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Old 11-22-2020, 11:41 AM   #21
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Thanks for the input, folks (OP here). I am particularly struck by comments on the aging communities, the ones that have been there for a long time, filled with very old and ailing people. If I went for a retirement community, I'd want a newer one. I wouldn't want to be surrounded by people in poor health and neighbors dropping dead every other month -- not very uplifting, lol.

I also struck by the "no pets" policy of one of the communities mentioned. That would be a deal-breaker for me. What sort of crazy-ass community doesn't allow pets? That's barbaric. Are they afraid Fido is going to knock granny off her walker or something? Meh.

I like the idea of the social gatherings, although I have to say, most of what routinely gets mentioned doesn't interest me much. I'd be more interested in book clubs or educational classes -- I like intellectual stimulation. Hopefully, there would be a little of that sprinkled in there somewhere.

The idea of lawncare being provided isn't a plus for me. I mow my lawn every other week and it takes 10 minutes, no big deal.

I think I'm probably suited to living on a plot of land that I own outright, rather than being part of a Community with rules and reg's. I just don't think I'm temperamentally suited for that. I chafe a little too much at rules and cookie-cutter stuff. I feel hemmed in.

Maybe when I get older, though, I'll take a look around at these sorts of communities, see what they offer. It might suit me at some point, if I can find a good fit with a particular community. For now, though, it's not feeling right.
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Old 11-22-2020, 11:48 AM   #22
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I'm 68, DW 69. Still in our house from 35+ years ago. I enjoy the mix of our neighborhood. Heck, how 'bout the mix right next to me: 2 young families on either side of me, elderly single woman across the street, empty nesters (and our friends) across the street, etc.
I pay for a lawn service, hire out more and more heretofore-DIY jobs. I like my house's location: not close to a highway that cuts through our town, or the commuter railroad, so it's quiet. Nice neighbors. Only a mile to the County Park where I ride my bike and run. I see no emotional or physical benefit for us to move.
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Old 11-22-2020, 11:55 AM   #23
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According to the news this fall, I think there turned out to be a surprising mix in that one. Personally, I wouldn’t care as much either way but would just not want it in my face. A good thing about an HOA and it’s tedious rules might be banning advocacy signs to help keep the peace.
Agree with you on that event which made national news, but still heavily politically slanted to one side and as you stated you wouldn't want all the signs, etc.
We have a gated HOA community and no signs or non standard flags are allowed. In fact any violators are usually forced to take it down within days.
Our community is a diverse mix including politically speaking.
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Old 11-22-2020, 05:24 PM   #24
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We are 75/74 and live in a very small over-55 community of 14 residences. 10 residences are in 5 duplex buildings, three in a triplex and one solo. We’ve been here 6+ years and were original owners. We’re probably a bit above the median age; a few couples still work. Two men have died since we moved here. We have all the grounds maintenance, snow plowing, septic services, trash collection, etc. included in our condo fee. We don’t have a pool, gym, community center or similar as the community is too small to support them. It’s not that much different than single family houses we’ve lived in previously except there’s more grey hair in the neighborhood. The owners of 3 or 4 units are snowbirds and are gone 4-6 months annually. It’s worked well for us. We would not want to be in a huge 55+ community such as the Del Webb developments or The Villages (although I understand why they’re attractive to many people).
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Old 11-22-2020, 05:28 PM   #25
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We are 75/74 and live in a very small over-55 community of 14 residences. 10 residences are in 5 duplex buildings, three in a triplex and one solo. We’ve been here 6+ years and were original owners. We’re probably a bit above the median age; a few couples still work. Two men have died since we moved here. We have all the grounds maintenance, snow plowing, septic services, trash collection, etc. included in our condo fee. We don’t have a pool, gym, community center or similar as the community is too small to support them. It’s not that much different than single family houses we’ve lived in previously except there’s more grey hair in the neighborhood. The owners of 3 or 4 units are snowbirds and are gone 4-6 months annually. It’s worked well for us. We would not want to be in a huge 55+ community such as the Del Webb developments or The Villages (although I understand why they’re attractive to many people).
That’s so small, it wouldn’t be comparable to any 55+ community I’ve seen. I’m not disrespecting or discounting your experience/POV, but that’s an unusual example for a 55+ “community” IME.
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Old 11-22-2020, 05:33 PM   #26
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I'm 68, DW 69. Still in our house from 35+ years ago. I enjoy the mix of our neighborhood. Heck, how 'bout the mix right next to me: 2 young families on either side of me, elderly single woman across the street, empty nesters (and our friends) across the street, etc.
I pay for a lawn service, hire out more and more heretofore-DIY jobs. I like my house's location: not close to a highway that cuts through our town, or the commuter railroad, so it's quiet. Nice neighbors. Only a mile to the County Park where I ride my bike and run. I see no emotional or physical benefit for us to move.
I used to live in your town in my 20's. Very enjoyable experience.
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Old 11-22-2020, 06:14 PM   #27
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My father lived in one when I was a teen, and when he was in his 70s. They just never appealed to me.

