Why it makes sense to ‘rightsize’ in retirement
First of all, it’s important to make the distinction between ‘downsizing’ and ‘rightsizing’. Downsizing is the process of moving to a smaller residence, and therefore, getting rid of furniture and other household items you don’t need and that won’t fit into the new space. Meanwhile, the definition of rightsizing is broader than that – and has more positive connotations for those in retirement too. Kathy Gottberg, author of ‘Rightsizing: A Smart Living Guide to Reinventing Retirement,’ defines it like this, “Simply put, rightsizing is the conscious choice to create a life and a lifestyle that more sustainably aligns with your unique self in the best possible way at every stage.” In other words, rightsizing your life means calling to mind what’s important, then aligning the way you live with those values, goals and needs which ultimately helps to create a more fulfilling life. For many retirees, this could mean choosing the simplicity, convenience and many opportunities that moving into a retirement community can provide. Award-winning and internationally renowned retirement community operator, LifeCare Residences, pride themselves on providing retirees with vibrant places to live offering a full-spectrum of five-star amenities and services that not only make day-today living smoother, but they also help to free up time and are run more like high-end hotels than anything else.
There are many reasons for considering ‘rightsizing’ during retirement. Owning and maintaining a home is a big task for anyone, so it’s no surprise that many retirees often find the maintenance involved more taxing as they age. Garden maintenance, personal security and other tasks can become a concern as well as a major chore and end up holding someone back from spending their retirement years exactly how they’d like to. The following support services come as standard across all LifeCare Residences communities: housekeeping, laundry, room service, maintenance support, domiciliary care allowing retirees to relish a more active old age with fewer chores. Moreover, a dedicated 24-hour concierge service can also take the hassle out of organising daily tasks by helping with dry-cleaning, post, tickets to events, taxis, and travel. These on-site amenities are not something many people usually have on their doorstep but are enjoyed to the full by many residents at LifeCare Residences’ communities. A ‘rightsizing’ resident at Battersea Place – the first luxury retirement community in London – sums his decision to rightsize simply by saying, “Google Battersea Place to see why I moved in!” Rightsizing retirees can be assured that the team at LifeCare Residences is dedicated to putting the comfort of their residents first by providing a wealth of five-star amenities that help to ensure that well-earned retirement years are lived to the full and to embrace the freedom of having daily chores handled by caring support. A resident of award-winning retirement community, Battersea Place in London, Virginia Darbyshire, agrees, “I had lived in my last house for about 40 years, and quite simply, it had become too big … I knew I wanted a property that required less maintenance, which would enable me to invest in more time in my interests.” Her daughter Gaby adds, “The transition has been incredibly smooth and it’s reassuring to know that there is help and support on hand should Mum need it. When we first visited Battersea Place, we were impressed with the standard and facilities on offer and, in many ways, Mum now has a better quality of life than I do. It feels a little like a luxury hotel with its pool and restaurant and cinema.”
The sense of maintaining one’s independence is one of the key drivers for retirees to rightsize to a retirement community. It is reassuring for residents and family members alike to know that a caring team is at hand, 24-hours a day. All residences operated by LifeCare Residences have guest apartments available for visiting friends and family. Tricia Caffyn and her husband Neville made the move to Grove Place, in the beautiful Hampshire countryside and relish the sense of security that comes with such a supportive community and a sense of newfound independence. They still enjoy running their own lifestyle but with the added knowledge that they can choose between entertaining friends in their apartment for example – or popping out to enjoy a meal at the restaurant with other residents. Tricia comments, “We are still very much in charge of our own routine. Grove Place has enabled us to enter the next stage of our lives with the confidence that our lifestyle doesn’t have to be compromised.”
Socialising after retirement can prove a challenge for some, with social circles becoming smaller, and as a result some may find themselves spending more time alone or relying on family for company. Staying socially active is as important to health as staying physically active. Moreover, staying socially active and feeling part of a community empowers self-esteem and a sense of self-worth. At LifeCare Residences communities, residents benefit from the services of a lifestyle co-ordinator who organises local excursions, talks from visiting speakers on a variety of topics, on site activities and functions. Many new residents find their social circle expanding once again, as they have an opportunity to meet and make friends in the comfort of their own home with like-minded, vibrant people. With numerous opportunities to socialise, including during meals, leisure experiences and outings, many residents find a restored sense of purpose and joy in their social lives once they move in. Grove Place, operated by LifeCare Residences, and located in the rural Hampshire countryside is now home to retirees Elaine and Philip Gaussen who made their rightsizing move there to begin the next chapter in their lives and have never looked back. Elaine adds, “We hadn’t realized how strong the Grove Place community was before we arrived. It’s so lovely to have nice friends and neighbours to socialise with. Everyone is so kind, and we feel at home here.” Like all LifeCare Residences communities, Grove Place provides ample opportunity for residents to meet like-minded people and even get involved in a range of activities and clubs on offer – be it board games, craft, ukulele, cards, falconry, archery, bridge, or music.
Moving to a retirement community can also save living costs. Living in a large family home may have previously worked perfectly, but as you get older, the advantage of all that space soon becomes outweighed by the disadvantage of large bills and the sheer effort needed to clean and maintain it. Another attraction of rightsizing is to release capital from your home as well as keeping bills lower. It is estimated that the energy bills for a small house or flat will be just two thirds that of a medium house and less than half of the bills for a large house. Rightsizing will also help save on other expenses such as council tax and buildings and contents insurance.
Rightsizing to a retirement community can give retirees back their independence and a renewed sense of living life on their own terms. Freed from chores, less reliant on family or friends for assistance, and with more time and energy to enjoy friends and hobbies – many residents feel happier and healthier in their new lifestyle. Author Kathy Gottberg sums it up this way, “Best of all, rightsizing is about what brings your life meaning, what makes you smile, and allows you to sleep well and deeply every single night. If you don’t have that now, maybe it’s time to rightsize your life.”
If you would like to learn more about our offering and how we can enhance the ‘every day’ please call 0800 009 6950. For those who are unable to visit in person, we are also able to offer virtual tours of our communities at your convenience.
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