Empty Nesters Who Want Smaller and Better Choose Active Adult Communities

Empty nest retirees who desire new homes which are smaller, and more in tune with their new lifestyles, tend to pick Active Adult Communities, shares a March 6, 2015, New York Times online article titled, Retirement in a Community, but Which One? Here, Margaret A. Wylde, CEO of the ProMatura Group--a market research firm--explained, "Of those ages 55 to 65, 4.5 % move each year...(and) 20% of people in this group looking for a home want to live in a 55-plus community." A Maryland couple interviewed for this article expressed what many retirees feel--They wanted "something smaller on less land."

Susanne Matthiesen, director of aging services at CART International, an agency that accredits services for empty nesters, also advised, "Ask yourself what you want to do from today forward." Then, prioritizing wants and needs becomes more clear.

This New York Times article goes on to suggest empty nesters ask themselves the following questions as they choose their ideal retirement communities:

  1. Do you want to live close--but not too close--to family? How close is "too close?"
  2. Do you want to reside alongside folks who are just a little younger than you? Or, would you prefer neighbors who are more your "age peers?"
  3. Will selling your current home and using some of your savings afford you enough of a new-home down payment? Or, must you consider working part-time to (possibly) cover association fees? (A realtor can smooth your move!)
  4. Would your ideal community be located in an urban, or a rural, area?
  5. Do you desire extra services like lawn and landscaping, or housekeeping?
  6. Will you need a "recreation manager" who schedules activities for you?
  7. Are you an "extremely active" empty nester who likes to swim, walk or hike, play tennis and golf? If so, your community should provide indoor/outdoor pools, trails, courts and courses.
  8. Are you an "intellectual" interested in current affairs who would take full advantage of seniors' classes offered at nearby universities?
  9. Will you be primarily socializing with family and friends who live near your community, or do you see community-living as an "adventure" where you'll make tons of new friends?

No matter how empty nesters might answer these questions, Ms. Wylde and Ms. Matthiesen offer the following suggestions for those who've tentatively picked out an active adult community:

  1. "Visit several times to evaluate the construction of the houses, (and) the safety and security."
  2. "Talk to people who live there."
  3. "If you have friends who live in the community, plan a visit."
  4. "Find out what the association fees include." Are "internet, utilities, lawn and landscaping" covered?
  5. "Ask whether you can stay overnight...for two or three nights." Then, "use the community amenities."
  6. Socialize with current residents to ascertain if the "atmosphere" or "culture" of the community is one that appeals to you.

Contact us for information about our Move Smart Solutions "right size" program, in which we help you move down in home value--but not in comfort and efficiency--by listing and selling your current home at significantly reduced commission rates. 

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