Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Retiring Happy in OKC

Planning for the best years of your life



 



For many, the very idea of stopping work to “enjoy” retirement can be daunting. But an increasing number of retirees are taking this time by the proverbial horns and making the most of a life less stressful.
 

As the city continues to develop for the better, many retirees want to stay in the metro to take advantage of all it has to offer. The Commons on Classen is the first retirement living accommodation to open in the downtown/midtown area, offering affordable apartments.

Resident manager Shannon Hitchcock said that many people don’t want to move north or south of the city, so their new site fills a demand.

“We opened in December and have a mix of female and male single residents aged between 65 and 72,” Hitchcock says. “Our residents wanted to downsize out of their huge homes.”

Downsizing is one way you can take the stress out of your later years – but for many, having good friends and staying active are the main ingredients for senior happiness.

Oklahoma City retiree Larry Govin said he was much happier since retiring from his demanding job. “I love waking up and, for the most part, being free to say yes to any spontaneous options that come my way.” And he does just that with his group of longtime friends.

“We get our exercise walking and riding bicycles, enjoy festivals [and] live music, camp, ride motorbikes, enjoy extended road trips or just get together in the ever-more-exciting OKC,” he says.

 

Living life to the full during retirement takes careful preparation. “Plan to be debt-free and own a home prior to retirement. A paid-for home is the cornerstone of a successful retirement,” Govin explains. “Live within your means, [and] take care of your body through exercise, eating healthy and preventative medical care.”

Staying active is something seniors are taking more and more seriously. Touchmark at Coffee Creek retirement community’s Executive Director Melissa Mahaffey said many retirees now seek more exercise groups to enable them to live life to the full.

“Several companies are offering more opportunities for retirees to experience wellness,” Mahaffey says. “Whether it be Pilates, tai chi, walking clubs, sit and stretch or balance and posture [classes], one could find several retirees gathered to do their part to stay healthy in order to seek a quality life full of possibilities well into their years.”

Brenda Bennett, the YMCA’s VP of Communications in OKC, said that over the last year the Y has seen a 28.7-percent growth in their senior membership, compared to a 10-percent growth of overall membership.

“Older adults are trying to stay more active and improve their quality of life,” she explains. “Many older adults are being encouraged by their doctors to increase their activity as they age – especially those dealing with chronic health issues.”


Embracing that need for increased activity and improved health can be made simpler by living somewhere that encourages the lifestyle. Mahaffey says, “Some individuals often comment that they should have made the move sooner, as once they make a move to a retirement community, they then realize what they have been missing.”

And it’s not surprising, considering the services many retirement communities offer: daily chef-prepared meals, a full-life wellness and life enrichment program, fitness rooms, golf courses, walking and bike trails.

Planning ahead in terms of staying on top of your finances and health seems to be the order of the day if you want a happy retirement.

It may take a certain level of financial security to have a comfortable retirement, but Govin says that it’s “friends that make you rich in retirement.”

Whatever makes you happy, make sure to embrace it in your retirement by keeping happiness in mind when planning for the best years of your life.

 

► Figuring out the Future

It’s no surprise that our aging population is continuing to grow in Oklahoma – after all, we’re living longer overall. In just more than a decade, nearly 20 percent of the state’s population will be 65 years old or older, according to United Way of Central Oklahoma. And according to a recent survey carried out by CareerBuilder, our city comes second in U.S. rankings for the largest increase of older workers from 2001 to 2016.

However, how we prepare for our silver years, when we stop working and when or if we should switch living arrangements, are all questions we should be asking ourselves years before we absolutely need to make such decisions.

Doug Harper, senior vice president of Stonegate Senior Living, says, “Finances are key; how you plan for retirement really does correlate with options.”

Stonegate manages 13 locations in the state, with some offering assisted living and some offering rehabilitation and transitional care. Having worked in the industry for more than two decades, Harper has seen many changes.

“The industry has come a long way and there are lots of really nice options up and down the spectrum,” Harper says. “There are lots of price points on assisted living.”


