Many baby boomers are now joining the ranks of the retired and starting to consider a lifestyle more suited to this period in their life. 55+ communities offer independent living with a variety of amenities that can be very appealing to active seniors. Although these communities are sometimes referred to as “retirement communities”, many seniors are moving into these housing communities even before retiring. If the resident age requirement is 55, this gives a significant buffer to move into such housing well before retirement, enjoying the benefits and low maintenance while still continuing to work.

1. Homes are designed with seniors in mind
55+ communities come in many different shapes and sizes, but typically they are independent homes or townhomes that are designed for senior living. This usually means minimal stairs and a main floor master bedroom and bath. These communities are becoming more and more popular as the baby boomer generation retires, so the availability of brand new construction or updated homes is continuing to expand as well. These homes are usually reasonably sized to be comfortable without burdening seniors with too much interior upkeep.

2. Low-maintenance
Although you are usually responsible for the interior upkeep of your home, your exterior upkeep will be taken care of for you. This means no more snow blowing, landscaping, lawn mowing, etc. This not only gives you more time to do the things you love, but takes away some of the more physical demands of homeownership, a perk you’ll surely appreciate as you grow older in your home.

3. Benefit from downsizing
Many baby boomers who choose to move into a 55+ community do so to downsize out of the home in which they raised their family. Although this may be an emotional move, it can significantly improve your quality of life, and your finances. For many, selling a larger family home means cashing out the equity of that home to put in the bank, and purchasing a less expensive, smaller property in a 55+ community. A smaller home means far less space to clean and take care of, and less stuff to bring along with you. Downsizing your belongings before you move to 55+ community can reduce stress and give you more time for the activities that are most important to you. It can also help you to redefine your priorities as you move into this next stage of life.

4. Recreation and leisure
One of the major draws of a 55+ community is the community itself. Being surrounded by people of a similar age with similar interests can help you to remain active and engaged. Most 55+ communities have several amenities to keep you active, such as golf courses, tennis courts, social clubs, swimming pools, and gardening centers.

5. Peaceful environment
Most 55+ communities are quiet, peaceful places. The residents are respectful and typical make excellent neighbors. You may still hear grandkids playing while over for a visit, but you won’t be surrounded by parties, loud music, or lots of traffic. Generally, these communities are great for quiet living and peaceful walks.

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