Living into my 90s is a no-brainer. I figure I’ll go well into my 100s, given the advances of science and medicine.
And I want to live that long with vitality and purpose.
It seems to me that if I take care of myself now, I’ll cruise into old age in style. I’m looking forward to it!
My great grandmother lived independently in her home until she died at 90.
My grandparents lived independently in their home until the end.
Grammy chose to move into a retirement community when she was 82. She had lived on her own for 40 years and was glad to have someone help carry the load. Her decision was a game changer for me, and my introduction to retirement homes.
My folks moved into a different retirement community. I was given a better introduction to retirement communities from their experience: dining room food service, the social events, the sense of community, and the exercise classes.
My husband, Randy, and I don’t have kids so have started considering our options since there’s nobody to help us out, as there were for my grandparents and parents. We both plan to live a long time and with good health — the ultimate in longevity. So far, our options are varied. We can stay in our house, as my grandparents did, and rely on others to handle what we slowly won’t be able to do easily. Or, a retirement community could be an option, though it would mean moving from the area.
In my research, I became enamored of a regenerative community idea, where people of all ages and walks of life and income brackets could live together and support each other. I felt that option would keep us quite engaged in life and in a close community. I know exactly where I’d like to create one, but have decided that the red tape of bureaucracy to get it created is more than I’m up for. We’d have independence, nature, social engagement, and variety in our lives — elements of longevity.
Or, there’s another interesting option that’s slowly gaining steam and popularity, maybe even faster than a regenerative community: Residential Cruising. Years ago, Randy shared with me the story of a woman who moved onto a cruise ship after being widowed and continued to travel the world, as her husband had introduced her to. All of her needs were met, as in a retirement community. Sweet story. [And retold here.]
The Three Options
Retirement communities are designed specifically for older adults. They offer a variety of amenities and services — meals, social activities, transportation “off campus,” personal care, and even exercise classes — to make life easier and more enjoyable for the residents. There’s a sense of independent lifestyle, but in the framework of the system designed to keep you comfortable and safe.
Regenerative communities are designed to promote community, health, and well-being for all ages. No age segregation in this option. They focus on sustainability of the land and environment, social connection, and personal growth. Can you imagine gardening, playing in a playground, and interacting with others without driving anywhere? Independent living in a close-knit community sounds like a great way to stay active. This is a truly independent lifestyle, but without all our needs being met by others. We’d still have to tend to our needs, but neighbors would be around to help as we needed it and they were able.
Residential Cruising is a whole different animal than the other options. This option varies on ages included, some being for any age while others are for adults. Our passion for travel could be met “from the comfort of home,” and all of our needs can also be tended to by the crew. An active life could easily be maintained as we meet new people and experience new cultures. This seems like we would be able to maintain a sense of an independent lifestyle but, again, as with a retirement community, in the framework of the system designed to keep us comfortable and safe — and seeing the world.
We’ve calculated that depending on the company we sign up with, we can live for about the same cost with Residential Cruising as we live now in our house.
So, why would we leave our bit of paradise? To simplify our lives. Reduce stress with an easier pace. To travel without the hassles travel can have. To let others worry about home repair, utility bills, and (in our case) the growing specter of wildfires.
You may wonder why we don’t simplify where we are. Because our routines are so deeply entrenched that it’s going to take a radical change of scenery to modify our lifestyle and let us get more chill. Our health depends on that. Our longevity depends on more social living, more balance of work and personal life, and more physical activity.
The concept of Residential Cruising living has won us over. Now to find the right ship for our needs so we can cruise into old age in style.
Last Updated 20 August 2023
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Kit is the co-founder of Residential Cruising, and is best known as a coach at Live in Focused Energy. She and her husband, Randy, are actively working toward moving to a full-time Residential Cruising ship, where they intend to be “Digital Nomads” — continuing their work while aboard the ship.