Now that you have retired, you can live your life exactly how you would like. If you want to travel or spend more time with your loved ones, you have the freedom to do so. You can also choose to move to a 55+ community and give up taking care of a home or daily chores so you can fully enjoy your golden years.
55+ communities are places like independent living communities, retirement villages, or senior living centers. These aren’t homes for seniors that are sick or need health care, but can offer amenities that other living situations might not. These amenities can include house cleaning or repair, laundry services, or even chef-prepared meals. Tempe is home to a few 55+ communities including the SeniorAdvisor.com 2016 Best of Senior Living Award winner, Westchester Senior Living.
Living in one of these places gives you the freedom to enjoy your retirement while allowing you to design your lifestyle based on your hobbies.
In Tempe, the cost of a one-bedroom apartment is around $985 per month. Independent communities are going to cost more, but they will be able to offer you more than a regular apartment. A one bedroom apartment in an independent community in Tempe can cost anywhere from $1,300 to $3,470 per month, and while this might seem like a big price jump, it is still less expensive than a nursing facility.
Unfortunately, things like Medicaid, long-term care insurance, or VA benefits won’t cover the cost of independent living. While they might take care of things like nursing homes or in home health care, as a healthy senior you will most likely have to cover the costs out-of-pocket. You can use your Social Security payments or retirement savings to help lower the costs, though.
If you own your home and want to move, you have two options. You can sell it and use that money to fund your 55+ community, or you can rent out the home and use that money to help cover your costs. There is also the choice of getting a roommate to defray the cost of independent living. Just make sure to give it a trial run beforehand and be sure to check the rules on roommates at each facility.
One of the nicest things about moving to a 55+ community is that you can choose the lifestyle that fits your needs best. So before you move, decide what things are most important to you. Maybe you have pets and need a pet-friendly facility, or you want a place that allows frequent visitors so you can see your family often. Maybe you want to travel and want a low maintenance house to stay in between trips or want to stay in one place that can offer you everything you need in one spot.
Once you know what you want in a community, start looking around and seeing what is available. Get suggestions from friends and family and choose a place that fits your needs.
It’s important to know everything included in your rent and what costs extra before you sign a lease. Ask what utilities are included in your rent, as most places will cover things like house cleaning, laundry, and cable. They might also offer a meal plan, and you can decide what type of food service you would like or you could opt out altogether and save money by making your own meals.
Transportation is another thing that you will want to check on before you move. If you have a car and can drive, see if they offer parking spots. If you can’t drive anymore, find out if the facility can provide transportation to places like the grocery store or the doctor’s office.
There are also extra amenities that many communities will offer, and while a few might be included in the cost of your rent, some might be extra or pay as you go type of situation. This can include things like:
Fitness, art, or cooking classes Swimming pools Golf courses Onsite salons Grocery stores or general stores on-site Dog parks and walking trails Massage therapy Physical therapy Game rooms On-site entertainment like concerts or plays
When you start looking for a community, you will want to keep a few things in mind like the neighborhood. Is it located in a place that is close to stores, medical facilities, and entertainment? Or, will you need to use transportation? Is it in a safer part of the neighborhood or is it located near noisy college campuses?
You also want to consider your health and your future. If you are independent and able-bodied, then living in a place like Elmcroft of Tempe, which focuses more on independent living, might be the right choice. A facility such as Westchester Senior Living could be a better option for seniors that would like a continuum of care because it’s a place that can age with them and provide the services they need, as they get older.
No matter what you need, you’re sure to find it in one of the 55+ communities in Tempe. All you have to do is decide what type of lifestyle you’re looking for and you can start to enjoy your retirement as soon as possible.
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