Retirement Apartment vs Retirement Village

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

Periodic Contributor

We bought our house in a small town just north of Puerto Vallarta.  I have seen rent that seems to be around the $500 a month price.  I have seen even cheaper if you aren't looking for something upscale.  I have also seen homes in sub divisions that sell for $69k.  Electricity can be high in the summer months as it gets hot and humid, much like the southern US.  If you are not a slave to the air conditioner electricity should run about $60 water runs $4.00 a month and I am not sure what propane costs.  Water heater and cooking is propane.  Gasoline is on a par with here in the states maybe even higher.  I would say about $4.00 per gallon.  Public transportation is cheap.  A bus ride to Puerto VAllarta is cheap.  I can't remember positively but I think about a dollar.  In PV you will find Home depot, Walmart, and Sam's Club.  In our small town there are thre large chain grocery stores and several small stores where you can buy fresh foods.  Food runs about half of here in the states.  There are other parts of Mexico with more temerate climates, but we prefer the ocean. 


How is health care near PV? Also, any issues receiving Soc.Sec. there? Thanks.

Regular Contributor

I would be afraid to live in Mexico even if it is cheaper.

Periodic Contributor

Ha ha okay, But can you tell me where it is safe in the US that you can afford to live?

Periodic Contributor

Central Florida near the Villages. Leesburg or other places in Lake County.
Trusted Contributor

Yes but, frahmfarm what if they don't want to let family behind, or are alone in the world and feel this change would be too much for them? Who of us actually dreams of leaving their country to find deacent housing? Very few Americans, and usually then with some kind of support system. 


This country needs to address the needs of it's Seniors, not ship them off to another country to forget about them. 


Please take no offence here. I am happy it workes out for you and your wife, but that is like saying there are inexpensive retirement communities for those that have little money. Cause it isn't true. 

Periodic Contributor

I understand, and BTW no offense taken.  Granted it isn't for everyone, but for those that can it is a huge increase in your SS check.  About 40% and thats if you live comfortably.  I agree our government should take care of it's elderly, homeless, vets, etc.  And until we can elect a government that will do that there are other options.  I don't see a big improvement in healthcare and quality of life for the elderly in the near future, and by near future I mean in the next four years.  It takes a lot of time even after a new congress and president are elected for changes to be made.  Four years is long time if you have health issues / quality of life issues.  If you are stuck in the hood, you might not make it two years.     

Periodic Contributor

I was a single mom (my daughter was 6 months old when my husband divorced me) to a daughter who has multiple disabilities as well as had 5 surgeries to correct her speech (born with an internal cleft palate among other problems).  I only have a high school diploma but somehow I managed to provide her with all the medical care she needed (no government help) and gave her everything she needed in her life (and still do).  I worked my butt off all of my life holding 2 and 3 jobs at a time. 

I don't/didn't expect the government to pay for anything or provide for my daughter.  It is not the government's job to do this nor is it the taxpayer's job.  And, I certainly don't think this country should put the illegals over its citizens.


This country will fail and fail miserably if we get a Democrat President running this country again.  There aren't enough people working in this country now to pay for everything they want to give away to the people just to receive their votes.


I firmly believe that Divine intervention stepped in when Donald Trump was elected.  Despite the horrible, evil opposition they are giving him, he is still getting things done and making this a better place to live.  Why else is the Left so afraid of him?? 


Good for you dale3595! I just wanted you to know that I agree with everything you said. I can't comprehend how so many want to see the country fail. My guess is that most never understood simple economics.

Trusted Contributor

I doubt they exist for most seniors of low income. Usually one needs to hunt for a clean inexpensive place a senior can at least exist in. No special amenities for Seniors either. 

Periodic Contributor

Oh really?


So WHERE are all these thousands of very low priced places for poverty level, disabled seniors to live in?  Nationwide there is a HUGE shortage of available housing, especially for low income seniors, the working poor, disabled, blind, deaf, and folks who earn less than $15 an hour even with a full time job they cannot afford rent.


