When you start planning your retirement, did you think that you would have to spend a ton of time on household chores like cooking, cleaning, and laundry? Did you schedule in regular maintenance of your lawn and appliances? Probably not and you shouldn’t have to because retirement isn’t about chores and maintenance, it’s about freedom and relaxation. 55+ communities can give you the chance to truly enjoy this time in your life without the hassle of chores and a to-do list.
These communities go by many different names, independent living, senior living center, retirement villages, but they all offer the same idea. They will take care of things like cooking, cleaning, and maintenance while you benefit from their amenities like swimming pools and planned outings around town. Anaheim is home to at least a dozen 55+ communities, and they each offer special amenities that can fit your lifestyle and needs. These include highly rated places like Walnut Village and The Meridian at Anaheim.
It’s a little hard to pin down an exact cost for an independent living because there are a few factors like location and square footage, which go into the total cost. However, you can expect to pay more than you would for a regular apartment. In December of last year, a one-bedroom apartment in Anaheim cost around $1,643 per month and a one-bedroom apartment in a 55+ community can cost anywhere from $1,500 to $3,500 per month. Because there are so many options, you can find a place that will fit your budget and needs.
You will have to pay for this type of lifestyle with your own money because there aren’t any benefits programs that cover this kind of community. VA bills, long-term care insurance, and Medicaid are for seniors that require personal or in-home health care, not healthy adults and their basic living expenses.
That said, there are a few options when it comes to finding money for a 55+ community. If you have a house, think about downsizing and selling your home. That money can then go towards your new home. You could also rent your house and use the funds to cover your expenses. If you have been saving for retirement or receive Social Security payments, both of those can cover your rent.
You might also want to consider getting a roommate. Not only can they provide companionship, but they can also help cut your costs in half. Find out if your community allows roommates and then give the situation a trial run. If both of you are happy at the end and can agree to the terms of the lease, go ahead and sign the contract.
The community you choose is going to be unique to you and your needs. It should fit your lifestyle and the set of values you have. You can start narrowing those down by asking yourself a few questions. Do you like animals or do you already have pets? Does your family visit frequently and do they like to stay with you when they visit? Do you like to have your day planned out or would you prefer to do as you please? Do you like to travel or need a low maintenance home?
Once you answer these questions, you’ll start to form a list of things you desire in your new home. Now, start looking around and seeing what’s available in your area that fits these needs. Talk to friends and relatives that know you well and see if they have suggestions. You can also look at review sites online or check out ads in newspapers and magazines.
When you start to visit these places, you should know a little bit about what to expect. Here are a few of the basic and extra services you can expect to see.
There will be some services included in the cost of your rent and usually, that includes a few utilities. Things like housekeeping, laundry services, and cable/TV are often covered with your rent. You might also find that places have a complimentary transportation service which could be helpful if you don’t have a car or can’t drive.
Your meals might also be a part of the basic services. Some places will cover all your meals and snacks while others might only offer breakfast or dinner and leave you to your own devices for lunches and snacks. Decide whether or not you want to cook for yourself and find a meal plan that fits your needs.
You should also ask about things like security and find out what safety measures they have. They could use an alarm system, surveillance cameras, or an on-duty security guard. Ask about their pet policies and what staff they have on call.
Once you know about the basic services, you can look into all the extra perks each community offers. Many places will have things like a swimming pool or fitness center while others will offer free classes, access to their golf course, or planned outings/trips. A few other amenities you might find include:
Free Wi-Fi in public areas
Outdoor places to grill or have picnics
Dog parks and walking trails
On call doctors or nurses
Onsite restaurants and salons
Ask if there is an extra charge for any of these services and only get the ones you think you’ll truly like to keep costs under control.
Take a look at the surrounding area. Does it meet your requirements? You need to think about things like the walkability of your neighborhood, transportation options, noise levels, and crime rates. Places that are near downtown might be easily accessible, but they could also be noisy. Quiet suburbs are nice, but make sure you can get to your daily errands.
Your health is another important factor in your decision. While you might be okay now, as you age your health can decline, and you want to be in a place that suits your needs. If you would prefer to live in a place that lets you be a little more independent, then you might want to consider a community like The Meridian at Anaheim. Choosing a place like this might mean you have to move as your health needs change, but if you don’t mind that, this is a good option.
There are also communities like Walnut Village that have a continuum of care in place. They have a memory care center as well as a rehabilitation center so you can stay in one location as your health needs change. They also have nurses on call, respite care, and hospice available so your home and community can grow with you.
Find assisted living in Anaheim near you.