Amenities In 55+ Communities
The kinds of amenities you’ll find vary greatly from community to community. But in general, most will have a clubhouse and exercise facilities, indoor/outdoor pools, hobby and craft clubs, security, and maintenance. Others offer golf courses, marinas, tennis courts, on-site health care, restaurants, professional entertainment, walking trails, billiards rooms, card rooms, library/media center, bocce courts, lakes for fishing, and many other lifestyle-related options. For older adults who need some assistance with daily tasks, there are communities with this care available.
Con #4 Rules And Regulations
While the HOA does collect fees from community members, it also enforces regulations and community bylaws that residents must abide by. If a resident violates a rule, the HOA may impose a fine. These regulations can be quite extensive, so its best practice to read the rules thoroughly before joining a retirement community.
+ / 62+ Senior Apartments
Senior apartments are age qualified apartment communities geared toward senior living. Senior apartment communities are often categorized for 55+ or 62+. Senior apartments are multi-unit housing structures with each senior having their own self-contained unit to live in. Senior apartments vary in size ranging from just a few units to several hundred. Also called senior housing.
Accommodations and amenities vary greatly from basic to luxury units. Some senior apartment for rent offer transportation, meals, activities and in-home support at an added cost while other apartment communities offer no such care. As with non-senior apartment communities, grounds keeping and maintenance are included. Seniors pay rent in exchange for living in the apartment and can choose from short or long term rental contracts based upon their needs.
Senior apartments are an excellent senior housing option for active seniors who are mentally and physically healthy enough to be completely independent, but desire to live amongst their peers. Many senior apartment complexes have a clubhouse geared towards senior activities and socializing.
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How Can I Pay For A Retirement Community
Financial assistance programs available for other types of senior living cannot be applied for 55+ communities. Programs like Medicare, Medicaid , and long-term care insurance can not be used as a payment source for a 55+ community because these communities do not offer any type of personal care assistance or medical care.
However, if a retirement communitys cost is too high for you to cover completely out-of-pocket, other assistance options are available. Some ideas for sources of financial assistance include:
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How Do I Pay For 55+ Senior Living
Purchasing or renting a home in 55+ senior living really comes down to your own personal finances. Most seniors can still obtain a mortgage to purchase any type of home in this area. In other cases, it may be best to use cash reserves or investment income to make these purchases. There is no outright financial support for living in these communities. Medicare and Medicaid do not, in most cases, provide for these services. If the location is a 55+ community with assisted living services then there may be some allowance for additional financial support for just those services. However, they generally will not pay for housing expenses in this type of community.
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What Is The Average Cost Of 55+ Communities
Because the services and amenities provided are limited, 55+ communities tend to be the least expensive senior living type. Most 55+ communities cost the same as comparable homes in planned communities in the area. However, senior lifestyle communities with on-site amenities tend to be priced slightly higher than average home costs. To get an idea of how much it would cost to live in a retirement community in your area, look up housing costs for similar homes. For example, to gauge senior apartment pricing, look at the average monthly rates for standard apartments in your zip code.
Every retirement community can set its own pricing structure. Some communities may charge a standard monthly rate that just covers rent and charges additional fees for any extras like reserved parking, Wi-Fi, and electricity bills. Others will charge an all-inclusive monthly payment that includes all amenities and bills. So, while one community may appear more expensive than another, it may be because the monthly cost is all-inclusive. Be sure to ask each community what is and is not included in the quoted monthly price.
If youre looking into a homeownership community rather than a rental, find out about any homeowners association fees. Additionally, some senior communities require residents to pay an initial buy-in fee or a lump sum payment in addition to their housing costs. In some cases, the buy-in fee may replace monthly HOA fees.
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Public Housing And Vouchers
Local HUD Public Housing Agencies work with community programs that run housing complexes for elderly individuals, couples and families. The facilities usually maintain their own waitlists for residential units and take applications directly. If a complex is designated 62 or older, only elderly individuals who meet this age requirement can live there. If the complex designates itself as for 55 and older, it must have at least 80 percent occupancy of units with a person meeting the age requirement. This means elderly persons caring for young children or grandchildren may be eligible.
Elderly individuals are also eligible for HUD Section 8 vouchers to assist with paying for rentals outside of the HUD or public housing programs. The voucher pays up to 30 percent of the rent in an approved HUD voucher program rental.
