55 or older communities are currently catering to the needs of the baby-boomer generation, and are providing a vibrant and dream fulfilling lifestyle for older Americans.
Life can be hard, and it can come at you fast. More than likely, though, you’ve triumphed over life’s many challenges and you’re considering retirement.
Perhaps you’re looking to downsize from the big home which you needed all these years, or maybe you’re just tired of taking care of EVERYTHING. Whatever your reason for looking to move on to the next phase of your life, 55+ communities are a very attractive option to consider..
These style communities are great because, like many condo associations, all of your major needs are catered to, and handled for you. There’s no more lawn mowing, home maintenance, major cleaning, covering the pool, or even structuring your own exercise activities like golf, tennis, or walks.
The Fair Housing Act under the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) specifies that age-restricted housing must include a person 55+ in at least 80% of the occupied units.
What’s great is that these communities nearly all include benefits like:
- Tennis Courts
- Fitness Centers
- High-tech Media Centers
- Tennis Courts
- Club Houses
- Basketball Courts
- Restaurants and Game Rooms
- Continuing Education Classrooms
The important issues to know about living in an age-restricted community
The more amenities you have available to you in a 55+ community usually translates into a higher Home Owner Association (HOA) fees. In the more higher end communities, residents can see fees which are $500 or higher.
Ultimately, no two communities are the same. The amenities and services provided vary from one community to the next. Are you a big sports person? Perhaps you’re more interested in learning? Or, physical health with activities like Yoga are a main priority for your lifestyle. You need to find out what matters to you MOST before you make your decision to find a community which aligns with your lifestyle.
It’s best to start searching for your ideal 55+ community early, that way you can have a clear understanding of what works for you and what does not suit your needs.
Don’t just account for the services available to you now, but also make sure the community has the services you think you will need as you age. What kind of fitness facilities are there? Is there easy access to medical professionals? Are you near a vibrant community of restaurants, grocery stores with delivery options, or are you in a quiet suburban area?
Whatever your needs, you have to make sure your community provides the resources for you now, and as you age. Those resources – whether in house, or in the surrounding area – ought to IMPROVE your retirement as the years’ progress.
There are many different types of 55 or older communities from which you can choose
Resort and Golf Retirement Communities
These communities offer a resort-like feel and experience to the residents. Typically, membership is restricted to only the 55 plus generation in terms of renting and staying on vacations.
The homes here are typically larger with more amenities and features. The homes are also priced significantly higher. This ensures that mostly affluent individuals live within the community.
Active Retirement Communities
They cater to those of the boomer generation who prefer an active lifestyle. They typically feature hiking facilities, biking, swimming etc. The goal of active retirement communities is to encourage a recreational and sporty lifestyle for the 55+ generation.
55+ Gated Communities
These offer more security to the residents but still cater to the needs of the boomer generation. The homes here are great for those who want more privacy as these communities restrict the people that can visit.
Faith-Based Retirement Communities
The people living in these types of communities normally share the same beliefs. They could be religious or otherwise.
University Retirement Community
These communities tend to have direct or close ties with local universities and colleges. This makes it easier for individuals to work and participate in learning activities from the campuses while still enjoying your dream retirement.
Important factors and tips to consider when you want to purchase a home in a 55 or older neighborhood
- Know the costs of living in the community. Choose a community that works for and within your budget.
- Understand what is required of residents. Every community has its rules and regulations. House decorating, parking, lawn maintenance, the age of those living in the homes etc. Read the regulations carefully before you settle on a community.
- What is the cost of living your dream retirement? Different 55+ communities cater to people with different budgets and financial capabilities.
- Understand your local surroundings. You must understand what the local neighborhood is like and the kinds of advantages they offer as you ages.
- Talk to your future neighbors. These will be your potential future friends and acquaintances. They will tell you FAR MORE about the community than any pamphlet could ever wish to say.