Treasure Coast Senior Living Options

Learn About 55+ and Active Adult Communities, post contributor

Looking for a retirement community in Florida? Port Saint Lucie on Florida's Treasure Coast has a variety of 55+ communities. Our team of local experts can help you find the perfect fit for your lifestyle, whether you want an active social scene or a peaceful haven. Start enjoying your golden years in Port Saint Lucie today! Learn More

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What Are 55+ Communities?

If you're considering moving to a 55+ community or senior apartment, remember that these residences differ significantly from other senior living communities. Though designed for older adults, senior lifestyle communities typically do not offer on-site medical care, personal care assistance, or communal dining included in the monthly cost. Instead, residents live a completely independent lifestyle, similar to what they had in their former homes. 

The main difference between living in a standard apartment complex or planned community, and the main appeal for many, is that all of your neighbors are around the same age and ability level and likely in the same life stage. Additionally, senior lifestyle communities handle exterior maintenance for residents and may offer assistance with interior work, relieving some of the stress one would experience with traditional homeownership. Active adult communities are also frequently outfitted with senior-friendly features like grab bars and single-floor living to help residents stay safe without modifying their homes. 

Several different types of communities and residences fall under the umbrella of "55+ communities." Retirement communities each have their feel and may comprise apartments or condos, townhomes, single-family homes, or a mix of the above. As the individual unit grows, costs typically will, too, and community or amenity fees will be higher for more luxurious communities. The good news about this variation in price between communities is that it gives prospective buyers plenty of options and enables most people to find a 55+ community that fits their preferences and budgets.

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What Are the Different Types of 55+ Communities?

To help you understand the different types of 55+ communities, we've divided them into two categories: senior apartments and senior lifestyle communities. For this guide, "senior lifestyle communities" refer to age-restricted communities that include single-family homes or a mix of multiple housing types. 

Senior Apartments 

From the outside, senior apartment complexes may look like any other apartment complex. Senior apartments are rental units restricted to adults over the age of 55 or, in some cases, 62 and older. These buildings typically do not have many amenities beyond common areas for residents to socialize or a fitness center, and most do not offer communal dining. However, many organize social interest groups and on-site social events for residents to make it easier for them to form friendships with their neighbors. They may also coordinate transportation for group shopping trips or other outings. Housekeeping services may also be available for an extra fee. 

Unless the community receives subsidies to offer lower rents to low-income seniors, living in a senior apartment will be similar to standard apartment rental costs in your area. But with neighbors around the same age and units designed with helpful features such as wide doorways and no-slip flooring, many older adults may find they're more comfortable in a senior apartment than in a standard unit.

Senior Lifestyle Communities 

These planned communities differ from senior apartments in that the neighborhood contains a mix of housing styles, from single-family homes to duplexes to condos. Rather than occupying a single building, senior lifestyle communities may span several acres and contain recreational facilities such as a pool or tennis court. The homes and community grounds are designed with older adults in mind and may feature a secure gate, well-lit sidewalks, and wheelchair ramps where necessary. Though some residents may have their yards, the community typically handles outdoor maintenance, providing older adults with a low-maintenance lifestyle. 

Because the units in these communities are typically larger than apartments, expect to pay more than you would for a senior apartment. Some senior lifestyle communities are also homeownership rather than rentals and may have a "buy-in" and monthly HOA fee for which residents are responsible.

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Eric Slifkin, Broker Associate

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