How to Choose the Best Retirement Community

The time to find a retirement or senior living community that is best for you is before you need to make the move. Looking ahead gives you a better opportunity to explore your options, make financial plans and compare the cost and features of various retirement communities that interest you. Whether you plan ahead or procrastinate until a move is necessary, the following tips can help you with the decision process.


One of the first things to consider is the location you prefer to live in. If being close to family, friends, your church or social groups is at the top of your priority list, you’ll want to concentrate on communities that satisfy that criteria. Moving to a retirement community that is within close proximity to your current residence can make you feel more comfortable about the move. It will also make it more convenient for nearby friends and relatives to visit.


The financial aspect of relocating is an important factor to consider. It’s essential that you find a community that is a comfortable financial fit for you. You can do a comparison of your current expenses and the expenses you’ll be paying when you move to a senior living community to determine what amount of payment you can handle. Although it’s a difficult subject to talk about, you’ll want to know what happens if, in the future, you deplete the funds you have set aside for rental expenses.


Most likely, there will be a connection between the amenities offered and the cost of living in a retirement community. This may be a situation where making a wish list and a needs list can help you with choosing one community over another. If a pool or an exercise room is something you would frequently use then it might be worth the extra expense. If the community offers amenities that you can’t see yourself using or enjoying, there’s no reason to pay the price for those amenities.

Continuing Care

At the time you begin looking for a retirement community you may be in good health. However, as time passes, your health may decline. Knowing the options available to you if you become unable to live alone or need extensive medical care can affect your relocation choice. You might feel more comfortable about your future if you relocate to a continuing care retirement community. This type of community has independent living and assisted living arrangements. They can also accommodate those in need of skilled nursing care and possibly memory care.

Check Out the Community

Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, you should do a background check on the community. If necessary, get a friend or family member to help you find out about the accreditation and financial performance of community and the management. Make arrangements to meet with the manager of the community to get any questions you have answered and to arrange a tour of the community. Talk with some of the residents about what it’s like living there.

It’s best to start the search early for a potential retirement or senior living community that you would like to live in. Some communities have a waiting list. Having a plan in place can give you peace of mind knowing that when the time is right for you to move out of your home, you’ll have a location picked out, a financial plan in place and a new phase of your life to look forward to.


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