If the mere thought of planning for your full retirement fills you with dread, don’t worry—you’re not alone. Planning for any stage in life can be stressful, promote feelings of uncertainty and seem like quite a bit of work. And if you’re an older adult considering the move to a Life Care community, you may be overwhelmed with options and decisions. This information overload is enough to make anyone shut down and put off the decision for another day.

    The good news is, comparing Life Care communities doesn’t have to be a negative experience. By knowing what to look for—and what you want—you can say goodbye to the stress of planning and hello to the vibrant, happy retirement you always imagined.

    Here’s are the top five things to consider when comparing Life Care communities:

    1. Amenities

    Life Care communities often come with a wide range of amenities—from on-site movie theaters and game rooms, to spas, libraries and extensive dining options. Depending on your interests, certain amenities may be “must-haves” and certain may just be a nice bonus. Think carefully about what you can’t live without and use that as a starting point to narrow down your options.

    2. Finances

    Different Life Care communities have different plans and contracts, so you’ll need to think carefully about which options best fit your personal financial situation. However, since Life Care guarantees your housing and health care for your entire lifetime, remember that you aren’t just investing in your entire future—you’re investing in current peace of mind.

    (To put your finances in perspective, it may be helpful to use our retirement living cost calculator to get a clear picture of your current costs.)

    3. Floor Plans

    Moving to a Life Care community can be a big change, so it’s important to make sure you have a living arrangement and floor plan that suits your wants and needs. Since your floor plan is something you’ll have to—quite literally—live with every day, reviewing various layouts can help you determine what you want from your new home.

    4. Location

    If you wish to stay close to family members, the location of your Life Care community could be a big deciding factor in your comparison. Consider how easily your children, siblings or other family members can visit you—and how easily you can visit them—from your new location. If you’ll be living out of state, consider how easy it will be to entertain your loved ones while they’re in town.

    Also, consider the community’s proximity to other places you may want or need to access, such as hospitals, airports, shopping, golf courses and more.

    5. Specialized Care

    The type of specialized care available at Life Care communities varies. For instance, some communities offer access to rehabilitation services, physician services, in-home care, on-site banking, valet parking or even dog parks. However, these services aren’t considered standard at all Life Care communities, so they can be important distinctions when making your decision. If you’re interested in a community that meets all of your physical, social, intellectual and spiritual needs, be sure to check our communities that offer Masterpiece Living.

    These five areas of comparison can help get your planning off to a good start and minimize the stress of your decision. And remember: Whichever Life Care community you choose, you’ve taken an important step in maintaining your independence and planning for the future you deserve.

    Is a Life Care Retirement Community the best option for you? Reserve a seat at one of our educational workshops to learn more.

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