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55+ vs Life Plan Communities: What’s Included in Costs and What’s Not?

senior couple riding bikes on a trail

Once you’re no longer tied to a career or raising a family, many older adults want ways to get more freedom and time to do what they want. That’s why they start looking for maintenance-free options. As you do your research, you’ll probably come across terms like 55+ communities” and “Life Plan Community.” While they may look similar, there’s quite a few differences between them.

What is a 55+ Community?

55+ communities are like typical residential communities except they have a minimum age requirement and are designed with a retirement-friendly, low-maintenance lifestyle.

This type of community can be made up of single-family houses, duplexes, condominiums, townhomes or apartments, with units that are owned by the resident. Interior maintenance and daily upkeep are the responsibility of the homeowner, but exterior maintenance is usually covered by monthly Homeowner Association (HOA) dues. Other than the HOA dues (and possible mortgage payment), there are no other monthly fees required for residents in an active adult community.

What’s typically covered in the cost of a 55+ community:

  • On-site amenities: Some outside maintenance may be provided and community services and amenities — such as a tennis court, putting green, swimming pool, fitness center, etc. — may be covered as part of a monthly service fees.

What typically isn’t covered in the cost of a 55+ community:

  • Taxes and utilities: You’re usually responsible for property taxes, insurance, garbage collection, inside maintenance, appliances, utilities, internet service and cable/satellite TV.
  • Meals: While there may be dining venues on-site, if they don’t offer a meal plan or you’re going to have to pay for each meal individually.

What is a Life Plan Community?

At a Life Plan Community, you can continue to live life as you do now, but without the concerns of maintaining a home. You’ll also find helpful services and amenities to make things easier and more convenient. Life Plan Communities generally offer a wider range of housing options in terms of floor plans and square footage.

What’s typically covered in the cost of a Life Plan Community:

  • Maintenance-free lifestyle: Life Plan Communities have a knowledgeable team to take care of all your home’s needs, inside and out. That includes replacing appliances, heating, A/C, plumbing and any other home repairs.
  • All-inclusive: Your monthly fee covers a wide variety of services, amenities, wellness programs, indoor and outdoor maintenance, a calendar full of activities and your dining program.
  • Social opportunities: Scheduled parties, happy hours, special events, and outings with friends and neighbors who share your interests ensure you’re never at a loss for things to do.
  • Property taxes: You’ll no longer have to worry about paying for property taxes.
  • Transportation: Most communities offer scheduled transportation for doctor appointments, shopping and social outings.
  • Tax savings: A portion of your entrance and monthly fee could be tax-deductible. Consult your tax adviser to be sure.

What typically isn’t covered in the cost of a Life Plan Community:

  • Some utilities: While most utilities are covered, you may have to pay for phone, cable/satellite TV and internet.

What You’ll Find at Galleria Woods

When it comes to choosing a specific Life Plan Community, it’s all about what each community offers as part of their lifestyle. At Galleria Woods, we feature the following helpful services:

  • Maintenance-free residences
  • Housekeeping and flat linen services
  • Lawn care and grounds maintenance
  • Restaurant-style, chef-prepared dining
  • Fitness and wellness programs, including yoga
  • Lifelong learning, including arts and crafts
  • Regularly scheduled transportation
  • Personal concierge services
  • 24/7 security
  • Utilities (except phone, cable and internet)
  • Pest control
  • Wi-Fi access
  • In-home emergency response system
  • Pet-friendly senior living

At Galleria Woods, you’ll also have access to these thoughtful amenities:

  • 20 wooded acres with gardens, courtyards and walking paths
  • Formal dining room and a café/bistro
  • Inviting places to gather, including a fireside living room
  • Fully equipped fitness center
  • Outdoor aquatic center with heated pool
  • Arts and crafts studio
  • Game room
  • Library
  • Full-service salon and barbershop
  • Private dining room for family gatherings
  • Business center with computers
  • Community flower and vegetable garden

Enjoy a Happier More Fulfilling Life at Galleria Woods

Ready to see why research shows that residents of Life Plan Communities are happier than older adults who don’t live in a community? Then check out what active adult living looks like at Galleria Woods. You can schedule your personal tour using our Community Assistant chat feature or contacting us here.