How would you like to spend your retirement? Would you rather deal with daily chores like cooking, cleaning, mowing the lawn and repairing anything that breaks? Or would you prefer to spend your time traveling, relaxing, enjoying hobbies, and visiting loved ones? If the idea of taking care of your house and all its problems during your retirement doesn’t sound fun, then you should look into a 55+ community. Sometimes called a retirement village, senior living center, or independent living, these places can offer you help with your daily chores while you enjoy their amenities like chef-prepared meals and indoor swimming pools.
Aurora is a great place to find a 55+ community, and of the dozens offered, many are rated highly like Cherry Creek Retirement Village and Garden Plaza of Aurora. Within each of these communities, you can find the type of lifestyle you want to enjoy during your hard-earned retirement years.
The cost is what stops most seniors from living in a 55+ community because it is more expensive than a regular apartment in the area. However, you have to think of what you’re getting for the cost and find places that fit within your budget. If you want to compare the average costs, though, a one-bedroom apartment in Aurora costs about $1,157 per month in December of 2015 while a one-bedroom apartment in a 55+ community can cost anywhere between $800 to $3,000 per month.
You will also have to pay for your new home with your own money. Seniors often use Medicaid, long-term care insurance, or VA bills to pay for their care but these programs are only for seniors that need personal or in-home health care. Healthy adults can’t use these funds for basic living expenses.
You do have a few options though if you’re looking for funds to move. If you’re ready to downsize your house, you can sell your current home to pay for a new one. You could even rent out your house to use that money to cover the cost of your own rent. If you have substantial retirement savings, this would be a good time to use it and Social Security payments could also be a benefit.
If you need to cut costs further, you could consider getting a roommate. If you have a two-bedroom apartment and get a roommate, you would be able to cut your costs in half. First, you need to make sure your community allows roommates, and you should test out having a roommate first. If everything goes well, you can both sign the lease.
Retirement is all about getting to do what you enjoy and what you didn’t have time for while you were working. That means you should take a few things into consideration as you start looking for a 55+ community. If you love animals and would like to have pets, your community needs to allow animals. If you have small grandchildren that like to visit, you need a place that will enable them to do so. If you would like to travel during your retirement, you probably want a home that is low maintenance, so you don’t have to worry about it while you’re gone. If you like to get out and do things every day or prefer to stay in, you need communities that will cater to those needs.
Once you have your list of needs and wants, you can start looking around. Start by asking for recommendations from your friends and family and even talk to health care providers as they might have a few good referrals. You can search online and read customer reviews or look at ads in magazines and newspapers. After you’ve found a few places you’re interested in, start checking out the different amenities and services they offer.
Most places will have a few basic services included in their cost. Most often this will mean that some utilities are included in rent like housekeeping and laundry services as well as cable or TV. If you don’t have a car or can’t drive, you will need to find a place that offers some form of transportation services.
Security is another service you should ask about. Many places will have alarms, surveillance systems, or a security guard on duty. If you have pets, then you need to ask about pet deposits and make sure they allow your breed and size of the animal.
Finally, you should look into their meal plans. See what meals they offer, if they have snacks, and if they can accommodate special dietary requirements as needed. If you like to cook on your own, ask if they will let you opt out of the meal plan and you might be able to save some money.
Beyond the basic services, there will be some extra amenities that are unique to the community. These services might cost extra, or they could be built into the cost of your rent. Some places have pools and fitness centers while others offer dog parks and golf courses. You can also find:
Art or cooking classes
Garden plots for each resident
Onsite dentist or medical appointments
Emergency call system
Make sure you choose a place that offers the amenities you want and need, as well as one that fits your budget.
Your community needs to fit with your lifestyle but so does the neighborhood. If you plan to spend any time outside of your new home, you want to make sure you can do so with ease. Check to make sure the places you need to go are easily reached by driving, walking, or another form of transportation. Check out the noise levels and note if there are any busy intersections, schools, or nightlife that could contribute to a louder neighborhood. You can also look at crime rates to make sure you choose a relatively safe area.
While it’s fun to plan your retirement and think of all the things you will do with your free time, you also need to plan ahead for your health. Many communities offer some health care, but there are some that are better suited to it than others. If you’re okay with choosing a place that doesn’t provide around the clock care or other health care when needed, you might want to pick a place like Cherry Creek Retirement Village. You can be a little more independent here, but you may need to move if your health declines.
Places like Garden Plaza of Aurora offer more options when it comes to health care. While you can still enjoy the freedom of independent living, you can get the care you need too. They have nurses on staff, respite care, on-call medical personnel, and hospice care when needed. Places like this will grow with you, and you won’t need to worry about moving.
Find assisted living in Aurora near you.