As the population of older adults grows, more and more are feeling the need or desire for an alternative living arrangement.
While many choose to stay in their own homes for as long as possible, others prefer to move to an active adult community. They can be found in urban, suburban, and rural areas and are designed with older adults’ needs, desires, and habits in mind and are often located close to shopping, restaurants, and local attractions. If you or your loved one are considering a change, the following guide can help you determine if this lifestyle is right for you.
Benefits of active adult living communities
These communities are for those fifty-five and older who want to downsize to a more manageable living space with the option to purchase or lease their home. This living environment typically offers a plethora of amenities and services, allowing more time to indulge in engaging and fun-filled activities.
Independence and freedom
Since members live in their own residences, these communities can be an excellent choice for older adults who want to remain independent and enjoy an active, socially fulfilling lifestyle. They are most often located in serene and picturesque settings and offer a range of housing options, from apartments and cottages to single-family homes.
The majority of these communities are like living in a resort due to their extensive facilities, including a fitness center, tennis and pickleball courts, walking trails, swimming pools, golf courses, and a clubhouse for socializing and participating in organized activities and hobbies. This diversity of activities caters to various preferences—like card games and mah jongg—ensuring that there’s something enjoyable for everyone.
Living in an active adult community means being in the company of peers who are at a similar life stage. Engaging with neighbors over a game of golf or partaking in leisurely meals with friends can cultivate a feeling of togetherness and unity. This atmosphere nurtures a profound sense of belonging that can help older adults feel more fulfilled and connected as they navigate this next phase of their lives.
Health and wellness
These communities prioritize wellness through various programs and lifestyle options that emphasize health. These offerings encompass exercise programs, health education, disease management, food and nutrition education, and lessons on preparing wholesome meals. Furthermore, many of them integrate wellness activities and initiatives, such as yoga and meditation to enrich residents’ daily lives and contribute to their long-term well-being.
Evaluate your options
Researching and visiting several communities is important to determine which options align with your or your loved one’s specific needs and preferences. Be sure to keep a checklist with you to ensure you cover all your bases.
When choosing an active adult community, it’s essential to prioritize location. Do you want to stay close to the neighborhood you already know, or are you looking for a new adventure in a different city? Do you want to be near your children and grandchildren? Are you interested in a change of scenery or climate? Once you know what area you want to live in, you can start searching for active adult communities there.
If you intend to purchase a home or apartment, you’ll be expected to pay real estate taxes, among other homeowner costs such as administrative and maintenance fees. Conversely, if you choose to rent, your basic utility costs will usually be covered. Either way, because the range of amenities and services differs from one community to another, you can expect your overall costs to vary. For example, some communities offer an all-inclusive price, which includes on-site dining options, transportation services, maintenance support, housekeeping assistance, laundry services, utilities, and security, while others may require you to obtain these services and pay for them a la carte.
An active adult community will not provide care services should you require them. However, that does not necessarily need to hinder you from moving into this type of community—you’ll just be responsible for arranging and covering these services yourself.
Embracing the opportunity to explore active adult living can lead to a fulfilling and vibrant later stage of life. Don’t hesitate to contact your real estate agent who can help you find the best community to fit your or your loved one’s needs and preferences.