Retirement Apartment vs Retirement Village

What is the best choice for where to live in retirement if you cannot affort a really fancy place?


I live in a subsidized apt biuilding designed for people age 50 and over or they must have a disability.  The amount of your rent is based on your income. They charge 1/3 of your monthly income. The rent included water, sewer, garbage and heat. You pay your own electric.  They have a contract with a local cable company so the cost of cable tv is minimal like $30.00/ mo.  I live in a 1 bdrm apartment. It's secure and comfortable. They do offer 2 bedroom apts if they have any openings. 

  The apartments aren't huge but they do have a large storage room in each apt.  

 There is an on site laundry area whish is very reasonably priced, a commons area so that if you to have a lot of company there is room for everyone to sit and there is a kitchen area there with a stove, refrigerator and a microwave. There is also what we call the puzzle room. It has puzzles, games you can play. 

  There is a lock on the outside entry door and a dead bolt and a regular door handle lock on each apt door. 

  A background check is done on each tenant before they move in. If they have had felony charges against them, drug charges or any other serious offense charged against them, they are not accepted. 

  Look in your area for Senior Subsidized apts. If you don't know where to start, Google it on your phone or computer if you have either of those, ask a friend to help or go to your local library. They have computers that you can use free of charge. 

  I'm very happy and comfortable in my apt and very thankful that this type of apt is available fir seniors.

  I hope that this information is helpful to someone. 



Looking for subsidized senior apartments in New Jersey number 732241-6894 72 years old I have spinal stenosis sciatic live on Social Security I’m gonna be homeless within about month My son just recently passed away I need help

Trusted Contributor

Very helpful bonniep715875, and just the sort of information needed in this thread. So many seniors can't buy into Senior Housing and so many can't afford to move to Arizona or Florida. Something that can be local is EXACTLY what many interested here need to hear about. 

I assume there are waiting lists? Even so, this is something to look into and get your name on if you have the need. Thank you again.

Periodic Contributor

I live in an over 55 community in Central Florida near the Villages.  I pay $125 a month HOA fees but, I do own my manufactured home. I have a guard at the gate, 3 golf courses, two pools, fitness center, tons of activities and clubs, etc. There are many other choices in this area. Buy with the land can be as low as $65,000 but, low HOA fees. (like mine)  Buy with renting the land can be as low as $8000 but, the monthly rental is $400 and up. This would be a nice, safe community with a pool and on a lake. There is little crime in this area, mostly Seniors and we also can shop and go to the Squares in the Villages. Lots of doctors and hospitals to choose from. And of course, Disney. I have an annual pass and go all the time. I am 1 1/2 hours to the beach and we have beautiful freshwater springs all around. Check out Lake County in Florida!


Monitor Craigslist "Heartland Florida, Housing, Real Estate - By Owner", and Zillow, for a zip code in central FL. We bought a lakefront mobile home on a private lake in Avon Park in a 55+ community for $9,000. Brentwood Mobile Home Park. There is one for sale there now for $8900. No frills - no pool, exercise facility, or tennis courts - but there is a small clubhouse with games, a lakefront porch, a kitchen, a ping-pong table and two washers and dryers, a private boat ramp, and lots of peace and quiet. There are places in the park that go for $5,000 and one that recently sold for $3000 (there are only 30 homes in the park). Lot rent is $255/mo, plus utilities. There are parks with even cheaper rents, with paid garbage and/or water/sewer, although everything seems to be going up sharply in price now. There is a lovely little Mexican restaurant and grocery nearby that serves huge shrimp quesadillas for $4.50. Shopping and doctors are .25 miles away. The beach is about two hours away to the east or west. In my experience, realtors generally don't list these tiny, bare-bones, off-the-beaten-path gems.


My retirement was not stellar. I lost a large chunk years ago to a shady contractor, whom I sued and won a judgment against, but he never worked on the books after. Recently, an opportunity came up to buy a place in a 55+ community in FL. I did and now I have a low HOA fee and utilities to cover. There may be options depending on situation.
Periodic Contributor

My grandmother had the best solution. She had six children-- 5 daughters,1son. Technically she lived with her youngest daughter, my Aunt Pearl, who married very late in life, never had children, spoiled my sister and me something terrible. But what she did most of the time was visit her children in turn and stay with them for weeeks at a time. Such a good plan.

Periodic Contributor

Silly post. What do we do , start having kids now? And most people would rather dies than live with their kids! This thread is for REAL solutions that people can use right NOW.
Regular Contributor

Yes, we cannot rely on our children to take care of us. My idea is to do what I did, get out of there and live where you can afford the lifesyle you want. Latin America is getting too expensive and a lot of crime in some of those countries and Asia seems so far. It's a full day from hell to be on the airplane, but if you have a friend in Europe you could do a layover to make it easier.

