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Simplified living

Posted August 13, 2014 in Advice Column, Clive

The handyman who installs the new French doors, it turns out, can’t reconnect the light switch, and the cut circuit leaves half the house dark for the holiday weekend. And while scheduling the electrician, you notice the refrigerator is leaking — again — and after mopping up the mess, you discover the freezer has thawed, the milk spoiled and the strawberries turned blue. So there’ll be a new fridge, a date for an electrician, reading by candlelight, eating out and, eventually, an expensive trip to the grocer to restock.

That’s life. And most of us deal with it as it comes at us, doing what we must, getting by and making the sort of memories that will someday, maybe, be funny.

But when you’ve called enough handymen, electricians and plumbers, and hauled enough mowers to the shop, and shoveled enough snow, and sat roadside awaiting a tow truck one time too many — at some point, the idea of simple really begins to appeal.

You’re 65 or 72 or 85. You can certainly still take care of all these things as they come at you. But the idea of moving to a maintenance-provided, convenience-rich senior living community, where you can keep up with all the things you’d rather do while surrounded by a network of friends and facing all kinds of opportunities — that can begin to sound awfully attractive.

You get rid of the ordinary nuisances that make life “interesting,” and you get the time and freedom that make life simpler.

A senior living community is simplified living.

Seniors in senior living communities are often vitally involved with social circles, special projects and various civic activities. Because their lives are simpler, they can become even more involved. And that’s the point: Simplified living energizes residents in the pursuit of their goals.

Some believe that this simplicity comes at a high cost. Facts don’t bear that out. The real costs of owning and maintaining a home are often surprisingly similar to the costs of living in a retirement community. And when you choose a CCRC (continuing care retirement community) that offers Life Care (a cost management plan for long-term care), your enriched lifestyle can save you thousands of dollars, if you ever need care. So when you factor in the price tag on long-term care, this simplified living begins to look like quite the bargain.

Information provided by Cindi McNair, executive director, Deerfield Retirement Community, 13731 Hickman Road, Urbandale, 1.888.561.6010,

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