If you are exploring your senior living options, you may have come across what is known as “active adult communities” or “55+ communities.” A 55+ community is an active adult living area that has at least one resident in each home over the age of 55. These communities are designed with the senior citizen in mind and are a host to many amenities fit for the older crowd.
55+ communities are often sought after by seniors who want to be a part of a community with people their age. This gives them the opportunity to connect with people with their same interests and hobbies. There are lots of advantages and disadvantages of senior living communities that you should consider before making the move.
The Basics: What is a 55+ Community?
An active adult community (often referred to as 55+ communities) are communities where each resident is over the age of 55. The Fair Housing Act of 1968 sought to prohibit discrimination in housing based on gender, age, religion, or race. This law was amended to create an exemption in 1995 for 55+ communities which allows them to restrict the age of their residents to provide a community of the same individuals.
This amendment recognized the importance of housing needs to senior active home buyers and was the start of fully-organized senior living communities. Shared amenities like single-living homes, easy transportation, and weekly maintenance upkeep are incorporated to take this burden off senior citizens so they can live peacefully and stress-free.
Pros of 55+ Communities
Home and Amenity Maintenance
Most senior living communities take care of home and amenity maintenance to some degree. This includes landscaping the yard, home repairs, house cleaning, and even concierge service. These types of services are useful for seniors with mobility issues or health concerns. This lifestyle change also allows residents to focus on other perks of living like traveling and free time.
You can find 55+ communities in any state. However, ideal locations are in regions of the country where the sun shines year-round and there’s a very mild winter. Las Vegas, Florida, and Arizona are top places for retirement communities. Aside from the weather, 55+ communities are often located near medical facilities for safety and security reasons.
Low Property Taxes
Taxes tend to be lower in these communities. Due to the lack of children, less money is needed to fund schools, after-school programs, and other youth-aimed government organizations. Government expenditures are often more kept in check with civically active 55+ communities.
Cheaper Cost of Living
This depends on what state you reside in, but for the most part, 55+ communities are more cost-efficient than regular housing. The average cost of a senior living community is between $1500 to $4000 a month, a little less than the average monthly mortgage payment. The freedom to live independently and have your amenities handled is beneficial and a budget-friendly option.
Cons of 55+ Communities
One of the largest inconveniences of 55+ communities is that they tend to revolve around HOAs and associated fees. The Homeowners Association collect these fees from members and use them to pay for large expenses like amenity upkeep and renovations of senior living communities. Where the problems arise is when the HOA doesn’t have enough money to cover the cost, resulting in an increase in dues. Learning about the HOA in the community you are considering will help prepare you.
Rules and Regulations
Aside from fees, the HOA also enforces regulations and guidelines for those living in 55+ communities. If a resident violates a rule, the HOA can give them a fine. These regulations include but are not limited to: home renovations, landscaping outside your home, and age requirements of the residents in the home. Be sure to look into the HOA regulations of the community you are interested in, as they vary in each one.
The average 55+ community emphasizes independent living. While some communities may offer continued care, this is very rare. Medical care and assisted living are not typically offered in a 55+ community, which means less medical assistance is available should you need it.
Is a 55+ Community Right for You?
If you are looking to enjoy retirement in a safe space, surrounded by others in the same stage of life as you, then a 55+ community is a great option. These communities are great for transitioning into a new chapter of your life while still keeping your freedom and independence.
You can enjoy the perks of having your amenities within reach and taken care of while focusing on traveling or spending time with your family. Hopefully, these pros and cons highlight the experience of living in a 55+ community and provide thought-provoking insights into where you want to live in the future.
We hope you found this blog post The Pros and Cons of 55+ Communities useful. Be sure to check out our post How to Move to Another State for more great tips!
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