Arizona’s luxury retirement communities are among the best in the world, offering an impressive selection of locations, amenities and lifestyles.
When deciding which community to live in, it’s natural to want the best money can buy within our budget. As we look at different communities, however, it becomes quickly apparent that luxury is a subjective term, defined differently for each of us.
To one person, a $500 pair of earrings is a luxury, but to another, a $5,000 or even $50,000 price tag is not extravagant. Similarly, the quality of housing and lifestyle offered to those living on social security income is different from that offered to those with stronger financial means. Each might offer its own level of luxury, but they are not the same.
Taking a few minutes to think about your own definition of luxury can help you select the right community beyond a simple budget decision. Is it a larger floor plan? A certain amenity? The right golf course? A specific lifestyle?
Not everyone is a planner, though. For some of us, the very process of looking at a variety of Arizona’s luxury retirement communities helps us define what we’re looking for. It fuels our imagination, helping us create a list of “must have” and “don’t want” features that grow with each community we tour.
No matter how you prefer to search for the perfect community, though, it’s important to slim down options to a manageable level. Otherwise, the search can drag on for an eternity.
So how can we identify our “must have” features and exclude options that fall short of budget or expectations of luxury? Some legwork can be explored over the phone or on a community’s website long before we schedule an on-site tour.
ARE THE EXTERIOR AND COMMON AREAS MODERNIZED AND ATTRACTIVE?
When you pull into a retirement community, stroll through its common areas or look at photographs of the community, appearance speaks volumes.
Is it dated and tired, or trendy and appealing? If it’s an older community, has it been renovated recently? Does it reflect the lifestyle you are seeking?
The luxuriousness of the exterior and public common areas often mirror financial status of its residents, and the amenities and lifestyle it provides. If there is a mismatch between what it reflects and what you are looking for, then it might be best to move on to another community.
LOOK FOR IMPRESSIVE UPGRADES.
Floor plans are often larger in a luxury community, but even more importantly, the variety of upgrades available to residents within their own residence should be trendy and high quality.
Like the exterior, determining if the upgrades are what you would expect based on your income gives insight into the community’s level of luxuriousness.
For instance, upgrades to high quality counter tops, light fixtures and appliances that align with something you might purchase for your last home are a promising sign that the community aligns with your income and expectations.
If the base model and even the upgrades are below your expectations, this signals the community as a whole might not be the level of luxury you are seeking.
DO THE AMENITIES GO BEYOND THE BASICS?
Unlike buying a house where selection is focused on the dwelling and its location, shopping for a retirement community must focus on the amenities outside of the housing, too.
A retirement community open to those living on social security is very, very different than one with higher monthly costs, or one that requires an entrance fee. They have more budget to work with, which is directly reflected in the amenities and lifestyle they’re able to provide to residents.
If touring a community, asking for the events calendar and a full listing of amenities can provide as much insight as reviewing costs and its affordability.
Looking at the various dining areas and food menus is also reflective of the overall amenities. Is there a five-star chef on-site, or just a simple cafeteria? Do they offer gluten-free options? Are the menus healthy and tasty, or just fulfilling basic nutrition needs? These kinds of upgrades signify a higher level of luxury than other communities might provide.
Some communities offer features that truly indicate a higher level of luxury for those who can afford it. Called life plan communities, a resident is offered seamless continuity of care within the campus if their health changes after moving in.
This can be all-inclusive to cover the costs of long-term care with no maximum cap on coverage for the resident, depending on the plan selected.
THIS LUXURY TRUMPS THEM ALL
The physical resources a community provides are important, but looking deeper helps, too. After all, the right community can offer a lifestyle, options and amenities that echo what is most important to you, including residents with similar interests.
Arizona’s luxury retirement communities offer many choices, but perhaps the most luxurious yet important feature of all is the ability to help residents age successfully and avoid preventable decline. Isn’t that what retirement should be about? Living our best life regardless of our physical years?
Sun Health Senior Living is proud to offer three life plan communities that offer Masterpiece Living for a truly remarkable living experience in Arizona: Grandview Terrace in Sun City West, La Loma Village in Litchfield Park and The Colonnade in Sun City Grand (Surprise).
If you’re interested in learning more about the difference a Masterpiece Living community can make when it comes to successful aging, contact Corporate Director of Sales Jackie Lusson at 623-236-3767 to schedule your tour.
(Originally published March 6, 2018; last updated Jan. 6, 2019.)