Waco is a great town that offers the conveniences and support of a big city with a small town feel and attitude.  It supports both businesses and residents in so many ways, and I’m proud to be a returning part of this community we all love.  I’ve had the privilege of spending time in Waco early in my life.  My mom and dad met at Baylor, and we lived here for several years before moving just up the road.  I am excited to be back in Waco, and am now working in the senior care industry.  My father has recently made the move to an independent living community, and both through personal experience as well as tenure in the industry I’ve spoken with and worked with seniors.  I’ve talked to literally hundreds of older people many of whom are thinking about selling their home and moving to a retirement community, as well as those who have already made the decision and the move. The most common objection I hear is “I’m not ready yet.” The most common regret: “I should have done this sooner.”

The gap between these two statements can be many years.  These are years that could be spent enjoying:

  • Freedom From Home Maintenance
  • New Friendships and Events
  • Financial Predictability

All these benefits and more are offered by moving when you are healthy and ready to take advantage of the opportunities you’ll find in an independent living community.

When doing research on the various retirement living options one of the most important but often overlooked aspects is related to timing – specifically how certain factors may affect a move. These factors include:

Health – It is very important to have a plan in place and consider moving before a triggering medical event. Waiting until after a health issue occurs not only means a loss of control and increased stress during a medical crisis, it also means missing the opportunity to experience all the benefits available in a well-planned retirement setting.

Housing Market – It is important to keep an eye on the housing market to maximize the return on investment when selling a home. This has become particularly critical after the housing market decline that occurred in 2008 and 2009. Not only were prospective residents delayed by the challenge of selling their homes, some also experienced a sharp decline in their financial ability to qualify for the option of their choice due to declining home values.

The Economy – Keep a careful eye on the impact the economy is having on your monthly costs and your investments. A decline in the value of your investments can also result in not being financially qualified for many of the options you previously considered.

The “I’m not ready yet” statement typically comes from the heart. But having the retirement you want often comes down to logical decisions – and having the energy to tackle some of those unavoidable issues like downsizing your house. By factoring in the economy, your health and the housing market, you will see the gap between “not ready yet” and “I should have done this sooner” becoming a clearer choice.

The critical first step is to start researching the available senior living options and make a plan. There are many options to support aging well in various settings. Secondly is go visit the options on your short-list. The key is not waiting too long!

More About The Author

Zach Fry has family roots in Waco, and is excited to be back working in the town he loves.  He is the Sales Director at Emerald Cottages Independent Living Community in Waco. For more information about Emerald Cottages, visit www.emeraldcottages.com .