The Best Ways to Live The Good Life in Your Indepedent Living Community

Retirement communities have proliferated across the country because the baby boomer generation has hit its peak age. Communities that cater to the 55 plus (55+) crowd have all the amenities associated with upscale resorts. They offer fitness centers, golf courses, walking trails, games, and specific groups or clubs that enhance the lives of the residents. The myriad choices in recreation and entertainment are magnets for retirees. Retirement may be a misnomer because many residents in active adult communities still have full or part time jobs. Retirement communities and active adult communities are being developed to meet the demands of a population that is accustomed to all of the trappings of modern society. The retirement community market takes into account that this will likely be the last home that seniors will purchase, so the more conveniences and services that are incorporated into the community, the better it will be for the retirees, as well as the developers and investors. Under the umbrella of retirement community are active adult communities, assisted living communities, continuing care retirement communities, independent living communities, nursing care, and Alzheimer’s care facilities. Based on your particular need, research availability in the area in which you plan to live so that you will have all of the facts and can make an informed decision.

If you are retiring in a locale other than the one in which you currently live, you might consider renting a house or condo in the area for a season to acclimate yourself to the environment. In addition, determine if your medical plan is covered there. Get to know the type of people who will be your new neighbors. They will impact your life greatly. Determine the distance to medical care. Since most retirees are on a fixed income, consider, not only the cost of the property you are purchasing, but also property taxes. In some states, the property taxes may be more than your mortgage, especially if you have made a large down payment. If you pay for your home outright, you will still have the specter of property taxes and homeowner’s insurance, so you will have a monthly note.

Information to Consider About Retirement Communities

Do your due diligence regarding community financials. You do not want any nasty surprises lurking in the background, such as special assessments or liens and foreclosures in the neighborhood. Consult with your realtor and talk to the neighbors about any specific questions that are pertinent to the neighborhood and the area at large. Investigate any restrictions imposed by the homeowner’s association. Be decisive about what you really want. If you prefer big city living, do not move to an area that is far removed, and, if you prefer the suburbs, stay away from city living. You will save yourself a lot of grief.

The atmosphere in retirement communities is generally convivial, and you can participate in as many activities as you choose without obligation to be involved in any. While these communities have mushroomed across the country, the sunshine states, like California, Florida and Arizona, have more than their share. Generally, you can choose a single family residence or a condo depending on your needs and desires. If you are moving from a large single family home, you may find the closeness of condo living confining, or you may find it comforting.

If you live alone, or have physical limitations, a condo can be the best choice because you generally will not have the expense of the same upkeep, maintenance and insurance that you would in a single family home. The homeowner’s association fee will usually include these benefits. Also, while many 55+ communities offer single and one-and-a-half-story dwellings, it is likely best to choose one level.

The social benefits alone make retirement communities popular choices for seniors. At some point, you may require assisted living or other types of support. Many communities have that choice built in. The design of active adult homes is most important. They will usually include details that concur with the age of the population they serve. Lever handles, wide doorways, and showers with seats are some of the quality features that make it easier for seniors to utilize their home spaces and maneuver them well.

Retirement homes offer a great sense of community and have many different types of activities. Recreation is one of the enjoyable features because it allows seniors to get out of the house and participate in life. Too often, you tend to withdraw as you grow older. Different reasons for this can be loss of a spouse, loss of good friends, or fear of navigating simple tasks, like trips to the supermarket. Loneliness is a legitimate concern as seniors age. If you are physically able, find an activity in which you have an interest and participate whether you feel like it or not. This is especially important if you have no social outlets outside of the community. The more you socialize, the more you will want to.

Fully active seniors continue with their daily activities and find ways to immerse themselves into the neighborhood by actively participating in the numerous activities. You can be as active or as reclusive as you choose. Retirement community builders have developed a concept for their properties which maintain the spirit of the facility and help create, with their in-depth knowledge of such communities, places that are beautiful and desirable.

Questions and Answers

Q. What does the HOA fee include?

A. Generally, it covers landscaping, amenities, city services and insurance .

Q. What is the noise level of a condo?

A. It depends on the design and the quality.

Q. Will the HOA cover home insurance?

A. Condo owners provide interior insurance; the exterior is included in HOA.

Q. I will be downsizing. Is there adequate storage?

A. Storage is usually limited, but there can be more for an additional fee.

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