Debunking the Myths of Retirement Communities

Are you a little nervous about choosing a retirement community? If so, don't be. Retirement communities offer all kinds of benefits for America's seniors ranging from regularly scheduled social events to access to spas, golf courses and numerous other amenities. Despite the amazing benefits of these communities, several myths persist that can affect how people think about retirement. We're here to dispel some of these all-too-common myths about living in retirement communities. If you're considering a retirement community for yourself or a loved one, read on for more information to set the record straight as you compare your top options.

8 Active Myths | Suggest a Myth
MYTH: I can't afford to live in a retirement community.

Retirement communities are just like any other form of housing. Some are expensive, while others are cheap. The more expensive communities are often loaded with amenities and services. On the other hand, seniors who are on fixed incomes can often live cheaper at inexpensive retirement communities, where rents are lower than typical market rents.

MYTH: All of the good retirement communities are in Arizona or Florida.

You can find great retirement communities regardless of where you live. While regions such as Florida and Arizona are revered for their good weather, you can also find nationally acclaimed retirement hubs in places like Idaho, Oregon, Ohio, Nebraska, Colorado, Maine, Texas and more. It's important to look at each community and consider amenities, decor, staffing, location and other factors. You don't need to live in a perpetually warm area to enjoy a first-class retirement experience.

MYTH: Retirement communities aren't lively enough.

Seniors are often reluctant to consider retirement communities because of the perception that these communities feel old. People spend their lives living in their houses, condos and apartments, and they don't want to give up their favored styles. However, not all retirement homes are dark and stodgy -- in fact, very few are. Visit several retirement communities in your area and you're likely to find at least one that impresses you with its atmosphere and decor.

MYTH: Retirement communities are only ideal for seniors with health problems.

This couldn't be further from the truth. Retirement communities offer a wide range of benefits for independent, able-bodied seniors that aren't available through other living situations. By choosing the right place, you can reap all the benefits of living on your own while also having all the benefits of an entire community at your door. And if you ever need assistance because of issues related to aging, then you won't need to worry about moving.

MYTH: I'm too young to fit in at a retirement community.

It's easy to understand why seniors view moving into a retirement community as surrendering to age. However, most retirement communities serve as hubs for a wide range of activities for seniors of all physical abilities, including those who still run, golf or ride their bikes each day. If anything, physically fit seniors are more likely to find workout buddies by moving into retirement communities.

MYTH: I have too much stuff to move into a retirement community.

The older you get, the more stuff you accumulate, and let's face it -- seniors have tons of stuff. Many seniors are unable to comprehend how they'll downsize enough to go from a three-bedroom home to a one- or two-bedroom apartment. However, there are options. For starters, some retirement communities offer homes or large apartments for seniors with greater needs for space. Or, perhaps it's time to part ways with old possessions or hand things down through the family. The simple truth is most seniors don't need all the stuff they've been hauling around, but there are retirement communities out there for each senior's needs.

MYTH: I can't bring my pet to a retirement community.

Just like any other community, some places allow pets while others don't. You just need to ask around and compare answers when searching for your best fit.

MYTH: The food at retirement communities isn't very good.

Think the food served at retirement communities isn't very good? Think again. Most retirement communities hire acclaimed professional chefs to run their kitchens and produce meals on par with higher-end restaurants. Also, most retirement community homes are equipped with kitchens so that residents can continue cooking just as they always have.