Retirement communities provide a sociable, comfortable environment in which retired people can enjoy a lifestyle that is designed for the active older person. Their popularity has risen as more and more people look for a place where they can enjoy a long and healthy retirement. If you are considering moving to a retirement community, you should be aware that there are many factors to consider in choosing which one will be best suited for you.
A retirement community is a very different living senior apartments environment than a retirement home. A home is generally intended for people who need more attention and care. Residents usually live in a single building, or perhaps in a small complex. A retirement community is much more like the communities in which you may already have lived, for example in a small town. There are many more opportunities for socialization and there will be a much broader range of facilities; like swimming pools, clubs and spaces for arts and crafts. It is these amenities, as well as the fact that the inhabitants are over the age of about 55 that makes these communities different to those that are not dedicated to retirees.
There may be different levels of care available in a particular retirement community. This will be an important influence on your choice or a community, as you or your spouse may need more help, or you may want to consider moving somewhere that can provide you with more assistance if you need it in the future, so that you don’t have to move when that time comes. An active retirement community is made up of people who still live as independently as they did outside the community. People benefit from the amenities and social opportunities rather than from getting professional support. In a supportive community, there are various long-term services to look after residents and provide them with healthcare, as well as nursing homes for those who need them. A mixed active and supportive community might be a good solution for couples when one person is more active than the other or for those who want to be able to stay in the same community whatever happens in the future.
The most popular states with the widest selection of retirement communities are California, Arizona, Florida and Texas. This is because the weather is usually warm and sunny. If you prefer to stay out of the heat or remain close to your friends and family, you will find that there are retirement communities in other states, including the colder ones. Retirement communities tend to be found near the major cities. Recently there has been a movement toward making sure that retirees can remain within their home states when they enter a retirement community.
This means it can be a good idea to start your search near your current home, but looking at other states as well can be sensible. You should investigate the taxes that you would be paying in different locations because there is a wide variation. Consider income tax (which can be very low for retirees in some states), the state’s sales tax, and property taxes that you would pay when you moved, in order to work out if you could save money by moving to that particular state.
There are also statistics available, on and offline, which allow states to be compared on various features in order to determine which is the best one for your retirement. Within the state, you should also compare different retirement communities for cost, as well as the amount of care that they can provide the amenities and the general atmosphere of the community.