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Aging in Place vs. Aging in a Retirement Community

When the day you finally get to clock out of work for the last time begins to approach, retirement is practically the only thing you can think about. It’s only natural – you’ve finally made it to the end of the daily grind, and now you can look forward to enjoying your life without having to worry about work. Once you retire, you can travel and see the sights that you may not have been able to while working, enjoy the hobbies you never had time for, or just spend as much time as you like with friends and family.  

Once this time comes, you’re faced with many decisions. One of these decisions is whether you will stay living at your home, or if you will move into a senior living community. While this is a personal choice that is different for everyone, it’s helpful to know the pros of cons of aging in place vs. aging in a community to make the best decision for you.

Disadvantages of Aging in Place 

Giving up your existing home might be a hard sell for you. If you raised your family there, the memories you built in those four walls are likely important to you. But there are disadvantages of aging in place.

1. Strained Finances

Aging in place can put an unnecessary strain on your finances. Your mortgage could be paid off, but that’s not everything. Maintaining a house includes many other expenses that can add up quickly, such as:  

  • Property taxes 
  • Electricity 
  • Heating and cooling 
  • Water 
  • Landscaping  
  • Trash removal 
  • Appliance repair or replacement  

2. Less Accessibility

Another disadvantage of aging in place is that a big old house with plenty of space can eventually become a liability. For example, a second-floor bedroom or a basement laundry room isn’t going to help you if you’ve got bad knees. It takes a lot to retrofit an existing bathroom if you have mobility needs, and you don’t want to risk slipping and falling in the shower!  

Advantages of Senior Living Communities 

Senior living communities offer many advantages for retirees, providing a supportive and engaging environment designed for their needs and preferences. Some of the key advantages of senior living communities include:

1. Affordability

Residents of these communities don’t have to worry about the financial limitations that are present when you age at home. With certain CCRC contract types, you pay a single monthly maintenance fee that covers several costs that you would have to pay individually as a traditional homeowner. This reduces your financial liability, which allows you to relax knowing you don’t have to spend time and effort managing each one individually. 

That same monthly fee covers some of the greatest amenities you’ll ever experience, including:   

  • Clubhouses and social spaces 
  • Swimming pools 
  • Fitness centers 
  • Art studios 
  • Craft workshops 
  • Certain communities (called CCRCs) offer healthcare such as primary care, assisted living and skilled care if ever needed 

In other words, you get access to some great ways to enjoy your retirement all for one monthly fee, no strings attached – something you’d have to pay out of pocket for if you were aging in place. So cut that gym membership, save money on restaurants, and pick up some new hobbies. 

2. Allows You to Sell Your House for Additional Savings 

Choosing to live in an independent senior living community allows you to put your house up for sale and access the equity you’ve built up in your home over the decades.  

Property is an investment, after all, and even if you’ve still got a few mortgage payments left to make, that equity is likely to still be quite high – and that means more cash to pad your retirement.  

This is a huge perk when it comes to enjoying the freedom that goes along with being retired, as you can put those resources toward anything you like. Some of that equity can go toward moving into your new senior independent living community. The rest can go right into savings, and that means you’ll be better off than you were before you moved. 

3. Enjoying Your Retirement Independence 


Independent senior living communities are designed for active older adults who want to enjoy their retirement. The main difference between aging in place vs. aging in a community is that you don’t have to fret about the costs of owning and maintaining a large piece of property when you live in a community. You have the freedom to go and do what you want and still have a comfortable place to lay your head at the end of the day, with maintenance, lawn care, snow removal, etc. all taken care of for you. All you have to do is enjoy your living space! A combination of affordable costs, easy maintenance, and fantastic amenities makes these senior independent living communities perfect for any retiree who is ready to truly enjoy their golden years.

Explore 27 of Acts' resort-style senior living communities across 9 states on the east coast to find the one best for you.

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