Aging Graciously

by Carly Murray | Jun 20, 2024
Aging Graciously
After retirement, there’s a whole new world of opportunities to relax, spend time with loved ones, take up a new hobby or explore the world. This phase of life is full of cherished moments and new experiences, but some more serious matters should be considered among the many joys derived from getting older. While the years ahead mark expanded wisdom and a cause for celebration, they should also be filled with comfort and quality living.


Financial Planning

Part of the stress-free living deserved post-retirement is peace of mind for oneself and their family. Even though retirement planning has come to fruition, financial planning is not yet an element of the past. Ultimately, the difficult part is already over, as financial experts urge their clients to start saving for retirement as early as possible.

“We want to work with clients to help them live their ideal lifestyle and to prepare a retirement plan that gets them the income that they need to live, but also to do the things that they want to do. We help them try to achieve their long-term goals,” says Brian Lynn, managing partner at Claritas Financial Partners. “It’s never too soon to begin planning for retirement. The earlier that you can start saving for retirement and a 401K plan … the more that you will be financially independent to retire.”

Now that tedious planning and saving has paid off, it may be time to consider putting some savings aside for assisted living, as well as consulting with professionals who can help handle estate planning. It helps loved ones understand and carry out wishes without anxiety, and allows one to focus on their long-term plans stress-free. 

“Typically, when people retire in the first couple of years, they’re out traveling, living their life, achieving their goals and doing everything that they want to do. They’re being actively retired, which is the number one thing that we look for, to judge the happiness of our clients,” says Lynn. “Then they get to a certain point where things slow down a little bit, and they tend to focus on one or two things a day. During the third stage, people aren’t traveling, they might be in assisted living or living with family. … We’re trying to plan for each of those three phases.” 

He adds that while the biggest threats to retirement right now are inflation and taxes, a proper financial plan and a proper estate plan can prevent overpaying taxes and allow investments to grow. Although it is a difficult conversation, one’s legacy can carry on to the next generation, especially at a time when previous generations’ experiences should educate the present and future. 


Residential Planning & Health Care

Transitioning to a new home and a new community can bring about a heightened quality of life, especially when senior living facilities are chosen to fit the preferences of the individual. While finding compassionate care should be the priority, there are other factors to choose from such as amenities, activities and opportunities. Communication with loved ones about expectations and desires of a new environment eases the burden for everyone involved. 

“One of the most important things seniors can do is talk to their families and their care providers about the care they want. Advance care planning puts you in the driver’s seat not just for the care you want in the future, but for the care you want now,” says Dr. Sara Pagliaro, chief medical officer at Samaritan.

Especially when a loved one is facing health concerns, it is important to turn to professionals who specialize in compassionate care for their unique circumstances. This will determine the future living arrangements and required assistance.

“Quality of life is a measure of what each individual thinks will improve their life. If we start out conversing well about goals of care, that will help us best care for you throughout your healthcare journey,” says Pagliaro.

It can be emotional to embrace the change of moving to a new living situation. That’s why, throughout this whole process, support and love are key. Weighing the positive prospects of different options will encourage the best solution for each individual.

“Leaving home is hard, but that doesn’t mean that everything is left behind. The great thing about senior living communities is that you have options from living completely independently to having all the hard work done for you. It’s totally up to what you prefer,” says Doris-Ellie Sullivan, President of Retirement Unlimited Inc. 

She explains that modern senior living communities offer classes for education, on-site salons and spas, as well as programs and outings to keep residents both active and social if they are interested. Of course, keeping busy isn’t for everyone either, and senior living communities provide a lifestyle of convenience and comfort. With caring staff in-house, residents’ families don’t have to worry about them being alone or without assistance.

“One of the most important things to remember in senior care is that each person is an individual with a story with individualized experiences and opinions. These don’t go away with age, nor should they. Each senior has decades worth of wisdom and value that they have earned, and they should be treated as such,” says Sullivan. “Not only do they have many experiences to share, but they continue to experience new things. Their story is not finished yet. Therefore, it is key to continue to strive towards new goals, new hobbies, new lessons, and new experiences to continue to write that story.”


Resource Guide


Retirement Unlimited, Inc. Brandywine Living Locations
Multiple locations


Multiple locations
(855) 337-1916


The Farmstead at Medford
(609) 864-6420



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Published and copyrighted in South Jersey Magazine, Volume 21, Issue 2 (May2024)

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Author: Carly Murray


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