Making the Most Out of Your Retirement on a Budget


Bradford Square Retirement Community

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Posted on

Jul 18, 2023


Florida - Southwest

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Retirement is the perfect time to expand your horizons and explore your passions. Without the burden of work, you’re free to explore your own passions and hobbies like writing, painting, travel, or woodworking.

A well-planned budget can help your retirement dreams come true. Financial security in retirement gives you the freedom to do whatever you want, whenever you want to do it.

Some forward planning can help you save a few dollars, too. This will free up funds for exciting adventures in retirement like travel, opening your own workshop, or moving to a new state.


Retirement is a time for travel and exploration. You’ve worked hard and can reap the rewards of all that modern life has to offer. However, some destinations can be pricey. For example, a vacation in London will set you back an average of $370 per day — that’s before accounting for expenses like flights and international travel.

If you have a passion for travel but want to see the world on a budget, consider low-cost destinations like:

  • Lisbon, Portugal
  • Cartagena, Colombia
  • Prague, Czech Republic
  • San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • Granada, Spain

Vacationing in these destinations can cost under $1,000. Destinations like Lisbon and Granada have great travel links, too, meaning you can hop on a train and be in a new country within hours.

If you’re tech-savvy, you may want to pursue a new form of travel: virtual tourism. Virtual tourism in the metaverse is a great way to see the world from the comfort of your own home. You can even visit Pompeii of the past using VR goggles or go on personalized, immersive tours of the Vatican. You’ll need to buy or rent a headset first, but the outlay is minimal compared to flights, hotels, and currency conversion.

Moving Home

Retirement is an invitation to embrace a new, slower way of life. You don’t have to hustle at all hours of the day and you probably don’t need to take care of energetic young children. This may mean that your family home starts to feel a little too large for your current needs. There’s nothing wrong with downsizing your home and doing so can free up some capital to pursue your interests.

Make a clear moving budget before you decide to downsize your home. Start decluttering early and donate items you no longer want to local charities. Create a moving budget during this time and be sure to list services like movers, storage fees, and travel costs.

Assess the costs and challenges associated with a smaller space before you move in. It may cost less to run a smaller home, but what about unexpected costs like travel to see family and access to affordable healthcare providers? A smaller home should help you save for healthcare in retirement; it shouldn’t be a burden that derails your financial plan. Look for local community events, too, as you’ll want to meet new people and create a connection before you move.

Community Events

You may not have had time to connect with your community during your career. However, as a retiree, your contribution to the community can make a meaningful difference to those around you. Connecting with community events is a budget-friendly way to meet new people and rediscover your purpose, too.

If your community is lacking engaging events, consider starting a community garden. Community gardens are ideal for retirees as you can meet in a safe space while enjoying the health benefits of being outside. Grow plants that are suited to your climate and USDA plant hardiness zone. If you’re new to growing plants, lean on your neighbors and allow them to show you the ropes.

If you don’t have a keen green thumb, consider joining a book club in your area. Book clubs support your brain health and help you make new friends. You’ll encounter some new opinions while reading popular titles today. This will help you step out of your comfort zone and gain new knowledge about the world around you. 

Understand Your Income

Travel and moving are only possible if you understand your income. Before you book flights or start a community garden, you need to know how much retirement income you will earn later in life.

Most estimates suggest that you need to earn 80% of your pre-retirement income after your retirement. Most people receive retirement income from three sources:

  • Social Security retirement benefits
  • Defined-benefit pension plans
  • Retirement savings

These sources should give you a personal bottom line to work with. Work with a financial advisor to help close the retirement income gap and choose between 401(k) plans. Forward planning can help you live a fulfilling life even as you enter your later years.


Retirement can be surprisingly costly. However, with a clear financial plan, you can still see the world and pursue new hobbies. Consider cost-effective options like virtual tourism and community engagement events. Alternatively, you can start low-cost book clubs or downsize to free up some capital for use in later life.

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Myth-Busting: Active Senior Living Communities

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What Are Active Adult Communities and Which One Is Best for You?

If youre over 55 you may have considered a senior living community but have concerns that the traditional retirement community may not be a right fit for you. If youre still active and have a social life, engaging with friends and family, these communities may be less appealing. But there is an option that allows you to enjoy maintenance-free living with greater independence and a more active lifestyle: its called active adult communities.Active Adult Community BenefitsAs people become healthier and more independent in their later years, interest in active adult communities continue to grow. So, what is the draw?As noted, they offer a more independent living than other types of retirement communities. Residents dont need skilled nursing or help with daily self-care or meals. Active adult communities are usually more lifestyle oriented with a focus on socialization, wellness, and programs for active seniors. 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Some communities even offer the option of renting or buying a mobile home.Active Adult Community CostsThe average cost of a 55-plus community ranges from $1,500 to $4,000 per month. Of course the price depends on the specific community and its location. Typically, you can cage senior community costs by the cost of real estate in a given area. Other factors like the number of bedrooms or luxury amenities will affect the cost of an active adult community.Typically, your community will charge an HOA (homeowners association) fee in exchange for grounds keeping, landscaping, snow removal, and general maintenance. Be sure to ask about HOA or maintenance fees before you buy into a community. These fees vary widely, and you want to be sure there are no unwelcome surprises. Some good questions to ask:What are the additional fees?What do the fees cover?How much have fees increased in the past?How much are they expected to increase in the future?Before you sign for a property, also ask if there is a down payment for renting and what amenities are included with your property.Niche CommunitiesThe average cost of a 55-plus community ranges from $1,500 to $4,000 per month. Of course the price depends on the specific community and its location. Typically, you can cage senior community costs by the cost of real estate in a given area. Other factors like the number of bedrooms or luxury amenities will affect the cost of an active adult community.Typically, your community will charge an HOA (homeowners association) fee in exchange for grounds keeping, landscaping, snow removal, and general maintenance. Be sure to ask about HOA or maintenance fees before you buy into a community. These fees vary widely, and you want to be sure there are no unwelcome surprises. Some good questions to ask:What are the additional fees?What do the fees cover?How much have fees increased in the past?How much are they expected to increase in the future?Before you sign for a property, also ask if there is a down payment for renting and what amenities are included with your property.Niche CommunitiesA typical active adult residence varies from 650 to 2,200 square feet and sometimes more. Many are situated with easy access to trails and parks and are close to shopping centers. Some communities are even connected to retail businesses like coffee shops and cafes. For convenience, most active adult communities are located in suburban or urban areas with access to entertainment, museums, and restaurants.Youll find a variety of common areas are also typical. These encourage socialization as people interact in fitness centers, dog parks, pools, clubhouses, and outdoor kitchens. 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You can enjoy the benefits and amenities of an engaging community without the burden of maintaining a home and property.Just be sure to consider several options, tour facilities, and ask questions before making a decision.TYE Medical offers premium incontinence products in various sizes and absorbency levels. Shop our online store for free and discreet shipping on all orders. 

