23 Questions to Ask When Looking for Homes For Independent Living

Independent Living Resources from ER Senior Management

We put a lot of trust in people to tell us what we want to hear. We trust that experts give us the correct diagnosis or fix, from car repairs to medical advice, but it always helps to get a second opinion. Learn how to be your own second opinion when finding the perfect retirement community.

When looking at homes for independent living, knowing what questions to ask upfront can save you a lot of money and future hassles. If you’re considering life at an independent living community in your retirement, here are 23 questions to ask to find your dream home.

Why do I need independent living?

It’s the best way to age in place while having more fun than you’ve ever had.

Independent living provides a higher quality of life and great friends to make along the way. The highly sought out independent living communities will offer:

  • Homes or apartments with regularly scheduled housekeeping and maintenance services
  • Daily exercises, activities, and games
  • Parties and special events to stay social
  • Community transportation for outings, appointments, and shopping
  • Chef-prepared meals and multiple dining options
  • On-site beauty salon, fitness center, and library

Independent retirement communities are an investment. Make sure to get the most out of your money by asking:

  1. What programs or amenities do you have to stay active and in shape?
  2. What activities do you offer?
  3. What kinds of events do you have to meet new people?
  4. How often can I use community transportation?
  5. What are your meal plan options?

What is the buy-in or community fee on homes for independent living?

If you’re looking to live in a home or apartment in an independent living community, you’ll likely have to pay a fee or buy-in.

Many ER Senior Management communities offer buying-in* with a 90 percent refundable fee. Doing so results in a lower cost locked-in rate for the duration of your stay. If you choose to move out, you’ll know exactly how much money you’ll be getting back.

Whether you buy-in or rent, our communities include things like insurance on the structure of your home, lawn care, home maintenance, and monthly utilities.

When discussing fees, ask about:

  1. If I choose to rent, how often will the price fluctuate?
  2. If I buy-in, do I have to pay for home maintenance?
  3. How much does it cost to get insurance on independent living homes?
  4. How much of my deposit is refundable?

What does an independent living home include?

In addition to community amenities, you’ll want to know what your actual living space looks like and how it compares to your current home.

Seniors always seem to be encouraged to downsize when they retire. Some of our communities include up to three-bedroom homes, so if you don’t want to start living smaller, you don’t have to. No matter how many bedrooms your new home or apartment has, ask:

  1. Will I have storage space?
  2. Does it include a kitchen to cook full meals?
  3. Will I need to supply appliances?
  4. Are washer/dryer hookups available?
  5. Will you help with downsizing and space planning?
  6. Do you allow pets?

Many of the independent living spaces in ER Senior Management communities include*:

  • Modern kitchens and stainless steel appliances
  • Spacious storage spaces
  • Laundry room with washer/dryer
  • Patios or outdoor space
  • Emergency alert systems and security patrol

What freedoms do I have to give up?

None. It’s your home, and we’re happy to have you in our community. We’re here to offer you independent living resources.

ER Senior Management | Three happy independent senior women
Robert Kneschke – stock.adobe.com

You may wonder if you give up certain freedoms when you move into a senior living community, but that is not the case. You have a right to privacy when:

  • You meet with friends or family
  • Receive medical care
  • Talking on the phone
  • Send or receive mail

You’re allowed to bring the things with you that make your new home feel like your dream home. We can coordinate movers to help you make the transition easier. You are also allowed to come and go as you please.

Ask your retirement community:

  1. Will you have access to my finances?
  2. Will other people make decisions for me?
  3. Will I have access to the medical care of my choosing?
  4. Can I travel for extended periods?

Do I need to move out if my needs change?

Making a move to one of our communities is the last move you’ll ever need to make. Aging in place is easy with multiple care options available*.

Ask your independent living community if they offer:

  1. Assisted living
  2. Rehabilitation
  3. Skilled nursing
  4. Memory care and dementia support


I’m Ready to Tour an Independent Living Community!

ER Senior Management owns and operates independent living communities in Texas, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, and Pennsylvania. Find one near you and contact us for a personalized tour of your dream forever home.

*Not all communities offer the exact same services/amenities. Please reach out to your nearest ER Senior Management community to explain our convenient options thoroughly.

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