I got a flyer from a local retirement community. Should I go to the event?

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Photo courtesy of striatic on Flickr

If you’re over the age of 65, chances are that retirement communities in your hometown have purchased your name and address. So, you’re now probably getting a relatively regular mailing from their marketing department for a series of events aimed at getting you in the door so that they can market to you.

There are three main types of special events commonly offered at retirement communities:

  • Guest speaker. Most of the guest speakers at senior housing communities are so-called experts in their field. They speak on topics related to estate planning, senior housing, and healthy aging. While most guest speakers make their livings doing this sort of work, make sure that you check their credentials, read up on their background, and even Google them.
  • Marketing pitch. The marketing staff shows you a wowing presentation about their community or their new development and hopes that you’ll sign up.
  • Entertainment. The marketing office hires someone to come give a fun or entertaining talk to which it invites potential residents. The hope is that potential residents like the entertainment, refreshments, and the community itself.

If these events interest you, by all means, go!  Enjoy the crowd!  Check out the community and learn more about the amenities. But, here are two more tips:

  • Be careful how you fill out the information forms on the front table when you first arrive. If you’re not very interested in moving into the community, make it clear that you’re not interested. Marketing agents typically comb over these information forms with the rapt attention, hoping to find someone who will move in as soon as possible.
  • Remember the goal of guest speakers: get you to move in. They are being paid by the marketing department to deliver a speech, so they will definitely not tell you that moving in is a mistake. Keep that in mind as you listen to their message.