As you adjust to an empty nest and start thinking about retirement, have you considered moving to a 55 plus community? I’ve blogged about rightsizing your home, but analyzing the pros and cons of a neighborhood that is strictly 55 and older is another decision to make. Here are some questions to ask as you consider this possibility.
How much room do you need?
55 plus communities come in all shapes and sizes. Some have mobile homes and some have luxury homes. Others are condos or apartments. You can even find senior communities with small villas. Weigh these options in terms of how much room you would like to have in your next home.
Will you want an office or a spare room for guests?
Do you like to host dinners or evenings with friends at your home?
Will you be travelling most of the time?
All of these factors determine how much square footage will work for your new life, and knowing that will help to narrow the many choices available to you.
Location, location, location.
As you look at communities, see if they are close to what you need.
Where’s the nearest grocery store and drugstore?
How far is it to doctors, hospitals and specialists?
Think about what is important to you. Museums? A bowling alley? A major airport? A library? Public transportation?
Make sure the location is convenient for the priorities in your life.
Many 55 plus communities have activities available for their residents.
Are social activities important to you? If so, ask to see a schedule of the events to see if it features things that interest you.
Some communities may tend toward more parties and outdoor sports, like golf, while others may tend toward more cultural and educational events.
Look for a balance that appeals to your social goals and pastimes.
What are the costs?
Find out not only what the costs are, but also if there are fees, such as maintenance fees or common service fees.
What are the HOA (Home Owner Association) fees and what do they cover?
Are water and garbage pick up included or extra?
If you are thinking about a mobile home park, do you have to purchase the land or are you renting it?
Dig in to understand all additional expenses that may not be obvious.
Rules and regulations.
Rules can keep communities clean, orderly, and running with minimal conflict. 55 plus communities are no exception. If you find a place you like, review their policies carefully. They likely have rules that were irrelevant in a traditional neighborhood, but are unique in 55 plus communities.
There may be a limit to how long you can have guests stay in your new home. And if you have grandchildren who could potentially move in with you, that might not be possible.
What about pets? Are they allowed?
Check these details to make sure you understand the rules and agree that you can follow them.
55 plus neighborhoods have many advantages, but they’re not for everyone. On the bright side, they’re quieter, usually safer, and they give you the opportunity to make new friends and get involved in activities. As you explore this option, keep these tips in mind so you can make a move that works perfectly for the next phase of your life.