According to an AARP survey, the vast majority (77%) of people aged 50 and older wish to stay in their homes for the long term, and that number has remained consistent for decades. As is often the case, many seniors fear a loss of independence, higher costs of living, or simply making a big change late in life.
However, many people don’t know that a retirement community is entirely different from assisted living or a nursing home. Retirement communities, while they take many forms, offer lively and often low-cost living arrangements for seniors, providing them with social interaction, shared amenities, and low-maintenance lifestyles.
Here’s how retirement communities make life better for seniors and their families.
3. Maintenance-Free Living
Maintaining your home and yard can become demanding or even dangerous as you get older. Retirement communities often shoulder the day-to-day burdens of maintenance for their residents by providing lawn care services, home maintenance providers, and more.
In many ways, living in a retirement community is like having the benefits of a landlord and the independence of owning a home at the same time.
6. Financial Benefits
The average home in a retirement community costs roughly $2,500 per month, while average living costs in a normal home come in at over $5,100 per month. Not all of the difference can be covered by a retirement community, since you’ll retain some of your normal expenses. However, these communities often allow seniors to save money by consolidating common monthly expenses such as lawn care, home repair, home insurance, and utility costs.
Additionally, some communities allow homeowners to keep the equity on their homes, just like in a normal housing situation, allowing them to recoup their investment if needed. Speak with a financial adviser about the terms of living in certain retirement communities to learn more about the potential financial benefits of making the move.
7. Caregiving (If Needed)
Continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) can offer residents the benefits of assisted living care without eliminating the independence they might find living in a retirement community. CCRCs do this by putting residents on a sliding scale based on their care needs.
If you’re able to live independently, you can. However, this can change over time, at which point the community would offer services that match your needs, such as a live-in nurse, mobility assistance, or medication assistance.
You can even transition into housing that has more regular access to medical help within the CCRC, so that you never have to leave the community to receive care. This is one part of “escalated care,” a type of care model that changes how your living situation is managed at some retirement communities based on your specific needs.