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Selecting an Independent Living Community

Ken Teegardin Written by Ken Teegardin
SeniorLiving.Org Expert on Chief Editor | Caregiver

To see a list of Independent living facilities, enter your desired area (zip, city, or full address) and then click on the independent living button at the top to see only independent living facilities in your area.

Independent Living

You’re in a pickle. The home you raised your children in, the place you came home from work to for 30 years, and the yard you manicured, is now too much. You no longer have the desire to weed the flower bed, lug the vacuum upstairs, and listen to your neighbor’s son’s car stereo booming at night. Heck, you don’t even know your neighbors anymore.

But the memories of this place stretch your entire adult life. Your kids took their first steps in the living room. You took their high school graduation pictures in the front yard. Your grand kids love playing in the oak-shaded back yard.

Making the decision to move into something more manageable is not easy at first. But once you see the necessity and start to think about the possibilities of a new life, a change, you’ll feel like a weight has been lifted. And you’ll feel freer than ever.

We’ll try to make selecting an independent living community as easy as possible. We know it’s a big decision. We’ll arm you with answers, questions and everything in between.

What is an Independent Living Community?
Simply put, it’s a community for active, healthy seniors who are able to live on their own. You can live in a home, townhouse, condo, and even a mobile home or motor home. You can own or rent or live as part of a cooperative. Think of it like living in your old neighborhood except these communities have age restrictions—usually over 55—and many offer amenities like clubhouses, gyms, yard maintenance, housekeeping and security.

Independent living communities also typically offer transportation, laundry service, group meals, and social and cultural activities.

Is Independent Living Right for Me?
You can’t read the future, but you’re healthy right now. You’d like to be around your peers. You value security. You like your independence but don’t want to bother with some tasks like yard work and housekeeping. This is a start. Let’s look at some other things to consider when selecting an independent living community.

How to Select the Right Community?
What are some things you just won’t compromise on? E.g. size of home, location of community, distance to family, etc. Make a list.

And here’s where your wisdom comes in to play. Visit the community. Get a feel for the people who live there. Talk to the residents and staff. Are they friendly? Do the residents seem truly independent? Do you share some of the same hobbies and interests? Do you want to get to know these people better? Could you see having them over for dinner? 

How big is the community? Do you like a small, quiet community or a large, bustling one? Is there a common area that residents use? If you’ve only ever lived in a house will an apartment on the 10th floor make you feel confined? Do you prefer a small house without a yard? A condo with flower beds? Is there adequate room for guests? For storage? Are there stairs? Will you have the ability to add ramps? Is it pet friendly? What are the restrictions, if any, for little things like displaying the American flag on holidays? Parking a motor home in the drive way?

Are you close to friends and family? Do you feel safe on the grounds? In the neighborhood? Is it well lit? To your doctors and hospital? To the mall, restaurants, and the movies? Are you within walking distance to any grocery stores or pharmacies? Is there a gym in the community or one close by? Are there walking trails nearby? Parks?

Things to Do
Is there a pool? A recreational center? A common area? Is there a reading group? A knitting group? A bowling league? A bridge group? Are there residents who like to ride bikes? Go to the beach? Travel? Bird watch?

Costs are in line with the market prices of similar housing in that region. And there can be shared costs like common utilities, taxes and community services. These can run $1,000 to $2,000 per monthly. Other services like housekeeping are usually additional.

Low income seniors can find subsidized programs through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Here are some costs to consider when researching independent living communities. Ask if they’re included:

  • Waiting list deposit
  • Move-in fee
  • Initial assessment fee
  • Housekeeping
  • Laundry
  • Meals
  • Cable TV
  • Utilities
  • Private phone
  • Transportation
  • Internet access
  • Parking
  • Field trips
  • Wellness program 

Additional questions to ask:

  • Is there a pet deposit?
  • What are the billing and payment options?
  • What is the policy for fee increases?
  • Is personal property insurance required?

