Retirement Communities: What Are the Differences?


Choosing where to live is a big decision, whether you are moving locally or exploring a cross-country relocation. Throw in a varied assortment of retirement communities, and the decision becomes even more complex. Active adults who are contemplating where to move next should pause and consider which kind of active adult community is best for them. Not all are the same in terms of amenities, services, entertainment, programming, and more.

As you begin your search, ask yourself a few important questions, such as how comfortable you feel managing your personal care needs, whether you can safely manage your medications, and if you intend to maintain your active lifestyle. Also, consider whether you enjoy spending time maintaining your yard or if you’d rather explore other pursuits.

If you aren’t quite sure how all the different communities stack up, it helps to know common terminology and the differences between each type of retirement community. A senior living establishment, for example, differs from an assisted living community.

Keep reading to learn more about the types of communities available for retirees and which is best for you.

What’s the Difference Between an Active Adult Community and a Continuing Care Retirement Community?

Sometimes called life plan or lifetime communities, continuing care retirement communities, CCRC for short, provide accommodations for independent living, assisted living, and nursing home care. Residents receive a full continuum of care, giving them peace of mind that they can spend the rest of their life in a CCRC and move between care levels as needed.

Like an active adult community, a CCRC typically includes social events, group outings, a common dining room, amenity centers, gyms, outdoor recreation opportunities, and swimming pools. A CCRC may also offer additional services to make life easier for residents, such as garbage and snow removal, transportation, gardening, and housekeeping. Though communities vary, retirees can often choose between single-family homes, townhomes, duplexes, apartments, and cottages.

Active adults should know that when they choose to move to a CCRC, they sign a continuing care agreement, which stands as a legal contract between the individual and the CCRC.

What’s the Difference Between an Active Adult Community & a Senior Living Community?


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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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