For Nepal, a person can be here for 5 months in a calendar year, so if you come in Aug. you could potentially stay until the following May 31 on a simple tourist visa. While the person is here they can get all their medical testing done and even some treatments-not open heart surgery, but lots of things can be done here. I got my Nepali husband two eye operations for glocoma and the lazer proceedure cost $120 each. I got a dental MRI for $11 and root canal for about $100-excellent work.

I even decided to help people like myself who are in the crazy in-between. I stay at a guesthouse where I'm kinda the tourist in charge and can provide a long term stay from Aug. until the end of May or however it's best for our guest for just $600 a month including a private room, food and transportation in Nepal.  If a person bought a travel insurance policy it would probably pay to transport you to Dubai where the rich people get their surgeries if there were a major problem. 

But staying in the US and suffering with meds., food, and housing doesn't make for a happy retirement life.

Regular Contributor

I had a tiny mobile home in a lovely senior mobile home park with a golf course, tennis courts and pool in Florida. That was nice with the best of both. Mobile homes don't hold their value so you can get one already set up for really cheap.


Before my husband died he went to live in an assisted living place. OMG! It was so expensive for just a little room and meals. The only benefit was an onsight nurse and an emergency cord.


Then I left the US for adventures abroad and ended up in Nepal. Now I live in Nepal and love how far my money goes and how wonderful the people are.

Periodic Contributor

I live in Happy Trails RV Resort, a 55+ gated resort community.  It is located in Surprise, Arizona.  You DON'T need an RV to live here.  There are so many styles of homes and RV lots to choose from.  Also - YOU OWN YOUR LAND and the HOA is really reasonable (I pay $155.50 for a 2 bedroom/2 bath).  There are over 70 clubs you can join here (again, extremely reasonable), 4 swimming pools and spas.  We have trips, shows, etc.  We even have our own post office on the grounds. Check us out.  It is such a wonderful place to live and the homes/lots are really reasonable.

Trusted Contributor

I checked it out, nothing under $1,000 to rent. We are talking affordable, or so I thought. This is wonderful for two income retiries, or those that have a nest egg, but what do the people with nothing saved because the 2008 Cricese took everything? Or the folks that had low wages to begin with and don't make enough to afford a deacent place? 

This is wonderful if you can afford it. I have been to AZ many times as I have family there. But I would like to see what gives for the less fortunate. 


Periodic Contributor

I consider myself one of the "less fortunate" and find this extremely reasonable.  I bought a nice 2 bed/2 bath, 950 sq ft home for $79,900.  Check it out on line.  Look up Happy Trails RV Resort, Surprise, Arizona.

Trusted Contributor

dale3595  Well, that's one.

Hey, hold on a min. That's your HOA fee? What does rent go for there? What does a home go for there? Inquiring minds want to know. (snicker, sorry feeling my oats today.) 

Periodic Contributor

 The highest HOA fee is about $185.00/month.  Rent during the winter is higher, around $1500/month.  However, if you wanted to rent a home, you can rent year-round for about half that price.  They have all kind of activities during the summer too!  It's a great place to live - I moved from San Diego and love it better here! 

Periodic Contributor

That is for the winter months. You can rent a nice place here - year-round - for about $700-800/month. That's a good deal and there are plenty of activities all summer long for us "desert rats"!
Periodic Contributor

that is way too much when you don't have a good Social Security because, as a mother I stayed home to be with my children (3) and now am paying for it with a low amt of SS.  Women are the ones that get the bad rap because, we do this to be there for the children in my time that is what you did but now its not a good idea.  So, what does one do?


Trusted Contributor

I hear you dh71077629 and I know how you feel as I am right there with you. I was at home with two small children so I know the sacrifice. The good thing is we did stay with our children and raised them to be fine adults. I know I am proud of my kids and the memories we share of those days. I was blessed to find a cute, inexpensive apartment in the small town my two live in and its just down the street from the one, it's a rural town so the rents are lower. When my husband passed recently I had to sell the large country home we had, so I have some money after paying all the bills and funeral he caused us. However it isn't enough to buy anything, or to go to a community. I am squeezing every penny and I worry, like you what will happn down the road. 

Your not alone, and perhaps if we keep voicing these fears it may do some good. 

Regular Contributor

Do they have a brochure or website?

Periodic Contributor

If you google: Happy Trails RV Resort, Surprise, Az, you will find it.  Thanks and good luck!


