We’ve all seen, heard, or perhaps even dreamed about the picture-perfect retirement: sunny skies, warm nights, brunch in the morning, cocktails in the evening. For retirement-aged adults after World War II, relocation to destination retirements was made possible by the additional savings that Medicare allowed on top of Social Security a few decades earlier. Add on the pensions from employer loyalty, and it’s easy to see why “the good life” picture of retirement was popular. Nowadays, aging adults may not have the means for the retirement life that existed in the ‘60s, but staying in your state doesn’t mean settling for second best. Here’s why:
Memories Keep You Sharp and Happy
A study from the University of Pennsylvania in 2013 reported that being in a place associated with a particular memory allows people to recall that memory more clearly. For example, think about how you might feel around your old neighborhood, or at an orchard that your family went to every year. This relationship between spatial and episodic memory means that being in a place with rich memory associations exercises your hippocampus, strengthening the brain’s ability to remember more for longer. While making new memories in a new place can be fun and exciting, there’s more to staying in your state for retirement than comfort and nostalgia. If you’re worried about memory loss as you age, familiar places can help you stay sharp.
Family, Friends, Networks, Support
While life can carry us and our families and friends anywhere, chances are that wherever you are, you have a network of loved ones, work relationships, acquaintances, and connections. The benefits of having established relationships with the people around us are pretty obvious, as staying social in retirement can aid memory, keep you active, and entertain, but there are other ways that keeping your network into retirement can make your life easier.
More and more retirees are choosing to continue working in some capacity for longer. While the idea of working past retirement may make you cringe, part-time work, consultancy, and even entrepreneurship can help give life focus and increase self-sufficiency for aging adults. And even after you’ve retired from your career, your network of friends, business contacts, and coworkers can help you find the right gig in a market where half of all available jobs are never posted.
Staying near family and friends also means having support, no matter what. Your network can help with little, everyday things, like getting a ride to the doctor’s office, or watering your plants when you take a vacation. It’s possible to make new connections after a move for retirement, but nurturing existing relationships is usually easier, more fun, and more relaxing.
Smaller Moves, Less Stress
We’ve explored before how choosing assisted living Michigan communities can enrich retirement life, and when the community is close to home, it’s so much easier. A short distance move is more affordable and less stressful than packing up and moving to a different state. Not only is moving easier, but staying in your state means no difficulty making arrangements for cars, personal IDs, insurance, and more. You may ask yourself, “Why relocate to assisted living near me when I can just stay in my home?” Aging in place is becoming a popular option for many retirees, and it may be right for you, but there are many considerations to take into account: check out our comparison here.
As another cold winter approaches, you may be dreaming of a warm-weather retirement, but there’s so much more to staying in Michigan than meets the eye. Like a cozy blanket and a hot drink on a snowy night, there’s comfort and joy in staying in your state for retirement.