What you stated is patently ABSURD.  It is extremely difficult to find ANY affordable housing for low income seniors in California, New York state and many other parts of the nation.  The lack of affordable housing for people is SO horrible, there is a massive problem with homelessness and good decent people who used to have a proper place to live have been forced out onto the street.

Case in point.   My rent went from $775 to $1300 and I live in Northern California.  I am 64 years old, disabled senior citizen and live on $1,240.00 a month.  It was very tough paying $775 a month rent on an income of $1240 a month BUT it was a roof over my head.  When my landlord decided to "flip" the entire apt bldg and double the rent WITHOUT making ANY improvements, 95% of the tenants were forced out into homlessness.  I personally, spent EIGHT MONTHS without stable housing and went through absolutely HELL ON EARTH trying to find a new place to live.  After 8 months without stable housing, I did find a temporary place to live BUT I must move yet again in four months, because the landlord only gives short term leases.


I am on FORTY FIVE waiting lists for HUD Section 8, Tax Credit Affordable and Senior Bldgs.  In my city, those waiting lists typically take 6 to 12 years for your name to inch it's way up to the very top of the list.  I have been on many of these waiting lists for YEARS.  There is no guarantee my name will come to the very top of the waiting list within four months and once again, I am facing the gutter.


You may think I am some sort of "riff raff" person or a drug addict, psycho just because I am low income.  Nope, I was a teacher and have several university degrees. I have four clinically diagnosed disabilities.  My career went down the drain when I was rear ended by a ten ton UPS truck.  I lost my teaching job, my car was "totalled", I live with chronic pain and my spinal column has severe damage.  I have tried applying for several thousand jobs and NO EMPLOYER WILL HIRE ME because I am a 64 year old woman.  That is despite dozens of letters of recommendations from former employers.  I have completed AARP 50+ Job Readyness program, was given a couple of "dress for success" interview suits, re-did my resume and NO JOB OFFER.


According to the Federal Dept of Labor, age discrimination for women starts at THIRTY FIVE !!!!!


What you stated "no special amenities for seniors" is FELONY VIOLATION OF the 1990 Americans With Disabilities Act".   If a senior or ANYONE who has mobility problems, needs a shower/bathtub ammended to make it accessible to take a bath asks for ADA Accomodation it is a mandatory federal law that this accomdation be required.


So what do you recommend?  Throw Grandma and Grandpa out onto the ice floe and let them freeze, starve to death if they are infirm and have mobility issues.


It is ILLEGAL for a landlord to refuse to provide ADA Accomodation for ANY special needs person OR anyone who falls under the category of "Protected Class".


I am very disappointed at your uninformed and wholly cavalier attitude about how incredibly hard it is for low income seniors who are disabled to find affordable housing.


Yes, if you have a huge investment portfoilio, drive a Cadillac, you can go easily live in a ritzy Del Webb Retirement Community with luxury ammenities.  We have senior residential communities in my city which START at $2,500 a month for a small studio apartment.  The average retired senior on Social Security receives $1200 a month benefits - either from retirement pension or disability benefits.


As Dear Abby used to say "Wake Up and Smell the Coffee".

Honored Social Butterfly



You should check out HUD's Multifamily Inventory of Units for the Elderly and Persons with Disabilities

and ask to apply under HUD Section 202 or Section 236.  Many of these places are nice, have ammenities and are in good areas - I live in GA. not California but you can look at the above link and see if there are any that you like with availability or a short wait list.


These type of independent living are only for the disabled or elderly (over 62 years of age) and these units are already classified as reasonably accommodated for this population.  But if you need roll-in shower access, that maybe something that you would need to speak to them about because there are other ways to handle this personal need although they may some units that are set up that way.


