Myths About Retirement Communities


April 2023

Top Myth's About Independent Living Retirement Communities

Independent Living Retirement Communities are places for active adults seeking more in life. They choose to move to a community to connect with new friends who share the same life experiences, to explore new hobbies and rediscover ones they used to enjoy, and to revel in a convenient lifestyle that allows them more time to pursue their passions.

But, if you ask someone what moving to a retirement community means to them, many will tell you something completely different. So, let's explore some common myths about retirement communities and the truth around those myths.

1.     Retirement communities are meant for older people who cannot care for themselves.

That statement reflects a common misconception about retirement communities. The fact is that retirement communities are made up of active seniors pursuing their passions and enjoying the retirement they worked so hard for. Individuals who move into independent living communities must be active and healthy because no nursing service is provided. They continue to work, travel, volunteer, and participate in other activities they enjoy. They have even more time to dedicate to these activities because the community is taking care of the housekeeping, home maintenance, landscaping, and other responsibilities that come with homeownership.

 2.    They are too "institutional."

This idea comes from an outdated misconception that retirement communities are nursing homes. This isn't the case; they offer a robust and comprehensive living experience.

Life Plan communities offer Assisted Living and Skilled Nursing Care, but "institutional" is the last thing that comes to mind when entering these areas. Instead, they are designed to be vibrant and welcoming and provide a home-like experience for their residents and guests.

When you visit a community, you will see well-appointed apartments and maybe even villas or cottage homes on campus. Residents will enjoy the community as an extension of their home, playing cards, exercising, and participating in book clubs and discussion groups, among many more activities offered. In addition, you will find multiple dining options with chefs providing delicious, well-balanced, and nutritional meals.

3.    It's better to stay in my home.

Many people believe it is easier to stay at home and that they do not or will never need a higher level of care. It isn't easy to anticipate and plan for your future healthcare needs. However, more and more people find that staying in their homes is not an option.

Every day until 2030, 10,000 baby boomers will turn 65, and seven out of 10 people will require long-term care in their lifetime. *

The benefit of choosing a life plan community is that when a need arises for long-term care, it will be provided in the same community and within familiar surroundings. In addition, it will ensure that you have made an informed decision and not one under the duress of a medical necessity.

4.    I can't afford to move to a nice retirement community.

Like most anything else, you get what you pay for when it comes to retirement communities. So, services provided at top-tier retirement communities will come with higher fees.

However, many communities offer ways to offset and alleviate these costs. When taking homeownership expenses like mortgages, property taxes, HOA Fees, home maintenance, housekeeping, transportation, utilities, dining out, and entertainment costs, many find the cost of moving into a community comparable or even more economical than staying in their current home.

5.    I can't have overnight guests.

Simply put, this is your home, and you are welcome to have guests visit you at any time, and they are welcome to stay overnight. Many communities offer guest apartments for your guests to stay in as well.

6.    I can't bring my pet(s).

Most communities not only allow pets but have areas set aside for your pets to enjoy. Many also provide staff to help you take care of your pet(s) should your care needs change, and you decide to move into a higher care area on campus.

7.    I am too young to consider moving to a retirement community.

This goes hand-hand with Myth #1 that retirement communities are for "older people."

As we noted before, communities are geared toward active seniors. However, the truth is that it is never too early to start researching available options. First, decide what is important to you in a community and schedule appointments for consultations and tours. Then, start making that plan. Many communities have a future resident program that you can join that allows you access to the community's amenities and dining prior to moving in. This is a great way to make sure the community you choose is a good fit for you, and it also allows you to start making friends within the community before moving.

Of course, you may have concerns we still need to address. Please reach out to the community sales counselor to discuss them today.


 * Genworth Cost of Care Survey