• Observations of Living in a 55+ Community

    Do you ever look back at a major life decision and wonder if you would have made the same decision if you had known then what you know now?

    After 2 years of living in a 55+ community, I have made some interesting observations about this style of living and our decision to move here.

    When this community was being built in 2007, it was a very popular option for interested seniors.  I understand from some original owners that there was a waiting list for units.  New owners initially fell between ages 55-65 ... younger seniors.  All moved in within a year or two of each other as the development was built.  All had similar motivations and were inspired to make this new style of living successful for themselves.  Newsletters, committees, social activities, and active board of directors (some report an over active board that ruled with an iron fist) were the norm.  Naturally there was an excitement in wanting to make your "new home" perfect.

    That is what I briefly know about this communities early years!

    I have impressions of how this community has changed over time and what it is now.

    We moved into this condo when it was about 14 years old.  When we were searching for a condo we looked for specific things: an evaluator, less living space to manage, lower living costs, a reasonable condo fee, pet friendly, geographically close to our kids, and a property that was cared for and financially viable.  We weren't looking for some of the more typical considerations - amenities like organized social activities, business center services, or exercise equipment.  In fact, we were initially not even looking for a senior community and we were looking for places without those typical amenities.  The fact there is no newsletter or committees or social calendar is just fine with us.
    we did not want to pay for things we would not use - those amenities comes with a high dollar price tag in the form of elevated condo fees.  Nothing is free.

    Some of you were readers of my blog as I struggled with the decision to move and to find the right place.  You might remember just how emotionally draining and exhausting the whole process was.  I have some observations on the pluses and minuses of the decision I made two years ago.  
    • Plus: Ease of interior maintenance - since I am the one doing all the maintaining - this is important.  
    • Minus: Vanilla is not my favorite flavor - I like variety.  I miss the mix of residents that we used to have - families with young children, singles, Halloween Trick or Treaters.
    • Plus:  Definitly cheaper - a big plus.  We have an adequate retirement, but time and inflation can eat into that nest egg.  Expenses are stable here with no large jumps in the condo fee.  No external issues to manage like when the roof leaks or the snow falls.  
    • Minus:  Less control over making sure the exterior is repaired and maintained.  Property ages.  Halls need painting, hall carpet needs replacing ... now at 16 years old, this property needs on going maintenance. 
    • Plus:  Quieter - neighbors are more considerate of how they live their lives and how it might impact others than in more vibrant younger communities. 
    • Minus:  Moving after 55 - at least for me - means leaving behind a place called home of 30 years.  That same feeling will be unlikely here. 
    • Plus:  More time for me and my personal pursuits.  
    • Minus:  Some folks who live here are aged past the point of being independent safely.  That is an issue everywhere, but when you live in a senior community, it is more evident.
    • Plus:  You can build new friendships among your peers when you are surrounded by your peers!  I have been very lucky to make several friends in this community.  
      Nothing is perfect - every style of living after a certain age carries some concerns.  We certainly could not have anticipated some of my minuses and pluses when making this decision two years ago.  But despite the minuses - I am still content with our choice.

      It is nice to know that!

      Glad that looking back didn't result in regrets!
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