Baby Boomers account for nearly a quarter of the population in the United States, and the demand for homes within retirement communities is steadily on the rise. Senior living communities are typically marketed to those 55 years or older and appeal to older adults who are looking to live near others in the same stage of life, and with similar lifestyles and interests.

What’s to Love

Sense of Community

After years of being busy working hard and raising a family, life can be a little lonely in an empty nest. Because they all share a common bond of responsibility, living in a senior community can give residents a renewed sense of purpose as they associate with other members through HOA-sponsored activities and get-togethers.

Low Maintenance

Senior community members can enjoy the best of both worlds when it comes to their yards—beauty without the hassle. Being in an HOA means that you’re free to garden and plant flowers but are no longer required to do the more labor-intensive work involved with maintaining a property. Even better, community members can save money in the process, as HOA fees are often less than it would cost to hire out year-round lawn and garden care.

Amenities

Often considered one of the greatest benefits to living in a senior community is having easy access to luxury amenities that are right outside your door, as opposed to paying a premium for memberships to similar or less convenient venues.

Swimming pools, game rooms, golf courses, theaters, and other amenities add value to the community and improve the quality of life for its residents.

Safety

Senior communities with gated entrances, security cameras, supplementary lighting, and other safety features provide an extra layer of security for aging residents who may otherwise be more vulnerable to crime or accident.

HOA vs. Senior Living

If a senior community sounds like a great place to live but you’re under 55, you may wonder if you can still snag a spot. Perhaps your spouse is over 55 but you are not, or you need to live with and provide care for a parent or grandparent who resides in such a community. Retirement communities are generally quieter and more laid back than a typical HOA, which is also appealing to some.

Most age-restricted communities have rules to accommodate some younger residents. For example, each household may be required to have a resident age 55 or older, with an age restriction for the other household members, commonly set at 40 for a spouse and 18 for a child.

The Housing for Older Persons Act of 1995 provides exemptions to family status non-discrimination if either “all of the residents are age 62 or older,” or “at least 80 percent of the occupied units include one resident age 55 or older and the community shows an intent to provide housing for those 55 and up.” When either of these stipulations are met, the community may implement its own age restrictions or allowances to accommodate younger residents.

Like an HOA, senior living communities also have guidelines and restrictions, certain standards that must be maintained, and general rules that residents must follow.