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Comparing Independent Living in a Full-Service Retirement Community with a 55+ Community

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As you start researching senior living options, you’ll discover a range of communities geared for older adults. At first glance, you may notice a lot of similarities — well-designed residences with age-friendly features in beautifully maintained neighborhoods. However, when you look beyond the surface, you’ll notice not all communities offer the same benefits, so it’s important to look closely at what’s included before making a decision.

What are the key differences of Independent Living in a full-service retirement community compared to a 55+ community? Let’s look at the defining characteristics of both to help you make an informed decision.

55+ Community vs. Independent Living in a Retirement Community

What is a 55+ community? As the name implies, 55+ communities are residential neighborhoods for adults 55 and older. These age-restricted communities often attract seniors who want to downsize from a larger home to a smaller and more manageable apartment, condominium or townhouse. 

What is an Independent Living community? Independent Living within a full-service retirement community is designed for seniors who want an active lifestyle in retirement with the security that comes with having a plan for the future. You’ll enjoy a host of services and amenities that make life easier as you age, plus access to the senior care you might need in the future.

Benefits of an Independent Living Lifestyle

Understanding the differences between Independent Living communities and 55+ communities can help you figure which option is best for you. Here are some key points to consider:

Social life. Both types of communities are designed to bring together people of a similar age and stage of life. However, Independent Living communities typically offer a more robust calendar of social events, scheduled parties, and planned outings to local attractions and events. You’ll never be at a loss for things to do!

An array of amenities. A 55+ community may include some community amenities such as a community room and walking trails. Independent Living in a retirement community typically offers a lot more amenities to help you live your best life. At Signature Pointe, residents enjoy chef-prepared meals, wellness programs, housekeeping twice per month, scheduled transportation services, an on-site hair salon, and much more.

Maintenance-free living. If you buy a condo in an age-restricted community, you’ll be responsible for real estate taxes, insurance, garbage collection, inside maintenance, appliances, utilities, internet service and cable/satellite TV. There’s typically a monthly homeowners association (HOA) fee when you buy a residence in a 55+ community. In a rental 55+ community, some outdoor maintenance may be included as part of the monthly rental fee. When you’re in the Independent Living neighborhood of a full-service retirement community, you’ll know they take care of all indoor and outdoor maintenance, so you can worry less and enjoy more — without all the extra fees.

Health care services. 55+ communities typically don’t offer health care services on campus, which means you may have to move again if you or your spouse needed long-term care. At Signature Pointe, we offer a continuum of health services on the same campus, including Assisted Living, Memory Care, Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation. This means you won’t have to make another move, and you’ll be close to people you already know. 

Flexibility to plan your future. Choosing to rent an Independent Living residence in a full-service retirement community offers more flexibility than buying a home in a 55+ community or paying a hefty upfront sum at an entrance fee retirement community, because you don’t have to commit for the long term. You’ll have the freedom to live the way you want and the flexibility to make adjustments in the future if your needs change.  

See What’s Possible at Signature Pointe

When you experience the lifestyle and explore our beautiful campus, you’ll fall in love with our friendly community in North Dallas. Come see for yourself why Signature Pointe may be the best fit for you, and tour our open and spacious apartments with peaceful pond or courtyard views. Explore our Independent Living floor plans and contact us to learn more.

You Are Invited to Experience Our Community!

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