Housing photo

There are plenty of choices ranging from high-rise apartments to houseboats and retirement communities for older adults planning to retire or those who want a change in housing.

Various types of retirement communities, ranging from independent to assisted living are available. Retirement communities may offer various kinds of activities and have restaurants and hold group classes, to name some.

The house in which one has lived, sometimes for years, is where many choose to continue living for as long as possible, according to studies made over the last 10 years.

The reasons include staying close to friends and family, keeping up a familiar daily routine, remaining with trusted healthcare providers and going to places of worship.

An AARP survey shows a clear majority of adults 50 and older (more than 3 in 4 people or 77 percent) would rather stay in their current homes for as long as possible. However, only 46 percent thought that would be likely.

Aside from the homestead, the Assisted Living Federation of America lists four of what it calls the primary types of communities for older adults:

Independent living. These are residential communities for active older adults who want an enjoyable lifestyle free of the worries and trouble of home maintenance.

Assisted living. These communities are designed for people who can’t function in independent living facilities but don’t need nursing care on a daily basis.

Continuing care retirement communities. They offer older adults long-term contracts guaranteeing lifelong shelter and access to specified health-care services.

Home health care. This encompasses a broad variety of services ranging from intravenous therapy to unskilled tasks provided to people in their own homes.

Whatever the type of housing, experts say it is desirable to reside in a “livable community.” The AARP defines a livable community simply as a good place to live.

“It’s a place where all residents can live and participate in their communities no matter what their age, health of physical ability," the association said.

For some, the AARP said, it could be a neighborhood that is close to work and has good restaurants or nightlife. For others parks and lots of services may make a place a livable community.

In many ways, Americans are careful about preparing for the second half of their lives, according the AARP.

“The importance of financial planning for retirement is well known and, even though not enough people actually do it, at least they know they should."

“Unfortunately, for many there’s no such awareness when it comes to evaluating your home and community’s ability to support your needs and lifestyle as you age. Most people don’t discuss or think about home and community livability until a crisis occurs and it becomes obvious that they are living in a place that no longer meets their needs or abilities.”

The AARP advises you to “evaluate your home and community’s livability so you can be certain that the place you call home is right for you now and in the years to come.”

In many ways, Americans are careful about preparing for the second half of their lives, according the AARP.

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