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Which Income Is Counted
All income is included when considering the median income threshold. Social Security and disability benefits count as income. Additionally, any pensions, annuities and retirement accounts are counted. Income for household members is also included as part of the total family income. Other income includes savings and investment income such as interest or dividends. Discuss your options with a PHA counselor to determine your low-income eligibility.
Senior Living Communities Vs Condos
Senior living communities have condominiums or homes for sale as well as for rent. Whether you decide to rent or buy, you still have access to all the amenities the community offers.
If you purchase a condo, amenities are paid for through homeowners association fees in addition to your mortgage payment . Exterior maintenance is provided through your homeowners association. You are responsible for interior maintenance or remodels. If you want to leave the community, you will need to put the condo up for sale and find a buyer in order to move.
You still have access to community amenities if you rent a condo they are just consolidated into the monthly rental payment as opposed to a separate HOA fee. A big perk with renting is the flexibility to leave when the lease is up, along with the ability to access comprehensive medical care if you need to down the line. If you purchase a condo, you would be responsible for paying for in-home care as opposed to simply moving to another unit with a monthly fee that covers medical assistance.
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Who Can Live In 55+ Senior Apartments
There are 2 very common questions that senior citizens ask when it comes to who can live in senior apartments. The first one is: can my children or grandchildren live with me in senior apartments? The answer depends on whether the apartment in question is a 62+ senior apartment, or a 55+ senior apartment. If you are considering 62+ senior apartments, then children and grandchildren are not allowed to live there. The only exception to this rule is if the children or grandchildren have handicaps that are legally recognized. When talking about 55+ senior apartments, things are more favorable for seniors. According to HUD regulations, at least one of the residents in every single 55+ senior apartment unit must be at least 55 years old. This means that in theory, an older adult can live with their children or grandchildren. However, HUD regulations do not force 55+ senior living apartment complexes to allow those who are younger than 55 to live there. They simply state that each apartment complex must have at least one 55 or older resident, and whether younger residents are allowed is entirely up to each senior community. Make sure you read the community rules carefully to see whether or not only 55 and older residents are allowed in the apartment units.
How To Find A Senior Condo
Each city or area has options for senior living. Individuals can work through a realtor to find a rental or unit in a community that fits their needs. You can also find a listing of apartments online or in the newspaper. The listings for these condos typically list the age restrictions and the amenities for senior living.
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Senior living communities often allow you to tour the property or even stay a few days to determine if the condo is a fit. It may be helpful to bring a caregiver or loved one along to get a second opinion. Each community has different restrictions and services so be sure to read all the fine print on a lease before signing one.
To learn more about senior living communities, be sure to check out our helpful guides:
- Are senior condos cheaper?
Senior condos are usually cheaper than regular apartments or homes. Senior living communities offer amenities that regular homes or condos do not, which can save money on maintenance expenses and medical care in the long run. Some apartments are subsidized by the government as well so the cost of living is lower.
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Crisis Hotlines For Seniors
Please note, if you are in an emergency situation, call 911 for assistance. Other types of crisis situations include depression, suicidal thoughts, loneliness, and being isolated. If you are experiencing one of these types of crisis situations contact:
- Institute on Aging Friendship Line at 800-971-0016
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255
- I Need a Lighthouse for depression hotline at 1-800-784-2433
How To Qualify For Low
Low-income, or subsidized housing, is affordable housing for people or seniors who have low or very low income. Section 202 housing is meant for those aged 62 or better or those with disabilities. Seniors qualify for this program if their income falls under the median income for a particular area .
This can change depending on where you live, so its essential to check with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development or a local Public Housing Authority. They will be able to tell you what income limits are for that area. The units you are interested in will also know this information.
Seniors who are part of the CADI or EW waivers also qualify for low-income housing. We accept CADI and EW at Sunflower communities which means we will work closely with peoples case managers to ensure a fully customized living situation that meets both their medical and financial needs.
Some seniors under the age of 62 may also simply be able to apply to affordable housing living options with low-income proof. Many of the below low-income apartments can offer discounted rent with proof of income with a pay stub or other state documentation. Also, proving disability and being unable to work can be considered.
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Questions And Important Considerations
As you research locations and community amenities, also consider other aspects that won’t be mentioned in the glossy brochures.
