It is always best to start looking for a retirement community when you are still independent. It is also best to read the reviews of the communities you are interested in, in such places as www.SeniorLiving.org or www.SeniorAdvisor.com.
With that said, first know that retirement communities come in three categories:
Active Adult/Over 55 Communities
Rental Retirement Communities
Continuing Care Retirement Communities
Thus, you should decide whether you want to make several moves throughout your life or find a community that will give the continuing care. Then the question remains:
WHAT FEATURES SHOULD YOU LOOK FOR IN A RETIREMENT COMMUNITY?
I have put together a list of seven important features below:
1 - Lifestyle
Several questions to ask that may be important to your lifestyle might be:
Does the community offer social activities both within and outside the community?
Will the community accept my pet?
Will I be able to do grilling?
May I have a small personal garden?
2 - Shopping opportunities:
Are there shopping opportunities that are nearby? Of course, you can also factor in the fact that much of our shopping can now be done online, so if a community doesn’t necessarily have what you are looking for in that regard, remember you can always “let your fingers do the walking.” But if going into the actual stores are important to you then you would want to know where you will be able to shop nearby.
3 - Local churches:
Is that retirement community near a local church that adheres to your personal faith? And, if so, will that community or else the church itself offer transportation for seniors to and from said church.
4 - Needed transportation:
On the subject of transportation, not only will you want to find out if you have shopping opportunities or church availability, but also more importantly, do they offer transportation for medical care (if the community itself is not equipped with a medical facility).
5 - Medical Care:
Availability of medical care is probably the most important of the features you would look for in a community. Does the community offer a continuum of care? If so, then find out who is on the medical staff and find out their credentials.
6 - Maintenance:
Is home maintenance a part of your monthly fee or will you be charged for each thing done? You don’t want to get into place where you are hit with an excess of unexpected bills for maintenance.
7 – Miscellaneous Considerations:
Weather Personal preferences for weather could be important to your and even your health. Do you hate cold weather? Does your health dictate the need for a dry atmosphere?
The cost of living within a state is also a factor when deciding where to retire.
Also know, there are 37 states that do not tax your pension. They include Alaska, Florida, Illinois, Mississippi, Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming. However, this does not mean you are exempt from federal taxation on your pension.
In addition to asking about the cost of maintenance, you should also factor in hospitality cost. Is it extra? Or is that also included in your monthly fee?
While most retirement communities are staffed by security personnel, not all are the same. Check out the security measures in place for the community. Also, seniors are often targets of scams. A good retirement community will protect your loved one from becoming prey to one of these situations.
A very important question is whether you will be afforded privacy within your retirement community. This would, at the least, include a private bedroom and bath.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of what you should consider in choosing a retirement community. If you call Missy with Interiors for Seniors, she is more than qualified to help you with your unanswered questions regarding the communities in the Central Florida area.
★ Call Missy Donaghy with Interiors for Seniors for a FREE consultation 321-279-3301.