RetComLife#22- How Many Will Need To Join Retirement Communities?

A recent study from the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College found that 38 percent of 65-year-olds will develop moderate needs, almost one-quarter will have severe needs, 22 percent will have minimal needs and 17 percent will have no care needs.

I don’t know the new math, but that says that about two-thirds of us Baby Boomers will soon require care that most families just can’t provide anymore. That means that 50 million of us will likely end up in some long-term facility. Thirty million of us have already retired, and I am one and already in a retirement community.

This is an important part of your life that needs some serious planning. It would be foolish to just assume you will be part of those 30 some percent who might not need an extra care until at least the very end. Unfortunately, because of the lack of planning many will end their lives in a county nursing home, which is under funded and struggling to sustain their mainly Medicaid populations. What a horrible way to die!

My wife and I had casually talked about possibly moving to a retirement community, but she never really came close to serious thinking about it. I knew my body couldn’t take much more of what it took to maintain a two and a half acre 100-year-old homestead. But, she adamantly wanted to stay there and years before I promised her that the homestead would be the last house she lived in. By the same respect we had talked about making funeral arrangements, but that also never happened. That would end up, among many other things, being done during a very stressful period after her death.

I suspect most people are like me and procrastinate on things like this. It was only because I had to quickly find a place for my wife to finish off her hospice care, that I even ended up in my present retirement community home. When my wife had her 4th and most serious heart attack, she ended two weeks in the hospital for the first visit, and then three weeks in one of our county facilities. There was simply no place else available at the time. She hated it and made me promise that she would not die there. It was only through the grace of God that I managed to keep that promise. After she died, I decided it was best for me to stay here, at least for now, and probably for the duration.

All of these things kept piling up to the point where I didn’t know if I would survive them without a complete breakdown. Don’t make the same mistake I did. Plan all this out ahead of time. You will be glad you did.

6 thoughts on “RetComLife#22- How Many Will Need To Join Retirement Communities?

  1. My wife and I started the New Year by making a 6 year plan. Age and health-wise we are guessing that is how long before we move into a continuing care community.

    So beginning now we are methodically going through the process of downsizing our possessions, throwing or giving away stuff that will not make such a move. It is not easy, but necessary.

    Sometime this year we will investigate more throughly the communities we think best fit our need. Well before our six year goal we will be put on a waiting list to make the down payment and formally commit.

    Sometimes it is hard to accept we are at this stage of our lives but reality has a nasty habit of making itself known.


    1. Thanks for the thoughts, Bob. I am happy to see that you won’t go through all the pain that I did because we were just unprepared. You never know when that time will come. It sneaks up on way too many of us.


  2. I’ve begun investigating, but I’m afraid I’ll have trouble finding the right place. I’m liberal in a deep red area of the country, vegan in what must be the barbecue capital.


    1. That sounds like Texas to me 😎. I, too, live in a very red part of the country, but found that college towns are almost always more liberal than others. That’s where Iive now. Even though it is only 30 miles from where I once lived the demographics is almost reversed. My old county voted for Trump by 80%, my new county it was 20%.


  3. Several years ago we put our name on the list of a progressive care community. A nice place my sister-in-law enjoyed for several years even as her health deteriorated (she is now in full time memory care.) At the time they had a several year waiting list. Our current plans are 5 years out assuming no health changes.

    We already had a recent health scare when my wife fell and broke her leg — 911, ambulance, surgery, and three weeks in convalescent care. She is now doing well but it was a reminder life can change in an instant.

    Last summer we had to dispose of my sister-in-laws belongings. Quite a chore. Sadly, nobody wanted much of anything, so we realized it is time for us to get serious about downsizing. Like you, it is becoming more challenging to take care of our little 1/4 acre ” homestead.”

    As Bob noted, this is reality. It is encouraging to hear that you are enjoying this new stage in life. Thanks for sharing your experiences, and Best Wishes in 2022!


    1. Thanks for the thoughts, Daryl. It sounds like you are ahead of the game. As Bob mentioned, one of the stressful parts was deciding what to take to my retirement home. Moving from @500SF to 800SF, most everything had to go. Doing that before the fact would be much easier than after. You did it for your sister-in-law, can you imagine doing it for your personal belongings. I was fortunate enough to be able to leave much of the excess to the young man who bought my house.


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