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4 Ways to Prepare for Independent or Assisted Living

Retirement may seem a long way off, but at the rate time moves, it’s going to get here before you know it. At Brandermill Woods, we try to promote a new kind of retirement—one in which you are able to enjoy the benefits after a lifetime of labor, do the things you’ve always dreamed of, and connect with new friends. This lifestyle doesn’t happen by accident, and it doesn’t just apply to seniors in our independent living community. Assisted living is still living, and we want to re-define retirement for our seniors across our continuum of care.

To help you realize the ideal retirement lifestyle tomorrow, here are four things you can do today to get ready:

1. Plan Ahead

Do you want to live in an independent living community when you retire? How much space do you want? What kinds of activities sound interesting? Do you want to move somewhere that also offers assisted living? What communities are near you? Or near your family? The worst type of decision is one you have to make in a hurry, under duress, so think about these questions early—perhaps in your 50s—so that when the time comes, you will be working a plan rather than writing the plan as you go.

2. Meet with an Estate Planner, Financial Advisor or Attorney

One of the best ways to plan ahead is to consult with a professional who can evaluate your income, savings and investments. A financial advisor can help you set goals and build a roadmap to achieve them. Meanwhile, an attorney or estate planner can help you get your finances in order from the legal side. Everyone should have a will and an advanced medical directive, but do you also want to set up any kind of a trust for your children? How can you maximize your time in an independent living community? It all comes down to making the plan.

3. Talk with Your Loved Ones

Good communication can prevent a headache in nearly every realm of life. With issues of retirement, it’s important that your loved ones know what the plan is, and can help make them allies in your journey. Surprises happen as we age. A 65-year-old may be perfectly healthy and able one day, but a stroke, heart attack, accident or unexpected diagnosis could change everything. At those moments, you want to be able to lean on your loved ones as they help you navigate next steps.

4. Prepare Your Home

Moving is never easy, but moving in retirement can be especially stressful. If you are joining an independent living community, you may be excited by the possibilities in front of you, but you still have to clean house. Good practices over the years include an annual spring cleaning and de-cluttering. If your children are grown and out of the house, consider packing up some of their childhood keepsakes and passing them along. If you are thinking of selling in a couple of years, take a look at what maintenance and upkeep you need to do to boost your home value.

All of these recommendations boil down to making the plan, and making the plan early. At Brandermill Woods, we’re excited to invite you to our community, and we’re here to help. Let us know how we can be part of your plan for retirement.