As a senior in retirement, you have the freedom to do anything you like, but if you own a house, you might find you’re spending that precious free time cleaning, mowing the lawn, and fixing anything that breaks. If you would prefer to spend that hard-earned retirement on your terms instead of doing chores, a 55+ community might be appealing. Retirement villages, senior living communities, and independent communities are all the same as a 55+ community and can take care of your housework and maintenance for you while providing extra amenities.
Tulsa has over a dozen 55+ communities, and they even include two of SeniorAdvisor.com’s 2016 Best of Senior Living winners, Town Village Tulsa and University Village Retirement Community. No matter where you decide to call your home, the 55+ communities of Tulsa, Oklahoma have plenty to offer seniors.
You will most likely pay more for a 55+ community apartment than a regular apartment in Tulsa. But you have to remember that you are getting more than a normal apartment can offer a senior. In December of 2015, a one-bedroom apartment in Tulsa was around $705 per month. A one-bedroom apartment in an independent living community in Tulsa could cost as little as $1,800 or as much as $2,500. There are a few factors that could raise or lower that price including your location, the square footage of the apartment, and the amenities offered.
While things like Medicaid, VA bills, long-term care insurance, and other benefit programs might pay for things like personal care and in-home health, they will not cover the basic costs of living. If you are a healthy adult, you’re going to have to pay for this lifestyle with your own money. You can lower your cost in a few different ways, though.
If you have a retirement or savings plan that you have been putting money into, those funds could help cover the cost of rent. Social Security payments are also another option. You could also look into selling your house if you own it or renting it out and using that money for a 55+ community.
A roommate might also be an option if you’re willing to share a two-bedroom apartment with someone else. Look into the rules of your community and see if you can have a roommate and then give the situation a trial run. If both roommates can agree to the lease and each other, you could potentially cut your costs in half this way.
One of the best things about living in a 55+ community is that you can decide the type of lifestyle you would like. Perhaps you like living in a quiet neighborhood in your own house but need someone to take care of the upkeep. Maybe you like to travel and don’t need a fancy house but a low maintenance place to stay between trips. Or, you could have a lot of pets or a large family that like to visit frequently, and you need a place that allows all of those things.
Start your search by thinking of the things that make you happy, and you need to go about your day. Once you have a list of your wants and requirements, you can start looking into places to live. Your friends or family members might have a few suggestions, or you can look online for communities in your area. Once you have a shortlist, make sure to visit each place and see what basic amenities they offer, what is extra, and what the neighborhood is like.
Each community you look at will have a few basic amenities offered. First, you should find out if there are any utilities covered in the cost of rent. Many places will have things like housekeeping, laundry services, and cable or TV included in their rent. You should also see what kind of transportation options they have and if they go to the places you frequent. Check out their schedule and routes and see if it works for you.
You should also have a look at their meal plan because many communities will have one. If you hate cooking, make sure they offer enough meals to keep you fed throughout the day. If you would prefer to cook your meals you might be able to opt out and save some money.
If you have a pet, make sure they don’t have any restrictions on size or breed and ask if they require a pet deposit. Each place should also have some form of security, whether it’s an alarm system or security guards and many places will have staff on call 24/7.
Beyond the basic amenities, you can find a lot of perks and extras. This might include things like an indoor pool (perfect for the winter time), golf courses, and fitness centers with classes included. Each community is different, and you might find places that have:
Onsite restaurants, stores, and salons
Art or cooking classes
Free wi-fi in common areas
These amenities might cost more money so make sure you know about any extra fees before you make your final decision.
While it’s important to find a community to fit your needs, the surrounding neighborhood should also fit your lifestyle. If you prefer a quieter place, make sure the community you choose is not in a busy downtown area. If you don’t have a car and need to get around, make sure you choose a place that has easy transportation options or a neighborhood that is easily walkable. You might also want to see if there are schools nearby as they could cause noise, as well as crime rates for the area.
As you age, your health needs might change, and that is something you need to take into consideration when you choose a 55+ community. There are generally two types you can choose from to suit your needs.
If you don’t mind moving and want a place that seems more your own than a part of a community, you might want to consider options like University Village Retirement Community. These places often allow you to have a separate home and keep to yourself while still offering full amenities. If you do need additional care in the future, you will probably have to move.
If you would rather stay right where you are and not bother with moving, communities like Town Village Tulsa are a better option. These communities have services like hospice care and aging in place, which means you can get the health care you need as you age and not worry about leaving your home.
Find assisted living in Tulsa near you.