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Two hours that will change your life

The prudent approach to retirement research

Created date

June 25th, 2013

If you re nearing retirement age, or even if you ve already retired, you should be researching retirement living options. It s the prudent thing to do, says Ameriprise Certified Financial Advisor Samantha Long. You may discover you can enjoy a healthier, happier, more financially stable retirement if you make some changes, but you have to do your research first.

Discovering your wants and needs

Molly Thorne-Dhieux, retirement expert and sales counselor atWind Crest, the Erickson Living community in Highlands Ranch, Colo., meets with folks in any stage of retirement to help them discover their needs and options in the area. She not only answers questions about the lifestyle at Wind Crest, but she s also knowledgeable about the area s other retirement living options. A typical first appointment with Molly lasts two hours. We discuss what you re looking for, what your current living situation and timeframe is, and what specifically to focus on, Thorne says. Most importantly, We listen, she says. People usually come in with lots of questions and concerns, or they aren t really sure what to ask and aren t familiar with what a retirement community is all about. We find out exactly what you want and what your needs are. Like Long, Thorne-Dhieux encourages everyone to do their retirement research and helps get her clients started. I m well-educated on the retirement market in the area. If someone has questions about another retirement community, I can help, Thorne-Dhieux says. I also encourage people to visit other communities if they haven t done so already. We understand this is a process and want you to feel confident in your decision.

Retirement priorities

During your research, ask yourself questions to help you discover your retirement priorities. For example, Most people who move to Wind Crest are looking for camaraderie, less home maintenance, and a health care safety net, Thorne-Dhieux says. Wind Crest has more than 150 clubs and activities for those looking for camaraderie, 24/7 home maintenance for those looking to lighten their load, and an on-site medical center for those looking for high-quality, convenient health care. And with this fall s opening of the new continuing care neighborhood, more medical services will be available on campus. Other people may be looking for more predictable expenses in retirement, Thorne-Dhieux says. Long agrees. In retirement, a monthly budget should be strictly followed and reviewed at least quarterly, she says. Wind Crest s monthly service package includes use of all community amenities, apartment home maintenance, property taxes, local transportation, one meal a day in one of Wind Crest s restaurants, and all utilities except telephone. Instead of writing ten checks a month for various expenses, you have only one check or automatic deduction for almost everything, Thorne-Dhieux says. People love that convenience and predictability, and the time it saves them to do the things they enjoy.

Don t get left in the dark

If you decide to make a lifestyle change in retirement, Thorne-Dhieux recommends setting out a clear plan for yourself. She provides a step-by-step worksheet for people who have decided to move to Wind Crest and joined the priority list, which saves their place in line for the apartment home of their choice. Because the community is nearly sold out, joining the priority list is the only way to secure a future home at Wind Crest. We have a team here to work with you every step of the way from downsizing to choosing a real estate agent to moving, Thorne-Dhieux says. To start your retirement research with Molly Thorne-Dhieux, schedule an appointment with her by calling 1-800-710-1085.