I believe you are confused about the ADA compliance in Housing for the Disabled or Elderly - the landlord does have to supply "reasonable accommodations" but that varies as to what it is.  I am taking about the actual unit not the public areas. 


Pass that - it is the responsibility of the disabled resident to modify their living space at their own expense with the approval of the landlord. 

NOLO: Disabled Renters' Housing Rights


Landlords must accommodate the needs of disabled tenants, within reason, at the landlord's own expense (see 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(3)(B)). As a disabled tenant, you may expect your landlord to reasonably adjust rules, procedures, or services in order to give you an equal opportunity to use and enjoy your dwelling unit or a common space.


Accommodations can include parking: If the landlord provides parking in the first place, providing a close-in, spacious parking space would be an accommodation for a tenant who uses a wheelchair.

Does your landlord's duty to accommodate disabled tenants mean that you can expect every rule and procedure to be changed at your request? No. Although landlords are expected to accommodate "reasonable" requests, they need not undertake changes that would seriously impair their ability to run their business.


Landlords must allow disabled tenants to make reasonable modifications to their living unit or common areas at their expense, if needed for the person to comfortably and safely live in the unit (see 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(3)(A)). You have the right to modify your living space to the extent necessary to make the space safe and comfortable, as long as the modifications will not make the unit unacceptable to the next tenant, or if you agree and are financially able to undo the modification when you leave.


Examples of modifications undertaken by a disabled tenant include:

  • lowering countertops for easier access from a wheelchair
  • installing special faucets or door handles due to limited hand use
  • modifying kitchen appliances to accommodate poor vision or blindness, and
  • installing a ramp to allow wheelchair access to a raised living room.

These modifications must be reasonable and made with prior approval. A landlord is entitled to ask for a description of the proposed modifications, proof that they will be done in a workman-like manner, and evidence that you are obtaining any necessary building permits.

In addition, if you propose to modify the unit in a way that will require restoration when you leave (such as the repositioning of lowered kitchen counters), the landlord may require you to pay into an interest-bearing escrow account the amount estimated for the restoration. (The interest earned will belong to you.)


Also, The Age Discrimination in Employment Act  (ADEA) protects applicants and employees who are 40 years of age or older from employment discrimination based on age.


The ADEA applies to only to private employers with 20 or more employees, state and local governments, employment agencies, labor organizations and the federal government. - Facts About Age Discrimination

It's Always Something . . . . Roseanna Roseannadanna
Periodic Contributor

Oh GailL.1.........I have been languishing on those HUD senior building lists for over 10 years.  Where I live, we hae 20,000 homeless people in the city in Northern California where I live.  It is VERY ingenuous when people blithely tell a low income senior who is disabled, living on less than $15,000 a year "you need to get on the waiting list for subsidized housing".   Those lists in my city can be as long as 15-20 years for your name to inch up to the very top of the list.  I am currently on FORTY waiting lists and in the last year SEVEN property management companies THREW OUT, or LOST, or God-Knows-Did-What with my now that reduced it down to 33 waiting lists I am on because SEVEN of my applications were tossed into the dumpster or thrown out.   Here in California we are #1 for evictions.  It is LEGAL to kick out a tenant in California WITHOUT JUST CAUSE.  It is legal in California to raise the rent TEN TIMES HIGHER than the tenant was paying.  California is #1 in all of America for poverty, California is #1 for homelessness, California is #1 for hunger, malnutrition, food insecurity, #1 for suicides, #1 for people leaving the state in massive droves.  Our air pollution is out of control and due to climate change we have been experiencing massive out of control wild fires and floods - flood-fire-flood-fire-flood-fire.


Telling a poverty level disabled senior who has imminnet danger of winding up on the street due to massive rent increase "Oh just get on those HUD waiting lists"..........frankly, what planet are you ON?


Those waiting lists for Tax Credit Affordable Housing, HUD Section 8, senior builings are all IMPACTED all over California and especially in the city I live in.


