Finding The Right Retirement Community


There are many reasons people of retirement age consider moving into a retirement community. Some of those reasons include safety, socialization and finances. Others move into these communities because they offer a chance to enjoy the convenience of a smaller residence without all the hassle of the upkeep of a home or accompanying chores. When looking for a retirement community you must enter into the search with an idea of what you need in a community in order to feel at home.



Factors that influence your choices can include location, whether the facility offers assistive services in case you no longer can live completely independently, and cost. Many retirees simply look at the cost first and that is one of the biggest mistakes to make. This is because each retirement community compiles their own policies and offered amenities. Some retirement communities offer a base package with numerous add-ons to consider. Use the following guide to determine what type of senior living community you prefer, and then enjoy reviewing some of the top retirement communities in the U.S.

Types of Retirement Communities

Not all retirement communities are the same. Some offer tenants the opportunity to live independently and actively, featuring various events, field trips and active amenities on site. In such communities you can expect to own your own home or condo, and you are responsible for taking care of yourself and your living space without having a caregiver on hand. Other communities offer hybrid services. In these communities you have an independent living area with an attached assisted living community for when additional caregiving is required for daily activities. Retirement communities are not nursing homes and do not function as such. Both nursing homes and home care services offer caregiving on a regular, if not daily, basis.

Where to Look for a Good Retirement Community

If you are adventurous and do not mind moving to another area of the country, consider living in either Phoenix, Welsley or Asheville. All three of these cities have senior living communities that are large and active. These communities were built expressly for retirement age homeowners and condo owners. The area is designed to make everything you would ever need accessible by golf cart, bike or a short walk. Good places to find and review retirement communities online include:

Characteristics of a Good Retirement Community

Regardless of where the community is located a quality program is important. But how do you find out what a retirement community offers and what it is going to cost? Most reputable companies ask you a series of questions when you call. This helps them determine the level of care you may require and what types of features you want in your new home. Are you comfortable downsizing and moving into an apartment, or would you prefer to live in a home? Moving from a large home into a smaller apartment can be quite the adjustment. Most retirement communities have brochures and a list of included features listed on their websites. Take the time to review these before you call them. Reviewing this information can answer many of your questions. Make sure to ask about restrictions and rules that may include set hours or curfew, or when visitors are allowed to come into the community. How accessible are the transportation services and laundry? Is there someone that can come and clean your home for you, or do you have the option of doing that yourself? All of these can affect the cost of your stay.

Best Retirement Communities in the U.S.

A good place to start your search is with those retirement communities and villages that have earned a sterling reputation in the U.S. They are considered some of the best because their unique housing situations offer a level of flexibility and programming most seniors find enjoyable and enriching. Many include resort-style amenities and events.

The Clare, Chicago Illinois

Located in the bustling downtown of Chicago residents enjoy all the benefits the city has to offer, including cultural events, social clubs, musical performances and excellent access to healthcare.

Lake Weir, Ocklawaha, Florida

With few to no restrictions residents in this retirement village are free to renovate and change the basic layouts of their homes or condos as they choose. Situated near a wildlife preserve this is an active retirement community located in central Florida with access to many cultural and natural resources.

Del Webb at Lake Oconee in Greensboro, Georgia

If resort living is what you are looking for in a retirement community, then this is the one. Lake Oconee is just two hours from Atlanta, GA. And offers many on site amenities and an active event calendar.

Covenant Shores in Washington State

Many retirement communities are faith-based, meaning they actively select residents based on their desire to be with others of a similar religious background. Located near Seattle the community enjoys a private marina, and is close to entertainment, shopping and excellent restaurants.