Living in a community of people near your own age has plenty of advantages.

3 minute read

If you’re nearing retirement or still working in your mid-fifties, chances are you’ve given some thought to where you want to live when you turn in the office badge for good. Many people plan to stay in their current home as they age, especially if the mortgage is paid off. However, others are flocking to 55+ communities, where their neighbors are all in their fifties or older.

At a 55+ community, you and/or your spouse must typically be at least 55 years old to purchase or rent a house, cottage or condominium in the community. 55+ communities range in size from as basic as a small apartment building or apartment complex to gated communities with lush grounds, swimming pools, a golf course, pickleball and tennis courts, fitness center or other recreational amenities.

[Find out: Is One of These 5 Types of Retirement Communities Right for You?

1. You want to live around people your own age

There are plenty of advantages to living in a community of mature adults who’ve been around long enough to know how to be courteous and respectful of their neighbors. And chances are you’ll find lots of people in the community with similar interests and outlooks on life as well as shared passions for golf, pickleball or other recreational activities. Some 55+ communities may even market to a specific group of people, such as LGBT 55+ communities.

2. You’re tired of sweating on the weekends

Most 55+ communities charge a monthly homeowners association (HOA) fee, which typically covers things such as exterior maintenance, landscaping, trash removal and community amenities. So, if you’re tired of yard work and other home maintenance headaches, letting someone else take care of homeowner hassles can free up time for other activities you enjoy.

3. Having quiet neighbors makes you happy

Have you ever lived next door to a houseful of people in their twenties who got the nightly parties started around midnight, drinking, loud-talking and partying until dawn? That won’t happen in a 55+ community, where mature adults have learned that disturbing other people’s serenity, privacy or sleep doesn’t make a good neighbor.

4. You want easy access to recreation

Tired of driving across town to your favorite golf course, fitness center or pool? When you move to a 55+ community with those amenities right on the grounds, you can make those early morning tee times or aquatic classes without burning gas or putting wear and tear on your car.

There’s no reason you can’t still play on the other golf courses or pickleball courts occasionally. But who knows? The amenities right outside your door may become your new favorites.

5. Socializing is important to you

If you love to socialize, you’ll typically find plenty of opportunities at a 55+ community. Many have clubhouses and host events and activities that appeal to active older adults. You may even find a book club or knitting circle or walking, tennis or other recreational group among the other residents. You might even start your own group, making new friends along the way.

6. Downsizing is on the retirement agenda

55+ communities come in all price ranges, so the price tag on a luxury community may be even more expensive than your current home. However, the total cost could also be less, so many people sell their current home and purchase a house or condo in a 55+ community, pocketing extra proceeds from the sale to pad retirement savings.

You don’t want to pack up and move to the first 55+ community you come across, however. Shop around, compare and tour the properties you like best several times before you purchase a new home in a 55+ community. Curious about what’s out there in the 55+ community world?

Search online at sites and directories such as 55Places.com to get an idea of what you can afford and the many types of properties and amenities offered.

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About the Author

Deb Hipp

Deb Hipp

Deb Hipp is a full-time freelance writer based in Kansas City, Mo. Deb went from being unable to get approved for a credit card or loan 20 years ago to having excellent credit today and becoming a homeowner. Deb learned her lessons about money the hard way. Now she wants to share them to help you pay down debt, fix your credit and quit being broke all the time. Deb's personal finance and credit articles have been published at Credit Karma and The Huffington Post.

Published by Debt.com, LLC