Should I move now or later?

In case you missed it the first time, here are some thoughts on to best time to move into a CCRC:
One of the things that marketing agents at senior housing communities hear all the time is that a potential resident “isn’t interested in moving right now.”  The argument usually goes something like this: I’m too young to move into senior housing right now, but one day I might be older and need to move.  When that day comes, I’ll make the move.

That’s a fine sentiment, and it’s understandable that seniors would want to stay in their homes as long as possible.  However, this strategy can backfire.  Here are some reasons you should consider moving when you’re younger rather than waiting until you need to:

  • You might not pass their medical test if you wait.  For most continuing care retirement communities (CCRC’s), especially those that offer LifeCare, there is a medical test that you must pass in order to qualify for independent living.  The longer that you wait to move into the community, the more likely it is that you develop health problems that disqualify you for independent living.
  • You want to make friends early.  It’s tough enough moving into a new community, but moving in after illness is even worse.  The earlier you move in, the more chances you have to be social and join group activities.  After all, what’s the point of moving into senior housing if you’re not going to enjoy the social life?
  • You don’t want to wait until a crisis strikes.  Do you have a lot of stuff at your house that you don’t feel like going through right now?  Will it get any easier to go through it if you’ve broken a hip?  Nope.  When a health event occurs, it puts the burden of the move on other people.  Since you’ll be recovering, you won’t have as much control over how items are handled and your house is sold.  The earlier you move, the more opportunity you have to get things set up exactly like you’d like.

Ultimately, if you want to stay in your house, you should stay in your house.  However, there are huge advantages to moving into a retirement community before illness strikes.  If it’s something that you’re interested in, consider making the plunge sooner rather than later.