Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Countdown to The Clare

The tall building on the left, above, is an artist's rendition of The Clare at Water Tower, a senior lifetime care highrise being built at Rush and Pearson on Loyola University's near north side campus. It will be just off Chicago's Magnificent Mile, and it will be my future home.

When I told a younger friend about my decision, she said something like, "What? You're moving to an old folks' home?" or perhaps she mentioned a nursing home or assisted living. The implication was that since I'm already retired, still relatively healthy and active, and living in a very nice midrise condo, this is an incomprehensible plan. Others have asked why I'm not moving to a warmer climate. A few understand.

My husband died in 2000. I have no children. My mother's deterioration, especially after age 90, has reminded me of my mortality. Who will take care of me when I'm no longer able to care for myself? Who will make decisions for me if I can't? What's more, I'm devoted to city living (see my post "I am a Ruppie!" in the September 2006 archives of this blog).

Weather? Yes, Chicago gets cold, but I've never liked the typical "retirement paradises" very much. Heat and humidity bother me more than cold, and I don't play golf or want to do so. Chicago winters are usually quite manageable, especially if one can avoid long waits at bus stops. I stay indoors on the coldest days.

Isn't downton Chicago living expensive? Yes, but I've lived not far from the site of The Clare for many years. To me, the convenience is worth the expense. I'll move into a lovely two-bedroom apartment with a balcony and a good view, and both assisted living and nursing care facilities will exist in the same building in case I need them later. I'm a great believer in planning ahead. The decision about where to live in retirement is a very personal and individual one, and one I wanted to make for myself.

Check out this blog occasionally. I plan to take and post photos of the construction progress here weekly, beginning in Spring 2007 whenever standing outside taking pictures becomes comfortable. In the meantime, if any other future residents of The Clare read this, please send me an e-mail (the address is on my prifile page) or make a comment here. I'd like to begin a Clare residents' newsletter. I welcome other retirees' and friends' comments too as I continue my "Countdown to The Clare."

Copyright 2007 by Marlys Marshall Styne.
Photo: Artist's rendition from the Clare web site at www.theclareatwatertower.com


Collette said...

I just read the article on your link to the Clare. I see it's completion is scheduled for "2008." Have you heard anymore specific news of completion?

seniorwriter said...

Collette: Hi! Good to hear from you. 2008 is still the official target, but I wouldn't bet on it. My prediction is the end of 2008 or early 2009. Progress is being made, but it's obvious that a 53-story building takes time. I'm sure this cold winter weather slows things down a bit, too. I picked out my carpet and counter tops, etc., yesterday. Nothing very exciting. I guess I'm trying to recreate my current condo there, except that it will have a better view! Not perfect, but better.