The idea of retirement sounds blissful to many – all the time in the world to do (or not do) what you want without the responsibility of work or kids. As more and more Baby Boomers retire, they’re retiring with a smile … because they know that the next chapter is going to be a good one.
“Retirement means different things these days than it did in the past,” says Lynda Marino, Marketing Director at Canterbury Woods. “While it used to mean stepping back from the workforce, taking it easy and sort of fading into the background, retirees these days are taking the opportunity to reinvent themselves and even launch new careers.”
What’s caused the shift in retirement mentality? Part of the reason may be that today’s retiree is in a much different place than they were in the past. These days, retirees can live to be in their late 80s, 90s or even into their next century. If you retire at the traditional age of 65, you could still have decades of life ahead of you. That’s a long time to go without having a plan or a purpose, says Lynda.
“The Baby Boomers reinvented what it meant to be a teenager, young adult and adult all throughout their lives, so it’s really no surprise that they’re changing what retirement lifestyle looks like,” she says. “We’re finding that today’s retirees are really taking advantage of this new ‘me time’ to live their best lives – and are planning appropriately so they can retire with a smile on their face.”
Let’s break down some of the reasons why so many Boomers are retiring with a smile.
- They’re staying healthy.
From yoga and pilates to bike riding, hiking and contact sports, today’s seniors are staying active – and therefore, healthier – than their compatriots of yesteryear. Why? For a number of reasons. Some want to stay healthy to help offset disease and other costly health-related issues. Some may be jumping back into the dating scene and want to look their best. And some may simply enjoy being active. The truth is that when you’re active and healthy, you feel good – which makes retirees more likely to have a happy retirement. Knowing that you may have a good 20 to 30 years to live after retiring, says Lynda, makes more Boomers motivated to get a good jump-start on those years.
It doesn’t hurt that being retired allows seniors time to dedicate themselves to healthy eating and staying active. Meal prepping is a lot easier when you’re not juggling work responsibilities, shuttling kids around and taking care of all the little things that add up throughout the week.
- They’re finding their purpose.
Retirees are finding that having a completely free schedule is nice for a while – but then they’re ready for new adventures. Retirement is finally giving Boomers a chance to chase their dreams, do the things they’ve been putting off for years and finally taking time for them. Best of all, they’re free to try whatever they like, and if it doesn’t work? Well, it’s on to the next thing on your bucket list. So whether that’s learning a new language, taking up woodworking or teaching at the local community college, it’s a new purpose – and a new outlook – for today’s seniors.
- They’re giving back.
In a similar vein to finding their purpose, many retirees are taking their retirement years to give back to family and the community in both time and money. According to a Merrill Lynch and Age Wave survey, seven out of 10 retirees say that giving back increases their happiness in retirement. They report heightened self-esteem, better health and overall well-being.
- They’re staying social.
Boomers, more so than previous generations, understand that leaving the workforce doesn’t mean leaving being social behind. They’re perhaps one of the first generations to truly define who they are in ways that aren’t constricted solely to their careers or work life. Which is good – because not being social can be detrimental to your health. On the other hand, developing new relationships and nurturing the friendships you already have help seniors’ minds stay sharp, helps them be more physically active and healthy and staves off depression. Instead of retirement making seniors less socially active, they’re actually more social than ever – again, due to the fact that they finally have the time to do the things they want.
- They’re moving to retirement communities.
This may seem like a strange reason why Boomers are retiring with a smile. After all, the old image of a retirement community is synonymous with “nursing home” – something that older generations have desperately tried to avoid. Boomers, however, are enjoying a new wave of senior living options that have been designed to meet the needs, expectations and interests of their “rebellious” generation.
These days, many retirees are opting to move into retirement or age-restricted communities because it offers a life of convenience and more social opportunities. Downsizing from a large family home into a smaller space where they can age safely and comfortably is a huge draw for many seniors. Plus, senior living communities are very often all-inclusive in terms of services, so seniors can say goodbye to things like housekeeping and laundry.
Don’t just take our word for it. A recent study from ProMatura states that seniors living in retirement communities report a greater sense of happiness than those who stayed in their current housing situation. Besides a greater sense of happiness, the study found that seniors had a higher quality of life, better health and were more active than nonresidents.
“Today’s retirement communities are really designed to help Boomers live their best lives,” says Lynda. “Care options are designed to help seniors age in place gracefully while they remain in a place they’ve come to know as home. They’re living among their peers with access to a variety of social activities and events. It truly is a new chapter of their lives, and Boomers are embracing it with open arms.”
For more information about how to retire with a smile, please contact us at (716) 427-6928.
Find Your Fulfillment
Canterbury Woods Williamsville is a Life Care Community like you’ve never seen. Canterbury Woods Williamsville is not only close the perfect location for rest and relaxation, thanks to 62 tranquil acres, but there’s also easy access to Buffalo’s urban location. Offering the highest quality lifestyle and security, you’ll be part of a welcoming community consisting of both friends and neighbors while experiencing gracious living, first-class health care and the freedom to create the lifestyle you desire.
Continuum of Care
As a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC), Canterbury Woods Communities provide a comfortable environment and first-rate services to support every level of need. Assisted living apartments allow Williamsville residents to benefit from additional support while maintaining their independent lifestyle. If skilled nursing, rehabilitation or memory care is ever needed, residents can experience the support they require. They can also enjoy all this and more at our sister community in Buffalo.
Contact us today to discover more about Canterbury Woods Williamsville! (716) 427-6928