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For the active older adult who is able to live independently, a 55+ retirement community can be the ideal choice. In a 55+ retirement community, residents enjoy living in a residential neighborhood that is peaceful, quiet and  has been carefully designed for the needs of active older adults. Sometimes referred to as an active adult community, an age-qualified community or an age-restricted community, a 55+ retirement community is perfect for older adults who can care for themselves and want to live in a neighborhood that has no children. Individuals who are looking to downsize often find 55+ retirement communities very appealing.

55+ retirement communities are age-qualified. This means that residents must fall into a certain age group to reside in the community — in this case, 55 years of age and over. As a general rule, spouses or significant others who fall below the permitted age are allowed to live in the community as long as one of the residents in the home meets the age requirements. Due to these age restrictions, adult children and grandchildren under the age of 55 cannot permanently reside in the home.

55+ retirement communities are frequently gated. The homes are generally located on smaller lots, many times, zero-lot-line lots. Homes situated on zero-lot-line lots are built very near to the edges of the property line. Having less land to care for translates into less maintenance for the homeowner. Much more of the plot is dedicated to usable living space for the resident. Zero-lot-line home types often include townhomes, patio homes, garden homes and rowhouses.

55+ retirement communities may contain a variety of home types including single family homes, apartments, townhomes and condos. Some 55+ communities are comprised entirely of manufactured homes. Many of the homes are built to include patios and decks for residents to enjoy.



The benefits  of living in a 55+ retirement community often include:

  • Homes and public community areas designed  for older adults
  • Age restrictions to ensure individuals live in a community surrounded by peers
  • Communities with a gated entrance
  • Calm and peaceful neighborhoods
  • A wide range of social, recreational and educational opportunities



Some 55+ retirement communities are focused on a certain lifestyle or activity. All 55+ retirement communities are focused on providing an active lifestyle. These focused communities may have amenities that include:

  • Fitness center with exercise machines and equipment, plus fitness classes
  • Community center/clubhouse
  • Athletic courts such as basketball, tennis and volleyball
  • Indoor and outdoor swimming pools
  • Hobby- and activity-based clubs
  • Lifelong learning classes
  • Golf course
  • Walking trails
  • Community parks
  • Demonstration kitchens
  • Billiards room

Benefits, activities and amenities can vary greatly from one community to the next. If certain activities or amenities are important to you, be sure to check the community’s website or contact the community directly to learn  if they are offered.



The average monthly cost of living in a 55+ retirement community can vary, but typically ranges between $1,250 to $4,000 per month. The following factors impact the cost:

  • Location
  • Housing types
  • Buying vs. renting vs. leasing
  • Amenities
  • Homeowners Association (HOA) dues

The monthly cost includes the housing payment/rent, HOA dues, community maintenance and upkeep, amenities and community activities. The monthly cost generally does not cover meals, healthcare, utilities or transportation costs. Some communities require the homeowner to meet specific income criteria to qualify for residence.

Looking for an alternative senior living option?

Aspire at Carriage Hill is an independent living community located in Richmond, Virginia. Please don’t hesitate to contact us to learn more. We’d love to hear from you!

Learn how Continuing Care Retirement Communities and Independent Living Communities compare to 55+ Retirement Communities.


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With all of the decisions you need to make in choosing a Richmond independent living community, we want to make sure you and your family have the information you need. Submit a request for more information and our team will be in touch shortly.

5020 Sulky Drive

Richmond, VA 23228
(804) 286-1133

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