Donald Trump and Ben Carson savagely cut $30 billion in funding for HUD and seriously was considering a $300 a month rent increase for all HUD tenants.....these are tenants who are blind, disabled, deaf, seniors on tiny fixed income, mothers with children who get zero child support and the full time employed working poor.  Not only is there ZERO construction of HUD subsidized housing, there is already a MASSIVE shortage - not just in California, but nationwide.

Honored Social Butterfly



The current Administration including the HUD Secretary can propose whatever they want but the final deciding factor is always Congress -


The Bi-partisan Budget Act of 2018 increased funding for most all subsidized housing programs


Congress Agrees to Historic Funding for HUD In Fiscal Year 2018 Omnibus Spending Bill


The main problem is that we have only a limited number of these units for the disabled and elderly (over 62 ) and few are being built by the non-profit sector for these sort of subsidized programs for that intended groups.  The Federal Government does not build or maintain these special housing complexes.  Even local governments are in charge of Public Housing - they build them with the aid of funds from the state and the Feds.


These type of elderly /disabled units were initially built in the late 70s thru the early 90's with a condition that in order for a HUD loan, the units had to be offered to this population by the sponsoring non-profit agency.  The units could be divided up to accommodate those who could pay a full reasonable market rent, those who could receive a subsidized rent % and those low income disabled and elderly who could qualify for Section 8 at a greater % or almost totally subsidized.


The problems now are many 

  • few non-profits coming together to take on such a huge endeavor as building, running and maintaining complexes such as these.
  • the price of land in urban/suburban areas where other amenities are readily available
  • the number of (baby boom generation) elderly and disabled needing such accommodations.
  • the cost of the staff to run these units - managers, social workers, maintenance workers, 24/7 security - salaries, benefits, employer matched payroll taxes, unemployment insurance - just like any other business has even though they are non-profit.
  • the cost to refi the units with HUD when major renovations are periodically necessary.

In my area, there are plenty of private developments for the elderly being built but these places don't offer any government housing subsidies.  There is plenty of housing being developed in and around Atlanta but these aren't designated to any specific population and cater more to the young professionals.


So, yes, there are waiting list because there is so much demand for these senior 

government subsidized complexes.  We are living longer and in better shape to stay independent.


When I moved my mother out of the senior independent living facility where she had lived for 12 years to an assisted living facility, we had an "Over 90" party and out of 300 total residents at least 1/3 of them were over 90 and still going.

They weren't in any hurry to pass along their unit to somebody else.


We do have a problem - a need greater than units available and many people want the lowest cost rent (Sect.8) rather than just being subsidized at about 30%.  Many people  either did not make plans or their plans got thrown off course by unexpected events..



It's Always Something . . . . Roseanna Roseannadanna
Periodic Contributor

Trusted Contributor

My heart goes out to you. For all of the progressive things California does they loose out badly on housing for not just Seniors from what I read in the Times and the Post. Very sad situation as no one should have to live your Golden Years the way you have had to live. I hope at least knowing someone else understands your plite helps in even the smallest way. 

Good Luck and God be with you in sending an answer.

Periodic Contributor

I think there should be more low income housing for the elderly as we are the poorest groups of people who are mistreated for whatever reason.  We need a clean safe facility where we feel safe that have amenities to accommodate some of our needs,  These should be our golden years yet we find we delcine because we are punished for getting old.  A foreigner comes through the door (and I have no issues with anyone) will get exactly what they want. We generally have to struggle beg borrow and steal to be heard,  We should have a committee for elderly singles without hitting up a  website but make it eaiser for us to meet people without being put to shame.

We have alot of resources as I speak but as a whole we really have nothing.  . Thanks for listening.

Gold Conversationalist

In retirement you should consider a place that is clean, safe, well maintained and has the conveniences you can afford. It doesn't have to be fancy or expensive.

Suggest you go online and google senior housing choices.
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