Should You Move to a 55+ Community Before Retiring?

Want the active adult lifestyle but aren\'t sure it\'s a fit while you\'re still working? It just might be.

While a majority of people relocate to an active adult community only after retirement, some Americans aren’t going the same route. Rather, a number of active adults are choosing to relocate into a 55+ community while still maintaining their careers. Though not necessarily conventional, this thought process brings with it a number of factors worth considering.

Check With Your Community

One of the first things to consider is whether or not you qualify to be in an active adult community. Often, senior communities administer an age requirement, which is usually 55+. While 55 is often the age minimum, some communities are more limiting who they let in, with some age-restrictions going up to 65.

While you might not meet the age requirements of your preferred community just yet, it is worthwhile to ask anyway. In some cases, certain neighborhoods might be lenient and allow exceptions, especially if you’re close to the age limit. Another thing to keep in mind while planning to move to a 55+ community is that some are very popular to the point of having a waitlist. Getting in early is recommended.

Understand The Fees

Often, active adult communities will administer additional costs to residents. An example is a homeowners’ association fee, which covers costs for maintaining exterior services such as lawn care, property upkeep, and access to the clubhouse and pool areas. These services are worth researching because they may allow you to keep your focus on work without having to put all of your energy into maintaining your home. With that said, if work is your top priority and you don’t end up using the services and facilities provided in the community, you’ll essentially be paying for something you’re not using, which then becomes a waste of your money and resources.

Consult With Others

As anyone will tell you, moving into an active adult community is a big step in anyone’s life. It requires careful planning and financial stability. As such, you’ll need to make sure you have enough to pay for a place in an active adult community and that you’re also keeping in mind your long-term retirement goals. A good step would be sitting down with a financial advisor. By speaking with an expert, you’ll gain a better understanding of whether or not moving into a community is the right step at that time and also if doing so will impact your other retirement plans, such as traveling.

Financial advisors aren’t the only ones to consult with. If possible, ask your friends who have made the decision to move into an active adult community before retirement to hear their experiences and see whether or not they are happy with their choices.

Think About Your Lifestyle

Though trends are changing, moving into an active adult community means generally living amongst retirees. Consider what you want out of your 55+ community. Are you a few years away from retirement? Maybe moving in now gives you a chance to get adjusted and transition into a low-maintenance lifestyle before full retirement.

Moving before retirement also means on your first day of retirement there won’t be much else to worry about. Traditional major life milestones will be over as your retirement home has been purchased. This allows you to fully jump into freedom, whether that’s going on a major vacation, learning a new hobby, or spending more time with family.

If you’re not ready for that type of lifestyle, maybe it’s best to hold off making the big move. Whether you’re retiring soon or in ten years, 55+ communities will always be waiting. Chances are, by the time you know you’re ready for an active lifestyle, several brand new communities will have opened. 

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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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