Feb 22, 2012 at 1:29 AM
As you get closer to retirement age it is important to consider the different options available to you in the way of senior living. You can choose to stay at home, enter a retirement community, or find senior apartments. Each of these options has things to recommend it and negatives. If you stay at home you:
Staying at home can be an option for a time, but it is impractical for the long term. Retirement communities are a great option for many seniors as they also offer many of the same benefits as staying at home, with the addition of the reduced stress offered by contracted property maintenance. Senior apartments are another option that also offers minimal property maintenance, though often with less scheduled social activity.
As long as you are able to maintain independent living without needing assistance with the activities of daily life, your costs can be very reasonable. Obviously, if you remain in your home you are familiar with the current costs. If you move to retirement communities you will be facing some added expenses, generally in the form of community association fees. These fees are then used to pay for the costs associated with property maintenance. Senior apartments are an urban offering for senior living, with the costs highly dependent on the location of the rental property. With both retirement communities and senior apartments there may be some properties that are offered on a sliding scale, but you will be predominantly responsible for the costs associated with basic living expenses.
As you consider the different options available to you, make arrangements to visit a variety of different facilities. You will want to feel out the environment of each place and find one that best fits your personality.