What to Do When a Loved One Refuses to Recognize Health Concerns

What to Do When a Loved One Refuses to Recognize Health ConcernsProviding care for a family member as they age or face health challenges is an act of kindness that can bring you closer together, but what if your loved one doesnt share your concerns about their health? Recognizing health concerns is the first step toward finding the right support, but denial can be a formidable obstacle. Community Senior Lifes senior living communities in Alabama are dedicated to creating a safe and empowering environment for residents. We tailor our services to meet each individuals unique lifestyle, preferences, and needs, and were sharing some valuable insights into what to do when your family member refuses to acknowledge health concerns.Recognizing Health ConcernsThe health and well-being of our family members are often at the forefront of our minds. However, when those we care about refuse to acknowledge health concerns, it can become a source of tension and constant worry.Understanding the root of this denial and developing a strategy to address it is essential not just for their health but also for maintaining a trusting relationship.There could be numerous reasons why someone might refuse to acknowledge health concerns. Fear of a potential diagnosis, the perceived stigma associated with illness, or simply the reluctance to face the reality of aging can prompt denial. There are also many emotional factors that can come into play in these situations as well, such as pride, fear of losing independence, or a desire not to cause worry among family members.Approaching the IssueWhen initiating this difficult conversation, its critical to approach your family member with empathy and actively listen to their perspective. Choose a time and place where you can communicate honestly, calmly, and without any distractions. Its essential to voice your concerns without casting judgment or assigning blame, as this can often deepen their resistance. Reassurance is key, and by telling your loved one that you want to help them rather than make them feel bad, you can create a sense of support. Here are some ways you can express these feelings: I want you to enjoy the best quality of life that you can; you deserve it! I understand that you want to remain independent. Can we talk more about how senior living can help you do that? You mean so much to me, and I would love to have the opportunity to help you. Seeking a Support SystemA united front can also be very effective when discussing the situation, and including other family members can help ensure everyone delivers the same message of concern and support. Sometimes, the authority of a professional can make all the difference when encouraging your loved one to visit a healthcare provider. It can help alleviate their apprehensions and provide them with the guidance they need to seek a proper assessment and get advice. If they remain resistant, including a therapist or counselors unbiased and professional opinion in these discussions could be beneficial.Aside from therapy or counseling, you can also turn to your family members close friends, neighbors, or even a community figure that your loved one trusts. This will strengthen the support system surrounding your loved one and help emphasize just how important they are to the people around them. Taking Care of YourselfWhile caring for others, dont forget to take care of yourself. Managing your emotions and stress is vital for your health, so contact your close friends, discover support groups, or even consult professional support for your emotional well-being. Additionally, be sure to get quality sleep and plenty of exercise to maintain your physical health.Facing a family member who denies their health issues is a daunting task, but its a challenge that requires persistence, patience, and, most importantly, love. Your support and understanding can make all the difference in helping them recognize the need for care.Remember, youre not alone in this journey, and with the right approach, your family member can get the help they need to live a healthier and fuller life.Community Senior Life understands that recognizing health concerns is only the starting point, and were here to remind you that with time, your efforts can lead to better health and quality of life for those you cherish most. Our senior living communities in Alabama aim to provide the comfort and peace of mind that families need when their loved one is facing difficult times.  Contact our senior living team at 251-981-0200 in Alabama today to learn more!

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Bradford Square Retirement Community

Independent Living 3255 Vanderbilt Beach Rd., Naples, Florida, 34109

Bradford Square Retirement Community, located in Naples, Florida, is the perfect choice for seniors seeking worry-free living in a luxurious setting. As Naples's independent living leader for seniors, Bradford Square offers all-inclusive, 55-plus senior living with 24/7 service, resort-style dining, and beautiful accommodations. Our community is known for its breathtaking sunsets, choice shopping, beautiful beaches, and world-class golf, making it an ideal setting for our residents.At Bradford Square, we pride ourselves on providing a vibrant and engaging lifestyle for our residents. From our spacious floor plans to our exceptional amenities, every aspect of our community is designed to enhance the lives of those who call Bradford Square home. Our residents enjoy a wide range of activities and amenities, including games, travel, exercise, movies, and more. Our on-site dining options offer a variety of delicious meals, including a full lunch and dinner menu with a choice of two entrees, two soups, and a full salad bar.Interested in learning more about our luxury retirement community? Schedule a personal tour today to see for yourself why Bradford Square is the premier choice for independent senior living in Naples.