What living situation should introverted /intellectual types be happiest retiring in?

<p>I am one who likes people, but needs time by myself to reflect, read, and think. My DH and I are looking into over 55 retirement communities. I am just not sure how I will feel coming from a private home where I see people on my own terms to moving to a place where there is much closer living and many group activities and clubhouse.</p>

<p>Any thoughts much appreciated!</p>

<p>Well, I would start by analyzing why you wish to move to an age-restricted community. As opposed to a community where it is easy for older people to live.</p>

<p>Is there an option for “renting” in a community for a week or two and get some actual experience as opposed to assumptions of what it will be like? I wouldn’t assume any stereotypes are true, but instead, plan on lots of tours, try to meet and speak with residents (I know, I’m introverted and it’s harder to interact, maybe your H can help start conversations.)</p>

<p>Seek out introverts in different living situations and ask for feedback. </p>

<p>Even if you decide to live in a community, it doesn’t mean you have to participate in all their activities. You would still have privacy in your home space.</p>

<p>Friends moved into a condo in an adult community and love it. The wife no longer has to shop for food, cook, or clean house, all food and services are provided. They have enough space to have family come spend the night. And when it is needed, they can transfer to assisted living or nursing facility in that same community.</p>

<p>I agree that it’s best to rent in a desire community for a month or more to see how it suits yo before make firm plans. We know several folks who moved into a 55+ only to move back out when they decided it wasn’t time for them to move there yet. Some have since move back into the 55+ community while others prefer living in the community they had been living in. </p>

<p>The only way for YOU to know is to try out a few that you are interested in. The fee for a monthly rental for trial can be fairly reasonable. </p>

<p>Why are you considering such a community? Is it because of an anticipated need for assisted living, or to lower maintenance costs of your home, or for other financial reasons? You should look very carefully before making a decision like this. It is possible to “find your people” but you won’t be able to determine if a community is right without visiting many different times. </p>

<p>Also, over-55 communities can be more expensive than the home you currently live in, so have a financial planner look over your contract very, very carefully. As @Consolation said, there are other communities that may be much better for older people than one that is age-restricted. Cities with good transportation, suburban towns with small lots or condos and walkable town centers are good examples of these. We bought our current house from a couple who moved less than half a mile down the road to a condo. They’re still close to all their friends, but don’t have the headache of a big house and yard.</p>

<p>We are looking to downsize into a more manageable size home. I guess what’s sort of playing on my emotions is the idea that this is our “last” home…hence having to face oncoming aging. It’s kind of scary!</p>

<p>I’m confused. There are many 55+ communities near where I live. Most have a clubhouse and pool, often a breakfast/lunch restaurant. Tennis courts and gyms are typical. It is up to the individual to chose what activities he/she wishes to attend. </p>

<p>What powercropper is describing is independent/assisted living facilities. These offer 1-3 meals a day, 24 hour nursing care, drivers. Some are quite large, and offer many varieties of homes (from patio to high-rises), and all levels of care, including a rehab facility. The only “young” people I know who chose this kind of living environment have a diagnosis e.g. Parkinson’s or M.S. </p>

<p>My suggestion is to rent for a few months.</p>

<p>My aunt decided she never wanted to burden anyone, as she had to care for several relatives in their final years. She moved into a 55+ community where they provide some meals in a common cafeteria. She was busy and active there, involved in her church, helping other community members sort out their insurance and Medicare and much more. It worked well for her. </p>

<p>Question- looking at the 55+ housing - are you 55, 60, 65, 70 ? Do you feel that this is a good option because of less responsibility of taking care of the home, that it would increase social activities, or more walkable? I guess my question is what is it that attracts one to the 55+housing?</p>

<p>No one has to do any of the activities. You can choose to just stay inside your house, sit on your porch or patio, or whatever. You will never be forced to interact with a soul in an over 55 housing community…or in any neighborhood, for that matter.</p>

<p>With the title I thought you wanted to know which CITIES might be better. I can’t see living in the 55 and over places here in Florida, where we retired, because I doubt they attract the most intellectuals. We are lucky our first house offer did not go through as we were able to find a “forever” house in the better county (Tampa city limits also) for distances for amenities that appeal to us. Great county library system, close to a U with the ability to audit classes (also means professors in the local area), closer to adult learning classes. Neighborhood with newborn babies to 90+ years but upper middleclass so well educated- including professors and other doctors like us. </p>

