Housing needs may change as adults grow older and their children move out. Adults nearing retirement may want to reduce their cost of living and could find a big house is more than they need at this stage in life.
According to the financial management resource The Motley Fool, in 2019 48% of seniors planned to downsize, while 52% wanted to remain in their existing homes.
A lower cost of living could be the primary motivator to sell, but less house to maintain and the extra free time that comes with fewer chores can be powerful motivators as well.
Many adults age 50 and older consider adult communities when seeking to downsize their homes. Senior home options are categorized based on the level of care they provide. "Active adult living" is a relatively new option that reflects a growing desire for residences that afford aging adults a chance to downsize their homes and engage in their favorite activities.
Active adult living, leisure living or active adult communities include single-family homes, townhouses, condominiums, and other housing options within a community that offers an array of amenities and services. According to Retirement Living, residents in active adult communities enjoy country club settings with amenities like swimming pools, clubhouses, golf courses, exercise centers, walking trails, computer labs, hobby centers, and even on-site restaurants.
Active adult living communities may provide transportation options and have their own travel clubs. Though active adult residences do not typically provide medical services, many communities are conveniently located close to local shopping centers and complexes, ensuring that the doctor's office is not that far away.
Other features of active living covered by homeowner's association fees include outdoor maintenance like landscaping, snow removal and sanitation services. Security, internet service and cable also may be included in the monthly fees.
Active communities emulate the benefits afforded by all-inclusive vacations, where day-to-day details are handled by management so residents can focus on fun and leisure.
Unlike general neighborhoods, seniors may appreciate active living communities because they have access to an array of services within the community. Some promote a resort vacation feeling, while others may focus on sports or cultural life. What's more, since age is restricted, residents know that many people in these communities have shared experiences.
Active adult communities also are amenable to adults who like to travel. Residents get the peace of mind to lock up their homes and leave knowing lawns will still be mowed and shrubs trimmed - removing signs that the residence is unoccupied. This is an ideal situation for a snowbird who spends time in a different location for part of the year.
Active adult living is the relatively new kid on the block for senior communities, filling an important niche for independent retirees and near-retirees.