Down to the Dollars: What Are the Costs Associated With Living in a 55+ Community?

A retired couple calculate the cost of moving to a retirement community.

5 minute read

Answer: As of 2023, the average cost of residing in an age-restricted community is between $1,500 to $4,000 per month due to HOA fees, onsite amenities, security services, and other expenses.

Knowing what to expect when planning on moving to a retirement community takes the stress and uncertainty out of the transition. After all, this is the time in life when we’re most looking forward to enjoying our savings. We want to prioritize our “fun budget” and cut down on costs without giving up a comfortable lifestyle. Taking inventory of the financial commitment associated with moving to a 55+ community ensures our budget and lifestyle goals are met. 

Although costs vary with each community, there are a few factors retirees can consider prior to moving. Our team has put together a handy reference guide of common costs when moving to a 55+ community.

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The Average Cost of Living in a 55+ Community

55+ homebuyer hand making a personal budget using a calculator.

Let’s examine an overview of the cost of living in a 55+ community. On average, residing in an age-restricted community costs between $1,500 to $4,000 per month, depending on the state and neighborhood. There are a variety of age-restricted residences to explore within the United States. As a result, there’s a comfortable price point for every retiree. A few of the elements that contribute to monthly living costs (inclusive of the average monthly cost or separate depending on the community) are as follows.

HOA Fees

Each 55+ community has a homeowners’ association (HOA), but HOA fees vary depending on the community. However, the benefit of living in a managed community often offsets the HOA fee. Many homeowners weigh the HOA fee against what the HOA offers and what they’ll be saving on maintenance costs and labor time. Lawn care, home repair and upkeep, and general property maintenance are all tasks an HOA takes off the homeowner’s plate. 

If you’re looking to evaluate the quality of the HOAs within the communities you’re considering, don’t be afraid to ask the important questions. Find out what services are covered. Also, ask what the HOA’s reserve fund is. This will give you a good indicator of the overall readiness to deal with large-scale property damage. For example, consider hail storms, water damage, and big repairs. Lastly, don’t be afraid to ask other residents how they’re finding the HOA’s services. Word of mouth can tell you a lot about the state of an HOA.

Onsite Recreation

Active retirement communities come with an array of recreation opportunities just a short walk from your front door. As such, the monthly cost of living encompasses access to well-maintained onsite facilities. Golf retirement communities are increasing in popularity across the U.S., providing residents with access to world-class golf courses as part of their residential experience. Other active retirement communities also feature acres of trails, lakes, and bike paths with private access for residents. Additionally, state-of-the-art fitness facilities and clubhouses are a staple of many 55+ communities, making your total monthly cost a package deal.

Amenities

If luxury living is a priority for your retirement, you can expect your monthly living cost to fall on the higher end of the spectrum for resort-style retirement communities. These communities often come complete with luxury details such as onsite spas, private community pools, and 5-star dining. The vision behind master-planned resort retirement is to capture the feeling of your favorite vacation getaway within the comforts of a tight-knit community. The higher price tag is often worth the highest-quality amenities for a holiday-esque retirement experience. 

Safety and Security

Most 55+ communities are gated to ensure peace and privacy. Security is included in the homeowner’s costs. Enhanced safety measures may include 24-7 surveillance cameras and staffed entry points. These measures extend to keeping onsite recreation areas private so residents can have peace of mind within their community.

For more insights, check out: Our Top Real Estate Tips for First-Time 55+ Community Buyers.

Other Expenses When Moving to a Retirement Community

A 55+ couple sitting on a park bench on sunny autumn day looking over finances on a tablet.

Don’t be caught unprepared by moving expenses. Consider these common costs to note prior to transitioning to the age-restricted community of your dreams.

Out-of-State Transit and Moving Costs

If you’re considering retiring in another state or even across the country, the initial transit and moving costs can be significant. We recommend getting estimates at least three months in advance of your move-in date. This way you can plan ahead for the type of moving services you’ll need. What trucks or trailers will be best suited for the task? And how much will a move out-of-state cost? Weighing these costs against in-state retirement is a good way to determine the right option for your move-in timeline.

Storage Costs

Downsizing is the goal for many retirees. With more time to prioritize hobbies and recreation, many 55+ residents find moving to an age-restricted community to be the best time to declutter. However, with decluttering comes additional storage costs. One consolidation strategy is to seek out 55+ communities that offer onsite storage. These communities typically offer a better rate alongside more convenient, easily accessible storage options exclusive to residents. In addition, residents enjoy peace of mind with elevated security measures to keep their assets safe.

Long-Term Care Insurance for Assisted Living Transitions

Finally, if you’re considering moving to an assisted living facility or a transitional community where assistance may be a future option, it’s important to start cost planning now. Long-term care insurance is a useful solution for assisted living transitions. These plans can be purchased in advance to lock in the best rate or may even be covered in an employer-sponsored retirement plan. Review your options, fill in any gaps in coverage, and go into the next stage of your homeowner journey with confidence.

55places Is a Helping Hand for This Exciting New Chapter

Transitioning to a 55+ community is an exciting new chapter. Don’t let unexpected financial costs dampen the enthusiasm. Plan ahead with a picture of your financial future and a vision of living your best life in a 5-star community.

Contact the team at 55places for more retirement transition insights and learn more by answering the ever-pressing question: Is Right Now Still the Best Time to Buy a Home?

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We’re changing the way people 55 and older are searching for their perfect next place. With a national network of hand-selected real estate experts, plus comprehensive information, unbiased content, and on-the-go insight about thousands of communities across the country, we’re a trusted resource paving the way from here to home. Whether you’re interested in a low-maintenance single-level residence, an active lifestyle or age-qualified community, an intimate enclave, or anything in between, we can help you make your next move the best one yet.

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