<p>I would look at what is available within several miles of the community. Check on libraries especially- the numbers and types of books available. You may find you have to go upscale to get professionals there. Also- just having money does not make one an intellectual so high cost doesn’t mean your neighbors care about intellectual things- they may be more into an ostentatious lifestyle.</p>

<p>If you like reading, be sure to include convenient access to libraries whose collections interest you (including by walking, public transit, or senior shuttle services should you decide to stop driving your own car) in your criteria for selection of where to live.</p>

<p>My grandparents lived in a 55+ community (not FL) for years, in a home they owned. I think my GM was just older than I am now, when they moved. How they used their time was up to them. So what if there’s a clubhouse and you aren’t interested? Lots of apts, condo and housing neighborhoods have one. People make their own choices. And the distance between homes was same as many neighborhoods across the county. Backyards were generous. </p>

<p>At the time, the one difference I noticed was that the neighborhoods themselves were quiet (ok and the curbs were all lower.) But frankly, I now live on a quiet street in a city. My neighbors don’t throw block barbecues or gather to watch a game or have rowdy pool parties.</p>

<p>Or do you mean a residential building where everyone enters through a common door that passes through the activity center? That’s different.</p>

<p>You might want to look at this:</p>

<p><a href=“https://www.caring.com/blogs/caring-currents/college-linked-retirement-communities-intellectual-stimulation”>https://www.caring.com/blogs/caring-currents/college-linked-retirement-communities-intellectual-stimulation</a></p>

<p>I’m 55, extrovert intellectual type :slight_smile: and would not even consider an over 55 retirement community. Spent a few days ten years ago in Fort Lauderdale and that was enough to convince me to work till I drop, or if I have to retire, to do so in a metropolis of some kind.</p>

<p>I need a LOT of time to myself to think, read, etc. despite being extrovert and to be honest, being around the > 55 crowd in cruises really convinced me to not ever think about an age restricted community. Do I really want to spend an afternoon learning how to game the Medicare part D (?) donut???</p>

<p>A friend bought a condo in a 55+ community in CT after she was widowed. There were pros/cons. On issue was that many of her neighbors were snowbirds, gone to FL in the winter. </p>

<p>There was a financial challenge when she needed to move into an adult care home. She had bought high, and the market for 55+ condos was weak at the time she needed to sell. She had to sell it for a lot less than purchase price. </p>

<p>^ This would be my worry and a reason not to do it. Your potential resale market, should you ever wish to move (“forever” is a long time) is constricted. If that doesn’t affect you, it will still affect your children at some point. I would downsize to an age-friendly layout in a desirable community or walkable downtown.</p>

<p>I’m an introvert and would choose the latter so that I can go to bookstores, cafes etc and hang around without actually socializing…</p>

<p>My mother was an intellectual. Loved books, wrote books (and made a living at it). She chose an assisted living community in Florida near Sanibel (because she also loved the ocean). She lived there for 12 years (age 74 until her death). While she was happy to be near the ocean, she constantly bemoaned the lack of an opportunity to discuss politics, new books, etc. (She was happiest discussing politics; she was removed at age 80 from a speech by Barbara Bush after she raised a pro-choice sign.) She often spoke of her regret that she hadn’t stayed in Swarthmore (where she rented rooms in her house to students, from age 62 to 74). Of course, she’d left Swarthmore because she’d had repeated falls on the ice and wanted to get away from winter. </p>

<p>I would suggest looking at university communities. They offer all sorts of intellectual stimulation - lectures, classes, activities - that retired people can participate in. I’ve read several articles discussing this (I don’t have citations but I’m sure a Google search will help you.) </p>

<p>I agree about living where there is a lot of emphasis on learning - libraries; college towns where there are adult learning opportunities (audit classes, or in our University, an OSHER Learning Institute with lots of low cost classes for adults geared towards retiree interests). Some adult only communities - not so sure about. Easier to rent in a nice apt complex and then if the area really is great may look for something more permanent.</p>

<p>One does have to balance out all the desires and find the best individual ‘fit’.</p>