Updated: Feb 14, 2011


[62] Comments... Read them below.
ANGELO V MOLINA On Dec 22, 2014
the page is very helpfull.....thanks

Scott Christensen On Nov 19, 2014
Hello I am looking for a 50 and abovemunities public transportation billiards. I am on ssd I am looking to move in around 12/3-4 or 5th my lease ends please contact me at(267)702-7285 or email

Edith Suvlu On Nov 6, 2014
What is your security protocol and security guards certified. Wondering what your protocol is for independent housing unit for your program @ the senior center. Very interested in hearing comments.

Ellen Bell On Sep 20, 2014
There are loads of advantages in living in cooperative housing. Several HUD properties built in the 70's offer project based Section 8 assistance. I'm putting together a database of HUD assisted cooperative housing by state. cooperativehousing.

jo hansen On Sep 16, 2014
Looking for senior independent living apartment, low ie, in Sheboygan, wisconsin.

James Maston On Sep 2, 2014
Are you tired of prescription drug costs breakng your bank? Let me help!

Al Kawanabe On Aug 31, 2014
Please send me information pack and application for 1 bedroom apartment for myself and 2 cats Al Kawanabe 2813 Harlan St. Apt. 105 Edgewater, Colo.80214 Thank You

Beth On Aug 25, 2014
In-home care is a more personalized method of caring for our loved ones, allowing them to stay independent at home longer. I rmend cascadepanion care. Home care clients typically have better oues in social, emotional, and physical

Sharon Deyonne Doss On Aug 15, 2014
looking for independent living for seniors i have low ie...need a place that goes by your ie. if you could send me some information i would really appreciate it. thank you

kerry ellison On Aug 11, 2014
need independant living apt. 1 bedroom, small dog, dishwasher, balcony, second floor.

Lois Patterson On Aug 7, 2014
I am looking for a 1 bedroom apt. Have rather limited ie.Most independent places I know of are so expensive. I live alone. My condo is so lonely I am looking for something where other people are living. No pets.

Jeanie McCullough On Jul 17, 2014
I am looking for a 1 bedroom apartment in a socialplex where they have activities for the residents. I have very low ie and live alone. Please help me if you can. Thank You!12

halimaah shamsiddeen On Jul 13, 2014
are there senior apts or apt homes for seniors with children low affordable rents or based on ie in the nashville tn area

Kitty/Dave On Jul 2, 2014
For rent in our home. 1 bedroom. Call 303-286-9254 for further info.

Kathy On Jun 18, 2014
Davenport, Iowa has two fabulous options! Beautifully rehabbed historic buildings are now independent seniormunities. Seniors 55+ can get into The Taylor or The Jackson for rents starting at $555 for 1BR and $664 for 2BR. Veterans get special move-in discounts. Call to learn more...563.324.1400

SOCRATES D. JEREZ On Jun 17, 2014

Jose Romero On Jun 2, 2014
I'm almost 61years old I'm paying for my apartment living alone in a studio 1200/month I have low ie now can't afford it need help.

Jose Romero On Jun 2, 2014
I'm almost 61years old I'm paying for my apartment living alone in a studio 1200/month I have low ie now can't afford it need help.

Dylan King On May 24, 2014
Interested in independent living in North Carolina? Let me help you! Contact me anytime at 336-991-8273. Ridge Care is Senior Living for a New Generation!

Vikki On Apr 5, 2014
Please take a look at Holiday Retirementmunities! All inclusive independant living! Go to holidaytouch and type in your city. Holiday has almost 400munities and an amazing travel program!

Shelia westbrook On Mar 29, 2014
Looking to move to Dallas,Tx . I am 61yrs old and wanting to buy a small townhouse in a nice over 55munity. One bedroom with a drive in garage.

David Grubbs On Feb 26, 2014
My wife and I are seniors,65 and 68 years old.looking to move to the central Fl. Area. We both want to work part time and need some help finding a sr. Mobile home park. Could you please give us some help finding a suitable place? Thanks.

