The active housing market has many older adults considering whether now is the time to downsize and move. Senior independent living communities welcome adults ages 55 and older and typically offer of cottage homes and apartments, and sometimes both. They are an attractive option because they offer a broad range of amenities that bring like-minded individuals together and can make retirement healthier and more enjoyable than it would be in an average neighborhood.
If you are considering a senior living community could be right for you, here are seven tips of a few things you should know.
Maybe you want to move closer to children and grandchildren, or stay within a few miles of familiar stores, healthcare providers and services you use now. A quick Google search online can help you find communities that cater to older adults nearby or in another area.
2. Living Options and Services
Will this be an interim move, or do you want a community that can serve your needs as they change? Many senior communities offer both independent and assisted living, or personal care, so that you can add on services as you need them, which is more cost effective.
3. Experience the Community for yourself
Senior living communities offer life enrichment programming for their residents. Plan a visit on a day when you can see the kinds of programs offered. Many also offer a “trial stay” so that you can experience what a real day would be. Some communities focus on outdoor activities, trips, social or religious groups, and some offer all of the above. Ask for a calendar of events to see if the offering appeals to you.
4. Get to Know the Staff & Your Neighbors
You want to live in a community where the management and residents have an excellent relationship. Make sure to meet with management and talk to residents to get a clear picture of what community life is like.
5. Know What You are Looking For
When you know what you want to spend your time doing in retirement, it is easier to choose a place that suits your needs. If you prefer nature, hiking and the great outdoors, find a place in a rural setting, or if you like shopping, exploring museums and culture, look for a community in a more urban setting.
6. Understand the Cost
Choose a community that fits best with your budget. Oftentimes there are incentives for moving in. Ask your contact at the community about current incentives which may be better than usual coming out of the pandemic.
7. Discover the Amenities
Senior living communities offer an array of features and perks that you would not find in traditional multifamily housing. For example, is transportation available to appointments, are meals factored into the cost? How far is the nearest hospital? Are religious services on-site? Are pets allowed? What happens if you need a higher level of care?
Moving to a senior living community is a big step, as many seniors leave homes they have lived in for decades. But the low interest rates are pushing home prices skyward, making this an ideal time to consider cashing in your equity for a lifestyle more ideally suited to your stage in life.