Everything you need to know about caring for those you love.

What are retirement communities?

As a retired individual living out your “Golden Years,” you may be ready to sell your house, downsize your belongings, and check out all that senior communities have to offer.

Many older individuals say that one of the keys to a happy retirement is to become part of an independent living community.

Find Retirement Homes Near You (Cities)

Finding the right retirement home may take a little time. If you’re planning on staying in the area where you have lived for the last few decades, you are probably already familiar with some retirement communities close by.

If you have been waiting until retirement to move some place warmer or to move closer to your grandchildren, you will have to do a little extra research on what’s available. Talk with other friends or family members that already live in retirement communities.

Ask your adult children to do a little research. Searching for a retirement home is very similar to house hunting, and if you lived in the same home for 40 or 50 years, you might be out of practice.

Take your time and don’t rush through the process. Are you asking yourself, “Where are the retirement homes near me?” Visit the link for a complete list of retirement communities in your area:

What Are Retirement Communities

How Much Do Retirement Communities Cost?

When you start looking around at independent living communities, you’re likely to notice quite a bit of fluctuation in pricing; the price is dependent on where you live and what you need within a community. Florida retirement communities, for example, are typically more expensive than similar communities in states like Minnesota.

Depending on the size of your apartment or condo and what kind of services are available in your community, you may spend anywhere between $1,500 to $10,000 a month.

What Services are Offered in Retirement Communities?

The cost of living in a retirement community can be a little overwhelming at first, but it’s important to consider some of the services that are offered (and included in the cost) in many senior living communities.

At higher-level care facilities they might offer services to residents such as housekeeping or dining plans. When it comes to retirement homes you might be looking at an entirely different list. Most retirement homes may offer very basic services including maintenance services and groundskeeping.

Creating a Mini-Community

Many retirement communities have all the things that make up a larger, general community like the ones we already reside in. Typical amenities and services may include a community clubhouse, lounge areas, venues for events, a fitness center, salons, and bistro-style dining options.

One of the main purposes of a retirement community is to make its residents feel at home and never feel the need to leave; everything from social activities to entertainment is all in one mini-community.

A Maintenance-Free Life

One of the main draws about a retirement community is that residents don’t have to worry about maintenance, yard work, or even cleaning. These types of services are typically included in the cost of living in a retirement community.

Having these services available are convenient and a plus for residents who suffer from back pain, have minor health issues or are tired of worrying about the upkeep of a home.

Retirement communities usually have an on-site attendant available at all times so if a problem arises, with either a living space or a security issue, help is just a phone call away.

Healthy Eating and Exercise

Residents in a retirement community may see their health improve and their activity levels increase thanks to including services like healthy meals prepared by a trained chef and fitness classes. Some communities have gardens on-site for residents to work in and enjoy.

Retirement Community Life

As mentioned briefly before, life in a retirement community is a little like living in your own community. Most everything that you need is available, and transportation services are often included if you don’t drive.

A retirement community is filled with people of the same age who have one thing in common: the desire to live independently as long as possible. Although living in a retirement community offers many opportunities to socialize with other residents, many residents enjoy the option to be independent and come and go as they please.

Some residents continue to travel after they move into a retirement community. Becoming part of a senior living community isn’t meant to make life limiting, just a little bit easier.

Modern Amenities of a Senior Living Community

Decades ago, some retirement communities weren’t much different from assisted living or nursing home facilities. Today’s seniors are much different than their grandparents were. They are more active and want to stay active and independent as long as possible.

Retirement communities encourage independence by having apartments and condos with full kitchens and bathrooms. Wifi is almost always available, and there are plenty of activities such as concerts and movie showings to keep seniors socializing and staying up-to-date on current events.

Touring a Retirement Home

Before you start touring retirement homes, it’s important to make a list of things you must have and things you’d like to have. Prioritize the items on the list and pick a few that are most important.

If You’re Planning On Moving To a Different City or State

If you have decided that you will be moving to a retirement community in a different city or state, you will need to do a little planning to make the most of your trip. If you’re planning on looking at more than one retirement home, try to spread out your tour over a few days.

Looking a more than a few homes in one afternoon can be exhausting and feel more like a chore than something enjoyable.

Moving to a warmer climate? Make sure you acclimate yourself to the climate before you make it your permanent home. Whether you’re moving to a different city or a new state altogether, take the time to check out the city in which your community is located.

Even if you’re planning on spending most of your time in your retirement community, it’s important that there are other things available and close by, such as medical care, grocery stores, and other activities that you enjoy.

Preparing For a Tour

Once you’ve made your list, you can start preparing for the tour. Don’t forget to take a camera and a notebook so you can take pictures and notes of things you see on your tour. Pay attention to all the details, and it’s okay to be a little picky.

Remember, this place may be your new home, and you need to take it as seriously as you would when browsing other kinds of real estate.

Making a checklist before the tour may help you stay more organized. Consider some of the following:

  • Do you like the apartment/condo and grounds?
  • Are people (staff and residents) friendly?
  • Did the residents seem to be enjoying themselves?
  • Was there a lot of activity going on or were residents at home?
  • How far away are medical care and other amenities?
  • Is there volunteering or continued learning opportunities?

Narrowing Down Your Choices

Once you have toured all of the retirement homes you are interested in, it’s time to narrow down your choices; here’s where careful note taking and pictures can come in handy.

Make a pros and cons list of every place you visited. Look at your budget and start figuring out which place is the least expensive and has all the amenities you want. If you have adult children or friends who could give you feedback, this is a good time to share your options with them.

Once you have selected your favorites, schedule another tour and take someone with you. The “right” retirement home should feel like home. You should feel welcome, safe, and there should be little to no things that make you worried about moving. If you have additional questions, never be afraid to ask them.

You should be 100 percent confident and happy in the retirement home you choose.