But what is crucial is planning and making sure the family around you knows what you want and where you want to be, he added.

Many retirement communities offer transitional care, so residents initially move in wanting to downsize and be part of a similar community, but should they come to need assistance with everyday life and care further down the line, it’s available to them.

However, Harper says the demographic is changing.

“People moving into retirement living communities 10, 20 years ago were in their late 50s and early 60s,” he says. “Today they’re more 75 to 80 years old.”

As the demographic switches, it’s crucial that children of aging parents don’t delay discussing their parents’ care wishes.

“Start the conversation early,” says Stonegate’s Sales and Training Director Terri Rasp. “Put in place a plan your family can follow when your parents can no longer make decisions on their own. Understand their preferences and the choices available so you can find one custom-tailored to their needs.”

Planning your future with your family involved is crucial to a healthy and happy retirement, enjoying the golden years of life.

 

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »You Might Like

Flapping Back to the Roaring ’20s

OK Historical Society creates secret speakeasy for fundraiser

OKC Ballet Receives $2M Gift

The historic dance company gets cash boost for its ambitious future

Oklahoma Society of Impressionists

A collection of skilled artists celebrates its 30th anniversary with a beautiful exhibition at the Howell Gallery.

Add your comment:
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit Module

Friends to Follow

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Calendar

October 2017

DogFest Walk n' Roll is a family-friendly, dog-friendly walk and festival benefiting Canine Companions for Independence, which is the oldest and largest dog assistance organization in the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Earlywine Park
3033 SW 119th Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73170
View map »


Sponsor: Canine Companions for Independence
Website »

More information

ROCK OF AGES is a high-energy rock musical built around classic rock songs from the 1980s. This worldwide hit musical takes you back to the times of big bands with big egos playing big guitar solos...

Cost: $30-60 (military/child discounts available)

Where:
Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma
1727 NW 16th St
Oklahoma City, OK  73106
View map »


Sponsor: Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma
Telephone: 405.524.9312
Contact Name: Cynthia Bedford
Website »

More information

This portrait of early Oklahoma revolves around photography from the decades of shots archived by Land Run settler Henry Wantland.

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd
OKC, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Website »

More information

A slice of American (and Oklahoman) history retakes the spotlight in this exhibition of works created under the New Deal's Federal Art Project.

Where:
OKC Museum of Art
415 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

This portrait of early Oklahoma revolves around photography from the decades of shots archived by Land Run settler Henry Wantland.

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd
OKC, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

This portrait of early Oklahoma revolves around photography from the decades of shots archived by Land Run settler Henry Wantland.

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd
OKC, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Website »

More information

A slice of American (and Oklahoman) history retakes the spotlight in this exhibition of works created under the New Deal's Federal Art Project.

Where:
OKC Museum of Art
415 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

ROCK OF AGES is a high-energy rock musical built around classic rock songs from the 1980s. This worldwide hit musical takes you back to the times of big bands with big egos playing big guitar solos...

Cost: $30-60 (military/child discounts available)

Where:
Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma
1727 NW 16th St
Oklahoma City, OK  73106
View map »


Sponsor: Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma
Telephone: 405.524.9312
Contact Name: Cynthia Bedford
Website »

More information

A slice of American (and Oklahoman) history retakes the spotlight in this exhibition of works created under the New Deal's Federal Art Project.

Where:
OKC Museum of Art
415 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

This portrait of early Oklahoma revolves around photography from the decades of shots archived by Land Run settler Henry Wantland.

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd
OKC, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

OKCMOA’s Roof Terrace gives visitors the ultimate downtown experience every Thursday evening from April through October with live local music, the best views of downtown OKC, a relaxing...

Cost: $5

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Contact Name: Becky Weintz
Website »

More information

ROCK OF AGES is a high-energy rock musical built around classic rock songs from the 1980s. This worldwide hit musical takes you back to the times of big bands with big egos playing big guitar solos...

