Compare The Cost of a Retirement Community to Homeownership


Right now there are nearly 50 million Americans over the age of 65, and this number is predicted to double by 2060. For many, retirement communities can provide (sometimes unexpected) social and physical benefits while also being a cost-conscious choice for anyone on a fixed income. Read on to learn more about how living in a retirement community saves when compared to the cost of homeownership in retirement.

Housing Costs

For Homeowners

The price of renting will inevitably increase on a year-to-year basis, regardless of where you live. And the last thing you want to do in retirement is to be priced out of a home or apartment in a neighborhood where you’ve spent years or even decades making connections.

On the other hand, hanging onto the house in which you raised your family may no longer make financial sense after you’ve stopped working. And if you own a multi-level home, you may find that it’s harder to age in than ranch houses that have bedrooms, kitchen, and laundry facilities all on one level. Often, you’ll find it more cost-effective to sell your current house, bank some of the profits, and “downsize” into a more centrally-located place that’s easier to maintain.

Retirement Community Living

Retirement community living can give you security, freedom, and peace of mind that you’ve finally found your forever home. You won’t need to worry about moving to a more senior-friendly floorplan after you’ve suffered a fall or other medical emergency—instead, you’ll be able to gain access to an instant community (and the amenities that come with it) at your leisure.

Maintenance and Upkeep Costs

For Homeowners

Although retirement can finally give you that uninterrupted time to devote to your garden, lawn, or other outdoor projects, you may find yourself spending more time repairing things around the house than creating them. If you have a septic tank, it requires pumping on a regular basis; meanwhile, a sewer system can develop potentially expensive clogs. For homes with city water, a water softener may be necessary to keep your dishes, sinks, and showers from developing an ugly mineral scum; meanwhile, using well water to plumb your home can bring its own costly inconveniences.

And as you grow older, you may find it easier to hire out certain services—like lawn mowing, house cleaning, and pool cleaning and maintenance. Finding and scheduling dependable people to do these jobs, and replacing them once they move on or move away, can be nearly as much of a hassle as doing the work yourself.

Even if you rent instead of own, it doesn’t ensure you a maintenance- or hassle-free life. If your toilet is clogged or your furnace won’t turn on, you’ll likely need to stick around your house or apartment to wait for a repair person to arrive. And if another unit’s maintenance problem (like a fire or water leak) causes damage to your property, your only recourse may be with your renter’s insurance company.

Retirement Community Living

Moving to a retirement community can outsource these responsibilities and inconveniences permanently. For one low monthly cost, you’ll no longer need to worry about repairing or maintaining the inside or outside of your home. No more snow shoveling, sink repair, or lawn mowing required!

Groceries, Utilities, and Other Ongoing Costs

For Homeowners

Budgeting during retirement can be frustrating when it seems like your funds are being siphoned away in dribs and drabs on a near-daily basis. The cost of regular grocery trips, electricity, and propane or natural gas for cooking and heating, trash pickup, and other typical household expenses can add up quickly. And when you’re on a limited income or don’t want to be forced to withdraw from your investments during a market correction, avoiding these expenses can be the key to making your nest egg last.


Retirement Community Living

Moving to a retirement community can allow you to replace these frequent (and sometimes unpredictable) expenses and the hassle of the shop-prep-cook-clean-shop-again cycle. Your meals, utility costs, and other household expenses will be taken care of, ensuring you never again stress about missing a bill.

The Cost of Access to Services

For Homeowners

If your area isn’t walking-friendly, living alone can be isolating if you’re no longer comfortable driving long distances or at night. You may hate to imposition friends or family members by asking them to accompany you to the grocery store or doctor’s office—but often, having someone to help you take notes or drive you after a vision- or coordination-impacting procedure is necessary.

Retirement Community Living

By instead living within easy walking or Uber distance from a wide variety of services, from full-service gyms and personal trainers to urgent care centers, you’ll be able to retain your freedom and independence for decades to come. Retirement communities can provide these amenities while fostering a real sense of community among their residents


When it comes to your retirement, you should be living an optimal life. Moving to a retirement community will give you the resources to enjoy your freedom, all while saving you money in the long run.


Life at Cambridge Village of Apex, North Carolina, goes beyond retirement living. By focusing on improving every aspect of our residents’ lives, we create Optimal Living. We aim to make every resident feel welcomed, provide them with opportunities to build friendships, and help them find a niche where they belong. Experience the new retirement at Cambridge Village of Apex, North Carolina. Contact us to schedule a tour of our senior living community or give us a call today (919) 363-2080.