Continuing Education: Which is Best for You?
Have you ever considered continuing education in your active adult years? Higher education doesn’t limit itself to any age, and there are plenty of options to help active adults learn a new subject and keep their minds sharp.
If continuing education is something you’d like to pursue, there are a lot of options for subjects to explore and types of classes to take – but there’s one big decision to make first: Will you be taking your classes online, or on a physical campus? Both options have benefits, and it really depends on which suits your lifestyle better. Read on to learn more about which option is best for you!
The primary benefit of online continuing education classes is that you can generally take the class on your own time and from the comfort of your own home. There is no need to worry about traveling to and from classes, and can you work online classes into your current schedule as you see fit. Though many people may be daunted by the idea of taking these classes online, many programs offer simple online interfaces that are easy to navigate.
Just because your classes are online doesn’t mean you’ll have zero interaction with your teachers or fellow classmates! When you consider email, video chatting and other methods of online communication, the sky’s the limit when you need to ask your teacher a question or confer with a classmate.
Choosing to take your classes online also means you have a large variety of choices at your fingertips. Just do a quick Google search for “continuing education classes” and you’ll see what we mean!
If you prefer a more traditional style of learning, taking continuing education classes in a campus setting could be the perfect option for you! It really comes down to your learning style. Even though online classes can still offer an impressive level of interaction, some people simply learn better and enjoy learning more when they’re in a physical classroom.
An additional advantage to campus learning is that you’ll have face-to-face interaction with fellow classmates. For social butterflies who are interested in both learning and having a social component, campus classes are perfect. Luckily for our residents at The Villages at Two Rivers, nearby Anne Arundel Community College is a nationally-ranked campus that offers plenty of subject and class options to fulfill your continuing education needs!
Whichever option – online or campus – you decide to pursue, continuing education is a great option for active adults to make the most of their 55+ years!
Make the Most of Your Senior Discount
If you ask us, the best part about being an active adult is having the option of living in a 55+ community, such as The Villages at Two Rivers. However, coming in at a close second is the senior discount available to enjoy!
When you think of a senior discount, you likely think of the discounts available at restaurants – but there are a lot of other places to use your senior discount, in addition to dining options. Read on to learn how to make the most of your senior discount!
As we mentioned, restaurants are a popular place to redeem your senior discount. A great resource to check which restaurants offer a senior discount, and the details of those discounts, is theseniorlist.com. You should note that for large chains the specifics of the deal could vary depending on location and individual store owners.
The nearby Village at Waugh Chapel shopping center is a great option for our residents at The Villages at Two Rivers to explore, to find great restaurants and even better senior discounts!
Thinking of taking a trip? Don’t book anything before checking to see if you can use your senior discount! You can potentially use your senior discount on flights, train tickets, car rentals and hotels.
Though not always advertised, many retailers offer senior discounts for retail and apparel. According to a list published last year by The Senior List, major retailers such as Banana Republic, Kohl’s, Dress Barn, and Ross Stores offer some type of senior discount. We’d suggest asking the retailer at checkout for details.
The options for senior discounts on entertainment is seemingly endless! From concerts to museums to movie tickets, there’s a large variety of places for a ton of fun at a discounted price!
Our active adults at The Villages at Two Rivers know that part of the fun of being a 55+ adult is the senior discounts – but a lot of the fun comes from being a resident at our community! From our various amenities to our excellent location in suburban Maryland, to our awesome residents, there’s always fun to be had at The Villages at Two Rivers!
SOURCE: The Senior List
Why You Should Boost Your Retirement Income
According to a recent article from Main Street, members of the Baby Boomer generation should be saving more for retirement. The article states that senior citizens should replace 70% of their pre-retirement income with distributions from Social Security, retirement savings and other retirement income – yet Baby Boomers across the nation are falling behind in savings.
The article states that many Baby Boomers are underprepared for retirement, and when you look at the statistics, you can see why A.cording to a study by the U.S. Census Bureau, people over the age of 65 have an income 60% of what pre-retirees are making.
So how do Baby Boomers fix the issue? Several suggestions include saving more in pre-retirement years, delay receiving Social Security payments, and working a few years longer to have more time to build assets.
Delaying your Social Security payments can be a particularly effective form of saving. According to the article, if you wait until the age of 70 (as opposed to 62) to receive Social Security payments, your payment could increase as much as 76%!
If Boomers are faced with debt and unable to save more, the article suggests consolidating loans for a faster payoff period. Taking advantage of tax strategies and becoming tax efficient is another method suggested by the Main Street article.
SOURCE: Main Street
Resources for Widowers
If you’ve lost your significant other you know the grieving process is never an easy one – but as anyone who has experienced it will tell you, it can be made easier knowing that you’re not alone. Many widowers may not realize that there are various support groups and counseling options available to help them along in their journey.
No matter what stage you are in the grieving process, a support group or counseling sessions can be an invaluable resource for widowers. Local options near The Villages at Two Rivers include the following:
Annapolis Center for Loss and Grief: The center is located in nearby Arnold, and counseling modalities include voice dialogue, EMDR therapy, mindfulness based cognitive therapy and animal assisted therapy, according to their website. The center offers individual counseling and therapy for adults experiencing grief.
