The baby boomers are, well, booming and North Carolina has some of the top destinations for seniors looking to retire! In a report underwritten by AARP, those turning 65 are doing so at the rate of 10,000 per day, retirees are in place to make up to 20 percent of the country’s population in the not-so-distant future. A relatively affluent group that’s worked hard all their life, they view their golden years as a time to live the good life. For some retirees, that may mean finally making a dent in that bucket list and seeing the northern lights in Norway or taking a Caribbean cruise, while others may focus on family and friends with everyday visits to the golf course or backyard hammock.
Too Much House
Whatever your plans for this next chapter in your life, it might possibly call for a change in your housing situation. It’s not uncommon for empty-nesters to have “too much house” and decide to downsize. Or with a job in the rear-view mirror, maybe a move three states over to be in the same city as the kids is your plan. Cold winters got you down? A move to a more favorable clime may be in order.
Thirty years ago when you bought your home, your priorities were probably a community with good schools, easy access to work. Perhaps even a yard big enough for a swing set and enough bedrooms and bathrooms for the whole family. Now your needs have dramatically shifted. The soon-to-be world travelers may want the ease of condominium or townhouse living. Yet another grandpa and grandma may still prefer single-home living so there’s enough room for their granddaughter to stay for nice long visits during summer breaks. Perhaps a retiree who finds themselves alone might choose a close-knit community of people of similar age and interests with plenty of activities to keep them busy.
Independent Living Communities
All of these options can be easily found in the Carolina’s, and many seniors choose to find them in an independent living community. These communities cater to the needs of an elderly population, to a point. They offer hotel-style amenities like prepared meals in your room or the dining room, transportation to local shopping and attractions, and cleaning and landscaping services. To gain entrance to these communities, you must be able to accomplish all activities of daily living (also known as ADLs) without any help. ADLs include, but are not limited to bathing, taking medicine, and dressing.
Some forward-thinking seniors who want to prepare for the day they may need some assisted living will turn to continuing care retirement communities, or CCRCs. CCRCs will house and care for you regardless of whether you can live with or without ADL assistance, and can accommodate you during those times when you experience a period of poor health that requires round-the-clock care.
Fortunately, many communities are rising to meet the demands of the senior population for assisted living facilities and CCRCs with plenty of reputable places to choose from. Fees and amenities vary widely, so reach out to a local or national business that specializes in helping you find just the right retirement community.
Staying Independent At Home
If you still plan on making a move but a senior community isn’t your cup of tea, keep some things in mind while looking for a new home. Seek out a one-story house or one with a first floor master bedroom (for when stairs become a little hard to handle), wider hallways and doorways for easier navigation, smooth flooring surfaces and easy-to-enter showers or baths. These features will allow you to age-in-place as your requirements and abilities change.
Consider choosing a home close to public transportation in case driving is no longer an option. Shopping, medical offices, and a hospital should also be nearby. This isn’t hard to do in the Carolina region with the wide assortment of cities and towns and renowned health systems. Seek out a real estate professional that is familiar with the unique housing need of seniors to assist you in your search.