Pros and Cons of Lifestyle Communities

Monday Jul 16th, 2018


 Today, there is a much broader continuum of possibilities and options for seniors who want to live in a more communal setting. Today’s “retirement villages” offer co-housing for seniors who want to save on living expenses by living with smaller apartment homes and larger shared public spaces, or gradually increasing the level of assisted living help and medical care that is available onsite at the home. It’s possible to retire and move into a “retirement village” even when you’re completely healthy and active, and then gradually “age in place” and get the care you need at each stage of life for as long as you live. Here are a few pros and cons of living in a retirement village:



  •     Save money on living expenses: Moving to a retirement village is one way to downsize by selling your larger house and moving to a smaller apartment with communal spaces to share with the neighbours
  •     Save time on chores: Gardens are maintained by the complex and you have a smaller place to clean and maintain
  •     Social Activities:  Retirement villages often have active social calendars with concerts, wine tastings, cultural offerings and other fun things to do with your fellow seniors
  •     Housing Diversity: Villages comprise independent living options in a townhouse, villa or apartment, and (as needs increase) serviced apartments, care suites, rest homes, hospitals and dementia care units


  •     Home Ownership Rather than buying the unit, a person is buying the right to occupy it and to use the facilities and services at the village
  •     Can be more expensive: Almost all retirement villages have monthly charges to cover the running costs of the entire village. These will cover for instance, upkeep of facilities, staff, water rates from common areas, security, insurances including workers compensation and public liability, contents insurance for common areas as well as village building insurance
  •     Less independence: Some people love the idea of communal living and socializing regularly with other people; others are more independently-minded and love the idea of waking up each day in their own home where they have peace and quiet and feel more in control of their schedule and activities
  •     No Diversity: One of the unusual things about a retirement village is that everyone is a senior – there are no young families with children living there. If you live in a diverse generationally-mixed neighbourhood, it might be hard to give that up to move to a retirement village
  •     Doesn’t “feel” right: If you’re still feeling healthy and active, it might just not feel “right” to you to move to a retirement village. Before moving to a retirement village, ask yourself, “Does making this move feel like an opportunity to do more of what you want with your life, or does it feel like a defeat?”

The positive side of retirement living is that there are many options. When you are planning make sure you consider how you will maintain a home, your mobility and personal care as you age. Maybe  initially you’ll downsize because the house it too large to maintain, then later when driving is no longer an option move to a village so you have closer access to amenities and social activities. The important thing is to have a plan with contingencies for any situation.


Source:  Pros and Cons of Diffferent Types of Retirement Living - April 5, 2018

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