Chesapeake Life Center: Chesapeake Life Center offers a variety of grief counseling and support group options in Crofton’s Anne Arundel County. Support groups meet weekly or monthly, and there is currently a specific support group for loss of a spouse or loved one, which meets the third Wednesday of every month. If you prefer individual counseling, you can find it at Chesapeake Life Center – appointments are scheduled at your convenience.
Widow Care: According to its website, the mission of Widow Care is to “provide desperately needed support services to community members facing or dealing with the loss of a spouse, so they can become empowered to carry on with their lives.” Widow Care is headquartered in Rockville, Maryland.
The Benefits of Swimming
When you think of exercise, what activities come to mind? Jogging and running, probably. Maybe cycling, yoga, or weight lifting? But what about swimming? If you don’t currently associate swimming with exercise, there’s good reason to start! Read on to learn more about the benefits of swimming.
Low impact: Swimming is a great exercise option for 55+ adults in particular, because it’s low-impact. That means your joints and body isn’t as stressed as it could be in high-impact activities, like running. The low-impact nature of swimming is due to the buoyancy of water, which allows swimmers to more easily move than they would on land.
Builds muscle: Swimming is a great way to tone your muscles and build muscle strength. This includes your heart muscles, too!
Cardio for healthy lungs: Your heart rate stays fairly high during swimming, depending on your intensity, so it’s a great cardio workout. The cardio workout you get during swimming helps you maintain healthy heart and lungs.
All-over workout: Because almost all of your muscles are used during swimming, it’s a great option if you want an all-over workout.
Improved coordination and posture: Swimming can help improve coordination and posture, both of which are very important to maintain as we age.
Good for the mind: Not all of the benefits of swimming are related to your physical health! Many swimmers find it to be relaxing, stress reducing and peaceful.
Even if you’ve never swam for exercise before, it’s never too late to get started! Be sure to check with your doctor before starting any new exercise regime, and stretch your muscles out before getting started.
For the residents at The Villages at Two Rivers, our indoor and outdoor pools offer an excellent opportunity to learn how to swim for exercise! Grab your goggles, gather the neighbors and head to one of our pools and before you know it, swimming will be your favorite form of exercise – and you’ll be reaping the benefits!
SOURCE: betterhealth.vic.gov, Bucknell University
Questions to Ask Your Real Estate Agent
There’s no doubt about it–the homebuying process can be an ultimately rewarding, but stressful process. Many homeowners choose to use a real estate agent to alleviate some of the stress and complicated nature of the home selling and buying process. If you do decide to enlist the help of a real estate professional, there are several key questions you should ask:
If you’re selling:
What’s my plan for marketing my home? It’s vital that your home has maximum marketing exposure to reach as many potential homebuyers as possible–and it’s your agent’s job to come up with a plan to make it happen. Quick tip: since the majority of homebuyers do their shopping (initially, at least) online, your agent should have a full-fledged plan for marketing your home on various websites and portals.
How will we communicate? Open communication between seller and agent is key to help the process go smoothly. With so many moving pieces, be sure your agent is available to give updates and talk through any concerns on a regular basis.
How much do you know about home loans? According to an article from Bankrate, having an agent who has a firm grasp on home loans and home financing can be invaluable when you’re selling your home. Ideally, the homebuyer will have a reliable lender for their home loan – but in the unfortunate circumstance that the lender isn’t reliable, you need your seller to be home-finance savvy to help right the situation.
If you’re buying:
How flexible is the seller? Say you’ve found your perfect house – but you’re not sure what price point you want to offer. Before you put an offer in, ask your agent if the seller is flexible at all on the price. The last thing you want to happen is to submit a price that’s too low and offends an inflexible seller, so check with your agent to make sure your offer is appropriate.
Can you provide comparables? It can be tough to tell if a home is priced fairly, so be sure to ask your agent if they can provide comparables–prices of similar homes in the area. That way, you can see if the home is overpriced compared to other similar homes– or severely underpriced, which could be a red flag.
Should we recommend a home inspection? Ask your agent if they recommend getting a home inspection on a house before making an offer. Especially for older homes, new homeowners can be in for an unfortunate surprise when they get an inspection after buying and realize there are costly repairs needed.
Are there any houses available at The Villages at Two Rivers? If you’re in the market for a beautiful new home in a conveniently located active adult community in Maryland, we’d love to meet you – come tour our incredible community soon.
Two Rivers Participates in WB&A Trail Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
This week the The Department of Recreation and Parks officially opened the beautiful extension of the WB&A Trail during a ribbon cutting ceremony, held at The Villages at Two Rivers.
The WB&A Trail, a 10.25 mile rail trail from Lanham to Odenton makes up part of the East Coast Greenway (Calais, Maine to Key West, Florida), and the American Discovery Trail (Atlantic coast of Delaware to San Francisco, California).
The trail passes through The Villages at Two Rivers as it leaves the banks of the Patuxent Rivers, before crossing Conway Road and turning north to resume its path, following along the old WB&A Railroad right-of-way on Bragers Road.
The pathway that passes through The Villages at Two Rivers offers a 1.7 mile extension, adjoining a missing gap of the WB&A trail. We are excited to have played such an important roll in supporting our locals parks and the WB&A trail!
During the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony this week, we were joined by members of the Anne Arundel County Recreation & Parks Department, members of builders Classic Group and Koch Development Group, members of the Annapolis Bike Club and Bike AAA, as well as County Executive Steve Schuh.
For additional details on the trail and a map, click here.