When I was forced to retire at 42, it never occurred to me to settle in one of those.
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Old 11-22-2020, 06:18 PM   #28
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I plan to age in place right here where I've been for 30 years. No stairs and not too big and not too small. When I get feeble I'll hire a care giver and have groceries delivered.

After that I'll just go the the "home" (not the retirement home) and die.
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Old 11-22-2020, 06:36 PM   #29
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I started looking earlier this year and was a little overwhelmed by the shear number of communities as well as the types that are available. There were ones with neighbourhoods, built in town Centers, medical facilities. Some developments have retirees and working people. You really have to do some soul searching and think about what is is that you enjoy and how you would like to spend your time. A lot of the pros and cons have already been mentioned. One of the biggest challenges for us is living on a smaller lot and having your neighbours so close.
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Old 11-22-2020, 06:43 PM   #30
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I plan to age in place right here where I've been for 30 years. No stairs and not too big and not too small. When I get feeble I'll hire a care giver and have groceries delivered.

After that I'll just go the the "home" (not the retirement home) and die.
That's pretty much our plan. We bought a house near our DD and grandkids. It's not universal design or wheel chair friendly, but it is a ranch on a slab and the previous owner lived here with a wife that was in a wheel chair. I didn't find that out until later by talking to the neighbors. We met his second wife and the two were quite active. Anyway, with no stairs, and a relatively small house (1700sqft), I think it's something we can age in place with quite well. I see comments about having things done like yard work but I just can't believe that I can't get those things taken care of for less than the cost of the HOA by hiring it out. Until then, thankfully, I'm still able to do all those things and don't have to hire out much.

Some day I might consider another option, but as long as family is nearby and I'm able to function, this place looks pretty appealing.
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Old 11-22-2020, 07:44 PM   #31
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we're in no hurry to move. after decades of cash-flow remodeling we have a beautiful home in a quiet town with good neighbors. but we have looked at a few retirement communities and in general they are a turn off. we RV and i'm into ham radio. neither hobby seems particularly welcoming. too many rules and restrictions (which is why we avoid HOA's like the plague). we probably have one more move to go before the big sleep but i doubt it will be to a retirement community.
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Old 11-23-2020, 08:43 AM   #32
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I'm researching some local retirement communities in the co-op, condo, apartment, and CCRC type options. I'm 59 now and am looking at moving at around 65 after my 9 year old dog passes. A lot of these communities are 55+ and now the newer ones are 62+. As a single person, my current house situation will get harder to take care of - certainly noticed that when my hip went out (now fine with hip replacement). I don't have any family locally that could help me.

I'm looking at current facilities and there's some snags there as you have to inherit the payment option the unit is currently under (if the unit is 15% paid down and rest mortgaged, you inherit that; if the unit is 95% said down and rest mortgaged, you can get that also, just not switch depending on your financial needs). There's a lot of new developments coming up in the next several years, so I'm keeping an eye out for those also - nice to have options to decorate to your tastes instead of trying to redo an existing unit. I'm looking for some easier socialization amongst the retirement community doing some activities together - right now (especially with Covid) I'm very isolated in my house. I'd like to stay in an area I know well and close to some parks and stores. I know the type of unit I'm looking for (1 bedroom, den, balcony), which is on a moderate size pretty common in this area. I'm hoping this all works out in the next 6 years.
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Old 11-23-2020, 10:05 AM   #33
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We live in a bungalow on 1.6 acres. I've built the decks and garage in such way that we have complete privacy when we are outside.

Right now I still shovel my 80 foot long double width driveway by hand but can see myself getting a snowblower in a few years. The GF loves the riding mower and will keep cutting the grass as long as she's able to sit upright on it. We're both still young...58 and 54 and plan on staying here as long as possible. We'll hire out snow clearing and yard work when it becomes too much and I can't see us moving until living in a house becomes unpractical or unsafe.
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Old 11-24-2020, 10:58 AM   #34
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I plan to age in place right here where I've been for 30 years. No stairs and not too big and not too small. When I get feeble I'll hire a care giver and have groceries delivered.

