If you’ve recently retired in Jersey City, you’re probably looking forward to all the extra free time you now have. What you most likely aren’t looking forward to is time spent doing your laundry, cleaning the house, fixing damages, or taking care of yard work. Luckily, you can move to a retirement community, also known as an independent living community or 55+ community, and have all those chores done for you. These communities will take care of your yard, clean your house, do your laundry, and even prepare your meals and provide you with amenities like fitness classes and swimming pools.
In Jersey City, you can find a few retirement communities like Alaris Health at The Atrium or Hilltop Retirement Community, but Jersey City is close enough to New York that you can take advantage of places like Brookdale Battery Park too. This community has even won a SeniorAdvisor.com 2017 Best of Senior Living Award.
Looking at both the rent for typical apartments in Jersey City and 55+ community apartments, you’re going to pay more for the 55+ community. A typical one-bedroom apartment in Jersey City costs around $2,488 and a two-bedroom costs about $3,267 per month. A one-bedroom apartment in a senior community could cost anywhere between $3,200 and $5,030 per month. The total cost for this type of lifestyle will change based on the location of the community, how big it is, the services they offer, and what amenities you decide to use.
You’re going to have to pay for this type of lifestyle on your own without financial assistance from programs like Medicaid or VA benefits. Those programs along with long-term care insurance cover personal and home health care for seniors but won’t take care of the living expenses in a 55+ community.
You can still use your Social Security payments to supplement your monthly costs, and if you’ve been saving for retirement, this is a good situation to start using that money. Other things to consider are selling your house and using the profits for your payments or renting it out.
A roommate might also help lessen your financial burden, and if you get a two-bedroom apartment, you can cut costs in half. Check the rules first to make sure your community allows roommates and try out the situation for a month to make sure you can live with a roommate. If everything goes well and everyone agrees to the rental rules, then you should both sign the lease.
The beauty of retirement is you get to enjoy your free time by doing the things you enjoy and living in a 55+ community can make that experience even better. Take some time and figure out what you want from your lifestyle. Whether you want to travel, stay at home, have frequent guests, own a pet, need transportation, or enjoy certain hobbies, you can find a community that meets all your needs.
Once you know what you want, you can start your search. Online reviews can give you a sense of how residents like or don’t like their home and you can ask for suggestions from friends or family. Try to visit the places you really like so you can get a feel for the environment and find out about the services they offer.
The first services you should ask about are the ones included in the cost of rent. These could be things like utilities, housekeeping, cable, and laundry services, but ask to be sure. Transportation is also often provided to help seniors without cars get around town. Ask to see a map of the route, so you know where they make their stops.
Your meals could also be included, but you should inquire about how many meals per day that includes and if they have snacks, or you can supplement with your own. If you enjoy cooking, ask if that’s allowed or if you can opt out of the meal plan. You should know what type of security protocols they use to protect residents and if there are staff members always on-site. Pet owners should be aware of breed or size limits and if they need to pay a pet deposit.
There will also be extra services that are unique to each community. It might be an indoor swimming pool, tennis courts, or special classes taught at the community center. These amenities might be an extra cost, so make sure you ask about that beforehand. Other amenities could include:
Fitness centers and exercise classes
Salon and barber services
Restaurants, pubs, and shops
Outdoor areas with garden plots and grills
On call dentists, podiatrists, or other medical professionals
While you might spend most of your time within your community, you should still check out the surrounding neighborhood. Jersey City is close to the Big Apple but is the community near public transportation or will you have to get there yourself? Does the neighborhood have a lot of crime or is it relatively peaceful? Are there a lot of businesses and schools in the area which might make it noisier? These things should be taken into consideration.
You might be healthy right now but that could change down the road, so be sure to plan for unexpected health issues in advance. Ask yourself a few things as you consider each community. Do you want a continuum of care or more privacy? Do you mind moving or does the thought make you panic?
If you like your privacy, don’t need extra assistance, and don’t mind moving, a place like Brookdale Battery Park might be a wise choice. You can go about your day freely and not worry about checking in or following a particular schedule. If you do need extra assistance at some point or have a serious illness, you might need to move.
Alaris Health at The Atrium, on the other hand, provides a full spectrum of care for their residents. You can enjoy an independent lifestyle or live in the assisted living facility. They have a health care center, memory care unit, sub-acute care, wellness center, and a dialysis center. No matter what happens to your health, you can stay in one place and get the care you need.
Find assisted living in Jersey City near you.