55 and Older Communities: Enjoying an Active Retirement
When individuals reach their mid-fifties, they often find themselves in a new stage of life. They may no longer be as active as they once were, their children may have grown up and moved away, and they may find themselves searching for new ways to socialize, be active within their communities, and find entertainment and recreational opportunities. They may be ready to retire or still find the desire to work outside the home, either full or part time.
At this pivotal stage in life, 55 and older communities allow people to stay close to their families and friends while experiencing a new environment, meeting new people and staying active with sports, classes, and health and wellness programs, all in a resort-style setting.
How 55 and Older Communities are Different
Like university dorms for the older set, 55 and older communities allow like-minded individuals of a similar age group to live close to each other and take advantage of benefits tailored specifically to them.
Residents of 55 and older communities are usually active adults who enjoy independent retirement living. They want to interact with other adults who share their age and outlook on life. They want to live somewhere that offers amenities and recreational opportunities all in one place. They want to retire, relax and rejuvenate without the worries that can come from living alone, maintaining a home or having to travel just to participate in daily activities.
Communities for this age group are not like nursing homes. They are not medically-centered establishments and do not provide special care for aging, disabled or ill seniors. Instead, they are developments that enable people of this age group to enjoy independent living in a house, apartment, townhouse or condo, while encouraging them to stay physically, mentally and socially active.
What 55 and Older Communities Offer
Developments of 55 and older communities are usually located in scenic settings, helping their residents feel like they are on a permanent vacation. Retirement should be a time of leisure and relaxation, and these communities provide just that. Buildings are usually designed to maximize safety, comfort and livability. Services like landscaping and yard maintenance are often provided.
Perhaps what is most appealing about 55 and older communities is that they offer tons of amenities on site such as a centralized community center or building that houses everything from a fitness center and pool to hobby shops and movie theaters.
Usually located close to churches, shopping, restaurants and libraries, 55 and older communities allow their residents to get everything they want in one place, and should not have to drive far, if at all, to go about their daily routines.
A Way to Stay Social and Entertained
Communities for the 55 and older crowd not only provide amenities such as pools, activity centers and walking trails, but also offer a continuous and varied calendar of entertainment and social opportunities, such as special-interest classes, performance and musical groups, and recreation programs.
This means that residents of 55 and older communities can take advantage of an ever-changing schedule of activities to enrich their days. Life is never boring in a 55 and older community.
The Cost of 55 and Older Communities
The initial cost of buying into a 55 and older community is usually the same as buying or renting a home in the area. However, most communities typically charge additional monthly or yearly association fees to cover the costs of maintenance and amenities. These fees vary depending on the types of amenities offered, as well as the location of the community.
Find 55 and Older Communities
Retirement can be an exciting time for seniors who no longer wish to live in a private home. With a little homework, it is easy to find the right 55 and older community. Browse our nationwide directory to find retirement communities today!
Written by senior housing staff writer.