When shopping for a home in a 55 and over community, there are a few things you'll want to take into consideration beyond the features of each house. Use the following guide to find the right 55 and over community to meet your needs so you can get the most out of your retirement years.
When looking at 55 and older communities, you want to be sure that the area you are moving to is safe. Seniors can be targets for a host of scams as well as robberies, so choosing a community with great security is essential. You may feel comfortable with a gated community that requires a key card or pass code to enter, or you might prefer a community that hires security guards to keep an eye on the neighborhood 24/7. Ask about other security features, including burglar alarms, motion detectors, and emergency call boxes, which can help you feel safe when at home or walking through the community.
Your new community should also include planned activities that meet your interests. Some communities feature tennis courts or access to local golf courses, while others host weekly game or bingo nights. You may enjoy more of the time you spend in your new neighborhood if you enjoy a majority of the planned activities held for residents, so be sure that these activities fit your interests. Ask to tour all of the sports and exercise areas of the community, and request a copy of the month's activity schedule to make sure it aligns with your expectations for you wish to spend your retirement.
An added benefit that some 55 and older communities offer is group transportation. This might include bus trips to local attractions, including shopping malls, or it might include dial-a-ride transportation for visits to the doctor or grocery store. While this may not be something you need now, knowing that you have the option later when driving might be more difficult is a definite benefit. Your community may also offer golf carts you can use to get to and from the fitness center, swimming pool, or community rooms, which means you don't have to walk or drive to get to all the amenities you want to enjoy.
Talk to your real estate agent about what you are looking for in a 55 and older community. He or she can help you narrow down the list of possibilities so you can find the home and the community that are right for you.