Choosing the Right Retirement Community

Published: February 13, 2014

Many older adults recognize that moving to a retirement community can significantly improve their quality of life. Still, selecting just the right community can be a struggle. cost is a critical factor, of course, but there's much more to consider before you can make a sound choice.

While it may not be an easy decision, taking time to weigh a few key factors can help you find a retirement community that works best for you.

Envision the life you want to lead

What will the next decade bring in your life? Take time to create a vision for your future. More than ever before, retirees are determined to take on new pursuits, expand their social network and broaden their range of interests. Think about how you'd like to spend a typical day or a typical week. How will a particular community support you with clearly defined programs, resources and social opportunities?

Experience the setting

Communities vary greatly in their physical qualities. Think about what surroundings make you happy and will support your chosen lifestyle. Do you enjoy the hustle and bustle of an urban setting, or a more tranquil setting with views and vistas?

Go beyond the bricks and mortar

A well-designed setting won't feel like 'home' unless it has the right atmosphere. Spend time with the staff and, if possible, other residents to get a feel for the place. Some communities foster a casual, friendly environment while others encourage a more elegant and formal tone. Finally, you can get a strong sense of a community's philosophy by reviewing its programs and service offerings. The key: Make sure a community offers a set of services that supports the lifestyle you envision.

Thinking ahead, making a choice

While finanacial considerations are important in choosing a retirement community, other factors are just as important. Whether you plan on making a move now or within a few years, it pays to weigh the factors described above. After all, where you choose to live can play a pivotal role in helping you lead the life you want to live.

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