How to Live Your Best Life in Retirement
“In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.”
There’s a lot of debate surrounding who really spoke these famous words, but the meaning rings universally true. Are you living your best life today? Why not live your best life for as long as you possibly can?
In retirement, we have an opportunity to continue living life well — likely with more freedom and choice than ever before. How you do that is a highly personal matter that depends on a number of factors, including where you decide to live.
And when it comes to senior-living scenarios, there are at least two common (but understandable) misconceptions:
- Staying home is the only way for me to “stay young.” Many people believe aging in place at home — with plenty of access to activities outside the home, around people of all ages — will help them maintain a sense of independence for longer.
- Moving to a senior-living community is the start of my decline and may make me feel less independent. Some think that the act of transitioning to a retirement community is the beginning of the end.
Here’s the truth: We are all aging every day; where we do it is simply geography. There’s no fountain of youth or secret potion we can drink to prolong our lives.
Instead, let’s take a look at how each of your living options might affect your feelings of vitality — also known as the “life in your years” or the feeling that you’re truly living your best life.
How will you age?
There’s aging, and then there’s aging well. Whether you’re considering remaining in your home, moving to a rental retirement community followed by assisted living down the road, or choosing a Life Plan Community, it’s important to understand how to keep yourself healthy and thriving no matter your living situation.
Here are some of the factors that can make the difference between aging and aging well.
The importance of social connectivity...
Cultivating a community of vibrant people you can engage with — now and in the future, whether you choose to stay at home or make a move to a retirement community — is vital.
…and a robust lifestyle…
Research from AARP and the CDC shows that remaining active — in body and mind — is increasingly important as you age.2, 3
So embrace your sense of freedom to continue doing the activities you love, and push yourself to stay sharp and active — whether that’s biking or enjoying the outdoors, hanging on to your golf or tennis club membership, taking the trip you’ve always dreamed of, learning a new language, or enjoying cultural activities that make you happy.
…along with access to care
Few seniors want to think about their possible care needs down the road, but the fact is that adults over 65 have about a 70% chance of requiring long-term care services or support as they age.4
Care is a broad concept, with skilled nursing and memory support at one end and more temporary care services like post-surgery or post-accident rehab at the other. Having a plan in place that includes access to all of those care options may mean more freedom to enjoy life on your terms.
If it’s important to you to be in an environment that’s designed to help you thrive longer as you age, you may want to consider exploring Life Plan Communities a bit more.
The reality of today's senior living
It bears repeating: Today’s retirement communities are not your grandma’s senior living!
Modern-day senior-living communities feel a lot like resorts, with gorgeous hotel-like surroundings, restaurant-quality food, and down-to-the-minute lifestyle calendars that ensure you can pack your day with fitness, friends, and fun.
Plus, you have the freedom to come and go as you please — your car or ours! — stay connected to your loved ones, enjoy travel, and live life on your terms. (And in Life Plan Communities, you also have access to high-quality care if and when you need it.)
Bottom line: When you move into a retirement community, you’re not giving up your lifestyle; you’re getting an opportunity to enhance it.
Life at Vi: a culture of vitality
What could your life look like in a Life Plan Community? Well, every community is different — and we can’t speak to life anywhere else. But we can give you a window into the Vi lifestyle. Step inside!
Where everybody knows your name
Vi is a community filled with familiar faces. A quick walk to dinner or the pool is an opportunity to chat with neighbors who are out and about, plus friendly employees who are dedicated to making your everyday better.
From housekeeping and wait staff to upper management, we pride ourselves on knowing our residents’ names and getting to know everyone who lives at Vi.
Your day, your way
No matter your interests, you have the freedom to explore new hobbies and fall back on familiar pastimes, solo or with new friends. Make every day different, or find a rhythm and routine that feels like home. Below, check out one of the many possibilities for a day in the life at Vi.
8 a.m. Eat breakfast in your apartment or meet friends out for coffee
10 a.m. Meet with your personal trainer or check out a Pilates class
Noon: Pick up a sandwich or wrap downstairs on your way out, or grab lunch at a nearby bistro
2 p.m. Attend a university lecture or meet up with your hiking club
4:30 p.m. Enjoy a pre-show happy hour in the lounge and dinner with friends in one of the community’s restaurants
7 p.m. Depart for a symphony performance downtown or a play at your local theater
Residents writing their next chapters
Residents in Vi communities all over the United States have lived incredible lives filled with purpose: devoted families, illustrious careers, decorated military service, travel adventures, and more. And their pursuit of their best life didn’t stop when they move in.
It's your life — now and later
There’s no right way to plan the next step in your journey. There’s only your way and how you’ll make the most of this chapter of your life. Finding your way means asking yourself a lot of questions, answering them honestly, and considering how you’ll make the most of your life now and in the future.
We hope this series of articles has helped you find some clarity as you explore the many options ahead of you, but these are big decisions. You may still have a lot of questions! We’re here to help, whether you’re satisfying a curiosity, wondering about finances, or ready to schedule a tour.
1. Social networks, host resistance, and mortality: a nine-year follow-up study of Alameda County residents (American Journal of Epidemiology, February 1979)
2. 7 Myths About the Aging Brain (AARP, July 2017)
3. Adults Need More Physical Activity (Centers for Disease Control, March 23, 2019)
4. "How Much Care Will You Need?” (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Oct. 10, 2017)