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55 Plus Communities Are Not The Paradise You Think They Are


The layout of single-family homes is perfect for a bedroom community.  They are designed for people who spend 40 hours per week somewhere else, at work or school, doing something that takes their minds off of the loneliness of suburbia.  Once your children have grown up, you can distract yourself from the emptiness of your empty nest by going to work, but once you retire, the socially isolating nature of the single-family home is too obvious to miss.  If Google has one talent, it is capitalizing on your loneliness, so naturally, it will bombard you with advertisements for retirement communities where, according to the promotional materials, everyone is happy, and no one is lonely.  Retirement communities are a practical option for some seniors, but for others, they are no substitute for your family home.  For help strategizing about your housing situation during retirement, contact an Orlando estate planning lawyer.

“Cheaper Than a McMansion” Does Not Necessarily Mean Affordable

Renting an independent house in a retirement community costs less than renting a single family home; $3,000 per month sounds like a steal in today’s housing market.  The sticker price on the rent does not tell you the whole story, though.  The move-in fees are hefty, and even worse, you often pay mandatory fees for amenities, both the ones you use and the ones you don’t.  If you only go to the swimming pool once a year and have no intention of playing shuffleboard, retirement communities start to seem less affordable.

Homogeneity Does Not Keep You Young

Miami has always been famous for its cultural diversity, but not so much the rest of Florida.  The demographics of Florida have changed substantially over the past few years, though, in Central and North Florida as well as South Florida, and in small towns as well as big cities.  Retirement communities are an exception to this trend, though.  The population of 55 plus communities in Florida is 97 percent non-Hispanic White, compared to 51 percent for the state of Florida as a whole.  If you were the only person in your high school graduating class whose parents were not White English monolinguals, you have a feeling for the demographics of retirement communities.

55 Plus Communities Are Just Right for Some People but Not for Everyone

55 plus communities may be a good option for people who have no descendants and would otherwise be alone, but they are not conducive to family togetherness.  Given the unaffordability of housing these days, a house is an unmatched source of generational wealth.  Multigenerational households, or at least aging in place until you need long-term care, is better for the finances and the family cohesiveness of your family for generations to come.

Contact Gierach and Gierach About Realistic Retirement Plans

An estate planning lawyer can help you decide whether moving to a 55 plus community is right for you.  Contact Gierach and Gierach, P.A. in Orlando, Florida to discuss your case.



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