As the kids eave the nest, and retirement sneaks closer, it’s important to consider where you live. Is it better to stay in the same home? Downsize to a smaller home in the same familiar neighborhood? Or move to a retirement community? If you’re leaning toward a retirement community, you have many options to choose from.
The active adult community, in particular, is one that has gained popularity in the last few years. One major reason is that retirement is not mandatory in order to live there. These days, people work longer and remain active well into their later years. Read on to find out more benefits that come with living in an active adult community.
Active Adult Communities
Also known as age-restricted communities, these housing areas typically limit 80 percent of the residents to a set age. The minimum age for at least one of the residents living in a home within the community can be as low as 50 years. But typically it is 55 or 60 years old. Active adult communities have a lot of amenities and activities to help residents stay independent and active. They also give you the chance to get away from the noise that come with living in neighborhoods filled with families.
Flexible and accessible housing
Moving to an active adult community doesn’t necessarily mean sharing a wall with a neighbor. About 85 percent of the housing in active adult communities are single-family homes. While the remaining 15 percent are a combination of condos and apartments. There are many different floor plan layouts to choose from. These homes offer the same sense of privacy and separation you would have in any other neighborhood. But are often designed to accommodate residents of older age. Due to the recent popularity of the active adult community, most homes are newer and built with better materials and appliances. These homes often have wide doors and hallways, main-floor master bedrooms and accessible bathrooms, and other features. All catered to making independent living safer and more comfortable for elderly residents.
Low Maintenance Living
If you are tired of home maintenance, then an active adult community is a place for you. People who choose to live in these communities are often downsizing. Often, this means wanting to spend little or no time on things like lawn mowing and snow shoveling. Most active adult communities have HOAs or other services to take care of maintenance issues. Some communities even offer additional support services. This includes housekeeping and grocery shopping for residents that might need a little more assistance around the house.
Amenities and Activities
From swimming pools to fitness centers, most active adult communities offer a variety of amenities. Some communities are designed to mirror resort style living. This includes health and wellness programs, tennis courts, indoor/outdoor pools, golf courses and more. Others are designed to cater to specific lifestyles and interests. If you like being outdoors, for example, you can find a community with activities designed to engage residents with the outdoors. This includes nature walks, hiking and camping. No matter what you are interested in, you are likely to find one or more of these communities that fit your lifestyle.
Sense of Community
One of the biggest benefits of living in an active adult community is the sense of community. This comes with living amongst people who are in a similar phase of life as you and have similar interests. Some niche communities are built specifically around causes that its residents are particularly passionate about. If, for example, you’re a big advocate for education, you can find communities located near schools that offer teaching, tutoring or mentoring. Active adult communities are very beneficial for improving well-being and quality of life. They help residents develop a renewed sense of purpose and self-worth. And increase engagement with others both inside and outside the community.
Safety and Convenience
Active adult communities are generally safe. Many of them have gated entrances, with only approved residents and guests able to access the community. There is often security staff on patrol to ensure that the streets are safe for residents. They also watch for any emergencies or suspicious activity that might occur. Active adult communities are often built in convenient areas. Locations are typically close to grocery stores, restaurants and hospitals. For residents who prefer not to drive, some active adult communities are built in close proximity to public transportation stations. Or even offer shuttle services and other transportation alternatives for residents.
Which one is Right for You?
Each active adult community is different. So how do you know which one is right for you? A good place to start would be to visit several communities to see if they fit your lifestyle and interests. Think about what appeals to you in terms of privacy, community and neighbors. Would you rather be in a neighborhood with a laid back atmosphere. Or would you prefer one that’s more active? Keep this in mind while you explore and interact with people in these communities. Also keep your budget in mind. Ask about homeowner’s association fees or any other fees.
No matter where you choose to live, make sure to pick a community with features that can accommodate any lifestyle changes in the coming years.
Would you consider living in an active adult community? What features are you looking for in a community?