Selecting a Home in a Retirement Community

As an aging population races toward retirement, new homes designed for those 55 and over are cropping up all over the United States. Resort-style, age-restricted communities are becoming increasingly popular.

New facilities and planned communities allow retired residents untethered access to incredible recreation facilities, restaurants, social clubs and health-related services. In general, these communities are typically active adult communities or independent living facilities with the privacy and independence of individual units or homes.

Most new housing developments that target aging adults tend to be either active adult communities (AACs) or a blend of AACs with some continuing care facilities, like an on-site doctor or medical facility.

If you’re thinking about moving for your retirement, new homes in age-restricted resort communities can be a fantastic option. No more lawn work, lots of activities, and beautiful settings await you. But, how do you choose the right community for you? Keep reading for a breakdown of the criteria you should look for in a retirement community.

How Close is it to the Kids?

If being close to your family is important, then you’ll want to look for a home or retirement community that’s close to your kids. Another consideration is space. Many units are sold as one-bedroom condominiums or two-bedroom homes. If you’re planning to have many grandchildren visit, you may want to look for a community that offers larger units.

How do the Philosophies and Principles Compare to Yours?

Different retirement communities have varying focuses and philosophies. Try to find one that matches your own. If you’re an avid yoga lover, for example, and committed to sustainability, then you may not enjoy yourself in a community targeted toward avid golfers and hunters.

Some retirement communities have a “green” focus, others have an “active lifestyle” focus, and still others are committed to social activities and recreation. Make sure you understand the priorities and direction of your community before you commit and move in.

Is It Pedestrian Friendly?

For example, can you walk to a nearby store, or will you always be dependent on a car to pick up a carton of milk? While you may be active and driving now, that may not be the case in 10 or 15 years. Ideally, you want to seek a community that’s pedestrian friendly.

Getting Along with Neighbors and Other Residents

One of the best things you can do before you buy into a new retirement community is attend a meeting for potential homeowners. If the community is already built, then ask to join in a social or recreational function.

Look around the room and ask yourself if you could see yourself spending your retirement with these people? Can you envision yourself sharing years of retirement together? Whether or not your home is new and beautiful, enjoying your neighbors is a critical part of enjoying your overall community experience.