As I began The Great Purge of Belongings, I also began The Great Search of Lodgings.
I wanted to be free of the burden of home ownership and so did my husband, Tom. Our friends were moving to retirement communities. Up in the air about what that really meant, I began The Great Search.
I read government retirement websites. I read books about when and where and how to choose retirement living. I perused ads. I questioned friends, salespeople, and residents. I queried the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker.
We calculated our income and current and potential expenses. Tom made spreadsheets
I made a “must-have” list for our future residence. Light and roomy. Charming and cheerful. A park-like setting.
Visits were made. Clearly, I was living in a dream world. Forget charm. The real world of retirement communities in our area was brand new, with square box rooms, twig-sized landscaping, and brown decor. Lots of browns. ( I am more of a technicolor girl myself.) And more expensive than I expected even though forewarned.
We kept looking. We wrestled with acronyms: CCRC (Continuing Care Retirement Community), LCRC (Life Care Retirement Community). We considered contract types: Lifecare, Fee for Service, Rental, and combinations of all of those and more. What about dwelling types? Apartment, duplex, villa, high rise, patio home?
And, of course, health care options. After all, that’s why we were moving. Future health care was a major consideration. We needed to predict the future. Would we need independent living, home health care, assisted living, nursing care, memory care. And, of course, money. Multiple fee requirements were presented including signing over someone’s first-born grandchild.
And finally, we made a decision. It wasn’t easy; it wasn’t perfect, but it turned out to be a really good decision for us. We are happy with our choice.
The place we chose was being painted. Painters were in a lift working on the upper floors. I was as up in the air as these painters when we began looking.
Decision made, we loaded our belongings and moved in. The painters have loaded their big lift and moved out. The newly painted building looks fresh and renewed. I feel the same.