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Retirement Apartments vs. Homes — How to Choose the Best Place to Retire

Choosing a place to retire takes some deliberation. There’s a lot to think about when choosing a retirement community, from its proximity to loved ones to the area’s cost of living. However, at the end of the day, the best place to retire will be affordable and enjoyable. It should be a place you can imagine living comfortably and happily for the rest of your life.

There are several styles of retirement communities to choose from. Each offers a welcoming, supportive environment for retirees with varying needs and preferences. We’ve outlined some of the top considerations you should make when choosing between a retirement apartment or villa for your next home.

The Difference Between Retirement Apartments and Retirement Homes

Retirement apartments and villas are ideal for those who prefer to live independently while maintaining access to the support and dynamic social aspects of an independent living community. However, there are some key differences between these two independent living options.

Retirement apartments are cost-effective and meet the unique needs of adults 55 years or older. They are excellent for older adults wishing to downsize or travel frequently.

Conversely, an independent villa sits within a compact neighborhood of houses. These independent living communities are excellent for seniors wishing to remain independent with access to essential services they need now or might need later, including dining facilities, laundry services, housekeeping, skilled nursing and occupational and physical therapy.

Benefits of Retirement Apartments

Some benefits of retirement apartments include:

  • Freedom: Many active older adults choose retirement apartments to socialize and travel without worrying about yard or home maintenance.
  • Convenience: An apartment offers seniors easy access to their community’s amenities, activities and social events.
  • Accessibility: Retirement apartments offer aging-friendly accessibility features, including elevators, walk-in showers and grab bars.

Benefits of Residential Retirement Homes

A few advantages of a retirement villa include:

  • Privacy: Villas are perfect for older adults who wish to enjoy the privacy of a home without maintenance costs.
  • Lifestyle: Like retirement apartments, seniors living in retirement villas enjoy convenient access to the community’s amenities and social events.
  • Safety: Every villa is uniquely designed to accommodate seniors who can no longer age in place but are not ready to downsize.

Additional Considerations for Choosing a Place to Retire

Whether you opt for an apartment or villa, consider the following factors when choosing a place to retire:

1. Cost

One of the first considerations you should make when choosing a retirement community is the cost, including the region’s cost of living. After all, every day might feel like a Saturday when you’re retired, and it’s far easier to spend money on the weekends. It’s essential to consider any monthly expenses you might have, such as utilities and entertainment subscriptions. Plus, your preferred community might have additional service fees.

Sit down with a financial planner and determine what you can reasonably afford to spend month-to-month. Once you understand your monthly budget, consider retirement communities that fall within or below your budget. Of those, pick the community that ensures you’ll have plenty of spare income to enjoy your favorite weekend activities or hobbies like eating out or shopping.

2. Space

A key aspect of a joyful life is living in a space suiting your lifestyle, needs and preferences. As time passes, you might begin feeling like a full-sized home and its required upkeep is too difficult to maintain. Ultimately, your space should be the perfect fit, letting you furnish it as desired without unnecessary physical exertion. You’ll have time and energy for more enjoyable activities like socializing or exercising.

Whether you opt for an apartment or villa, ensure it suits your needs and feels like home by choosing features that bring you joy, like a patio, sunroom or den.

3. Lifestyle

Ideally, your retirement community will be your forever home. Therefore, its amenities should comfortably accommodate your preferred lifestyle. You’ll want to select a retirement community that allows you to flourish and live an abundant life. It should offer or provide convenient access to your lifestyle must-haves, including a:

  • Restaurant or dining center
  • Church
  • Salon
  • Library
  • Shopping center
  • Gym
  • Garden area

Your retirement community should also be nearby everyday essential services such as a grocery store, pharmacy, post office, bank and more. Look for one that offers pet-friendly apartments or villas if you have a furry family member.

Explore Woodcrest Villa in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania

When choosing a retirement community, start by considering your current lifestyle, needs and preferences. Don’t forget to look ahead and consider how your lifestyle or needs might change as time goes on, as well. Most importantly, choose the community that falls within your budget and provides access to any essential healthcare services you need or might need later on.

If you’re considering retiring in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, reach out to the Mennonite Home Communities team today. Our Woodcrest Villa retirement apartments and residential retirement homes offer easy access to several amenities and activities to keep you happy, healthy and active. Contact us today to learn more about living in our Lancaster independent living community!