Many people’s views of senior housing are the large, brick high-rise communities we see in older suburban settings occupied by sweet blue-haired ladies.
Well, that may be your image of your grandmother’s senior housing development, but it’s not what’s being built today. I don’t know about you, but a friend of mine is 63, and the only time he thinks of himself as a senior is when he gets the senior discount at the movie theater. Today’s age-restricted housing is more like a great apartment with a senior discount. The majority of housing options for seniors, otherwise known as the mature set, are being developed by private developers in many towns and cities throughout the country. These are attractive rental units that attract the younger, active adult set (55+), as well as older classic seniors (75+). They are found in wealthy suburbs and urban communities alike.
Active adults today have choices, and affordable options are everywhere. These communities offer rent 30 to 40 percent lower than comparable market units. What makes these apartments different than market units is that they have a minimum age requirement of 55, do not allow children under 18, and come with income eligibility requirements. Other than that, they look and feel like luxury apartments with amenities.
The income qualification is based on annual income, but the important point is that seniors are still allowed to have assets (money in the bank or a home). The calculation of income is based only on annual income (what you put in your tax return), including interest earning or dividends. For someone of retirement age, this is a perfect option to keep your cash in the bank.
Moreover, age-restricted residences offer amenities that you usually only find in luxury housing, including exercise rooms with treadmills and weekly classes like Tai chi. In addition, walk-in closets, spacious layouts, dishwashers, and washer and dryers are found in each unit. Social activities, transportation, and large community rooms that feature fireplaces, flat screen TV’s, computer centers, and libraries are the norm in this new breed of senior housing, and it is not unusual to find a poker game, tailgate football party, or movie night. Social activities have long passed the days of bingo.
The economic advantage for seniors entering fixed income years is that lower rents enable seniors and active adults to use their savings for quality of life enhancements like travel, a splurge at the mall, or that occasional dinner out on the town. The quality of life in many cases increases as a person decides to move to an age-restricted community, and if they happen to be male, they will be very popular with the with the more than 70 percent women to men ratio.
Age-restricted residences are easily found by an internet search or a call to the local community office on aging. For affordable options, check us out at www.CISNJ.com.