“Hey Charlie, how’s retirement treating you?”

“OK, I guess.”

“Well, are you enjoying yourself now that you’re not stuck in the office every day?”

“I suppose.”

“You don’t sound real convinced there, Buddy.”

“It’s just not quite what I expected.I mean, sure, it’s nice to meet the fellas for coffee in the mornings and I do get to play golf now and then.  But I spend most days watching the grandkids, playing taxi driver, and looking after Marlene.”

“I see.”

“Don’t get me wrong.  I love my grandkids and driving around town is usually less stressful than all those projects and meetings.  I guess I just thought we would have more time to do things before we couldn’t do things, you know?”

“Marlene’s getting worse?”

“Good days and bad.  I try to make the most of the good ones.  I waited 40 years to retire, and now I’m wondering when I get to retire from retirement.”

What About You?

Are you busier now that you’ve retired from your job?  Are you doing what you want these days?  Would you like to retire again?  Only this time, do it with the independence, comfort, and security you’ve always dreamed about?  You’re not alone.

Millions of Americans are experiencing what we call the Second Retirement.  It’s more than a change of career and time around the house.  This retirement often involves a complete change of lifestyle and moving out of the house.  The Second Retirement is not about taking care of your things or even yourself.  It’s about taking care of the people you love most.

Think about all the time you spent planning (or not planning) for your first retirement.  Planning is key to achieving the outcome you desire and Second Retirement is no exception.  From lifestyle choices to medical concerns to financial security, there are many issues to consider in the new light of your present situation.

For the next several weeks, we will publish a series of articles designed to help you prepare for your Second Retirement.  And if you haven’t retired for the first time yet, all the better.  Chances are, you can have the freedom and comfort you desire by following some simple planning steps right now.

Three Types of People

We see most retirees as being in one of three groups.  There are The Determined, The Debating, and The Decided.  As we explore these categories, consider where you fit in.

  • The Determined: The Determined are people who want to remain in their homes for the rest of their lives.  They have no intention of moving anywhere and retirement communities do not interest them in the least.  These people are generally healthy with no long-term illness or deteriorating condition.  They may entertain the idea of having some help come to their home some day if necessary, but they never plan to leave.

  • The Debating:  The Debating are people who want to remain at home and independent as long as possible, but are also open to the idea of moving into a retirement community if they find one they like.  They also know that health will play a large factor in whether they decide to move, and they are willing to consider all their options.  The point is to be practical as far as The Debating are concerned.  Nothing is ever off the table, so they will be prepared for anything and make the call when the time is right.

  • The Decided: The Decided are people who believe that a retirement community offers the best of both worlds.  They know that, with the advent of planned 50+ communities, patio homes, apartments, and endless assisted living choices, they are bound to find something that fits their needs.  These folks fully plan on moving into a retirement community at some point and are actively planning for that event right now.

Can you see yourself in one of these camps?  Are you Determined to live out your days in your home no matter what?  Are you Debating on whether or not to move into a retirement community at some point?  Or are you Decided that a retirement community is the right choice for you and it’s just a matter of which one?  Regardless of the group you’re in, two thirds of you are going to find the rest of this article useful going forward.

The Important Factors

In the 50 years that the Hillandale Family of Communities has been helping people with this decision, we’ve noticed that there are four major factors involved.  Let’s take a closer look at them.


Safety is important in several ways.  People want to know that they will be safe from crime and predators in their neighborhood.  By the time we consider Second Retirement, we’ve usually lived somewhere for a long time and developed a comfort level with the people who live near us.

Safety also means being physically safe within the home.  What if you should fall?  What if you become injured doing yard work or general maintenance?  Knowing that someone will be nearby to help you or your spouse is important.


Another factor is security.  Along with the idea of feeling safe from crime and predators outside your home, what about inside your home?  Are your belongings safely secured?  These are real questions that need real answers.

When considering the issue of Second Retirement, you need more than big locks on your door.  You need to know that you can remain financially secure in your Second Retirement.  What options can you afford?


Socialization can mean different things depending on your personality.  Some people want a lot of activity and relationships in their Second Retirement.  Others may be concerned that moving into a retirement community means that they won’t have any peace and quiet, because they will be expected to participate in too many social activities.

This is why you need to research the options available to you.  At the Hillandale Family of Communities we help our residents achieve their preferred balance of activity and relaxation.  There is always something going on for those who want to participate, but our patio homes, apartments, and assisted living suites are also quiet and restful for times when peace and quiet is desired.


Just like the other three factors, Support covers a wide array of situations.  Sometimes the support you need is physical, occupational, or speech therapy as you recover from illness, accident, or surgery.  Sometimes support is just a gentle reminder to take your medication or the spiritual encouragement of observing your faith.

Support can come in the form of transportation to and from your doctor or your favorite place to shop.  Still another type of support is the kind that helps you to care for your spouse when his or her health is declining.  Make sure that the Second Retirement option you choose provides all of the support you’ll need to live life the way you want to.

OK, now that we’ve introduced you to what we call the Second Retirement, next week we’ll explore another element of the planning process.  In the meantime, what group do you find yourself in – Determined, Debating, or Decided?  What questions do you have about the safety, security, socialization, and support you’re looking for in your Second Retirement?  Leave a comment below and let’s talk about it.