Older adults who no longer want or are able to live independently at first glance appear to have few choices other than to move into a long-term assisted living facility. But recent news reports have highlighted seniors who have made some unorthodox choices in how they plan to spend their golden years.
From the popular story of a working-class 64-year-old man who opted to live in a Holiday Inn rather than pay more than double to move into a retirement community, to seniors who prefer spending their days traveling from one cruise ship to the next, retirement planning isn’t a one-size-fits-all endeavor.
Long-term care not only comes with a hefty price-tag, many facilities have long waiting lists and depending on your needs, may have hidden costs which can significantly bump up your monthly bill. While hotel living may not be an option for older adults who need help with bathing, meals or medication management, seniors who are mobile and relatively healthy may find a long-term stay at a modest hotel fits their needs. By choosing centrally-located lodging, older adults can take advantage of public transportation, restaurants, shopping, libraries and community centers nearby. And visiting family may enjoy sitting by the pool with a diverse group of guests rather than joining their loved-one for a meal in an all-seniors complex.
The cruise ship industry is planning for more seniors who want to live full-time or at least spend their winters traveling in comfort with plenty to entertain them on board a luxury liner. New ships are being built as we speak complete with apartment-like residences which can be leased for longer stays by retirement-age singles and couples with a penchant for travel and meeting new people.
And if being close to family and helping with the grandkids is more your speed, grandma pods and tiny homes may be more to your liking. For older adults in good health, there are endless alternative lifestyles for senior living. In an era of accessible travel, Air BnB’s and co-housing opportunities, older adults have so many more options to consider than either aging in place or moving into assisted living and retirement communities. What does your dream retirement look like?