Determining the right type of HOA or Condo Association community for you is incredibly important. It’s where you’re likely to spend some of the best years of your life and it’s essential to feel comfortable in your community. Here are some things to consider when determining what you want in a 55+ community:
1. Current and Future Health Concerns
This is a top concern for folks entering 55+ communities. Consider your current and future health status. Is the climate right for your health? Will you have access to quality healthcare? Does the layout of the housing accommodate your needs? Find the answers to these questions when searching for a community.
2. Average age of the community
You’d be surprised how much age matters. Will entering a community at 55 where the average age is 80 make you feel at the same pace as everyone else? Are you among people you consider peers? Asking these questions can help determine your happiness in that community.
3. Your personal life goals
Are you looking for companionship, love, volunteer opportunities, work, or just plain fun? Whatever your goal, it’s something to consider when choosing a community. This is a great time to make a list of current goals and consider new opportunities. Who knows, maybe you’ll find a little adventure!
4. Community activities
Are you an avid golfer or tennis lover? Or do you prefer the arts, religious services, or participating in a community garden? Make sure whatever community you choose offers the activities that interest you most.
5. Family and friends
Some 55+ communities have an 80/20 rule for housing, which determines that 80% of a family needs to be above 55 years to live there. Some communities may be less family-friendly, which is why it’s an important criteria to check if you’re very family oriented. For example, a policy may cap the number of nights a family or friend can stay with you. Some communities have playgrounds and activities for children, other don’t allow them; find what’s best for you.
Living in a 55+ community might not be for everyone, it could be by preference or for financial reasons. If you’re retired, budgets can be tight. Make sure all of the community costs are fully discussed and disclosed before signing on. Here’s a financial resource for financial planning.
7. Community ownership
Will you own your space or property? Or will the community, developer, or investor maintain ownership? Maybe an association? Knowing the answer can help determine future costs, responsibilities, and the financial stability of the community itself. Read more on community ownership and the right questions to ask here.
8. Full or part-time living
Some 55+ community members don’t stay year round and will change per season. How well-suited is the community for each type of living? If you are staying part time, will your home be safe when you are away? When looking for a community ask questions about part and full-time living to see if they fit your needs.
9. Your spouse or partner’s wishes
You know what you are looking for, but what does your partner want? Finding a community that fits both of your needs is important for obvious reasons. Together, try creating a checklist of must-haves and compromises.
10. The environment
Have you been dreaming of somewhere sunny? Somewhere near a mountain? Or closer to the city? If you have the means, make sure you are located where you want to be.
Following these criteria will hopefully lead to a change and community you can be excited about. If you want to read more about how to determine the right 55+ community, the Baby Boomers Guide to Selecting a Retirement Community is helpful.
What would considerations would you take when choosing a 55+ community? Tell us in the comments below!