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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

WLR Blog
Posted: Thursday, January 2, 2020

Making Your Retirement Funds Stretch Further

If retirement is around the corner, you may be imagining a fulfilling active life and no longer working. For many, the dream includes giving up the time and expense of home chores and repairs. Depending on where you live, you may also be longing to permanently say farewell to the snow shovel.

But there’s another element that soon-to-be retirees consider a priority. And that is learning the best way to make retirement funds stretch so excellent quality of life can still be enjoyed.

Are you contemplating the best lifestyle for your plans? A great place to start may be exploring the benefits of remaining in your current home versus moving into a retirement community. You’ll want to consider more than just the costs, however. You’ve waited a long time for retirement. And although it may be advantageous to downscale your expenses and possibly your house, you don’t want to downsize your life.

Comparing your options and having the money to fund them

Evaluating the following may help you decide how to best support the kind of life you’ve worked so hard to obtain. Here’s information to assist you in considering the advantages of remaining in your home or making a move.

Housing costs

Housing is typically one of the biggest expenses in retirement. If you’re ready to downsize, this is the perfect time to consider your housing options.

Whether you have a mortgage or equity makes a big difference. But there is also insurance, property taxes and possible association dues. And then there are utilities, cable television, internet and maintenance.

When considering a retirement community, you’ll want to compare ownership expenses to the rates of a specific community, its services and everything that is included. But make sure you look down the road and think about if your existing home is age friendly. If you’ll need modifications to allow you to age-in-place, those can be very expensive. 

Maintenance-Free Living

Home ownership means home maintenance – both inside and out. Depending on the age of your home, calculating 1-3% of its value may provide a good annual estimate. Some repairs can be quite expensive, such as a new roof or replacing a heating system. Others may be less costly but if they’re recurring, they can add up quickly. The only option for homeowners is to take care of all the repairs themselves or to pay someone else to manage.

When trying to make your retirement funds last or at least to spend them on more enjoyable activities than painting or replacing a hot water tank, living where someone else takes care of the maintenance and housekeeping chores can be very appealing.

Opportunities to stay physically fit

You know how important it is to stay active but as you get older you may find it harder to get to the gym or recreational center. Finding physical activities that are fun is a great way to stay motivated and create a routine, but participating in a class or sport you can play with others can be more of a challenge if you need to pay fees or drive to get there.

When living in a community, typically you’ll find everything on the campus, including exercise rooms and classes, weights, swimming pools and walking or riding trails. Many of their offerings are group sports or activities, so it’s a great chance for social interaction as well. 

An active and healthy social life

Living in a traditional neighborhood can make it harder to make or maintain friendships. Your neighbors may be young families or others you share few interests with. Many people find as they grow older that staying at home becomes easier. But without realizing, they can also become isolated, especially if they stop driving.

When comparing how far your retirement dollars may stretch by staying at home or moving into a community, it’s also important to consider which choice offers the most social opportunities and what those costs might be. You’ll typically find everything you need conveniently located in communities and so you may be able to cancel your gym memberships or other club dues.

You’ll find most communities offer a wide range of activities so you’re sure to find something that appeals to you. Whether it’s educational, spiritual, cultural or just plain fun, you might actually find yourself wishing there were more hours in the day to participate.

Medical care and needed services

Medical care can be another large expense. Although it’s hard to look into the future and estimate your health costs, there are still things you can do to try and remain healthy. One advantage of living in a community is the on-site physician offices and other services. Staying at home may require assistance coming in to help with basic activities in the future. A community offers convenient healthcare as well as support services 24/7. It can also be a great relief to know that you’re never truly alone and that someone is available if you ever need anything.

Other considerations and places to save

Do you dine out often? Eating in can save money but you may be finding yourself tired of planning and cooking meals. Either way, the value of eating balanced and nutritious meals is never more important than now to help keep you healthy.

If you do move to a community, you may find you won’t need to keep your car. With scheduled transportation to activities or appointments, you’ll be able to save the money you spend on gas, insurance, license fees and any repairs. The day may also come when you’re not comfortable driving and won’t want to bother friends or family for rides. Community living may allow you to remain independent even longer. 

Westminster at Lake Ridge

At Westminster at Lake Ridge, our amenities and services are here to support the retirement life you’ve planned.  From great apartment choices, chef-prepared meals, scheduled transportation, exercise and wellness programs, amenities and plenty of social activities, we think you’ll find everything you need to make your new retirement life great.

Compare the costs of living at home versus community living to decide which best fits your lifestyle and budget!

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

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