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When people think retirement, they often think of it as all of the years following working. Research is indicating that retirement isn’t simply one stage of life and can more accurately be defined as four stages. Retirement communities such as East Ridge at Cutler Bay are adapting to the changing needs of retirees who are at various stages of their retirement.

The first stage is the winding down period preceding retirement while planning ahead for one’s upcoming retirement. This could be two to five years before retirement. The more focused someone becomes on what they want to experience and accomplish during their retirement can bring greater happiness and fulfillment. It’s also the perfect time to begin researching retirement lifestyle options. Retirement communities such as East Ridge offer a wealth of opportunities to educate prospective residents. Each month, there are regularly scheduled Lunch & Learn programs inviting people to come for a complimentary lunch and lecture. Bring your questions and also meet others who are similarly considering retirement.

Eliminating the financial responsibilities of home maintenance can be a welcomed option by soon-to-be retirees. Additionally, focusing on downsizing and being unburdened from a family home can be a relief. Retirement communities like East Ridge are considered turnkey, giving residents the freedom to ‘lock and leave’ whenever they want without worrying about home care and home security.

Stage two is when newly retired people can now feel liberated as their retirement has begun. They finally have the time to do all the things they want to do – and on their terms. Retirees at this stage may seek personal growth including travel that offers learning and new adventures. A study indicated that while leisure is a priority, early retirees may still work part time or volunteer regularly. Retirement communities offer a wealth of activities as well as new hobbies to pursue and volunteer options. People spend their days as they want and have the luxury of delicious meals available in a community’s onsite dining room when they come home.

As a retiree enters the third stage of their retirement years, 3-15 years into retirement, they seem to find greater contentment. They become more comfortable with their post-work identity and “be-ing” replaces “do-ing”. Many retirees find it’s easier to structure their time now and pursue interests in everyday leisure including exercising, shopping, reading for pleasure, volunteering, taking classes and socializing with friends. An East Ridge resident, Fran Plummer, explained that living at the retirement community is more like a summer camp. She’s involved in the community’s craft club and said, “Many of us now have time to pursue new hobbies and have discovered crafting since moving to East Ridge. We don’t have to worry about cooking or cleaning. We are exploring our creative side now that we have the time and a place to do so.”

When people are more than 15 years into their retirement, maintaining health and independence becomes more important. As people plan for their future health care needs, the benefits of a life plan community become even more important. More leisure time is spent relaxing or connecting with family and friends. Compared to other stages, retirees are most likely to prioritize simplifying their lives and enjoying familiar activities rather than discovering new ones.

As many retirees deal with an increase in doctor visits and medical care with some involved in caregiving for a spouse/partner, the advantages of a retirement community become more apparent. These responsibilities are so much easier at a retirement community such as East Ridge. There are care coordinators who know every resident and can help with health care needs. From coordinating post outpatient surgical care and rehabilitation or even something as simple as regular blood pressure checks, the life plan community’s services help ease health care concerns during someone’s later retirement years.

At East Ridge, residents are at different stages of their retirement years. As a life plan community, this means is that the community is designed for those who live independently in their own residence while eliminating the many responsibilities associated with homeownership. Maintenance-free living found at East Ridge means not even worrying about changing a lightbulb.

It’s so valuable talking with our East Ridge sales associates as they understand the retirement processes and what options are available. They want to help people find the best fit and their skills incorporate patience and empathy. It’s not uncommon for us to visit people in their homes as well as we get to know someone better.

We welcome you and your family as our guests to learn more about East Ridge. Call us to arrange a tour at 305-256-3564.