Clearinghouses Help Pick Place to Retire

By Hilferty, John | Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), June 16, 2002 | Go to article overview

Clearinghouses Help Pick Place to Retire


Hilferty, John, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)


Byline: John Hilferty Daily Herald Correspondent

Traveling means different things to different people, but how many of you, when transfixed on a particularly pretty and tranquil scene in another part of the United States or the world, have asked yourself, "What would it be like to live here?"

I do it all the time when traveling. Even Venice, Italy, got me wondering after I watched local workers at 5 o'clock hurrying to catch a cross-canal gondola on their way home.

Most of you who have retired to some perfect paradise have done so after first discovering the area while traveling. Years ago, some of the choices were gained by word of mouth from a neighbor or relative. Thus did Florida, then Arizona, become popular retirement centers.

Then books about the best retirement places appeared, including David Savageau's "Retirement Places Rated," still one of the best sources for retirement information. Available in bookstores, it is an objective wellspring of information, including which locations have the mildest winters and mildest summers.

With so many especially built retirement communities worldwide vying for your interest (and your money), learning about all or most of them in order to make a choice is a dizzying task. The knowledge gap is being filled, however, by a number of clearinghouses that categorize and rate retirement communities on the basis of needs or interest. Most of the services offer a brief description of the community and type of services available with a click-on link to the Web site of the company.

Seniors who have no computer access at home or among friends should not hesitate to ask the local library for online assistance. Reference librarians will download information and print it out for you.

Here are some sample services:

- The Senior Hospitality Institute uses a classification chart listing communities for both Active Retirement Living and Supportive Retirement Living. Supportive can range from assisted care units to those specializing in Alzheimer's patients.

Other vital information concerns the average age of residents, specific kinds of recreation such as golf or fishing and staff-to- resident ratios.

For information, visit www.retirementresorts.com, or for those of you without computers, contact the Senior Hospitality Institute, 107 E. Front St., Wheaton, IL 60187; phone (630) 665-8360; fax (630) 665-8374; e-mail info@@retirementresorts.com.

- Retirenet.com has an easy-to-use Web site, listing communities by no fewer than 30 different types of retirement needs. In addition to active type communities, such as golfing and waterfront, there are more than 20 care categories to choose from, including acute care hospital type places and behavioral/psychiatric communities.

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