Choosing a Retirement Community

About 40% of American retirees downsize or move after retirement. Some retirees opt to relocate to a new community and others decide to age in place. Below are things to consider when choosing a home for retirement and resources to help make the best choice.

Alternatives – consider changing lifestyle, downsizing to a condominium, or living with family.
Benefits - moving provides opportunities for improving health, lifestyle, and happiness.
Communities - choices include active adult, assisted living, life plan (also known as continuing care retirement), and lifestyle communities (e.g., beach and golf communities).
Cost - consider financial and psychological expenses of moving; rent before buying to reduce risks.
Dwelling - varieties include apartments, cabins, condominiums, garden homes, mobile homes, and townhomes.
Family - explore alternatives with family members to achieve consensus.  
Health - plan for the go-go years, the slow-go years, and the no-go years.
Purpose - rank selection factors for things most important to you.

Emily Brandon and Emily Sherman, 10 Tips for Finding a Great Place to Retire, Jun. 16, 2023, U.S. News & World Reports.
Alex Gailey, The Best and Worst States to Retire in 2023,, Jul. 31, 2023.
Rachel Hartman, Where-to Woes of Retirement: The Pros and Cons of Retirement Housing Options, U.S. News & World Report, Feb. 6, 2019.
Staff, Buying a Home After Retirement,, Aug. 6, 2023.
Staff, How Continuing Care Retirement Communities Work, AARP.
Staff, What is a Lifestyle Community, PCR Lifestyle Blog, Aug. 6, 2023.


Brad Breeding, What's the Deal with Retirement Communities, 2nd. Ed, Jun. 4, 2017.
Lawrence Folik and Sally Balch Hurme, Wise Moves: Checklist for Where to Live, What to Consider, and Whether to Stay or Go, ABA Book Publishing, Feb. 21, 2020.
Sally Balch Hurme, Get the Most out of Retirement: Checklist for Happiness, Health, Purpose, and Financial Security, ABA Book Publishing, Dec. 1. 2016.
Wade Pfau, Retirement Planning Guidebook, 2nd Ed., Retirement Researcher Media, March 15, 2023.


Active Adult Retirement Communities (
Best Places to Live in the U.S. (U.S. News and World Report)
Best Continuing Care Retirement Communities (U.S. News and World Report)
Sperling's Best Places (


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