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How Is Independent Living Different Than a 55+ Community?

A senior woman and senior man walk side by side on the beach

Congratulations! You’ve decided to give yourself more freedom and control by moving to a place where someone else handles more of the day-to-day, so you can do more of what you want: travel, hobbies, socialize or just relax. As you’ve researched your options, you’ve probably come across communities called 55+, independent living, Life Plan Communities and more. What do these terms mean and which option is right for you? As they say, knowledge is power, so here’s a brief overview of each community type to help you make the best decision.


What is a 55+ Community?

55+ communities, also called active adult communities, are communities that have a minimum age requirement and are designed with a retirement-friendly, low-maintenance lifestyle.

A 55 plus community can be made up of single-family houses, duplexes, condominiums or townhomes, with units that are owned by the resident. Interior maintenance and daily upkeep are your responsibility, but exterior maintenance is usually covered by your monthly Homeowner Association (HOA) dues. Other than the HOA dues (and possible mortgage payment), there are no other monthly fees required in an active adult community.


Pros and Cons of 55+ Communities

Because these types of communities are residential neighborhoods designed to attract active adults who want to downsize from a bigger home, they offer opportunities to enjoy life.


  • Social life: You’ll live around people of a similar age with similar interests and goals.
  • Amenities: Some outside maintenance may be provided and community services and amenities, like a tennis court, golf course, swimming pool, fitness center, etc., may be provided as part of your monthly service fees also.


  • Selling your 55+ residence: Since there’s a limited number of people who can buy a home in a 55+ community, it may take you awhile to sell it.
  • Taxes and utilities: You’re responsible for real estate taxes, insurance, garbage collection, inside maintenance, appliances, utilities, internet service and cable/satellite TV.
  • No on-site care options: If you or your spouse needs higher levels of care, you could have to move again when you least want to or pay for both the 55+ community and any needed care.


What is Independent Living?

Independent living can be a stand-alone community or a level of living at a Life Plan Communities like Cypress Village. Our community offers an active lifestyle and freedom from the hassles of home maintenance. You’ll find residence options like senior apartments and homes in a variety of floor plans, sizes and price points.

At a senior living community, you’ll find helpful services and amenities to make things easier and more convenient. Housekeeping, linen service, dining plans, transportation services and security are common. At Cypress Village, amenities include a fitness center, heated indoor pool, multiple dining venues including a bar, bistro and café, full-service salon and barber shop, library, arts and craft room, boathouse and fishing dock, walking paths, dog park, fire pit and more.


Pros and Cons of Independent Living

Independent living that’s part of a Life Plan Community is ideal if you’re active and in good health. You can continue to live life as you do now, but without the concerns of maintaining a home, plus you have the assurance of on-site care.


  • Maintenance-free lifestyle: Independent living communities have a knowledgeable team to take care of all your home’s needs, inside and out.
  • Resort-style amenities: Your monthly fee covers a wide variety of services, amenities, wellness programs, indoor and outdoor maintenance, a calendar full of activities and our dining program.
  • Social opportunities: Scheduled parties, happy hours, special events, and outings with friends and neighbors who share your interests, so there’s always something to do.
  • On-site senior care: If you or your spouse needs long-term health care, like assisted living, memory care or skilled nursing, you won’t have to make another move, and you’ll be close to people you already know.
  • Life Care: Cypress Village offers Life Care, which means you’ll have guaranteed access to higher levels of care at predictable monthly rates. All Life Care communities are also Life Plan Communities, but not all Life Plan Communities offer Life Care, so as you do your research, be sure to ask.
  • Tax savings: A portion of your entrance and monthly fee could be tax-deductible. Consult your tax adviser to be sure.


  • Decisions, decisions: With an activity calendar full of classes, events, committees and clubs, you may find it hard to squeeze everything in.
  • Unneeded care: You could pay for care you don’t end up needing. However, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 70% of seniors 65 or older will need some type of long-term care for an average of three years.


One Lifestyle for Today and Tomorrow

To learn more about how Cypress Village can give you the freedom to enjoy life now, backed with the security of a plan for the future, contact us here or use our Community Assistant chat feature.