In this world where there is so much information on the internet, a good starting point is your first objective when looking into a retirement community. While doing my own personal research I thought that these steps would be very helpful in finding the right Retirement Community.
Before moving to a Retirement Community, follow these ten steps.
- Find a Retirement Community that will best fit your needs.
- Keep in mind future needs and how that may alter your community.
- Decide on the type of dwelling you want, based on your needs (house, apartment, condo. nursing home).
- Decide on the location of your Retirement Community (local, out of state, different country).
- Start looking at Retirement Communities that you are interested in and in your price range.
- When you have a couple that look good you must set up a visit and talk to representative of the Retirement Community.
- After doing all your homework and visiting the Retirement Communities, you should have a good feeling on a place.
- If you don’t have that confident feeling then do more homework and keep looking.
- Make sure you have a lawyer, accountant and sales agent.
There are so many factors to consider when moving to a Retirement Community. For Example needs, location, price and so on. Let’s get a little more in-depth to help you on your journey.
10 Steps To Take Before Moving Into A Retirement Community
Find A Retirement Community That Will Best Fit Your Needs.
You will be able to choose from these Retirement Communities based on what type of services you need. The links in the description will take you to more in-depth information.
Active Adult Community is for seniors who are active, healthy and can live on there own with no assistance. Usually they are down sizing. looking for a community of there peers and little maintenance.
Independent Living Community With Extra Services
Independent Living Community With Extra Services is where seniors need little to no assistance. They have their own living quarters. Housekeeping, laundry, meals, utilities etc are included. There is a common social and eating area. Sometimes a game room or a small gym (yoga area) are part of this facility.
Age Restricted Community
Age Restricted Community may be 55+, 62+, 65+. These Communities are usually regulated and tax incentives. They have to have at least 80% of the community the age (example 62).
Lifestyle Communities are similar to Active Adult Communities but have a target demographic. For example Golf, Gay And Lesbian, Luxury Housing.
Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC)
Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC) is an all in one community. They provide you the service you need now and in the future as your needs increase. You may move in as an Active Adult and as the years pass your needs for service increases and then they can relocate you to Assisted Living all within the same community.
Assisted Living Community is where you need help doing daily activities. Care can be in the form of a every other day aide to an around the clock nursing staff. For example aide on a recurring basis, nursing homes and memory care.
Keep in mind future needs and how that may alter your community.
You may be in the very beginning of an illness or health problems. In 4 – 5 years you may need a lot more assistance at home. In this case you would want to research an Independent Living Community With Extra Services. you wouldn’t want to move to an Active Adult Community and not be able to get the extra additional care that you will need in a few years.
Decide on the type of dwelling you want, based on your needs (house, apartment, condo, nursing home, etc)
Decide what dwelling fits your needs and are you thinking of owning or renting.
House – You will be able to buy or rent. Choosing a house you should be in good health with little to no assistance living day to day. The extra room you have with a house will be great for family and friends stopping by. Even though most places will be maintenance free on the outside you will still need to take care of the inside. If that task is a little to much you can always get a housecleaning service to help out like once a week or month.
Townhouse – You will be able to buy or rent. Just like a house but a little cheaper and you may share a wall with your neighbor. The townhouses are usually stringed together. There could be 5 townhouses all connected by at least one wall.
Condo – You will be able to buy or rent. Similar to a townhouse but you don’t own anything other than just the interior of the condo. Roof, lawn, driveway is owned by the HOA
Apartment – You you be able to rent. Just like any other apartment it just is in a Retirement Community and is usually one level.
Facility – You will be able to pay a monthly fee (insurance should aid in this). Selecting a facility means you are in need of day to day services. There is a wide range of services that you will have to look into. Pick a facility that can accommodate you.
Decide on the location of your Retirement Community (local, out of state, different country)
Key factors to help you with the location are listed below.
- Do you want to be by family and friends.
- Are you looking for a different climate.
- What is around the community (grocery store, healthcare, mall).
- Entertainment around the area.
- See if there are local services that you may need in the future.
If you are moving out of state, consider these factors.
