BY HARBOR CLUB MEMBERS CARL KOENIG AND CONNIE SANDERS
Moving to a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) is a unique decision for everyone. We’d like to share our reasons for making the decision. To help you understand, you’ll need to know a little about us. Here are our reasons:
Being good planners and staying ahead of the game. We planned to retire when we were 65 but were able to reach our financial goals and retired 10 years early. We have been very diligent in searching for the best CCRC for us; the search took over two years. We visited 15 communities and put our names on three waiting lists. As you have done, we concluded that Plymouth Harbor best fits our plan. Picking the right CCRC for us is one part of the equation; another part is deciding at what age to move. We learned that the average admission age is about 81, but the range varies greatly. For us, we set a goal of moving in at age 74 — this should give us 10 years of Independent (Resort) Living.
Being on a waiting list is not enough. In our research, we learned that many new communities are being developed. Some will be successful, others will fail. Since it is virtually impossible to tell which will be successful, we decided to select only non-profit CCRCs with strong financials and over 25 years of service. Unfortunately, these are in high demand as demonstrated by the increasing length of their waiting lists. If you want to get the community of your choice, you need to act.
Our concern about Dementia data. During our research we learned that when a person reaches the age of 85 the probability of having some form of dementia is 50%. Since there are two of us, that means that by age 85 the probability of one of us having dementia is 100%. Several years prior to 85, we want to be in a facility enjoying Independent Living so that when the time comes we’ll be better able to get the services we will most likely need.
House maintenance is getting annoying. While we have the resources to hire any needed home services, we are staring to notice that maintaining our home is getting annoying. We find that there are several housekeeping duties that we simply do not want to do. For example, we know logically that anything involving a ladder should be out of the question. But we still find ourselves on ladders, changing light bulbs and trimming the taller vegetation on our lanai. We will enjoy living in a CCRC, where we won’t care how many people it takes to change a light bulb because we won’t have to do it.
It’s not “the home,” it’s resort living. During 20 years of retirement, we have been fortunate to be able do all the “normal” retirement activities (such as traveling, playing with grandbabies, golfing, gardening, etc.). Once we’d done all of those things, we found ourselves asking “what’s next?” Part of our CCRC requirements was to find a community with vibrant and compatible Independent Living amenities and a location with services that are more like a resort than “the home.” At Plymouth Harbor we look forward to making new friends, doing some traveling, and coming home to our resort condo.
Let the kids live their lives. This reason needs to be listed, but we each justify it in our own way.
Listen to those who know. We visit Plymouth Harbor on a regular basis, making a point of talking with residents. We’ve asked the obvious questions, and the answers vary. But one question elicits the same answer. When asked: “Would you do it again?” the answer is: “Yes, but I wish I’d done it sooner.” That response has been repeated so many times we include it as our final reason for pulling the trigger.
Now you know our reasoning for moving. We have put a down payment on one of the soon to be built units, and plan to rent an apartment until our unit of choice becomes available. If you’re on the waiting list, pick an entry age that works for you and make it happen! “Do it sooner.”