After that I'll just go the the "home" (not the retirement home) and die.
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Old 11-26-2020, 12:02 AM   #35
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I just moved to an all ages community. Small lots right up against each other. LOL...I had a contractor in today & we were discussing venting & running central vac. We looked out the window over at the neighbors house & answered our question. Easy peasy I love this new community. People are very friendly. Lots of dog walkers. An example a little girl posted a dog walking poster on the mail box. She drew a picture of herself with pony tail & freckles...and lots of red hearts. I'm going to throw her a $50 and haver her tell me when it's used up

I looked at 2 55+ communities. One very close to a home we owned for a long time. I have a friend there & she loves it. She remodeled her home nicely. Many would require a remodel. One thing stuck out to me from a long time ago. We were using the golf course cart path as a cut through in the early evening dog walk. A couple of residents came out & yelled at us. Not very friendly. I was afraid of that attitude.

The other 55+ community I toured 1 home & 1 condo. It was nice enough but just not that much activity. Plus very few sidewalks. Had to take a car everywhere. I did not care for that. I heard some rumors that the golfers ran everything at the HOA. That concerned me a bit. Seemed a bit insular & if you aren't a golfer you are one of "them"

I'm happy where I am...(it's been 4 days)
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Old 11-26-2020, 06:13 AM   #36
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Like all such rules, it was likely prompted by "a few people spoil it for everybody, and then people sue, and we can't have that."

Maybe an undisciplined Fido did knock a Granny off her walker. But whatever 'twas, you can bet the ensuing litigation is what prompted the rule.

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I also struck by the "no pets" policy of one of the communities mentioned. That would be a deal-breaker for me. What sort of crazy-ass community doesn't allow pets? That's barbaric. Are they afraid Fido is going to knock granny off her walker or something? Meh.

.
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Old 11-26-2020, 06:28 AM   #37
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Old 11-26-2020, 06:57 AM   #38
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This is typical of golf communities, even if they are all-ages. We have visited several, including relatives' homes and one community where we were considering buying (not age -restricted).

In each case, we ventured out for a stroll on the golf course path (nobody playing at the time, or we would have stayed off) and in every case, male residents, with the righteous dispositions of watchdogs, came roaring out in golf carts to chase us off. They pay fees to maintain that path, and they're darned if interlopers are going to leave footprints, set precedents, etc.

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We were using the golf course cart path as a cut through in the early evening dog walk. A couple of residents came out & yelled at us.
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Old 11-26-2020, 08:05 AM   #39
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A retirement community is appealing from the "no more yard work and not having to drive everywhere" point of view. However, one of our concerns is the proximity to others as we both have hobbies that make a lot of noise. Living on in a solid house on 1+ acres we do not bother our neighbors.

This year we were planning to visit a few that mail us flyers get a better handle on things, but the pandemic shut that down. We will try early in 2021. We are not in a rush to move, but just want to attempt to plan for the future (as best as one can).
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Old 11-26-2020, 08:23 AM   #40
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We are starting to look at 55+ places to move to. I'm 63, DW is 54. We visited Del Webb Sun City outside Charlotte, NC. Community is actually located in South Carolina. We drove around one morning, and visited two houses that were for sale. We plan to visit more 55+ places in the Spring.
We were very impressed by what we saw. Unfortunately, both club houses were shut down due to Covid. The largest one was being remodeled. People we met were, for the most part, very friendly. Everything was very well maintained. The place almost has a "Disney" appearance, with all the lawns and landscaping well maintained. We really like that look. The people we talked to all had nothing but good things to say about the community.
I want to get away from lawn care. I look at the houses as a better alternative to apartments/condos. So the small lots aren't a problem for us. But, I think you'd need to be careful about the house you buy. One place was great, the other house backed up to another back yard. Very close. You could hear the neighbors talking on their back porch. We would want a house with a private back yard.
Our interest in the community is the availability of things to do as we get older. Clubs, sports, exercise, etc.. We plan to wait till the Covid passes, and visit again. Our concern is that things are too crowded. Can you actually get into a yoga class or Tai Chi class? Can you actually get a time to lap swim?
I read an interesting comment on a Google review site for the community. A couple that moved there mentioned how many time they had been invited to have meals in neighbors homes since moving there. They said they had eaten with neighbors more in the past year, than the 55 years prior.
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