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Why Older Adults Are Moving to Senior Living Before Retiring

In younger years, you might have thought of retirement as a time to kick back and relax. But as you’ve gotten older, you’re probably realizing that retirement can be whatever you want it to be. And for many older adults, continuing to work is an important component of a happy, fulfilled “retirement” lifestyle.

While it might seem paradoxical, moving into senior living gives older adults who want to keep working in retirement the chance to enjoy the perks of a maintenance-free, amenity-rich retirement lifestyle.

Older Adults Are Still Going to Work

Although the pandemic caused a dip in the number of older adults who are still working, many of the seniors sidelined during that time are expected to return to the workforce. A Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies survey found that 49% of Baby Boomers who are currently in the workforce expect to or already are working after 70. And the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that in 2030, when all Baby Boomers are at least 65 years old and the oldest Boomers turn 84, the number of people age 75 and older who still work will have grown by 96.5%.

Why Work in Retirement?

There are myriad reasons to continue working in retirement. Some are financial, but many have to do with healthy aging. Here are a few of the reasons older adults want to continue to participate in the working world:

  • Cognitive engagement. Research suggests that retiring from the daily grind — while it might sound blissfully stress-free — can also mean less mental stimulation, which can have a negative effect on cognitive abilities. Working also often requires that you learn new, mentally demanding skills, which is linked to improved cognition in seniors.
  • A feeling of purpose. Working provides an opportunity to contribute, participate in meaningful activities and maintain a feeling of relevance. That sense of purpose is linked to increased longevity, mobility and life satisfaction, and a decreased risk of Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, depression, and cardiovascular disease.
  • Fun. Choosing to work at a job that you enjoy, that aligns with your interests and hobbies, or that has you rubbing elbows with likable people keeps you engaged, entertained, and socially connected.
  • A chance to give back. For many older adults, continuing to work gives them the opportunity to share their expertise and experience in a meaningful way.

The Perks of a Retirement Community

There’s some understandable confusion about whether you can still work and live in a retirement community. It may seem contradictory, but yes, you can! Many senior living communities have an age requirement — it’s common to set the minimum age at 62, although a spouse or partner may be younger — but there aren’t restrictions on whether residents can work. In fact, there’s good reason to move to a senior living community while you’re active, young and, if you choose, still working. Here’s why:

  • Maintenance-free lifestyle. In a retirement community, interior and exterior maintenance, landscaping, snow removal and appliance repair are taken care of for you. This gives  you the freedom to do things you enjoy, whether that’s attending local cultural events, gardening, golfing, traveling, or doing work you love.
  • A rightsized home. Rightsizing is about identifying what’s most important to you and choosing a lifestyle – and home – that reflects your priorities. Senior living communities typically have a variety of floor plans to choose from so you can select a cottage, villa, or apartment home that fits your goals and dreams.
  • Amenities and services. Retirement communities are brimming with luxuries and conveniences, like a swimming pool, putting green, multiple dining venues, cultural events and lifelong learning classes. So when you’re not working, you can enjoy enriching opportunities that are only steps from your front door.
  • A plan for the future. Continuing care retirement communities (CCRCS), sometimes called Life Plan Communities, offer independent living and  a continuum of care on the same campus. If your health changes, you can access the support you need — such as Assisted Living, Memory Care, Skilled Nursing, and Rehabilitation — in the community you call home. What’s more, if the community offers a Life Care contract, you may also be able to lock in prices for higher levels of care that are much lower than prevailing market rates. But to secure those savings, you typically need to move into the community while you’re healthy and active.

Why Wait for the Perfect Retirement Lifestyle?

Whether you’re still working in retirement or ready for a life of leisure, Lakewood provides the perfect atmosphere for older adults who want a purpose-filled lifestyle. Our warm, friendly community abounds with amenities and services that enrich your downtime and wellness opportunities that support successful aging. And as a CCRC offering Life Care, we also provide residents peace of mind in knowing that if their health changes, the top-quality care they need is available right here. Contact us to learn more or to schedule a visit.