Thinking about moving to a 55 and over community? If you live in (or are considering moving to) Connecticut, you’re in luck, as the state is home to dozens of 55 and over communities to serve the needs of active older adults. But how do you find the best 55 and over community for you? Below, we’ll break down the key steps to take to find the perfect 55 and over community in CT to suit your lifestyle.
1. Determine if a 55 and Over Community is Right for You
There are various types of senior living communities, and what’s right for you might not be right for someone else your age. To start your search, learn how to tell if senior living is your next best step or learn the differences between assisted living and retirement homes (and which one is best for you).
If you anticipate that you may need a different type of senior living community later in life, a continuing care retirement community might be the right choice for you. These communities offer several levels of care – from independent living to assisted living, skilled nursing care, and in some cases, memory care – on the same campus. This allows you to easily transition to higher levels of care as required while remaining in the familiar surroundings and community you call home.
2. Talk to Family and Friends
The best recommendations often come from family and friends who have had first-hand experience with 55 and over communities in CT. If you know someone who has moved to a 55 and over community, ask them how they like it and what they’d change if they could. Maybe you have friends who have moved a loved one into a 55 and over community. Friends and family members often are happy to share their experiences to help you make an informed decision.
3. Decide on a Budget and Identify Funding Sources
Depending on your financial circumstances, your budget may be determined by the amount you can afford or the amount you’re willing to spend on a 55 and over community in CT. Costs vary based on the services and amenities offered by the community, and location can also be a factor.
Consider whether you’re willing to sell your family home to move to a 55 and over community and the current real estate market. In a seller’s market, you’ll likely be able to sell your home faster, while in a buyer’s market, it may take months (or more) to generate interest in your property. You’ll need to know how much you’re able (or willing) to spend for the initial buy-in as well as for any ongoing monthly costs.
A financial advisor or elder law attorney may be able to help you identify sources of income you can use to cover these costs, such as Social Security, long-term care insurance, retirement income, and any assets (including your current residence, if you own it) that can be sold. In some cases, you can leverage your assets without selling them, such as by taking out a second mortgage on your property – just be sure you’re not overextending yourself with monthly expenses.
4. Create a List of Suitable Communities in Your Desired Area
Whether you’re looking for a 55 and over community in a certain area in Connecticut or anywhere in the state, you’ll probably find at least a few communities to choose from. One of the easiest ways to find communities is by searching Google for “55 and over community” and your desired town or city, or simply search for “55 and over communities in Connecticut.” You can also search for “retirement communities” to find additional options.
In addition to what you find in the Google search results, there are a variety of websites that act as senior living directories with listings of many communities in specific locations throughout the United States, such as aPlaceforMom.com, Caring.com and Senior Living Link. Many of these directories have advisors on staff you can speak to for assistance. Even if you don’t choose to talk to an advisor, these websites are still useful resources to find the various 55 and over communities in your desired location.
5. Compare Your Options and Narrow Your List
Now that you have a list of 55 and over communities in CT, you can start comparing their services, amenities, and costs to narrow your list. You might start by eliminating any communities that are out of your price range or are farthest from your ideal location, and then eliminating those that lack any of your must-have services or amenities.
If you end up with more than a few top choice communities, you can further narrow your selection by identifying those with the most nice-to-have services and amenities and eliminating others that don’t have as much to offer.
6. Schedule Tours of Your Top Choice Communities
You shouldn’t choose a 55 and over community in Connecticut without first taking an in-person tour. While photos and virtual video tours are certainly helpful, nothing can replace seeing it with your own eyes. Plus, when taking a tour, you can get a feel for the community’s atmosphere and how friendly the residents are. You might even get a chance to talk to some residents about their lifestyle there and what they like and don’t like about the community.
7. Make Your Choice
Now that you’ve gotten a glimpse into the lifestyle at your top 55 and over communities in CT, it’s time to make a decision. If you find that more than one community has everything you need, you’ll likely know which community feels more like home to you after your in-person visit.
Choosing a 55 and over community in CT is a major life decision, so take your time. If you need a few nights to sleep on it, do so. If you have two top choices and simply can’t choose, it may help to visit each community a second time and take a trusted family member or friend with you for their opinion. Ultimately, though, you should choose the community that feels right to you. After all, it’s the place you’ll call home throughout your golden years!
If you’re in search of a 55 and over community in CT, check out the many services and amenities we offer at Arbors of Hop Brook. Review our floor plans and take a virtual tour. When you’re ready to see more and learn how you can live an active, vibrant lifestyle at Arbors of Hop Brook, get in touch to schedule a tour. We’d love to show you around!