How to Choose the Best Retirement Community for You
You’ve worked hard for decades, but now it’s time to think about retirement and how and where you’d like to spend the next phase of your life. Choosing the best retirement community for you is essential to continuing to lead a fulfilling and enriching life, but with so many options it can be overwhelming to think about. We’ve outlined some important factors to take into account that should help make your decision easier.
1. Consider Your Lifestyle
Your home and community should meet your wants and needs, so thinking about your lifestyle is going to be a crucial aspect of your retirement planning. Make sure you consider your needs not only now, but also in the future.
If living life to the fullest and filling up your calendar with activities and social gatherings is a main priority, look into active adult communities. If you don’t need all the bells and whistles that come with an active adult community but you still want to live among people your age, an age-restricted community could be a good fit.
Whichever you choose, most retirement communities will be low maintenance and you won’t have to worry about mowing your own lawn or snow removal, but it’s worth asking about what’s included in maintenance care so you don’t end up with tasks you didn’t think you’d be responsible for. If you’re a pet owner, don’t forget to check that there aren’t any rules or restrictions that would prevent you from bringing your furry companions with you.
As for your home itself, it’s smart to plan to purchase a single story house as stairs can become a hassle as a person ages. If you love to have guests over, you’ll need a floor plan with more open areas for entertaining than someone who rarely has visitors. Similarly, if you anticipate overnight stays from children or grandchildren, you’ll want more functional guest spaces. There are lots of luxury house plans for your next dream home.
2. Determine Your Preferred Location
Weather, family, travel, and your environment are all important when choosing the location of your retirement community. Do you love being part of the hustle and bustle of a busy city or would you rather be somewhere quaint and quiet? Is it more important to you to be near family or to live in a warm, sunny climate where you won’t have to worry about shoveling snow in the winter? Will you have a car or need to rely on public transportation?
If you like experiencing all four seasons, you’ll probably prefer active adult communities in Michigan or Massachusetts’ Boston area versus a warm climate like that found at 55+ communities in 55+ communities in Florida or Arizona. Living near a city means more convenient access to amenities like public transportation and airports and also often provides more opportunities for entertainment outside of the community.
In addition to preferences for things like climate or being near family, take into account access to healthcare when you’re buying a home in a retirement community. This is important even if you’re healthy!
3. Decide What Amenities You Need
What do you need to live the life you want to lead? Many communities offer access to a wide variety of facilities and activities and now that you have more time and freedom to explore your hobbies and pastimes, you can take advantage of these amenities!
Maybe you’re an avid swimmer who needs to get laps in every morning or someone who’s looking to take up yoga. Whatever your interests, you’ll want to make sure the community you choose can accommodate them — you don’t want to get bored!
Del Webb is known for its world-class amenity offerings — from fitness centers with resort-style pools to tennis and pickleball courts to book clubs and ballroom dancing classes, there is something for everybody. And the onsite Lifestyle Directors schedule and coordinate activities so you can simply enjoy.
4. Determine Your Budget
Cost certainly can’t be overlooked when picking out your next new home. Depending on the type of facility or community you choose and where it’s located, costs can vary greatly. You may have a mortgage or rental fee, property taxes, utilities, or home insurance. You’ll also likely need to factor in costs like monthly or quarterly HOA fees and, potentially, additional fees for recreational facilities and amenities.
Do your research and inquire with the community about what kinds of fees you’ll be responsible for and how much they are. If you’re required to pay for your own utilities, get an idea of what your average monthly bills might look like.
If you’re still unsure about where to settle, a great way to determine if a retirement community is a good fit is to test it out! Explore Del Webb allows you to get a taste of active adult living by meeting residents, touring our homes and exploring the amenities.
Contributed to The 55+ Society by Carol Youmans
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