How are Life Plan Communities and 55+ Communities Different?

| Living at John Knox, Resources for Seniors

Believe it or not, few seniors dream of spending their retirement coordinating lawn care, finding someone to repair the washer, unclog a sink or put on a new roof. Most retirees seldom wish they could spend more time cooking or cleaning. That’s because retirement is supposed to be a time for spoiling your grandkids, learning a second (or third or fourth) language, training for the (senior) olympics, taking up windsurfing or writing a crime novel. Retirement is when you want fewer responsibilities and more possibilities.

That’s why many seniors are considering 55+ communities and Life Plan Communities. If you’ve just started exploring your senior living options, you’re probably wondering what is a 55+ community?
And how do Life Plan Communities work? If so, you’ve come to the right place. This post will discuss the differences between 55+ communities and Life Plan Communities in Florida to help you figure out which choice will best fit your lifestyle and plans for the future.

I investigated 25 different places over a six-month period. And believe me, this is an outstanding place. It’s a very easy lifestyle. You do just what you want.

– Bill, John Knox Village of Central Florida independent living resident

55+ Communities

As the name implies, 55+ communities are residential neighborhoods for adults over 55. These communities typically attract active adults who want to downsize from a bigger home to give themselves more opportunities to enjoy life.

Pros include:

  • Social life: You’ll live around people of a similar age with similar interests and goals.
  • Resort-style amenities: Some outside maintenance, and community services and amenities – such as a tennis court, golf course, swimming pool and walking trails – may be provided as part of your monthly service fees.

Cons include:

  • Taxes and utilities: You’re responsible for real estate taxes, insurance, garbage collection,
    inside maintenance, appliances, utilities, internet service and cable/satellite TV.
  • No on-site health care: If you or your spouse needs a higher level of care, you could have to move again or pay for both the 55+ community and any needed care.

My advice is to move here before you need to! You can enjoy the freedom from maintenance, and participate in the many activities right on campus.

– Rita, John Knox Village of Central Florida independent living resident

Life Plan Communities

A Life Plan Community, also known as a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) is ideal if you’re in good health and want to maximize today while having a smart plan in place for the future. Just as at a 55+ community, you can continue to live your life as you do now, but without the concerns of maintaining a home, plus you have the assurance of on-site care.

Pros include:

  • One and done: Your monthly fee covers a wide variety of services, amenities, wellness programs, indoor and outdoor maintenance, a calendar full of activities, and dining.
  • Social life: 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.
  • On-site health care services: If you or your spouse needs long-term health care, you won’t have to make another move, and you’ll be close to people you already know.
  • Tax breaks: A portion of your entrance and monthly fee could be tax-deductible. Consult your
    tax adviser to be sure.
  • Refundability: At most Life Plan Communities, a portion of your entrance fee is either fully or partially refundable to you or your estate.

Cons include:

  • Tough Choices: With so much to do, you may find it hard to squeeze it all in. Luckily, there’s always next month.
  • Unneeded care: You could pay for care you don’t end up needing. But according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 70% of seniors 65 or older will need some type of long-term care. (That’s nearly 3 in 4 seniors.) And the average stay is approximately 3 years.

It’s really a carefree life. They have doctors here and they have all kinds of nurses on staff. It’s just the perfect setup. And no more maintenance. I don’t have to worry about the roof or any yardwork.

– Richard & Doris, John Knox Village of Central Florida independent living residents

What is continuing care?

One of the biggest selling points of a Life Plan Community is not having to move if the unexpected happens and you suddenly need help with daily activities or round-the-clock care. That’s because Life Plan Communities provide access to a continuum of care – assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing, rehabilitation and home health care – right on-site.

Plus, if you choose a Life Plan Community with Life Care – like John Knox Village of Central Florida – you’ll have guaranteed priority access to higher levels of care at predictable monthly rates. At a Life Plan Community that doesn’t offer Life Care, you could pay full market price for any care you need. Be sure to check each community’s contract options before you decide.

Experience our lifestyle for yourself.

To learn more about the financial security and peace of mind John Knox Village of Central Florida offers you and your family, fill out our contact form or call us at (386) 775-0788.


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