Residents Jim and Mary Ann Meyers

How to Choose a Retirement Community With Independent Living

Independent living communities are great choices for seniors who are ready to enjoy every moment and be free from home maintenance and a home’s repair costs. It’s also a great way to shed the time-consuming chores of cooking meals, grocery shopping, housekeeping and laundry. Within an independent living community, you’ll lead an active life filled with like-minded people, fun-loving activities, educational programs, and new opportunities to discover your true passions in life.

Choosing the right retirement community is essential for your future happiness so it’s important to know what to look for in each living arrangement. Independent living communities do not offer assistance with the activities of daily living. If you’re looking for extra help with dressing, eating, bathing, or medication management, you should consider a higher level of care such as assisted living or skilled nursing care.

Does the Location Matter to You?

Many seniors prefer to stay close to their same neighborhood where their friends, family doctors, and grocery stores are within easy reach. Or maybe you want to move to a different town where your family resides?

When evaluating the location of an independent living community, review a map. Look at the nearby stores, how close the community is to your preferred hospitals and medical centers, and parks. What type of neighborhood is it in? Review the closest highways and streets that make it easily accessible.

Do You Plan to Keep Your Car?

If you plan to drive yourself and keep your car at the community, check out the proximity to your favorite places and the highways you may use. As you tour locations, you’ll find they offer different levels of transportation services. Some excursions may be completely complimentary while there could be a fee attached to chauffer you to more distant destinations. List the places you want to travel to and ask whether they’re included in the transportation route. Ask about the service radius and any additional costs associated with the transportation services.


You may feel uncomfortable talking about the price and feel uneasy asking direct financial questions. But the cost of your residence is a crucial factor in your decision. You can save a lot of time if you inquire about fees in your initial conversations.

Among the many options for payment are rental-based senior living communities. Paying month-to-month can be a good value and offer you more choice.

You may not fully realize the money you will save on home expenses when you live in an independent living facility. Consider what you spend on your mortgage payments, property taxes, homeowner’s insurance, home upkeep, cars and yard maintenance. Add all those costs together and you’ll find they usually outweigh the cost of an independent living community. The savings increase when you include homeowners’ insurance, upkeep and utility bills which typically run about 3.25 percent of the value of a house.


As you tour communities, you’ll most likely see a variance in the amenities and programs offered. While one retirement community may offer a heated pool and Jacuzzi, the next community you visit may have a salon and spa instead. Tiffany Springs offers both. Look for small and big details regarding the services and amenities and see if the places meet your needs for leisure, luxury and livability.

A great time to do this is when the community is hosting an event or open house. If that’s not an option, there are virtual tours available now that give a broad overview and virtual picture of the grounds and interior spaces online.


Senior living dining has come a long way since the inception of communities for those 55 and older. You no longer have to eat meals at set times and often, communities will serve food in multiple venues including restaurant-style dining rooms, pubs and bistros.

Delicious appetizers

As you tour, request to see sample menus and schedule to taste a meal in one of the dining spots. If you have dietary needs, ask if a nutritionist consults with the food preparation team and inquire how they will meet your nutritional goals.


One of the keys to happiness as we age is to stay active and engaged. That’s why choosing the right retirement community involves looking closely at the professional team members’ culture. Do you feel like the staff is making a connection with the residents? Are employees smiling, friendly and helpful? Ask about medical support, housekeeping teams and dining servers. When you reside in an independent living community, you join a close-knit neighborhood and want to have a feeling of belonging and friendship.

The classes offered, clubs formed and events held should be designed with seniors in mind so you can get acquainted with like-minded people.

A national survey by the AARP Foundation shows that 1 in 3 U.S. adults age 45 and older are lonely. If you do not address loneliness, it can have serious medical consequences for older adults.


Socializing opportunities are built into senior living communities so you can keep your mind active and stimulate your interests. People who lead meaningful, productive lives tend to live longer by having a sense of purpose.

Stop and ask the staff questions as you tour and get to know them better. COVID-19 has prompted unforeseen social isolation and communities have learned how to combat that. The  National Institute on Aging lists some of the health risks loneliness can pose: increased risk for heart disease, obesity, immunity weakness, depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease.


Even if you think you’re not ready to move right now, it’s never too early to start planning and touring. The best time to explore your options is before a health emergency when you may be forced to make a hasty decision.

Our experience has shown us that when seniors visit a Tutera community like Tiffany Springs Senior Living, they often are so impressed with our award-winning lifestyle they move in right away.


Take a look at our floor plans and contact us to find out more about our senior living community.