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Westminster At Lake Ridge Blog

An illustrious past meets an exceptional future. We are committed to creating meaningful lives of purposeful engagement for every resident as well as those who serve them.

Westminster At Lake Ridge Blog

Posted: Monday, December 23, 2019

Preparing for Retirement: 5 Things to Consider

Whether you’re looking toward or have already entered retirement, the better you plan for the future, the more success you’ll likely have. However, you may wonder which factors have the biggest impact. Although everyone’s list may vary, here are 5 standard priorities to consider along with a few tips for how to put your plan in action:

1.  Are your finances in order?

As retirement approaches, the routine of working and saving money is replaced with a more relaxed lifestyle and making sure your funds will last. You most likely know the amount of income you’ll have to spend but what about the expenses?

If you haven’t already, creating a budget is a great start to see where your money is going. In retirement, some expenses may go away, such as the cost to commute to work, while others can decrease or rise. Housing is often the largest expense, but healthcare will probably be responsible for increases as well. You’ll want to estimate your cost of living, taxes, and what you’ll be spending on travel, entertainment or leisure activities.

It can be unsettling to face the future with so many unknowns so the better you estimate or can lock in accurate costs, the earlier you can make any needed adjustments. And then you can relax and spend your time on what you’ve been looking forward to during all those working years.   

2.  Consider your mobility

Don’t underestimate the importance of remaining mobile in retirement. Discover what transportation options are available if you’re no longer driving. As we get older, driving can become more of a challenge but you don't want it to become the deciding factor for your dream lifestyle. Before the day comes when you might get rid of your car, you’ll want to know the possibilities.

Not having affordable and accessible means to see friends, attend cultural or religious activities or to see a movie can also lead to unintentional isolation. You want to stay active and engaged in life but lack of transportation can cause you to miss out on favorite or meaningful activities. This is the time to participate in everything that brings joy to your life. Don’t miss out because you can’t get there.

3.  Access to medical care

Living where there is easy access to medical care is a high priority in retirement. There are wonderful benefits to growing older but there are challenges that can also arise, including an increase in illnesses, problems with mobility, or circumstances where more support or help with activities of daily living are needed.

If arranging or getting to appointments becomes a problem, or they don’t want to bother their children or other family members, people may find themselves putting off or canceling routine visits. But the biggest things we can do to stay healthy are wellness visits and not wait until an illness or condition becomes more severe. If you don’t have easy access to medical care where you currently live, you may want to consider moving to a location that simplifies the effort. Your health is worth it.

4.  Exercising and eating right

Taking care of yourself physically can have a big impact on your health and longevity. But as we grow older, it isn’t always easy to do. Shopping and preparing nutritious meals every day can become more of a challenge, either due to not being able to plan and prepare the meals or discovering that there can be much more interesting and fun things to do after spending years accomplishing this task.

Getting to the gym or other recreational places may be inconvenient or difficult if you’re no longer driving. One of the most enjoyable ways to get your exercise is to take part in sports or other team games that provide both physical and social benefits. Look for nearby opportunities that are convenient for you to access and start signing up for whatever interests you - tennis, swimming classes or biking with a friend are just a few options.

5.  Fighting loneliness

Although all of the above elements can greatly influence your retirement, there is one that has the possible power to add or even take away years of your life. As you grow older, you need to be vigilant against isolation. Living alone by choice or due to losing a spouse or partner doesn’t mean you will be lonely. But the detriment to your health increases if you’re not making sure to get out and socially connect with others.

This can also pose a problem if you’ve never found it easy to make friends. It can help to find opportunities that create a natural way to meet people with similar interests. Joining others in activities takes the pressure off of trying to think of something to say and instead turns the conversation toward the activity at hand until you get to know them better.

Westminster at Lake Ridge

If you haven’t considered it before, you may want to think about making the one move that can check all of the above off of your list. Life Plan Communities (CCRCs)  are often considered the perfect plan because they solve so many concerns and as an added bonus, can take some of the worry out of life.

At Westminster at Lake Ridge, we can help you budget for your housing, living and medical expenses. With our on-site physician offices and first-class medical facilities nearby, it can also be a huge relief knowing that services are available if or when you need them..

You’ll have no worries getting to your church or favorite concert because along with local options, we offer scheduled transportation. We help keep your mind sharp and your body fit with social and educational programs, as well as our exercise classes and fun sports. And with our chef-prepared delicious and nutritious meals, you can leave all of the shopping and cooking to us if you like.

Perhaps one of the greatest assets of community retirement living is the ease in making friends. You’ll meet people naturally, either over shared interests such as pickle ball or morning yoga class. And if you’re the type who prefers a quieter pace such as taking a walk or a book club discussion, we’re the right place for you too. And you’ll find it right outside your door.

Please call (703) 794-4631 if you have any questions or would like to schedule a personalized tour today.

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