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Re: 55+ and age-restricted communities (not continuing care): What's it like?

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Message 31 of 38
@Offline wrote:
Thanks for responding, Astraea.
I'd previously looked into 55places, boomerplaces, city-data forum, Forbes Retirement Guide, currentresults, and a batch of comparative spreadsheets from (I'm not sure) in a folder called: "where to retire".
Those doesn't address the subjective opinions, experiences and stories I'm hoping to hear, though.

"Subjective opinions" have their own pluses & minuses, because we're all unique individuals. I'm single & have no children, so certain feedback from someone married & with children/grandchildren, might actually turn me off .. like block parties where every homeowner had to chip in, but the activities were geared towards visiting children/grandchildren.

 

I'd be more inclined to use personal feedback, when I narrowed my search to specific communities .. to find out how accurate the brochures & other PR were! Sometimes things look great on paper, but the development isn't managed quite as well as people would like, or there are big fights between board members or with homeowners.


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Re: 55+ and age-restricted communities (not continuing care): What's it like?

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Message 32 of 38
Thank you - that's very helpful, and the kind of response I was hoping for.
Aside from the housing costs that are higher, do you know what other additional costs would be involved - comparing to buying a home that's not in the complex (annual fees)?
I've had an interesting past. As for the future,
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Re: 55+ and age-restricted communities (not continuing care): What's it like?

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Message 33 of 38
Thanks for responding, Astraea.
I'd previously looked into 55places, boomerplaces, city-data forum, Forbes Retirement Guide, currentresults, and a batch of comparative spreadsheets from (I'm not sure) in a folder called: "where to retire".
Those doesn't address the subjective opinions, experiences and stories I'm hoping to hear, though.
I've had an interesting past. As for the future,
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Re: 55+ and age-restricted communities (not continuing care): What's it like?

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Message 34 of 38

Thanks, nyadrn.

Would you mind sharing some of the pluses and minuses (that were relevant to you at the time, understood)?  That's the kind of input I'm hoping for.

 

My wife and I intend to make several trips to different places over the next 2 years - the information I get here will supplement what we find.

 

I believe members here will be much more open about their experiences than anything I would get second hand from a Real Estate agent, or someone else trying to sell us something.

I've had an interesting past. As for the future,
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Re: 55+ and age-restricted communities (not continuing care): What's it like?

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Message 35 of 38

I live in the Chicago area, close to one of the large, DelWebb senior complexes.  (link below)

 

Del Webb

 

    It's not quite a 'summer camp' or meals in a common area. This is a complex of single family housing and townhomes. There is a large fieldhouse with different sorts of activities along with people in the community planning activities (hiring a bus for some type of daytrip  to  a Chicago venue). Also, yes, groups participating in photography, bridge, etc.  The complex is very nicely done, in my opinion. There are some small lakes for fishing, walking trails, nice landscaping. Many people get around in golf carts. I can't speak for other complexes, but this one has the local fire station, rescue squad, and doctor offices at one edge of the complex. Local hospitals are only a few miles away.  There is a restaurant in the complex.

   Anyone can enter the complex, which is on hundreds of acres, but it's pretty much just residents and their guests. It's next to a town, but the townside is bermed and walled (but not gated).

   The downside is that the homes, although nice, are relatively expensive for the area. I've been to some other DelWebb complexes in Illinois and it's similar in that house prices are higher than surrounding area. But, of course, you're in a senior community with amenities.

     The people I know, like it. There are a few people that don't like these communities because, after all, it's all a bunch of old people!  Some people like the idea of living on a street where there is a mix of people, and kids walking/riding by and playing. Many others are very happy not to have noisy kids around or converse with stay-at-home moms (I'm using stereotypes here, of course). 

   You really need to find a complex you might be interested in and walk around, on a nice day, possibly speaking to some of the residents (not just get the sales hype).

    Personally, the idea appeals to me. But, DW and I are looking to go to a mixed complex where you have independent and assisted living (when the time comes). That kind of complex is where someone else provides meals in a common area, if you want, or you can cook for yourself. And yes, there are activities. 


"...Why is everyone a victim? Take personal responsibility for your life..."
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Re: 55+ and age-restricted communities (not continuing care): What's it like?

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Message 36 of 38

Try http://www.55places.com/. You can select the states in which you're interested, then there are a wide variety of community criteria .. such as size of development, gated/not, indoor/outdoor pools, transportation, golf, etc. Many also include a list of models & floorplans.


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Re: 55+ and age-restricted communities (not continuing care): What's it like?

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Message 37 of 38

@Offline wrote:

I can't find any books or magazines - or any articles comparing living in a 55+ community with buying a house in the same area.

 

And that's too bad, because I have a fantasy about what what life would be like in one of those places, and I'd like to see how far off the base I am.

I'm imagining a full-time, summer camp for adults (minus Color War) with daily coordinated activities that appeal to couples (if both want to participate) or singles.  This might include the occasional trip/day trip.

Activities would be optional, of course, and allow for growth, i.e. a beginner's contract bridge group and an internal bridge club.  Learning photography, and photography hikes or trips.

 

Meals (lunch, dinner?) would be optionally available in a common area.

 

Have I described something that exists today?  Does anyone have first or second hand knowledge you can share?

How much of a premium do you pay for this?  Describe your neighbors a bit:  your age, much older or younger?  Does the place feel vital, old or have no feeling at all?  Would you buy into one of these again (why or why not)?  

Where can I go for more information?


You can go online and research all of the 55 plus communities, look at video's, read comments, see pictures of the housing, and ammenities etc.. but you really need to go and look yourself.  Even though you read what others have to say,  it really is a personal choice.
I have have looked at several of these communities and I do like them but there are a whole bunch of pluses and minuses and only you can decide what is really important to you.

 

Life's a Journey, not a Destination" Aerosmith
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55+ and age-restricted communities (not continuing care): What's it like?

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Message 38 of 38

I can't find any books or magazines - or any articles comparing living in a 55+ community with buying a house in the same area.

 

And that's too bad, because I have a fantasy about what what life would be like in one of those places, and I'd like to see how far off the base I am.

I'm imagining a full-time, summer camp for adults (minus Color War) with daily coordinated activities that appeal to couples (if both want to participate) or singles.  This might include the occasional trip/day trip.

Activities would be optional, of course, and allow for growth, i.e. a beginner's contract bridge group and an internal bridge club.  Learning photography, and photography hikes or trips.

 

Meals (lunch, dinner?) would be optionally available in a common area.

 

Have I described something that exists today?  Does anyone have first or second hand knowledge you can share?

How much of a premium do you pay for this?  Describe your neighbors a bit:  your age, much older or younger?  Does the place feel vital, old or have no feeling at all?  Would you buy into one of these again (why or why not)?  

Where can I go for more information?

 

One more thing:

We spend most of our lives centered on a primary activity, either going to school or going to work.  

The focus of the communities, therefore, is on weekend and vacation time - when you're free to enjoy yourself (and spend money) before returning to the "real world".

All of that changes once you've stopped working.

Now YOU have a huge amount of time on your hands and no-one is around to play with, they're all at work (fwiw, I didn't retire by choice:  it was disability).

What I'm hoping to find out is how the community addresses this new, age-specific need.

I've had an interesting past. As for the future,
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