How to select the right retirement community 

Choosing the right retirement community involves considering several factors, including housing options, amenities, healthcare services, and lifestyle. Here are some steps to finding the ideal retirement community to assist individuals in making this critical decision.


It is crucial to determine the desired location. Reasons for relocating may include:

  • Proximity to family.
  • Access to affordable housing.
  • The desire to live near the beach or in a bustling city.

Identifying the preferred location sets the foundation for further decisions.


Setting a budget is important. Apart from monthly housing costs, you should also consider entry fees, which can cost anywhere from $40,000 to over $2 million in some retirement communities, according to the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care (NIC). Once the budget is established, one can focus on retirement communities within the specified financial range.

Buying or renting

You should decide if you want to buy or rent. Some retirement communities exclusively offer rental properties, others focus on homes for sale, while some provide both options. This decision should account for personal preferences of stability versus flexibility.


Careful consideration of the desired level of care should be a factor in selecting the right retirement community. Different communities offer various levels, from independent to assisted living, and some specifically specialize in memory care. Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs) offer adaptable care options as aging progresses.

Amenities and Services

Consider the amenities and services provided by retirement communities. These offerings can include beauty salons, libraries, gyms, swimming pools, and various recreational activities. With the growing number of niche retirement communities, individuals can seek communities that align with their interests and cultures. Access to green spaces, such as gardens and parks, has also been shown to improve older adults’ overall health and well-being.

Brand reputation

Doing thorough research on the facility’s reputation is also important.

Checking the Better Business Bureau for complaints and reading online reviews can provide valuable insights. U.S. News & World Report and offer databases of the best retirement communities based on resident surveys and ratings, respectively.

Tour the community

Touring the selected retirement communities in person is essential. This step allows prospective residents to gauge the overall atmosphere, interact with staff and residents, and sample the food. Talking to current residents can provide firsthand experiences and opinions.

Ultimately, the best retirement community choice relies on personal budget, lifestyle preferences, and desired healthcare options. However, as circumstances change with age and health, it is important to remain flexible in adapting to new needs and preferences.