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The Pros and Cons of 55+ Retirement Communities

The Pros and Cons of 55 Retirement Communities

If you’re thinking about making a move to an active adult community near Toms River, here are some pros, cons and things to consider. Helen Devine, who spent 20 years at a 55+ community and moved 12 minutes down the road to the maintenance-free lifestyle at Harrogate four years ago, also has a few words of wisdom.


Pro: A low-maintenance lifestyle can give you time to travel or follow your passion.

Con: Even low-maintenance can still mean dealing with some home repairs and upkeep like replacing a furnace or roof.

Consider: Do you, the community or a developer own your property? If it’s not you, does the community or developer have a maintenance fund? If not, they could ask you and your neighbors to pay for big improvements.

Helen says: “I no longer have to worry about finding a housekeeper or hiring a handyman to do repairs. I have a lot more free time to enjoy life.”


Pro: Living around people of a similar age makes it easier to make friends.

Con: 55+ communities can be very large. If you don’t like your neighbors, meeting new people can be a challenge. While most communities have a centralized clubhouse, it could be a short drive away. And socializing during the winter can also be difficult.

Consider: People move to communities at a variety of ages and life stages. So a 55+ community could actually have older residents than a Life Plan Community.

Helen says: “I’ve made a lot of friends at Harrogate, and having everything under one roof means I don’t have to deal with the weather, especially the cold winters. Plus, I still see my old neighbors at least once a week.”


Pro: 55+ communities promote an active lifestyle with services and amenities.

Con: Most 55+ communities don’t offer whole-body wellness programs or higher levels of on-site care. If you should ever need care, you’ll have to make another move.

Consider: According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, at least 70% of people over 65 will require some long-term care.

Helen says: “My children know I’m well taken care of and that they don’t have to worry about me. I have friends who waited too long to take advantage of everything Harrogate offers, and now they and their families are having to find other health care options.”


To learn more about your senior living options, contact us. As a Life Plan Community with fun-lovin’ residents and a full continuum of on-site care, we’ve helped hundreds of seniors find the lifestyle that best fits their needs.