to learn a language, pick up an instrument or start volunteering time for a cause that’s captured your heart. This is exactly the time to do it!
Retirees who focus on finding new methods of sharpening their minds and engaging their interests in retirement will benefit from not only new skills learned but also a sense of satisfaction. This is especially true when this season of life is enjoyed with friends or family.
Activities to Enjoy When You Call a Retirement Community Home
There are many benefits to finding your place within an active retirement community. However, those that provide consistently stellar activities for residents tend to be fan-favorites with good reason.
Retirement is a time to spread your wings and enjoy your unique interests, hobbies, and passions. An exceptional active retirement community will work hard to provide residents with options that help them flourish on this level.
While every active retirement community looks a bit different, there are activity options that residents might find regularly in the lineup no matter where they ultimately land. Residents should expect a nice mix of fun, engaging, educational, and even challenging activities that allow them to expand their horizons and walk away with something to think about.
The offerings in active retirement communities should come with an undeniable focus on lifelong learning. To this end, many communities will offer energizing and interesting workshops that feature everything from painting and computer classes to language lessons, writing workshops, book clubs to join, or woodworking classes to try out.
Educational lectures have long been a favorite in active retirement communities thanks to the variety of subjects and lessons that can be integrated into the lives of residents. Of course, for those with a passion for time on the dance floor, it’s not uncommon to find communities that offer lessons that focus on ballroom, swing, square, and line dancing techniques alike.
Continuing on the musical path, many communities offer residents fun events to socialize and get a little silly with options like karaoke or singing contests. When friendly competition is top of mind, activities like trivia, bingo, and crossword tournaments are welcome activities for residents.
Health and on-site activities are frequently combined for residents in the form of yoga classes, chair exercises, swimming, and Tai Chi. Oftentimes, instructors will visit communities to lead calming meditation classes or more high-energy courses like Zumba.
While on-site activities are always great, these communities also cater to the fun that comes with getting out into the city and experiencing the best it has to offer. Residents regularly enjoy outings that might include everything from baseball games and local museum visits to concerts, musicals, movies, and beyond.
Sometimes, it’s the simple things that make all the difference, and to this end, getting into nature is a focus of community activities as well. Residents often have opportunities to go on nature walks, visit nearby farmers’ markets, take time to relax in surrounding parks, or enjoy a picnic with other residents.
Picking a Place Where You Can Thrive
Finding the best retirement community means finding a place that balances the social aspect of retirement with versatile activities and outings that round out the experience. Taking time to make sure the community you’re considering has it all is worth your while.
The health and wellness benefits of an active retirement community are well worth acknowledging. Active retirement communities that emphasize positive social environments help residents avoid scenarios of social isolation after leaving the workforce that could potentially lead them to experience a decline in emotional health.
Communities that make it a priority to include stimulating activities in their daily lineup of options will help residents keep their minds and bodies sharp over time, too. Offering options that span physical activity and educational engagement allows residents to continue to grow in this exciting phase of life!
We hope your search for the best active retirement community to suit you has you considering True Connection Communities. Please contact us if you have any questions at all or would like to set up a tour of one of our communities.