As more than 71 million baby boomers reached retirement, adult living communities grew to accommodate the needs of the largest generation of Americans, who are more health-conscious and socially active than previous generations. Rather than the drab, impersonal retirement homes of yesteryear, today’s adult living communities offer a mix of independent living, beautiful natural surroundings, and amenities that rival the finest resorts.
But before packing up for your retirement years, you’ll want to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of moving into an active living community. You’ll also want to figure out what your ideal retirement years look like so you can find the right fit for your lifestyle.
Peace of Mind Through Community
According to the National Council on Aging, over 8 million adults over the age of 50 suffer from the effects of isolation, which can harm both your physical and mental health. One study showed that the health impacts of isolation are equivalent to smoking fifteen cigarettes a day.
Fortunately, active living communities provide social stimulation and activities that fill the human need for interaction. This includes everything from golf courses, tennis and pickleball courts, and pristine hiking trails. Saddlebrook Ranch in Tucson, named one of the best active living communities in the U.S., even features its own brewery and in-house brewmaster. It’s also not uncommon to find movie theaters, bowling alleys, and other social gathering spaces within active living facilities.
Personal fitness has also become more popular among those 55 and older, resulting in more retirement communities providing modern fitness centers. We’re not talking about some free weights and a Bowflex machine, but rather state-of-the-art equipment, along with yoga, jiu jitsu, and kickboxing classes.
These amenities can lead to a healthier lifestyle for the mind and body, along with an overall happier life. You also won’t have to worry about noisy neighbors, which is always a plus for retirees.
Restrictions and Limitations of Active Living Communities
While active living communities offer health and lifestyle benefits for older adults, the experience isn’t for everybody. Those not used to being a part of a group likely won’t want the benefits of communal living and might find the experience uncomfortable. There are also a few other details you’ll want to consider.
One point of consideration among active living communities is the level of restrictions and rules. These will vary from place to place. Homeowners Associations (HOAs) can be quite fickle, which can cause frustration among those who prefer to live unrestricted. When choosing potential locations, inquire about the community’s HOA and the demands involved. The last thing you want is to feel stifled in your new home.
Your health needs will also play a role in your decision. As opposed to nursing homes and other assisted-living facilities, active living communities usually don’t have onsite healthcare. Those who need constant care, might prefer an assisted living facility over an active living community.
Vantage West Can Help Get You Active
If active living communities sound like the right way to kick off your twilight years, Vantage West Credit Union can help you retire in style. Vantage West’s home loan team will guide you through the homebuying process so that you can focus on finding a home to fit your new lifestyle. For more information or to schedule a consultation, visit VantageWest.org or call (800) 888-7882.
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