55 Plus Retirement Homes
One of numerous options in senior housing
For those who have emptied the nest and want to downsize, housing in a 55 plus retirement community is an ideal way to live. There are a number of different options available to you, including gated communities, and active adult or active lifestyle communities. Below is an overview of some styles of communities for those 55 and over; our guide to active adult communities offers more comprehensive information. These communities are designed with senior couples in mind and tend to friendly to those whose kids have moved out. Communities are not legally allowed to exclude anyone on the basis of age, but there are some provisions for this (notably BC's Strata Property Act. See more below).
List of retirement communities
There are a number of retirement homes known as gated communities and these offer the same services, features and options as 55 plus retirement communities.
Active Adult Communities
Active adult communities like those listed here on ComfortLife.ca essentially cater to the same group.
The services and amenities at an active adult or gated community might include restaurant style fine dining, fitness centers, onsite golf courses, indoor sports complexes an indoor or outdoor swimming pool, a fireside lounge or luxury furnished suites. Your choice of accommodations could be anything from single detached homes to boutique style retirement residences in an apartment building.
The advantage of this kind of community is that you live in an entire complex that is designed with people like you in mind. The total effect is that you have a place that is maximally livable. Move away from the dense crowding and noise of other communities to the luxury and comfort of a 55 plus community, and you'll never look back. These communities appeal to boomers and seniors seeking independence and social involvement; these are key commitments by retirement communities listed here.
How much is housing in a 55 plus community going to cost?
There are a variety of ownership options available to you if you want to move into this type of community, including rental, leasing and ownership. There is a wide range of costs but some of these homes will cost you significantly less than what you pay for a regular home. So if you downsize into one of these communities from a larger home, you can add to your savings account, assuming that you have leftover equity.
Consider these examples of costs for senior communities:
- A bungalow in small town in southern Ontario is listed at $210,000 for outright ownership
- Lease a condo in a small town outside Ottawa, starting from $2700 per month.
- Purchase a 1 bedroom unit in a gated lifestyle community in Brampton for as low as $206,900
These are just a few examples of the beginning costs or options you may find. There are many cases where you can purchase or rent high end luxury style housing with many features and options. Homes and communities in more expensive markets will be priced accordingly.
Legal use of terms "55 plus" or "55 and over"
Use of phrases like "55 and over" is seen as discriminatory by some, and in North America there are cases where communities have been successfully fought in court. (See for example, a discussion at trulia.com.) The province of British Columbia has a Strata Property Act, originally amended in the year 2009. This specifically allows corporations to "[restrict] the age of persons who may reside in a strata lot." In Ontario, the legality of this age restriction has been upheld in court by the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal.