How To Find a Retirement Community

Retirement communities allow you to live independently and receive care as you need it. There are a great number of active older adults living in retirement communities. Some are there to avoid the isolation that can come with aging and living at home alone.

If you are considering moving to a retirement community, you should look for independent living communities centered around your interests. Seek out communities that can provide different levels of care on the same campus. If you’ve been imagining retirement for years, you’ll want to find a community with the opportunities and resources that are right for you. After all, now that you finally have time to indulge your hobbies, it’s important to make sure you have the opportunity.

What should you look for in a retirement community?

Recreation — Your hobbies give you something to look forward to each day. Speak to residents to see whether they enjoy the activities offered. Opportunities exist no matter what your mobility and interests. Whether you’re into golf, art, continuing education, travel, or horseback riding, you can find a niche senior living community that integrates your passion into its lifestyle choices. Some communities have partnerships with organizations such as golf clubs or universities. Others bring in talented artists to speak and teach. Equestrian communities provide access to stables, trails, and open spaces for riding.

Medical care — What is available to you? If you need specialists, you need to know that they are close by and accepting new patients. Look for a retirement community to give you detailed information about area medical providers.

Lifestyle — The downside of living in a curated community is that you may find the rules restrictive. It’s important to know them ahead of time. If you have or want a pet, then a pet-free community is not for you. Some others may restrict outdoor grills, some won’t allow gardening. Check the rules before you plunge in.

Maintenance — If you are looking for a condominium and you don’t want to be responsible for maintenance, you’ll need to know how repairs are handled. Some communities provide all maintenance as part of the monthly fee, whereas others charge for any work that needs to be done in your unit. If you’re going to be away for any extended periods, you can have your home checked for an additional fee.

Weather — What type of weather do you want to live in? Visit the area before you make your decision. You may love the warm winters in Florida, but you may not like the hot, humid summers. Be sure the weather is comfortable for your lifestyle.

Location — You may choose to stay in the city you’re in now, or you may opt to move closer to your family to live wherever your kids are working and where the grandkids are growing up. Or you might want to return to a region that was significant to you at an earlier time in your life.

Setting — Whether you love the beach, the desert, the mountains, or the woods, whether you want to spend your life in the countryside, the suburbs, or the city, there is a community for you.

Budget — Affordability. Look at your finances, including your long-term savings. Consider your monthly bills. You may pay more in fees for a retirement community, but your monthly bills for food and utilities may be about the same. See if the community requires an entrance fee as well as monthly fees, and factor this in as you consider where you are going to live. There may be buy-in fees, so find out what percentage of the fee your estate will get back.

Look at the details, and talk with an attorney. Don’t hold back any questions, and don’t be afraid to walk away if you feel pressured.

With hundreds of options in most areas, finding the best community can become a project. One source to begin your search is seniorliving.org/directory, where you’ll find up-to-date reviews on each facility, according to the website. Narrow down your search based on your chosen criteria.

You can count on Ericson, Scalise & Mangan, PC to provide you with sound guidance and experience in these uncertain times. For assistance with your legal needs, please contact us today at (860) 229-0369, or email us at info@esmlaw.com.