Now that you’ve decided an active adult retirement living is right for you, how do you choose a community? Luckily there are plenty of options, but with each community having its own unique features and personality, you must consider carefully to find your fit. These tips can help as you compare active adult retirement communities.
You Go First
Before you start comparing active adult retirement communities, think about what you want and need first. Once you’ve identified what’s most important, you can more quickly narrow your list of options. To prioritize, you might use categories such as:
- Can’t Live Without – This could be a pet-friendly community, plenty of outdoor space, or having weekly housekeeping, for example.
- Your Preferences – Maybe you’d like to stay in the same part of town if possible or be closer to shopping, dining and entertainment options. You might also prefer having a balcony or patio and a full-size kitchen versus a kitchenette.
- Nice-to-Have Features – Not a necessity but all other things equal, a community that offers concierge services, a heated pool, private transportation, and weekly happy hours might sway you.
Comparing Active Adult Retirement Communities
After creating your own lists from above, ideally, you’ve narrowed your options to 2-3 active adult retirement communities to more closely compare. At this point, you want to compare them based on the same criteria so you can more easily identify where each community stands out (or lacks). To get you started, here are examples of questions to ask when touring:
- What are my options for accommodations? Are there cost differences?
- What are the monthly fees for the community?
- What’s included in the fee and what isn’t?
- What are the deposits and entry fees? Are they refundable if I change my mind? Does the deposit get applied to the first month’s fee?
- Is a parking spot(s) assigned?
- Is transportation available?
- How would you describe the personality/culture of the community?
- What’s the age range of the residents?
- How many residents are currently living in the community?
- What are some of the regularly scheduled activities in the community?
- Do you regularly take outings? Can you give examples of typical outings and special trips?
- Is there an option to have meals in a community dining room?
- What amenities are in the community (like a pool, fitness room, dining options, walking trails, tennis courts, salon)?
- Are pets allowed?
Also, ask to meet some of the staff you’ll be interacting with, like the activity director, maintenance director, and chef. Perhaps even more importantly, ask to talk with some of the residents about life in the community to get the best sense of what you can expect.
Certainly add in any other questions that are relevant to your needs and wants, too. Don’t worry about asking too many during the tour (or any time); this is your retirement we’re talking about! Our team members are always happy to help because we want you to be confident in your decision to move here. But if you do come across an active adult retirement community where the staff isn’t helpful, double-talks, or won’t answer specific questions consider that a red flag for sure!