What is a retirement home?

If you are thinking about retirement, a retirement home could be one of your retirement goals. Find out what is a retirement and the key features to consider

3 min read

When you are approaching retirement, the idea of buying or building a retirement home has a lot of appeal. Whether you plan to downsize, move to a tax-friendly state, or simply move to a new environment, a retirement home should be an incredible living space where you and your spouse will spend the best years of your life. You should decide when and where to build your retirement home.

A retirement home is a property that you buy or build for use in your retirement. If you decide to buy, you should have a checklist of things you want the home to have such as wide hallways, no steps, accessible storage area, raised electrical outlets, voice-controlled lights, and adjustable lighting. If you decide to build, you should decide the style of the home you want to spend your golden years in, by taking into consideration things like mobility, accessibility, and the luxuries that you wish you had.

What to Consider When Buying a Retirement Home

When preparing a home for your golden years, you should consider the amenities, luxuries, and designs that you wish to have in old age. Here are key things to consider when buying or building a retirement home:


When deciding on potential places to buy a retirement home, you should consider mobility to key amenities. Are there hospitals and grocery stores within the area? Considers proximity to important amenities, and the availability of public transportation such as rail and public buses. You should be able to walk or take public transport to reach important places.


Once you get into old age and your body becomes frail, you want to be able to access key areas within the house without requiring assistance. This is why single-story buildings with zero steps are a popular option for retirees. Some of the accessibility features to consider include wide hallways and entryways, step-in showers with seats, lower sinks, adjustable overhead lights, and big bedrooms with enough room for walkers and wheelchairs.

Estimated home-related expenses

Depending on the location of the property, you can expect to incur additional expenses for heating, snow removal, HOA fees, taxes, etc. If your retirement home is inside a retirement community, you can expect to pay a share of the communal expenses. Also, some states may exempt seniors from paying property taxes, which can be a big saving in your retirement years.


A good location can save you the hassles of getting into and out of the neighborhood. Find a location that has access to important amenities like schools, hospitals, places of worship, grocery stores, and malls. You should also consider buying a home close to family or friends who can be there for you in old age. Create a checklist of preferences and let the realtor know the ideal location of your retirement home.

Smart home technology

If you are into technology, you can buy a smart home with hands-free and app-controlled devices that make it easier and safe for you. For example, you can find a home where electronics and lighting systems are voice-controlled. You can also have smart devices like Google Home and Amazon Echo that connect devices within the house. You can also use Alexa and Siri to give smile commands to activate smart devices, play audiobooks, call caregivers, and even set reminders for your doctor's appointment or medications.

Other meaning: Retirement home

The term “retirement home” can also be used to refer to a privately owned facility that is equipped to accommodate senior citizens. Retirement homes are different from nursing homes, and they are intended for individuals who want to maintain their independence while receiving professional care from caregivers.

Usually, a retirement home can be a multi-residence housing facility where each individual or a couple can have separate rooms for themselves. Also, the residents can have shared facilities within the residence such as a parking lot, recreational area, meeting area, hospital, dining area, etc. Retirement homes can be available on a rental basis, or the units can be purchased as a condo.

The main types of retirement homes include:

Subsidized senior housing

Retirement homes provide an affordable place for retirees to live. They give low-income individuals a chance to live in government-sanctioned townhomes and apartments.

Congregate Care

Congregate care allows retirees to live independent apartment settings that may comprise a dining area, central lobby, and recreational areas. They allow retirees to maintain their independence, and they are paid for privately.

Retirement communities

Retirees who want to enjoy some independence while being active in the social scene can consider retirement communities. These communities may comprise townhouses, condos, and apartments, which may be defined by age restrictions or income restrictions. For example, individuals above 65 may decide to live in townhouses with other individuals in this age group.

What is a Nursing Home?

A nursing home is a private facility that provides accommodation with healthcare to seniors with serious health problems. Some of the elderly who go to nursing homes have physical or mental problems such as dementia, a mentor disorder that affects memory and intellect. These facilities have professionally trained caregivers who help residents bathe, get dressed, walk, eat, and attend to other activities.

Modern nursing homes are equipped with medical equipment and services that can help patients recover from illnesses under their care. They also offer advanced services like physical therapy, speech therapy, and orthopedic care. Residents have different levels of medication depending on their health needs.