Have you been wondering if moving to a 55+ community is right for you? You’ve probably passed by them as you drive around town, or seen commercials for them on TV. Real estate agencies usually market 55+ communities to older adults that live an active lifestyle. But what does that mean exactly? There are pros and cons to all retirement communities, and the 55+ ones are no different. Today we give you a glimpse of what life is like inside an active adult community. What you can expect while living there and reasons why it may or may not be a good fit for you.
What Is a 55+ Community?
55+ communities are built with the idea of bringing people together who are at the same stage of their lives. In other words, people who are either retired or preparing to enter retirement within the next 10-15 years. In reality, 55+ communities aren’t any different than other neighborhoods or developments. The reason behind the restrictions is not to exclude those that are younger but because the amenities of the property are geared toward people in that age bracket. You are more likely to find tennis courts, golf courses, and a clubhouse as opposed to a basketball court and a playground.
While most of the time these developments set the minimum at 55 years or older, they can range anywhere from 50+ to 65+. 55 plus communities are simply designed for active residents interested in a low maintenance lifestyle. They want to enjoy access to amenities and features steps away from their homes.
Pros of Living in a 55+ Community
One of the biggest reasons people move to a +55 community is maintenance. Owning a home usually comes with a lot of work – raking, painting, mowing, and all the other wonders of keeping up the curb appeal of your house. 55+ communities usually take care of all exterior home maintenance required to keep your home clean and attractive. This frees up more of your time to enjoy leisure activities.
55+ active adult communities can be almost resort-like. They feature a lot of amenities that allow you to take part in activities without ever leaving your community. You’ll find pools, fitness centers, walking paths, tennis courts, and theater rooms. Some may even have their own restaurants or business centers. Often there are organized community events giving you the opportunity to make friends with others in your neighborhood. Because you’ll be living with others who may be empty-nesters with established careers, you may discover it’s easy to create strong bonds and friendships with the other members of your retirement community.
Last but not least, because these communities are designed for those 55 years of age or more, you get to enjoy a mostly kid-free environment. Of course, children and grandchildren are welcome to visit. But lack of kids living there full time usually means 55+ neighborhoods are peaceful, quiet places to live.
Cons of 55+ Retirement Communities
Some of the very things that make active adult communities attractive to some can also feel very restricting to others. For some, the lack of age diversity in a retirement community is not something they want to seek out. Living with people of varying ages can make one feel more a part of mainstream society as opposed to being sheltered with others in your age bracket. Also, if you are looking to buy a house as an investment for your family, be aware that age restrictions could make it difficult for your heirs to take over the house from you upon your passing. Most active adult communities require at least one resident of the home to be over the age of 55 in order to live within the community.
Another thing to consider is that all of those amenities that are included in active senior living communities are not free. The homeowner’s association usually pays for them. HOA fees for 55 and older communities can cost quite a bit of money. They also only increase with the number of amenities and services the communities offer. And most HOAs do not include any sort of assisted living or healthcare services. In fact, most age-qualified communities are considered single-family homes. They also do not offer any type of senior-specific medical care or assistance. HOAs can also be very restrictive and don’t allow much room for creativity. Be sure to investigate the rules of your HOA. You want to make sure that it doesn’t impact the lifestyle you wish to pursue.
What Does Active Community Mean?
An active adult community refers to an age-restricted neighborhood or development where anyone the age of 55 or over can live independent, active lives. The seniors who live here are looking for a location that offers easy ways to keep active and in shape. They don’t require care services, medical assistance, or help with daily activities. Seniors interested in fitness, playing golf, and living their later years to the fullest typically live in these types of communities. They enjoy being near to other neighbors. They also like being part of a robust senior living community while aging in place and enjoying their independence.
Is An Active Adult Community For You?
If you are looking to downsize from your home into a site that offers low-maintenance housing with a lot of amenities, one of these communities may be the perfect place for you to call home. Residents often find socialization a lot easier with yoga classes and walking clubs at their disposal. Life inside an active adult community can open up a lot of opportunities. Opportunities that you may not get to normally take advantage of. Just be sure that the site you choose has the features you are most interested in. And that the homeowners association doesn’t have rules you won’t find acceptable. Most people find that the benefits of living in an active adult community are just what they need in the years leading up to retirement.