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Traditionally, the New Year is a time to reflect on the past year and consider if there are improvements and goals one wants to make for the coming year. If retirement plans are on your New Year’s resolution list, here are a few tips to keep you on track.

  • In retirement planning since decisions aren’t made quickly, it’s helpful to get organized and prioritize so the decisions aren’t overwhelming.
  • There are a vast number of websites and advertisements on retirement communities. Take advantage of the internet and request brochures from communities that catch your eye. You need to differentiate what type of community fits your needs and if you are seeking a continuing care community now called a life plan community. It gets confusing since many communities call themselves retirement communities.
  • It’s helpful to create a spreadsheet or chart to keep the information straight. You want to compare apples with apples so a chart will be useful. You may want one column designated to the costs of maintaining your current living situation. These costs will be important to factor in when comparing communities. You may be surprised at how much your current home may actually cost now and into the future. Many communities offer a form to use that can be helpful to compare the cost of your home to relocating to a community.
  • Communities have many opportunities to visit that don’t necessary require one-on-one time with a sales person. For example, East Ridge at Cutler Bay offers Lunch & Learn events and Open Houses. You can bring your questions to these without any obligation.
  • Take advantage of trial-stay opportunities. These give you and chance to spend a few days at a community. You’ll get a real sense of the community and meet residents. East Ridge offers a Stay and Play package. You will stay in a one-bedroom residence and sample dining and activities over two days. This is a great opportunity to mix and mingle with residents because they’ve been in your shoes and can offer great insights.
  • Not only should you meet with a marketing person, you should try to attend events at the community. Every community has its own personality and sampling the events are a good way to meet residents. Every community has a monthly activity calendar and you can try to find programs that meet your interest. You may enjoy working out in the fitness center or attending a lecture or show.
  • It’s helpful to bring a child or a trusted advisor to a meeting with a sales counselor. Having someone who is an impartial listener can be a great help.
  • Start readying your home for the next stage of your life. Make decisions about who you would like to give your treasures to now.  Perhaps it is more meaningful to go ahead and give them these items. It’s also good to ask if your children really want ‘Aunt Ann’s’ hand-me-down china. It may be better auctioned or donated to a charity.
  • If your garage and/or attic have accumulated years of household stuff, it may be useful to bring in a professional to help divest these areas of this accumulation. Cleaning out closets and drawers is a painstaking exercise but better to start now.
  • People often say they have right-sized rather than downsized when getting ready for their move. It can be a cathartic feeling seeing empty closets and shelves. There are so many charities that are grateful your donations.

Life plan communities like East Ridge at Cutler Bay help future residents every day prepare for this new stage of their lives. Take advantage of their trained counselors to be of help.

Best wishes for the New Year.  We hope that East Ridge may be in your future and we’re here to be of help in any way that we can.