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When to Move

There is obviously no definitive answer to this question but, nevertheless, it is an important consideration if we are intending to move to a retirement village.

If we are already well into retirement and thinking about a retirement village because we feel we are at the stage in life when we feel we need a bit more care, then it may be that we should move as soon as possible. It's much easier to move when we are relatively fit and it may well increase the choice of villages that we have. If we leave it until we are already in need of some sort of care, we may well be limited in where we can go. If, however, we are still relatively fit, then we may well be able to choose somewhere that will offer us some activities but, as we get older, will also provide the care that we need.

It may be that, if we leave it too late, we have to go into a care or nursing home (see our Guide to Caring for the Elderly). If this is the case, we may well have denied ourselves the opportunity to enjoy a retirement village where we could have had a 'half-way house' for a few years. We may even have been able to get the care we eventually need at the village, without having to go into a nursing home. So choosing to move before we are in need of full-time care could be a good option.

Product DetailsIf we are younger and fitter and have, perhaps, just entered retirement, then we may feel that we are too young to consider a retirement village. As the first page of the Guide says, many people fear that they will be institutionalised by a retirement village and will lose their independence. This may well be true and if we really feel that we are not ready to consider a retirement village then that's fine. You might like to have a look at the book on the right, 'Making the Case for Retirement Villages'. Just click on it to see it at Amazon.

On the other hand, if we do think that a retirement village is a good option at some stage in our life, there is a lot to be said for moving sooner rather than later. Moving whilst we are fit is easier and less traumatic, as it says earlier on this page, and it will give us longer in which to make new friends, build networks and become established.

Guide to Retirement Villages links

For those who feel that they still want their freedom and autonomy, there are villages that offer just this. We don't have to join in all the communal activities if we don't wish to; indeed, the nice thing about many retirement villages is that there is a variety of activities available if we want to take part. If we don't, we can do our own thing. Retirement villages vary in what they offer (see the How to Choose page of the Guide) and so if we want to be able to do our own thing to a large degree, this is one of the things that we might look for.

There other things to consider, of course, before we make the decision to move to a village. Amongst these are:

  • What sort of overall pattern of life do we want in retirement?
  • Do we want lots of family and friends to visit on a regular basis? If so, can we find somewhere big enough in a village?
  • Do we want to travel a lot? If so, can we find somewhere with good travel links?

If we do want lots of people to visit; if we do want to travel a lot; and if our overall lifestyle is likely to be one in which we want to be 'free spirits' then maybe a retirement village isn't for us - or at least not until we are somewhat older. On the other hand, if those things aren't the case, then we may decide to move sooner rather than later.

Now read the rest of the Guide, by clicking on the links in the box, to find out more about Retirement Villages.

This Guide is written by Retirement Specialist Dave Sinclair supported by members of the LaterLife team. As well as writing on retirement matters Dave is Training Director at LaterLife and responsible for the content and continuous improvement of LaterLife's Retirement Courses.
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