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Should You Move To A Retirement Community?

May 19, 2008
Many elderly retired people choose to move to a retirement community for various reasons. A large home may have been great when they were raising children and pets. Now that the children have left home to start their own families, there is far too much space to take care of. The garden may also be too big to maintain. It is probably difficult to secure a home properly if the retiree plans to travel extensively.

A smaller retirement home or apartment in a retirement community may be the next best option. A retirement home will often have useful amenities and services for their residents. There may even be round the clock medical services. Some of the amenities may include swimming pools, dance halls, bowling alleys and activity centers. Many retirement homes may also have restaurants and cafeterias for their residents.

Finding Great Retirement Communities

With the information available on the Internet, it is not difficult to locate great retirement communities. You may be assisting your parents or elderly relatives to find a place to spend their golden years. They no longer find it comfortable living in their current homes and desire to move somewhere where the weather is warm and comfortable. You may be looking for information yourself. Either you plan to move into a retirement community soon or you may be researching for one you can invest in now for your future retirement. Investing in retirement communities ahead of time - a few decades ahead - can be a wise investment decision.

What Makes Great Retirement Communities?

Before you start researching for great retirement communities, you can ask yourself what features and facilities are important to you. Perhaps you do not know even what these are; since you have never considered or looked up these alternative forms of accommodation. Then trawling through the Internet is a great way to start. Enter the search term 'retirement communities' into the Google webpage. Visit the websites of a few retirement communities. While you do this, take note of the things that you consider important.

Some of these key criteria may include location, climate over the year, size of the facility, number of residents, accommodation types, availability of medical staff round the clock, recreational facilities like swimming pools and tennis courts, facility organized social activities like games, dancing and short tours, cleaning and food preparation services.

Now that you know what you would consider essential to create a shortlist of potential retirement communities, your research becomes more focused. You may narrow your search by location. Next you would make a list of suitable retirement communities in that location by using kill criteria - eliminate those that you are absolutely not interested in. These may not have what you consider essential features and facilities. From your shortlist that may have had tens of optional retirement communities, you may have whittled it down to a list of less than 10.

Next you need to invest some time and effort to visit the retirement communities in your reduced shortlist. Call to make appointments. You may be lucky to find an agent in a popular location with many retirement communities to help you in this process. He or she may be able to offer you great local insight about the retirement communities that you are considering. If you plan to use an agent, confirm that he or she is independent of any of the retirement communities that you are considering.

Now the physical part of the research process starts. Visit the retirement communities in your list to see for yourself whether their Internet-based marketing matches or exceeds your expectations. Speak with their head of operations or sales. Note down details regarding availability, regular charges and charges for optional items that you may be interested in. Visit their cafes or restaurants to get an idea of the type and quality of food served. If you have the opportunity, speak with some of the residents. Make sure to take notes.

The problem with trying to commit your impressions to memory is that you would either soon forget or confuse amongst the various retirement communities you have visited. Make the best of use of your time and effort during this physically demanding exercise.

When you are done with the physical due diligence of the retirement communities in your shortlist, it is time to reduce that list to a selection of the final three or less. You may be lucky! You may have found that one place which meets or exceeds your search criteria. The time may be ripe for you to commit to one of the retirement communities in your list.

After this systematic and potentially grueling exercise, you can rest assured that you have done the right things to help you search for the ideal place to retire from all the potential retirement communities in a particular location.
About the Author
Cindy Heller is a professional writer. Visit Retirement Sentiments to learn more about supplemental retirement income and individual retirement account.
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