You might think that finding a master-planned community designated as a 55 and up community tells you all you need to know. But not all of these communities are the same; yes, any 55 and up community caters to people age 55 and older, but beyond that there may be quite a few differences. If you’re considering 55+ community living, here are five questions you should ask about any prospective communities so you know what will be the best fit:
- What’s the Average Age Here?
An over 55 community could have an average age of 60, or it could have an average age of 80. If you’re hoping to find other active adults, then obviously you’ll want to look for a community with an average age on the lower end.
- Do Most Residents Age in Place?
Living in a 55+ community is often about the amenities, but it’s important to remember that if you’re buying a house in one of them, you want that to be a smart long-term investment. That means making sure you won’t need to move again for many years.
- What Type of Help Is Available?
Some communities offer more services than others, and it’s really up to your personal preferences what’s important. Do you want help cooking and taking out the trash, or just help trimming your trees once a year? Try to choose a community with a level of service that will make your life easier not only now, but a few years down the road.
- Are Overnight Guests Allowed?
Some communities limit the number of overnight stays for guests, especially underage guests. If you’re moving into a 55+ community specifically to get away from noise and distractions, that might be a plus for you. But if you want your kids and grandkids to be able to come over often, that may be a problematic restriction.
- What Do Monthly Fees Cover?
Over 55 community activities vary widely both in terms of what is offered and what is covered by the monthly fee (which is similar to a condo fee or HOA fee). If golf and tennis are included, that’s a very different type of community than one where aquatic fitness classes are included.
Do you have any other tips to share on finding the right 55+ community? Join the discussion in the comments.