Today’s seniors are living longer and enjoying life to the fullest. Living in a retirement community enhances allows them to do this in a variety of different ways. Retirement communities—not to be confused with retirement homes—are a group of homes located in a suburban area that are designated for adults who are of retirement age. The exact age limit varies based on the bylaws adopted by the community but are usually offered to adults age 55 or older. Retirement communities operate in much the same way that home owners associates do, and have offer many benefits to their residents. Here are some of the most popular reasons to choose this lifestyle for your golden years.
1. Maintenance Free Living
While some people enjoy doing tedious yard work or shoveling snow, the majority do not. Retirement communities boast maintenance free living. Exterior maintenance services such as lawn mowing and snow removal are typically included in the monthly fee. Some neighborhoods also offer interior maintenance such as housekeeping, laundry and linen services or small repairs for an additional fee.
2. Increased Security
Most retirement communities are gated and/or offer 24-hour security services; they are generally considered safer than other neighborhoods. You won’t have to worry about door-to-door salesman trying to scam you out of your savings or intruders breaking in your home at night. You and your loved ones can rest easy knowing that the community is safe and secure. Emergency call systems are often built into each home in the community, giving you added peace of mind should you slip and fall or need help of any kind.
3. Better Accessibility
All of the homes located in retirement communities are built with handicap accessible features. Most consist of smaller, single level homes without any stairs—inside or out. Many also have wider halls to accommodate wheelchairs or walkers should you need assistance getting around as you grow older. You won’t have to spend a lot of money remodeling your existing home to make it more accessible.
4. Abundant Amenities
Let’s face it: most of us don’t currently live in a house with a pool and hot tub on the 9th green of a golf course. This is a viable option in a retirement community, however. The homes are affordably priced, yet still have access to a variety of amenities such as:
- Community spa and pool
- Golf Course and/or putting green
- Game room
- On-site gym
- Exclusive classes and activities
- Transportation shuttles
- Scheduled off-site activities
- On-site entertainment
- Landscaped grounds
- Community garden
5. Free Up More Cash
Most people end up downsizing when they sell their existing home and move into a retirement community, yet they gain access to more amenities. An added bonus of moving to a smaller home: you free up more cash. You can use that to increase your down payment and reduce your monthly mortgage payment, or you can use it to do something you have always wanted to do like travel more.
6. Close Knit Community
Retirement can sometimes be lonely when you are living in suburbia and all of your neighbors still work regular jobs. In a retirement community, however, most of your neighbors will be home when you are. This makes it easy to find friends in your peer group who share the same interests and live experiences as you. Many communities also have regular parties or socials for members. Having a close group of friends your age is especially important during your senior years. In fact, a recent study conducted at Cornell University determined that having social support of this nature was a better indicator of one’s happiness during retirement than their health or wealth.
7. Varying Levels Of Care
While they are primarily designed to facilitate independent living, some retirement communities offer varying levels of care from independent living to assisted living to memory care. It is reassuring to know that if something happens and you can’t maintain your active lifestyle, you can still live among friends and get the care that you need. This prevents your loved ones from being burdened with your extended care as well.
As you can see, there are many benefits of living in a retirement community. Americans are living longer than ever before and want to maintain their active lifestyle while enjoying more conveniences and amenities than they have previously. Retirement communities offer all this and more!