Nowadays ‘over 55‘ communities and retirement villages are designed to meet the needs of today’s baby boomers and active retirees.
As the name suggests, an Over 55 retirement community is a purpose-built community designed for retirees over the age of 55. These communities generally offer a range of living and accommodation options, as well as access to lifestyle amenities and facilities, activity groups and health and medical services.
Adult community living options include seniors-only apartments, retirement communities, mobile home or recreational vehicle (RV) communities, over 55s housing, serviced apartments, shared housing or aged care retirement communities.
When planning about adult community living, cost is always a primary consideration especially in today’s rising cost of living. A retiree’s source of income, which may be his or her superannuation or pension, should be enough to cover all expenses of adult community living. These expenses include rental or mortgage payments, taxes, utilities, medical expenses, insurance expenses, transportation, groceries, recreation and other miscellaneous expenses.
In Australia there are plenty of housing options for those seeking over 55 community living. A number of these communities provide retirement living options with a homeowner’s or membership fee, which covers expenses such as gardening, utilities, and use of amenities such as a swimming pool and tennis court. However, these facilities typically have restrictions on visitors, pets and parties.
In adult community living, you will still be able to enjoy your right to privacy and have regular opportunities to interact with other residents, even join organized activities and attend community meetings. Nowadays retirement villages offer a range of great amenities and activities such as bowls, exercise classes and more, to keep you entertained, but only if you want to join in and want the company.
However, adult communities have age restrictions on residents. Typically, they should be aged 55 and above so if a family member wants to move in with you and they are not within the age limit, they will not be allowed residence.
There are also other restrictions in adult community living. For example, noise must be kept to a minimum out of consideration to other residents in the community. You may also not be able to own a pet. Some retirement communities do not allow young children to visit or if they do, only until a certain hour, so your grandchildren may not be able to stay overnight.
When choosing a retirement community, make sure to ask about their rules and policies so you find out if they are acceptable to you. In addition, find out if the fees are refundable should you later find the home not suitable and decide to leave.
Transitioning to adult community living can be emotionally difficult for some. To ease your move, choose a home in a city that is familiar to you or close to your family. Keep in touch with friends, former work colleagues and neighbours. You may want to spend some time first to be familiar with your new home before actually moving in. You can do this by visiting the place a few times and speaking with residents.
Make sure you bring keepsakes of your family and friends such as photographs and other treasured pieces. Participate in community affairs and activities. Make the effort to get to know the other residents. Form new friendships. These are the best ways to enjoy adult community living.
“Make sure you bring with you keepsakes of your family and friends such as photographs and other treasured pieces.”
Participate in community affairs and activities. Make the effort to get to know the other residents. Form new friendships. These are the best ways to enjoy adult community living.