- Find out about moving cost across state lines.
- See what are the state taxes.
- Find out the standard of living.
- Look into the infrastructure of the new city. Roads, traffic and transportation.
- Check out the transportation and lodging options for family and friends to visit.
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Start looking at Retirement Communities that you are interested in and in your price range.
Important cost you need to know to help you decide if you can afford your retirement community. Break down your cost to a monthly amount. Below is a general example example.
Mortgage / Rent
Utilities (electric, gas, water)
Gas / Transportation
Income (Social Security, Pension)
Your income would provide you with enough money in this example. That is not touching any 401K or other investments you may have to draw on.
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When you have a couple that look good you must set up a visit and talk to representative of the Retirement Community.
When you go for your visit have all the questions that need answers for all ready written down and make sure you go through everyone with the representative of the community.
Look around the grounds, dwellings, amenities. Make sure it looks and feels just as good as the pictures you have looked at. Talk to as many people as you can in the community.
Important questions to ask someone who lives in the community.
- Why did they pick this community?
- How are your neighbors?
- What did you wish you knew before you moved in?
- What would you change if you would do it again?
- Are the services reliable (landscaping, snow removal, pool upkeep, repairs , meal prep, housekeeping, etc.)?
- What are some hot spots to check out in the surrounding areas?
- What places to stay away from in the surrounding areas?
The more people you talk to the better feel you will get of the community. If you feel great about the atmosphere, then that is a prospect.
If possible make another visit with a friend or family member. Now you will have time to let the excitement subside and review the community with a slightly different attitude. Having another opinion will give you a better perspective of the community.
After doing all your homework and visiting the Retirement Communities twice, you should have a good feeling on a place. If your confident then start making the arrangements.
If your confident then start making the arrangements. Let family and friends know that you selected a place. It is common to see other friends follow you. They can also give you advice. Take in as much information as you can. This can help avoid anything you may have not thought of.
Start getting your paperwork and finances ready. Most of the time it will take a little while for accounts to clear. A few days for stocks to settle if you sold any. If your selling your old house, you’ll need the deed, abstract and other important papers.
Closings can take 1 – 2 months after you sign the papers.
If you don’t have that confident feeling then do more homework and keep looking.
There are so many Retirement Communities, you just have to find the one that fits you. You may have to alter some of your guidelines. If moving out of state for a warmer climate and Texas does not work, there is Florida, Arizona, etc. If you want to go up in price for better places, be careful. You want to live comfortably in your retirement years. Keep your eye on the ball and keep searching.
Make sure you have a lawyer, accountant and sales agent. They will give you professional advice and services that you will need.
They will give you professional advice and services that you will need. One mistake could cost $1000s or deals not going through. For the price they charge they can save you money, time with professional advice which I feel is well worth the cost.
For example when I sold my old house to move into my new house we ran into a problem. The buyer of my old house was $1500 short at closing. I was furious that this happen. If this deal falls through I can’t close on my new house and I might have to find another buyer. I called my realtor. She was at a convention in Las Vegas. I gave her quite an earful.
That evening I got a call from my realtor and she said it’s taken care of and the closing date was only two days later. I don’t know exactly what was done but I am grateful I had a good realtor. That saved a lot of headaches and money.
Video curtesy of Del Webb Naples. View their website here.
What age can I move in to a retirement community
There are many Retirement Communities that are 55+, 60+, 62+ and 65+. Then there are Retirement Communities that you can be any age as long as you don’t have any kids under the age of 18 and the ratio is met.
Retirement Communities differ on the ratio. For example there has to be at least 75% of the homeowners 55 years or older. Then up to 25% of the homeowners can be under 55 as long as they don’t have any under the age of 18 living with them.
You would have to inquire the Retirement Communities to find out any age restrictions.
Should you move into a 55+ community
Ask yourself these questions.
- Can you afford a retirement community?
- Do you want to downsize?
- Do you want to live with 55+ neighbors?
- Do you want little to no maintenance?
- Are you ready to relax?
If you answered yes to all those questions then you should start your homework into moving to a retirement community and reap the benefits.