Age 55-plus communities are typically a mix of apartments, townhouses, condos and small homes designed with the wants and needs of older adults in mind. Some include perks such as laundry and housekeeping services, or onsite amenities such as spas, fitness centers, salons, and more. As people age, the option of moving to an age-restricted community may be worth looking into. Here are a few considerations:
What could be considered pros?
Designed for the 55-plus phase of life. These homes are targeted to a retiree lifestyle. For example, the location is typically near mass transit and medical centers, and each dwelling is customarily designed to promote accessibility, with features such as walk-in showers, wider doorways and halls, easier access to storage, and elevator access to all floor levels.
Attractive amenities. Imagine having an on-site pool, golf course, and clubhouse with planned activities geared toward residents being able to socialize.
“Not-my-responsibility” upkeep. Maintenance of the grounds and buildings is usually the responsibility of the community board, giving you time to enjoy whatever you’d like!
What else might you need to consider?
Some residences are quite small. Family visits can make a small living space feel cramped. For those who are less mobile or prefer staying indoors during colder weather, small quarters may feel restrictive for extended periods spent inside.
No young people. Some people age 55 and older find they miss the energy and vitality provided by neighbors with children, teenagers, and engaging social lives.
The HOA, or Home Owners Association. Some HOAs restrict the types of plants or yard décor you display, the color you can paint your home, or whether and how you can store bicycles or outdoor grills. You might want to read community rules and regulations carefully for restrictions that might affect you.
If you are interested in a 55-plus community but are unsure it is the right fit, you might consider a six-month rental in the community to get a better feel.