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5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Moving to a 55+ Active Adult Retirement Community

5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Moving to a 55+ Active Adult Community two women playing a game and high fiving

Active adult retirement communities might be the ideal retirement lifestyle for Boomers and Gen X alike. And, it’s really no wonder why! Where else can you get maintenance-free living with resort-like amenities? But, if you’re on the fence about making the move, here are some things to consider. Ask yourself these 5 questions before moving to a 55+ community!


1. What’s my budget?

money house

You’ve likely heard that many retirement communities require upfront costs and monthly payments. And, while that’s mostly true, don’t let it scare you! An active adult community can be much more affordable than you realize. And, all it takes is a little budgeting.

The actual costs will vary drastically depending on what state you’re in and what types of amenities are provided. However, you can generally expect to pay market value for a home within any retirement community. As for entry and monthly fees – those can range anywhere from $150 to $5,000.


So, how do you plan?

First, remember that you’ll be selling your home before you move, and that money can go straight to your new active lifestyle. Also, shop around! Tour several active adult communities and compare what each has to offer (you can even spend a weekend in a guest house to see how you like it). Many communities are located just outside of major cities, which can make for cheaper costs too! And, finally, take advantage of community representatives. Most will work with you to choose (or build) your ideal home and help you make decisions that make the most sense for you.

2. How outgoing am I?

senior selfie friends

Active adult communities are meant to encourage active and healthy lifestyles for seniors. Residents enjoy countless on-site activities and can choose to participate in clubs, games, social opportunities, trips, and entertainment. Really – the list can go on! So, how outgoing are you? Are you ready to spend your retirement having as little or as much fun as you want?

3. Do I want a house, condo, or apartment?

gated communities
c/o Robert Fowler

When shopping around for a 55+ community, there are living options! Some communities offer a little bit of everything; from houses to condos, villas, and apartments. Others have very limited housing types available.


4. Is there medical care nearby?

doctor office

It’s very common for active adult communities to not feature medical care. That’s because this type of retirement community is for seniors who can live independently. But, as you well know, life happens. Unexpected health issues can come up without any notice. So, you should be sure that good hospitals and other care are close by!

5. Does it feel like home?

retiree sitting on couch smiling

You’ve taken your tours. You’ve considered amenities, costs, and features. So, now what? Ask yourself (and your partner) if you can see yourself aging in place here. Are the neighbors nice? Is it a welcoming environment for children and grandchildren to visit? Does it feel like home?

More Senior Resources

To learn more about retirement communities, start here!


Are you planning for retirement? Then check out Bob Carlson’s Retirement Watch!

Learn how to prepare financially for retirement with Lena Armuth’s Retirement for Real podcast:

Originally published October 24, 2023

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