You’ve heard of active retirement communities – but what are they, and how can you tell if moving to one is the right choice for you? Here’s what you need to know.
Active Retirement Communities: What’s Right for You?
An active retirement community is a complete neighborhood that features all the amenities you need. Many of these communities include things like:
- Fitness centers
- Salons and day spas
- Recreational opportunities
- Religious facilities
- Grocery stores and gas stations
Although they’re called retirement communities, you don’t have to be retired to live in one – in fact, they’re simply restricted by age, not work status. Most homeowners or renters in these communities are 55 and older, which means “retirement community” isn’t always the most accurate descriptor.
Moving to a retirement community is about more than downsizing your house and starting somewhere new. It’s also about gaining a built-in support system, social opportunities and amenities that fit your lifestyle.
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A Word on Continuing Care Retirement Communities
Continuing care retirement communities are communities that offer a wide range of living options for seniors as their needs change. Typically, the types of living options available include independent living, assisted living, memory care and full-time skilled nursing care. Sometimes it makes sense to move to a 55+ retirement community – but in some cases, moving to a place that offers continuing care is a better choice.
What to Consider in an Active Retirement Community
When you’re thinking about retiring, it’s important to find a community that offers a lifestyle that’s compatible with yours.
Recreational Opportunities in Active Retirement Communities
For most people, a good recreation schedule – one that promotes activities you enjoy and includes activities for people of all mobility and experience levels – is an essential in a retirement community. Things like hikes and nature walks, clubs and groups, and fitness opportunities can help round out a neighborhood and make it more desirable.
Medical Services and Care
Access to nearby medical facilities is essential, as well, just like it is in any other community. For example, you’ll need to be near your primary care physician (or near a new one who’s accepting new patients). If you need specialists, you’ll want to ensure that the community you choose has them or is close enough to the facilities you need. Many retirement communities can provide your REALTOR® with detailed information on nearby medical providers so you can make the best possible decision.
Some retirement communities offer single-family homes, condos and townhomes. If you own your own house in a retirement community, you’ll likely be responsible for maintenance. However, sometimes lawn care is part of your association dues. In condos and townhomes, you most likely won’t be responsible for repairs or area maintenance – your association dues will cover those things, just like they would in any other condo or townhome community.
How to Find the Right Active Retirement Community for Your Needs
Ask yourself these questions when you’re considering a home in any of Maryland’s 55+ communities:
- How “active” is this community? Some have large clubhouses, schedules packed with organized activities and group outings, and golf courses – but others are quieter and feature few amenities.
- Are the homes designed for aging in place? Your needs can change significantly over the next 10 to 20 years, which means the home you buy now should be able to accommodate you in the future, as well. Look for things like no-step entries, single-floor living and wide doorways.
- Is the area in a good location for your needs? Whether you choose something in Ellicott City, Owings Mills or another city, sticking close to your friends and family may be one of your priorities.
Are You Looking for a Home in One of Maryland’s Active Retirement Communities?
If you’re looking for a home in an active retirement community, we can help you find one that’s just right for your needs. While you’re here, check out:
- 55+ communities in Ellicott City
- 55+ communities in Columbia
- Gatherings® at Quarry Place condos for sale
You can also contact us to talk about your needs or sign up to get notifications each time a home that matches your needs hits the market. If it’s easier, just fill out the form below and we’ll get back to you. We’re always available at 443-955-1227 – and we’ll be happy to show you any listing.