What is really sad is that not all people that were working before retirement had well paying jobs that they were able to have a retirement income to fall back on. A lot of government subsidized housing for seniors are dangerous places to live. Some members of my family that relie on this type of housing also live amongst people with severe mental illness and people that are drug dealers on disability. For whatever reason, management turns a blind eye and the senior citizens are too afraid to report them for fear of retaliation. I think a well run retirement village for senior citizens only would be the optimal solution. There are many seniors that are isolated and need companionship. 

Super Contributor

You're absolutely right! Senior living communities are scary to say the least. I'll NEVER live in another one!
Periodic Contributor

I agree with you and find that everything you say is true I feel very isolated where I am.
Trusted Contributor

Exactly what I was thinking, but you said it so much better than I.     : )

Periodic Contributor

The best choice is Mexico!  Two people can live on social security for almost half of what it costs in the states. Apartment or house rentals are much less expensive, food is way lower cost. The wife and I pay about $100 per month for health insurance.  Food is way cheaper.  The wife and I can go out for dinner ,because we can afford to, for $7.00 including tip.   

Info Seeker +

You've done a great job selling the positives. Are there any negatives one should consider though?

Periodic Contributor

If you have loved ones who are seniors living in dilapidated, drug dealer infested HUD Section 8 apartments and the property management or resident manager ENABLES that crap, you need to immiedately write a letter to your  federal legislator.  HUD Section 8 and Tax Credit Affordable Senior Citizen buildings are paid for with FEDERAL TAX DOLLARS.  Document everything, the drug dealing, the crazed menacing highly disturbed tenants who frighten/and or harrass innocent elderly tenants.  Take pix with your cell phone, write down incidents of violence, drug activity, etc and include a narrative of "Who What Where When".   Either go in person to your federal congressperson AND your federal senator and tell them "This is Case Mail Constituent Advocacy Issue of Critical Importance" and "I Want Case Mail Support".  


When a federal legislator does what is called "Taking Congressional Interest" and a federal senator "Takes Senatorial Interest" in a constituents valid concerns the Mountains of Mohammed can move!


There is NO justification for the crap you are describing!


If your federal congressperson/senator refuses to act then gather together fellow citizens and tenants of that crappy HUD apt bldg and align yourself with a local activist group that works on human rights and housing issues.  What you described is a felony violation of Fair Housing Act and civil rights violation.  In govt subsidized housing there can be ABSOLUTELY NO DRUG ACTIVITY, nor are residents allowed to intimidate, harrass, "shake down" vulnerable tenants.


Is there open air prostitution?  Is there human trafficking?  Is there sex trafficking?  Is there drug dealing on the premises by tenants and/or their friends.





Make a ruckus!


Do not be a "sheep people" or "Sheep Person" sheeple.  Do not be bullied.


The only difference between a rut and a grave is the dimensions!


Here in Sacramento, California SHRA Sacramento Housing Redevelopment Agency is a SLUMLORD and the Executive Director and Board of Directors are quite frankly a bunch of thugs and crooks.  They deliberately refused to do any maintenance on several apartment buildings in the Del Paso Heights area and when the buildings become so severely dilapidated with rotting roofs, rain dripping into the ceiling, rats, vermin, cockroaches, bad plumbing, no heat THEN they tried to EVICT long term rent paying tenants, force them out onto the street into homelessness and turn around and sell the distressed, dilapidated properties to billionaire real estate developer "corporate mafia".


Although there ARE some decent HRA agencies in various parts of the USA, there are some crappy, unprofessional, substandard agencies that are SLUMLORDS when it comes to HUD subsidized housing.


It is getting WORSE with Trump and Ben Carson savagely cutting $300 billion in HUD Funding.  There is NO new construction of affordable subsidized housing for blind, deaf, disabled, seniors and working poor.


If you do an online Google search for your city and type in "tenants rights" or "civil rights housing" maybe you can find some local or state non profit organizations who will help you.  Here in California we have "Tenants Together" and a lot of other groups.  I do not know the city you are in so I cannot be specific with referrals.


You can also get FREE legal services from your local university law school.  They have senior law students who are supervised by law professors who may take your case.  You can also contact your local Legal Aid which is now known as "Legal Services of ????"  insert your city name, etc.


Early to bed, early to rise, work like hell and COMMUNITY ORGANIZE!

Periodic Contributor

Where do you live in Mexico? How much is rent, utilities, etc?
Periodic Contributor

So where exactly do you live in Mexico? How much is rent, utilities, etc.? I am considering a move

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