As we grow older, our perspectives change. Sometimes, what we thought would be important in our thirties now seems trivial in our sixties. Maybe you once dreamed of retiring to a large summer home with acres of space for grandchildren to run and play. However, you realize now that the upkeep, enormous mortgage and the rest of reality may tarnish that particular dream, so you form a new one – a retirement dream that feels right.
Author and journalist Kathy Gottberg shares some valuable thoughts on retirement and what it means to live right. Many seniors reach the retirement and consider options for downsizing, selling their home and moving somewhere smaller, more manageable, or to a community that provides maintenance and amenities. Gottberg applauds this approach to a simplified retirement, yet she says, “Downsizing implies that you are sacrificing or giving up something better, for something worse. Rightsizing instead implies you are making a move that looks and feels ‘right.’”
At Whitney Center, we agree that “downsizing” doesn’t quite fit what our residents experience when they make the move from a large family home to Independent Living at our community. Life at a senior living community is anything but a downgrade. Instead, seniors trade in the parts of life they no longer need (extra rooms, hours spent doing chores, expensive repairs) for the rightsized retirement they desire.
Michael Rambarose, President and CEO of the Hamden, CT, Life Care community, says, “Rightsizing means molding your surroundings to fit your life, rather than molding your life to fit your surroundings. Moving to a community like Whitney Center allows seniors the freedom to live as fully as they wish, as our community works to serve their diverse needs and interests.”
If you’re wondering how you can rightsize your retirement, read on for helpful tips and reasons to retire with confidence!
A New State of Mind
To fully get the gist of what rightsizing means, most of us will have to change our perspective on success. Does retiring successfully mean accumulating the largest pot of gold to do with as we please? Or does it mean settling into a lifestyle that fits us perfectly – physically, financially, socially and otherwise? If you believe in a simplified lifestyle that provides all you need but doesn’t clutter you with what you don’t, rightsizing is definitely for you.
Here a few ways Gottberg suggests we prepare our mindsets for rightsizing:
- Live Below Your Means – A good piece of advice at any age, living below your means in retirement can eliminate future worries and concerns about having enough finances to get by. Try to consider this tip as less of a sacrifice and more of a measure of priority. It’s easy to spend lots of money on things we don’t need. Gottberg phrases this perfectly: “[Living below your means] is resisting the urge to spend money you don’t have, to buy things you probably don’t need, to impress people who you don’t even know. Worse yet, it is spending money to entertain yourself because you’ve forgotten what really matters and is most important to a happy life.”
- Separate Your Happiness from Your Stuff – This is a good time to remind everyone that “you can’t take it with you.” While there’s nothing wrong with having stuff, especially stuff we need, we can run into problems when we place so much value on our material possessions that they become our source of pride, joy and sense of worth. Learning to accept and appreciate a lifestyle that is literally decluttered and physically simplified offers us the chance to place our significance on things we can’t lose or break.
- Stop Keeping Up with the Jones’ – According to Gottberg, trying to impress others with your material lifestyle is a waste of time. Chances are, the people you may be trying to impress will never care as much as you think they should. Instead, we should be focusing our energy on creating a lifestyle that fits us – not one that fits society’s pressure. Your relationships will always be more valuable than your new car, and the people who truly matter won’t care about such trivial things. The time you spend on cultivating friendships and love will grow a much greater legacy than chasing after pride or self-image.
Embracing the Retirement that Fits You
Rightsizing will look different for everyone. That’s the beauty of simplifying your lifestyle. It’s the chance to eliminate what you don’t need to make room for the parts of life that will bring you joy and elevate your well-being. Whether that means selling your home or shaking off the misconceptions our society makes us believe about success, rightsizing your retirement will help you embrace a lifestyle that fits you well.
“At Whitney Center,” says Rambarose, “we provide the kind of retirement lifestyle that not only allows for the right size of physical surroundings, but embraces a perspective of healthy priorities. Our seniors place value on things that aren’t always tangible, such as their intellect, their education, their friendships, community service work, their talents and passions. Rightsizing to a place like Whitney Center has allowed them to design a retirement that makes room for the most important parts of their life.”
If you would like to know more about rightsizing and how to create a retirement lifestyle that fits you, contact Whitney Center today. We’d be happy to share ideas with you and help you rightsize your retirement with confidence.
Discover Excellence in Senior Living.
At Whitney Center, you’ll find a distinguished senior living community where residents do what they love. Located in Hamden, Connecticut, Whitney Center combines all the cultural, educational and historical charms of the Greater New Haven area with the intricate details of daily life for active seniors. Whitney Center is a Life Care community, offering not just an unparalleled independent living lifestyle, but a full continuum of care services as well, including assisted living, rehabilitation, skilled nursing care and memory care. Whitney Center even offers a home-based long-term care program, Thrive at Home, which connects seniors to the services they need to live well in their own home.
Choice. Freedom. Opportunity.
We believe that remaining engaged and striving for excellence builds a more meaningful life. That’s why residents experience a host of services and amenities, events and cultural opportunities and wellness programs designed to foster endless growth and personalized living. Backed by our first-rate hospitality and philosophy of continuous improvement, our residents are free to travel, learn, volunteer, set new goals and create the life they want to live.
Come Here to Thrive.
At Whitney Center, residents live in the midst of cultural arts and education and dignified connections to the greater community. Seniors thrive in pursuit of what brings them joy, with unlimited opportunities to create and contribute. And, with the confidence in quality care services available on site if health needs ever change, Whitney Center makes it possible for seniors to continue enjoying the freedom to embrace life at its fullest.