Thursday, March 27, 2014

The "Boomers" Retirement Community is Different

I live in a retirement community built 15 years ago.  Generally, the accommodations are what I expected. I’m very comfortable.

However. There is a very different community rising on 100 acres across the street, definitely part of our community by name, ownership and management. It’s specifically designed for boomers, who—research shows—want a different style of retirement. And what is that?

I visited the model home for this new section the other day, and can certainly see that these roomy residences are intended for 55-plus residents and up, members of the “boomers” generation; the model had elegance, spaciousness, granite counters and profoundly large closets. The hostess/marketer explained that “these boomer homes are for retirees 55-plus. They are not putting off moving from the homes where they raised their children. They are so ready for no-maintenance, single-level homes with fireplaces and plenty of space. They want to have fun. These customers are looking for ease of living, attractive and versatile space, attached homes, the wave of the future. They feel entitled.”

I came away impressed, not only with the space, but also with a vision of a new lifestyle.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Spring Cleaning: At your house or mine?

By Ann Burnside Love

Do I mean heavy-duty spring-cleaning, where you roll the rugs, carry them outdoors and beat them with a tennis racquet? Hardly. Though some of us may have traces of memory about that. For myself, I can’t remember when my mother did not have a vacuum cleaner, although the cooling process in the kitchen was by icebox, until the amazing Frigidaire came along.

When I think about spring cleaning, I’m certainly relieved not to still be living in the six-bedroom house where I raised my children, although it was emotional agony leaving it, or the three-bedroom house on the edge of the park I bought when they were grown, or even my first retirement house in a 55-plus community. I remember them all. And I remember spring cleaning in all of them.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Planning to Age in Place? But Which Place?

By Ann Burnside Love

My friend Marjorie and I, during the same month, signed onto the waiting list for the retirement community I now live in, two and a half years before our names came up on the list for our apartments. When I got the call that a residence was reserved for me, I was definitely ready. I’d made my choice. My children had been concerned about me after some health issues, though I still considered myself independent. So I was stunned to discover that my friend had no intention of moving. Ever. She truly caught me off guard when she said: “I’m not leaving this house until I’m carried out feet first.”

Many people expect they will be independent all their lives, “doing for themselves” forever. And some do. Others expect their families to take care of them, also forever. Many people during their early years as a senior are in good health and having a fine time doing things they’ve always looked forward to doing. And that may work immediately after retirement, and for a few years afterward; some seniors expect that to last perpetually.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Working on Your Moving Plans After This Year's Weather Extremes?

By Ann Burnside Love

While enjoying the fireplace in our lobby’s sitting room, a lovely neighbor came up to me with a friend who’s moving into our retirement community a few months from now. The friend said she enjoys reading the newspaper column I’ve written for years. When I heard her voice, I realized that I remembered her from a group we both belonged to in our 30s.

“I’m moving this year because I can’t stay on the farm through another winter,” she said. “I can’t do all the stuff required through as much snow and ice as we’ve experienced recently. Actually, I’ve been downsizing for five years, so it won’t be as big a deal to move as it might have been.”

So she’s positioned herself to make the move she really wants to make. And she’s taken steps to make it possible. She’s decided on a retirement community, gotten onto the waiting list, been what we call “right sizing” for years, and she’s recognized now is the time.