What to Look For In a Retirement Community

March 5, 2014 at 10:55 a.m.

...by Shannon Hall

Many baby boomers have started to retire or have begun thinking about their future plans for retirement. While some may be reluctant to make the move into a retirement community, government findings show that 7 out of 10 Americans over the age of 65 will need some form of assisted care in their lifetime.* It’s important to keep the reality of long-term care in mind when making the decision of whether to become a retirement community resident.

The next step is finding a retirement community that will improve the quality of your life and cater to your needs. Here are a few key features to look for in a retirement community that will make your stay comfortable and pleasing:

1. Spacious living area. Many retirees are hesitant to move into a retirement home in dissatisfaction of the idea of downsizing from their current home. A living space with plenty of room for storage and having company will make you feel more at home.

2. High-speed Internet access. The common perception that older adults don’t use the Internet is no longer valid. A research study conducted by Google and Ipsos found that 78% of boomers are engaging with online content on a daily basis. Older retirement communities may have outdated systems that don’t provide high-speed wireless internet, which isn’t ideal for tech-savvy boomers.

3. Proximity. The closer you are to the general community, the better. This way you can still be a part of your old community and be closer to family and friends. The older you get, the more difficult it will be to travel so provided transportation is also a must.

4. Environmental friendly. Efforts to go green by the retirement community will be of great benefit to both you and future generations. Practicing sustainability shows the community cares about the environment, which is a desirable quality.

5. Recreational activities. While everyone’s level of activeness varies, having activities available in the community, both physical and social, will bring value and happiness to your life. Research shows those who are regularly active improve their chances of living longer than those who are not.*

If you find a retirement community that includes all, if not most, of these things then it should be a great place to spend the rest of your life relaxing and enjoying yourself.


*Peter Kemper, Harriet L. Komisar, and Lisa Alecxih, “Long-Term Care Over an Uncertain Future: What Can Current Retirees Expect?” Inquiry 42 (Winter 2005/6): 335–50.

*U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services. 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. 2008.

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