You’re over 55, independent, ready to downsize and have heard about all the fantastic amenities and social connection a retirement community has to offer. So what kind of things should you be looking for? How will you know if the community you’re looking at is the right one for you? Will you be able to afford the retirement community that fits best with your lifestyle?
Here are some tips to get you started:
1. Types of retirement housing developments
These days, there are many different types of retirement housing to consider besides the most common assisted living. Whether you’re thinking about downsizing to a condominium or a smaller home, the choices are as diverse as they are many. Are you very active? There are communities that come with physical fitness built right in. Whether you enjoy lots of walking trails, swimming or yoga classes—many of today’s retirement developments will be equipped for the most active adult. Some even offer a gym complete with personal trainers. Do you enjoy educational programs and lectures? Or are you more interested in dance classes and outings? These are all good things to keep in mind during your search.
2. How to finance a move to a 55+ development
Here are some things to look into while thinking about financing your move to a retirement community:
- Home Sale: The sale of your current home and any equity you may have
- Retirement savings: IRA’s 401K’s pension, personal savings accounts and other investments
- Downsizing: anything you don’t need in your new home can be sold at market value
- Veterans Benefits: If you’re a veteran or surviving spouse of a veteran, you may qualify for Veteran Aid and Attendance Pension
- Long-term care insurance: These policies can be helpful but may vary in terms of benefits. Check your policy carefully.
- Annuities: Annuities provide a way to take a pension or other “nest egg” of money intended for retirement and use it to obtain a guaranteed income that pays out until your death. Annuities are particularly useful if you have savings but are worried they won’t last as long as you need them to in order to pay for independent living.
- Social Security income
3. Top Builders of for-sale retirement communities
While looking into some of the newest retirement communities, you want to be sure and find a reliable builder in your area. Here are three of the top builders to consider:
Del Webb Homes
With more than 50 years of building experience across the United States, Del Webb is responsible for building the largest number of retirement homes. In 2001, Del Webb merged with Pulte Homes and further consolidated their success story. If you are interested in retiring to a community with low-maintenance homes along with amenity-rich clubhouses, consider homes by Del Webb. You can count on their experience and expertise to provide you the perfect home.
K. Hovnanians Homes
This homebuilder is nationally recognized and has been in operation since 1959. More than 50 years after the inception of the building company, this homebuilder is still going strong with strict adherence to the principles set by its founder. Homes are built to meet every desire of the active adult and are designed with your active lifestyle in mind. Communities with homes by K. Hovnanians can be found in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Florida and North Carolina.
Although Shea Homes may be new to the home building life, Shea Homes’ parent company has been around for more than 125 years. Communities built by Shea Homes go public by the name of Trilogy, which offer complete lifestyle packages suitable for active adults. Apart from great communities with high-end amenities, this builder is also responsible for providing homes that encourage you to save the environment. “Green” homes are very common with Shea Homes. Shea Home communities can be found in Florida, California, Nevada, Arizona and Washington.