For older adults, managing the demands of a house can be difficult. You might not have the energy, or strength, to keep up with repairs the same way you did when you were younger. You might be on a fixed income and the financial difficulties of staying in your home may be burdensome. But, despite this, you still want to maintain some independence. For many adults of a certain age, retirement villages are gaining popularity as an option for those who are having difficulty remaining in their home, but are not yet at a point where they require assisted living.
What is a Retirement Village
Retirement villages are housing developments and apartment complexes that are specifically geared to those over the age of 55. You can think of it as a half-way point between living on your own and a retirement home. They allow for the independence of living in your own home, while providing structure and support for older individuals. Many retirement villages also offer a numerous enrichment opportunities, making them a lot like a college campus for the older set.
Why a Retirement Village Might Be a Good Choice for You
- Independence: If you are in a place in your life when you need a little bit of help with day to day chores, but still want to maintain your independence, a retirement village is a good option. You would still live in your own home and have much of the same freedom as in your old home. In addition, there are staff that can help with things like grocery and meal delivery, tax advice, transportation to and from doctor’s appointments, household chores and yardwork, which can take some of the stress out of independent living.
- Expenses: Living on a fixed income is hard, especially when you still have a mortgage to worry about. Most retirement villages have housing options specifically geared towards those on a fixed income. They also will save you money on transportation costs and home repairs, which can alleviate some of the financial stress. Retirement villages are also considerably less expensive than a retirement home, since most only require an administrative fee.
- Community: Perhaps one of the largest draws of the retirement village is the community of people who are all a similar age. This allows you to make new friends who are in a similar place in their life, or to ask neighbors for help should you need it. Most retirement communities offer enrichment opportunities, such as games or courses that can add variety to your daily routine.
Why A Retirement Village Might Not be Ideal
- Cost: If you do not need the extra assistance, your home is already paid off, or you require extensive in-home care, then a retirement village might end up being more expensive than living at home or in a retirement home.
- Personal Responsibility: Residents of a retirement home are still required to maintain their own home, even if they can ask for help. If you’ve reached a point where that is impossible, another living situation might be preferable.
- Lessened Independence: Many of these communities do have extensive rules that might decrease the amount of independence enjoyed, especially compared with living at home. Make sure you review the rules of the community before moving in to ensure it is the right choice for you.
- Age Limits: Most retirement villages prohibit younger adults and children from living in the community. This means that your children and grandchildren cannot live with you.
As you age, the choice as to where you spend your later years remains a personal one. Retirement villages are a great choice for many older adults, but not all. A careful review of your situation will help you to determine whether it is the right fit for you.