55+ Retirement Communities

Seniors who choose 55+ retirement communities (also known as over 55 retirement communities)  enjoy an amenity-filled, senior-oriented lifestyle that provides them the independence and freedom of home ownership with the community spirit found in a residential neighborhood.

Who lives at 55+ retirement communities and when should you make the move?

As their name implies, residents of 55+ retirement communities must be over the age of 55. Residents are in reasonably good health and do not require assistance with activities of daily living.

Many retirees make the decision to move into a 55+ community to release themselves from the hassle of home maintenance, to enjoy amenities otherwise unavailable to them in a single-family home and to make new friends in a community of like-minded individuals.

What are the amenities you’ll find in 55+ retirement communities?

You would be hard pressed to find a house in a residential neighborhood that has a golf course, swimming pool, exercise room and art studio. Yet these are commonplace amenities at most 55+ retirement communities. In addition to regularly scheduled activities, these are a couple of the perks of joining a 55+ retirement community. Depending upon the community, there might be a concierge, housekeeping and dining services or scheduled transportation.

With many 55+ communities being fairly new developments, you will find the free-standing homes include modern energy-saving features, such as better insulation and efficient heaters, that aren’t found in older residential homes. The homes may also include safety features, such as fewer stairs and non-slip bathtubs, so you can safely age in place.

You should be aware that many communities have certain guidelines to be followed, such as how a property is maintained regarding paint or outdoor decorations. These guidelines may be subject to a board of appointed residents who vote on and alter as they see fit. Services may come with fees and certain recreational activities may not be available all year.

What are the costs of 55+ communities?

The cost of residing at a 55+ retirement communities can vary and is primarily based on the services that you use and the floor plan you select.  In addition to a one-time initial buy-in fee for purchasing a free-standing home, 55 plus communities typically charge between $2,000 and $5,000 a month for maintenance, upkeep and services.

Other factors that may affect the cost of 55+ communities include the for-profit or not-for-profit status of the facility, the inclusion or exclusion of meals, and the area of the country in which the residence is located.

Some facilities may accept Medicaid or long-term care insurance policies, however, most residents pay for the cost of living at 55 plus communities out of their personal savings or retirement income.

Should you join this type of community and how do you select one?

If you are looking to spend retirement traveling or working on hobbies instead of having days filled with responsibility, then joining a retirement community is where you will find this lifestyle. Before making the move, you should take the time to find the community that meets your desired lifestyle. Taking a tour, visiting with residents and learning the available services and amenities is key to finding your new home.