Q:

How do 55-and-over retirement communities work?

A:

Quick Answer

Retirement communities for people aged 55 and over provide seniors with housing and activities designed for their age group. Communities may offer apartments or houses that are often smaller, safer and easier to navigate. Residents typically do not have to handle household maintenance or yard work.

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Full Answer

Retirement communities may offer amenities, such as a pool, fitness center, golf course or movie theater. Group classes and activities may also be available. Retirement communities are usually in close proximity to restaurants, grocery stores and shopping centers, so seniors do not have to travel far. They may have a shuttle for residents or be close to public transportation options.

Houses and apartments in retirement communities tend to be relatively new, with safety measures including fewer stairs and non-slip tubs or showers. The cost of buying a home in these communities is often comparable to local real estate prices. Retirement communities usually charge a membership fee, and there may be an additional charge for utilizing particular amenities. The communities may also have specific guidelines residents have to follow.

Although 55-and-over retirement communities require residents to be older than 55, a couple is typically allowed as long as one member meets the age minimum. Children may be allowed, but restrictions on how long they can live in the community may be in place.

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