Cost: $30-60 (military/child discounts available)

Where:
Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma
1727 NW 16th St
Oklahoma City, OK  73106
View map »


Sponsor: Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma
Telephone: 405.524.9312
Contact Name: Cynthia Bedford
Website »

More information

A slice of American (and Oklahoman) history retakes the spotlight in this exhibition of works created under the New Deal's Federal Art Project.

Where:
OKC Museum of Art
415 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

This portrait of early Oklahoma revolves around photography from the decades of shots archived by Land Run settler Henry Wantland.

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd
OKC, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The Light The Night Walk is a fundraising campaign benefiting The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) and their funding of research to find blood cancer cures. This event celebrates and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Devon Boathouse
725 S. Lincoln Blvd
Oklahoma City, OK  73129
View map »


Sponsor: Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
Telephone: 405.415.7035
Contact Name: Suzanne Chew
Website »

More information

Tired of the same old Halloween parties?  Come Haunt the River and enjoy the decorated boat, haunted tunes, light snacks and cash bar. This is an adults-only cruise and boards at 7:45...

Cost: $35

Where:
Exchange Landing
1503 Exchange Avenue
SW, over the bridge from Farmer's Market
Oklahoma City, OK  73109
View map »


Telephone: 405.702.7755
Website »

More information

ROCK OF AGES is a high-energy rock musical built around classic rock songs from the 1980s. This worldwide hit musical takes you back to the times of big bands with big egos playing big guitar solos...

Cost: $30-60 (military/child discounts available)

Where:
Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma
1727 NW 16th St
Oklahoma City, OK  73106
View map »


Sponsor: Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma
Telephone: 405.524.9312
Contact Name: Cynthia Bedford
Website »

More information

A slice of American (and Oklahoman) history retakes the spotlight in this exhibition of works created under the New Deal's Federal Art Project.

Where:
OKC Museum of Art
415 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

This portrait of early Oklahoma revolves around photography from the decades of shots archived by Land Run settler Henry Wantland.

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd
OKC, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Kids, wear your costumes and ride the haunted boat. Organizers will have candy, activity books and costume contests. View the ferry schedule online for departure times. Pay regular ferry price...

Cost: Free - $15

Where:
All OK River Cruise Landings
Oklahoma City, OK  73109


Telephone: 405.702.7755
Website »

More information

Saturday cartoons aren’t just for the children anymore. Share the classics with your crew every Saturday on an Oklahoma River Cruise. Kids 6 and under ride free.

Cost: $15 (free for kids 6 and under)

Where:
Exchange Landing
1503 Exchange Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK  73109
View map »


Telephone: 405.702.7755
Website »

More information

ROCK OF AGES is a high-energy rock musical built around classic rock songs from the 1980s. This worldwide hit musical takes you back to the times of big bands with big egos playing big guitar solos...

Cost: $30-60 (military/child discounts available)

Where:
Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma
1727 NW 16th St
Oklahoma City, OK  73106
View map »


Sponsor: Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma
Telephone: 405.524.9312
Contact Name: Cynthia Bedford
Website »

More information

ROCK OF AGES is a high-energy rock musical built around classic rock songs from the 1980s. This worldwide hit musical takes you back to the times of big bands with big egos playing big guitar solos...

Cost: $30-60 (military/child discounts available)

Where:
Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma
1727 NW 16th St
Oklahoma City, OK  73106
View map »


Sponsor: Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma
Telephone: 405.524.9312
Contact Name: Cynthia Bedford
Website »

More information

Tired of the same old Halloween parties?  Come Haunt the River and enjoy the decorated boat, haunted tunes, light snacks and cash bar. This is an adults-only cruise and boards at 7:45...

Cost: $35

Where:
Exchange Landing
1503 Exchange Avenue
SW, over the bridge from Farmer's Market
Oklahoma City, OK  73109
View map »


Telephone: 405.702.7755
Website »

More information

A slice of American (and Oklahoman) history retakes the spotlight in this exhibition of works created under the New Deal's Federal Art Project.

Where:
OKC Museum of Art
415 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

This portrait of early Oklahoma revolves around photography from the decades of shots archived by Land Run settler Henry Wantland.

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd
OKC, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags