Over 55 Communities: A New Way to Retire
More people today are making the move from the homes in which they raised a family to communities of like-minded neighbors who have retired or have re-focused their careers. The attraction of “over 55” communities is that most of one’s neighbors will have similar interests and more time to pursue them.
Many studies have confirmed the advantages of physical and mental stimulation as people age. In fact, social, recreational, physical and mental activities become even more important for the over 55 age group. Logically, living in a community of like-minded individuals can lead to satisfaction and motivation for a long and fulfilling retirement.
Making the Move to an Over 55 Community
Most homeowners who are retired or who are considering a later-in-life career change prefer to stay in their own homes, as did their parents. But with enticing options available that cater to their age group, many are considering a move. And that number is increasing rapidly.
According to a 2009 survey completed by the Metropolitan Life Mature Marketing Institute, “The main reasons for moving to a 55+ owner-occupied community were family or personal reasons, financial or employment reasons, and the desire to have a higher quality home. In multi-family communities, family was the number one reason, but reducing costs and increasing quality were also top priorities.”
The study describes the continual increase in the migration of those over 55 who are choosing adult communities and their reasons for doing so. Being close to family is the primary reason for selecting a particular community, but proximity to work and recreational offerings are also important.
Meeting the Needs of Today’s Retirees
Responding to the desires and needs which define communities attractive to those over 55 is becoming easier, as credible sources are tracking the needs and desires of that population. Independence is at the top of the list for most seniors and they are serious about technology. That means that senior living communities must offer state-of-the-art systems for computer savvy seniors. Those leaving the workforce today have become accustomed to and very adept at building their careers and a portion of their personal lives around computers.
What to Expect at an Over 55 Community
Many of those 55 and over are continuing to work either in a life-long career or a new career entirely, making proximity to urban centers and transportation options a consideration. Recreational offerings, including a community center or clubhouse, walking and jogging trails, golf and beach access are also common to communities that attract those over 55. The social aspect of sharing those activities is very appealing. Smaller, high quality residences, whether single or attached, are also attractive trends for this age group.
It becomes very clear that there are new ways for retirement to be considered. Surveys are compiling statistics that are reflected in trends for Over 55 Communities. While Americans have not been traditionally excited about aging, new attitudes and options are certainly making the inevitability of aging more palatable.
Written by senior housing writer Marky Olson.