When it’s time to consider moving to a retirement village, people often focus on what may be left behind: a house filled with memories where children were raised, milestones celebrated, and the stage of life it represented.
But by looking only at what might be lost, all to be gained is often overshadowed.
“As people age, a lot of energy is consumed with concerns about ‘what if’ scenarios and tedious day-to-day household chores,” said Steve Bible, director of marketing at Epworth Villa Retirement Community. “The most frequent comment I hear from those who have moved is ‘I wish we had done this years ago.’
For some, making the move is a freeing experience, allowing for more time to be spent on enjoyable activities. It may also enhance one’s ability to live independently.
This sentiment is echoed by local real estate experts specializing in downsizing and retirement community moves.
“Some retirees are taking a more proactive approach to how they want to live. Instead of leaving it to chance or letting their kids decide, they are moving on their terms and to a place of their choice,” says Nikki Buckelew, certified senior housing professional and moderator for an upcoming series of educational events being hosted by Epworth Villa focusing on retirement moves.
“We see people get stronger, healthier, and more active after they move. Many of our clients say the move to a community made them feel less dependent on family and friends too,” remarks Buckelew.
Moves to life care and independent living communities, where healthcare and household needs are provided, come as a relief to adult children of aging parents as well.
“Anyone considering a move should consider both lifestyle and financial goals,” said Garrett, whose father is an Epworth Villa resident. “My dad enjoys an active social life and the ability to be among friends. He really appreciates the reliability of a monthly all-inclusive fee, ensuring that he never has a utility, cable, maintenance, or property tax bill to pay.”
Retirement communities are not a one-size-fits-all solution to remaining independent and active.
“This is not your grandparents’ retirement home,” Bible said on a recent tour of Epworth Villa’s newly expanded campus. The community features three restaurants under the direction of Executive Chef Karl Rossdeutscher. Fresh locally sourced foods are emphasized and each dish is cooked to order.
It may be time for retirees to rethink home ownership and consider what alternatives might better serve their goals. This is especially true while the real estate market is still good.
“Most people plan to use their home equity to move to a retirement village. The market is the best it has been in a while, so people are taking advantage of the timing as well as the financial incentives offered at communities like Epworth,” says Buckelew.
For those who are looking for more information on downsizing and retirement village options, a free educational seminar series is being held at Epworth Villa beginning in August.
The three 90-minute sessions (Aug. 15, Sept. 21, Oct. 26) will begin at 10 a.m. in the Grand Ballroom of Epworth Villa, 14901 N. Pennsylvania Ave. in Oklahoma City.
Expert panelists and local senior living residents will share insights, tips, and resources on relevant retirement living and downsizing topics. The series is titled ‘Candid Conversations’ and Nikki Buckelew of Buckelew Realty Group’s Mature Moves Division will moderate.
The seminars are free to seniors and their guests. Pre-registration is required due to limited seating. Call 405-752.1200 to RSVP or get more information.