Living Retired
Housing Options

Leisure Pursuits

5920586_mAccording to a recent study, in less than 20 years, over 70 million Americans will be over the age of 65 and make up about 20% of the population. That is a lot of people who will require affordable, accessible housing. Thankfully, there are a variety of options. Maybe even one or two that could help you out now…

Age-Restricted Communities

Age-restricted communities are homes wherein a particular percentage of owners and/or occupants must be over a particular age (typically 50, 55, or 60). These communities range from apartments to homes in gated neighborhoods and everything in-between (condos, townhomes, etc.). In several cases, they include features like pools, community rooms, and tenant events.

Age-restrictive communities are fairly popular across the United States. If this sounds like the type of living situation you’d enjoy, a quick search on the Internet should find you some options.


Cohousing is a group of homes clustered together to create a sort of “private place.” While each of the homes typically features the privacy of bedrooms and bathrooms, the kitchens, garages, and other spaces are shared. The intention is to cultivate a culture of sharing and cohabitation with one’s neighbors. In fact, the intention of neighborly goodwill and relationship building is usually a prerequisite to living in cohousing.

Living in cohousing can be significantly cheaper than the alternative. Since homes are built close together, usually sharing walls, heating and electric bills can be lower. The shared kitchen and laundry rooms can likewise drop the cost of a water bill as well. Most cohousing communities are built around a pedestrian lifestyle. In other words, cars are parked around the outside of the community so that residents of all ages (these units are not typically age-restrictive) can enjoy a somewhat open space of walkways and often park-like areas in the center.

3260949_mDoes this sound like an option you would like to learn more about? Cohousing is not nearly as popular as age-restrictive communities, so take a look online to find if there is one near you.

Nursing Homes

If you’re looking for a living situation that will provide a high level of medical care and assistance, nursing homes may be your choice. There are thousands of nursing homes across the country that offer a wide variety of specialty care, but generally speaking, most cover custodial care as needed: getting in and out of bed, eating, bathing, and dressing. Many also offer certain levels of medical care, with nurses on site 24 hours a day.

Living situations in nursing homes vary. Some rooms are private, others are shared. One nursing home may focus on 10-15 residents, while another may house more than 40. Facilities (kitchens, communal areas, etc.) in a nursing home are also different place to place.

Since there is such a diverse offering of nursing home options, visit as many as possible in your area before making a decision.

Assisted Living

Assisted living is a long-term care option that combines housing, support services and healthcare. These facilities are designed for residents who require minor assistance in everyday living. Residents of assisted living communities may include those with mobility or memory challenges. Services typically include meals, housekeeping, health, exercise, social programs, transportation, 24-hour security, and access to medical services.

There are over 30,000 assisted living communities in the United States, so finding one isn’t difficult. But, as with nursing homes, it’s a good idea to visit as many as possible before making your decision to ensure you’ve made the best choice for yourself.

There are many types of living situations for the Boomer generation. Each addresses a varying concern, from affordability to medical care. There are variations of what was covered here and even a few other options as well. Hopefully, if you’re looking for a new home, one of these will be the perfect fit.