If you’re looking to tighten your belt and save money in your retirement years, moving into an active adult community could help you reach your budget goals. There are many ways to save money by moving into a 55+ community. The key is to recognize the areas you are spending the most money currently, and look for an active adult community that can help you reduce that spending. Read on to discover some of the ways moving into an active adult community can help you save your hard-earned dollars.
1. Sell High, Buy Low
The most obvious way to save money by moving into an age-restricted community is to sell high and buy low. Look for an area and community that offers homes priced lower than what you can sell your current home for, and you are in some serious green. If you’re in a high-priced area such as New York, the Bay Area, or a similarly in-demand area, you could enjoy pocketing hundreds of thousands of dollars when you move to a lower-priced region. Luckily, there are many wonderful and highly rated 55+ communities all over the country offering more bang for your buck—low-priced homes, resort-like amenities, and great locations.
Some of these popular and low-priced communities include the sprawling Laguna Woods Village in sunny southern California, with home prices starting under $200k. Rossmoor in the desirable Northern CA city of Walnut Creek is a highly rated community offering homes starting in the mid $200ks. Dreaming of beachside living? Latitude Margaritaville Watersound in Panama City Beach offers ocean breezes for a bargain price in Florida, with homes starting in the mid $200s.
Another popular way to save money when moving to an active adult community is to downsize—to purchase a smaller home. Buying a home that’s smaller than your current home typically saves money in two ways: smaller homes are usually cheaper and involve less maintenance.
Even if you stay in the same area, downsizing your home will result in a smaller price tag and cheaper energy bills. You’ll use less electricity to heat or cool your home, and you’ll also have fewer maintenance costs, especially if you move into a condo or attached home, where a homeowners' association often covers the cost of shared area repairs and maintenance. If you employ professional house cleaners to clean your home, downsizing also means a cheaper housecleaning bill. A smaller yard or no yard at all means less expense with upkeep and eliminating your gardener bill, too.
3. Move to a Tax-Friendly State
It’s no secret that different states have different tax rates, and moving to a more tax-friendly state may help you keep some serious cash in the bank, especially if you're still paying income taxes. Moving to a state that has more tax-friendly policies may end up saving active adults thousands of dollars a year.
According to a study by Kiplinger, there are significant differences in tax burdens placed on retirees state by state. In the study, Kiplinger identified the top 10 states that impose the lowest taxes on retirees, and the 10 least friendly states for retirees. These results were based on income tax percentages, Social Security, IRAs, 401(k) plans, interest, pensions, dividends, and capital gains. Most of the states in the top 10 list exempt Social Security benefits from income tax—huge savings for those receiving these benefits.
According to the results of the aforementioned study, the top tax-friendly state is Delaware.
4. Ditch Your Car
Many 55+ communities offer everything needed right on-site and give active adults the ability to never need their car again. Imagine never filling up a gas tank or paying for expensive repairs again. This alone would save thousands a year.
Many active adults in these communities enjoy free transportation to grocery stores, shopping, and health care providers. Some of these communities even have all these everyday conveniences already on-site.
In California, Leisure World Seal Beach provides a free shuttle that ferries residents around and outside the community. Hacienda Carmel also offers shuttle service. The Villages in sunny central Florida has so many amenities a vehicle is practically unneeded. Residents have groceries, hospitals, and over 120 restaurants right on-site.
5. Lose the Country Club Membership
Another benefit of moving into a 55+ community? You can ditch your expensive country club membership. There are hundreds of communities boasting world-class golf courses right on the property. Country club dues can easily rack up to $100s and even $1000s a year, so cutting this cost can pad your wallet significantly.
Some of these excellent golf facilities include the courses at Siena in Las Vegas, home to a full-service golf shop and an 18-hole course. Robson Ranch in Denton, Texas boasts a championship course designed by renowned Texas golf course architect Gary Stephenson. The three stunning golf courses at Tellico Village in Loudon, Tennessee each offer 18 holes of golf, practice facilities, a clubhouse, a pro shop, and on-site dining.
6. No More Gym Fees
Similar to saving on country club membership fees, active adults can also save on gym memberships by choosing a 55+ community with a fitness center on-site. Many of the active adult communities around the country have some kind of exercise studio or gym facility on their premises, and some boast much more. State-of-the-art fitness equipment, yoga and other class studios, lap pools, tennis courts, pickleball courts, and tracks can all be expected at most upscale or newer communities.
Many gym membership fees can range from $50 to even $200 a month, so a built-in facility for residents to use when they please is a big perk that comes with living in an active adult community.
7. Save on Health Care
It stands to reason that a healthier person would need to pay less for health care, and many studies have proven that staying social and active is the key to health. Purchasing a home in a 55+ community can be a big boost to your social life, as many communities employ a full-time activities director. This person is responsible for keeping your social calendar full, planning year-round activities, trips, and social functions. A typical day at an active adult community could look like a tennis match with a neighbor in the morning, a meeting with your bridge club in the afternoon, and attending a dance or barbecue in the evening.
There are also plenty of day trips planned in these communities, with transportation and itineraries prepared for you. For instance, living in the Bay Area can mean trips to taste wine in Napa, or perhaps an exciting trip to San Francisco to visit Alcatraz or eat dim sum in Chinatown. Living in Reno means frequent trips to nearby casinos for gaming, live shows, and gourmet dining.
With all of the activities available in 55+ communities, it’s no wonder moving to one can boost your health. In turn, it can be a boost to your wallet, as well. There are so many ways moving into a 55+ community can benefit a person, mentally, physically, and of course, financially.