You’ve looked into the future and see yourself living in a retirement living community among new friends with similar values. You’re eager to relocate, not only to give more time to hobbies and charitable causes you love, but to also eliminate tedious household chores like yard work and large grocery shopping trips.
Your spouse, however, may have a different idea of when you should be talking about retirement relocation, especially if one or both of you are still working. The truth is, though, even if relocation is 10 or so years down the road, now is the time to start a dialogue about your retirement living plans.
Here are some tips to make the conversation easier for both of you:
Ease Into It
If you have a friend or relative who has recently moved to a retirement community, start there. What were their reasons for relocating? You might even want to visit and ask your spouse what he or she thought afterward. Was it what you both expected, or were you surprised by something you saw?
Make Sure it’s a Two-way Conversation
Once you’ve started to talk about the idea or relocating, don’t rush to any conclusions. Be open to what your spouse has to say, even if it’s not what you want to hear. Use “I” statements to express how you feel, followed by questions.
For example: “I sometimes feel like this house is too big for just the two of us, and it’s a lot of work. Have you ever thought about downsizing? Try to gauge your spouse’s comfort level with the idea of relocating by his or her responses. If he or she is reluctant or even resistant, find out why.
Do some research so you can be prepared to explain your position. What retirement communities are nearby, and what do they have to offer? Are they centrally located? Is there a waiting list? Does it have a flexible policy for visitors? How does the cost compare to your total cost of living now, including meals, home maintenance and transportation? Does it offer continuing care by licensed professionals so any needs you may have later in life will be met? For more questions to ask, visit AARP.com.
Now that you have a better idea of where your spouse stands on the subject, acknowledge that his or her concerns are valid. If your spouse is worried about the cost, take some time to review your finances together. If it’s the stress of selling your home, walk through the pros and cons together. Consulting an expert in finance or real estate can help.
Consider the Benefits
Remember that any major decision is a trade-off, so it’s important to make sure the benefits outweigh any concerns. The social experiences of living in a retirement community can combat feelings of depression or isolation that sometimes come with age. A full-service continuing care retirement center meets you where you are, offering independence when you want it and support when you need it. It’s a safe, secure location that will give you and your family peace of mind. It offers a variety of activities and amenities that will keep you active and engaged. It eliminates many of the hassles that come with home ownership—the daily household chores, the yard work, and the maintenance—allowing you to focus on what matters most to you.
You and your spouse may not be ready to relocate for at least a few more years, but when you are, you want it to be a smooth transition. The sooner you start preparing, the more comfortable you’ll be when it’s time to make that decision.
Visiting a retirement community allows you and your spouse to become familiar with its offerings and may even help you begin to visualize your future together. To get to know a retirement community near you, schedule a tour of Kendal at Oberlin today.