- What are your neighbors like? Talk to them. Do they live there all year or part-time? Are they the kind of people you’d want to have over for dinner? Do you share the same interests?
- Is the developer on solid financial ground? If there are structural issues, do they have the resources to resolve those issues? What if homeowners start to default? Can they weather that kind of storm? Ask to see a copy of their budget and profit and loss statement. This should be readily available from the homeowner’s association .
- Is there a reserve fund for maintenance? This is often called a sinking fund and is money set aside for things like roof replacement, air conditioning replacement, etc. This is usually a line item on the HOA’s budget.
- Find out who owns the land adjacent to the community. What are the plans for the land? You don’t want an airport being built next door.
- What rules will you have to follow? Some communities dont allow residents to display flags of any kind, including the American flag. You can’t park an RV in the street or in your driveway. You might not be able to paint your front door a different color. You may not be able to have a jungle gym in your backyard for the grandchildren. Make sure to check out the details by asking to see a copy of the HOA’s bylaws.
Are Senior Apartments Right For Me
Some people live in apartments all their lives and some have never been in an apartment at all. Living in an apartment can be a change in lifestyle. Living in a senior living apartment might mean a greater change in lifestyle.
If youve never lived in an apartment, looking for a senior retirement apartment near you might seem confining. An individual apartment might seem much smaller than a former house. Downsizing can be liberating, but it might take time getting used to.
There are more people around in a senior apartment. This is good if you want to be social and increase social interaction. It might seem invasive if you like your privacy. Its important to gauge how you will respond to the environment of a senior community.
When there are a lot of people, there will be rules. A senior living apartment complex offering senior apartments for rent will have rules to keep the peace. You probably wont have to call to complain about a wild party in the apartment next door, but there will be guidelines in place to ensure that things run in an orderly fashion. Managements goal should be to make it a peaceful environment for all older adult residents. That might mean you must change a habit.
Senior Condos For Sale
Buying a condo offers all of the benefits of owning a home. Senior condos come with the same costs associated with homeownership including mortgages and homeowners association fees. Most often, individuals are responsible for paying for utilities and other costs on their own.
Condos for sale are a good idea for those who plan to live in the area long term. They can be an investment because you will own them in most cases. Senior condos for sale are often purchased with a mortgage. They are not provided, in any way, by the government through Medicaid or Medicare.
Assisted living condos are also privately paid for in most cases. Some states allow for senior condos to be paid through Medicaid, but this is rare.
Federal Rules: Hopa And The 80/20 Rule
The Fair Housing Act, enacted in 1968 under the Civil Rights Act, was designed to stop discrimination within the real estate market. This includes buying and selling homes or property, refinancing loans, and signing leases for rent.
Because of the Fair Housing Act, individuals cannot be denied housing based on judgment or bias towards race, skin color, gender, country of origin, and religious affiliation.
In 1995, an amendment was added to the Fair Housing Act. Known as HOPA, the Housing for Older Persons Act is an exemption to the original discrimination rules focusing on age restrictions for potential home buyers and persons who may desire to live within an age-restricted community.
To be listed as a legal 55+ housing, the community must meet three qualifications:
- 80% of the units/homes must have at least one resident aged 55 or older .
- The community has to create, publish, and follow policies that show its intent to house residents age 55 and older.
- The community must follow HUDs age verification rules. This can mean enacting procedures to verify a residents age.
All three of the above qualifications need to be met if the community is listed or promoted as age-restricted housing.
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Paying For Senior Apartments
Once you choose an apartment, it is time to finance your housing solution. For older adults who have retirement savings set aside, this is the optimal way to pay for senior apartments. For low-income seniors, there are HUD-sponsored apartments that offer more affordable monthly rent based on ones income.
If you are prepared to pay out-of-pocket for a senior apartment, you might want to consider all of your resource options. Many seniors choose to sell an existing home or take out a reverse mortgage in order to finance senior living in an apartment. If this is an option, it will most likely cover the bulk of the living expenses. Other options include using dividends from investment income or cashing in a life insurance policy to help cover these housing expenses.
If you qualify as a low-income senior looking for an apartment, youll want to get your application into the HUD-sponsored apartments near you as soon as possible. As noted, there is a low-income housing waitlist in most cities, and time is of the essence in finding a place to live for older adults that is safe and secure. Also, submit your application to multiple HUD-sponsored apartments to increase the chances that your name is picked for an apartment.