Evelyn Zwerner On Feb 16, 2014
Looking for Independent living in or near Charleston, SC. Either Jewish or non-sectarian where I would befortable. Am still very active, drive but thinking for the future.

Uhlizza On Feb 12, 2014
I am looking to move towards Wilmington N.C. area close to the beach in an assisted living retirementmunity I am 53 and disabled. 1 bedroom my and the bath have a bathtub. My disability is app 1,200 a month but I have a section 8 voucher good anywhere in the united states for approximately 30% towards rent.

Tom Loebmann On Feb 8, 2014
I'm seeking a retirementunity that provides laundry, housekeeping and meals of retsrautant quality-Would las vegas or pheonix be better.

Doreen babcock On Feb 6, 2014
I am 56 years old and my boyfriend is 60 years old I was Just wondering if there's any aptments that we could Look into for our age group I guess it would be called Senior apartments or apartmentplexes around Camillus area or syracuse area..more towards camillus We would like to stay in that area..we would like a 2 Bedroom apt & 2 bathrooms...thank you Doreen Babcock..

Mike Bond On Jan 14, 2014
Try in Silver Spring, Maryland for Victor 0ct 22nd entry for your Mother

david wyatt On Dec 15, 2013
I am currently looking for a 1 bedroom apt in Brooklyn,ny. After my wife passed away in82013 I really must aquire another place to live. I am looking for an independent living apartment, and I am over 56 yrs of age and currently working full time. Please contact me ASAP. Sincerely, David Wyatt

Al On Nov 4, 2013
P.S. to my last. Twice in my note, I used the word "i.n.c.o.m.e" without the periods. For some reason, this webpage "truncated" the word to "ie." Why, I don't know.

Al On Nov 4, 2013
I'm looking for an "independent" living situation and am running into two obstacles. The first is that I'm a cigarette smoker. Most such apartments not only want to rent to tenants. They want to "socially engineer" their tenants as well - with smoking being an exclusionary trait. The second obstacle is encountered at apartments that cater to low-ie seniors (like me, $31k per year). I noticed one apartment I qualify for with studio rent ranging from $562 - $890 a month. The obstacle? Don't expect to pay $562 until you have ie half that of mine.

Victor On Oct 22, 2013
I am looking to re-locate my mother from California to Maryland. She is 71 in good health. Her ie from SS is $1,000 p/mo. Can you help me withy search for inexpensive independent living housing? Thank you

mary Doyle On Sep 16, 2013
looking for studio 1 bedroom 1 br in bradley beach n.j.

rebecca staudenmaier On Aug 12, 2013
I'm looking for a 2 bedroom independent living apartment for my mother and I. She is 87 yrs old, active, and social, and I am a 61 yr old. I would like a place close to Ala Moana Shopping center or on a bus route. Thanks, rebecca

Michael Winnicki On Aug 6, 2013
What I want to find out is price per sq. ft. that you are charging for units, what they have..? 1 bedroom, 2 bedroom, bathrooms, amenities etc. and the type of marketing you do to attract seniors to your properties. Also if you are full, occupancy rate and if there is a waiting list? Easiest way to contact me is through email. Thank you

George Conley On Aug 4, 2013
How can I find independent senior living outside the US? How can I find independent senior living in the US, but located right on the ocean in a warm climate?

Madeline Smithwoods On Jul 15, 2013
I am a 67 year old senior and widow. my house has been in foreclosure since march 2013. I only receive 224.00 a month. I need some place to live because I do not want my belongings on the street. please help me save my home of 18 years or find some where to live

Katerina On Jul 8, 2013
Dear friends. Could you please tell me, what cheap paper newspapers read people of the age of 48-90 in New York. I am from Russia, and it's difficult for me to know such information.In such paper i want to place an insertion of medical equipment. Thanks in advance.

E.C On Apr 29, 2013
Are there any apartments for rent for active seniors over 55 plus who are traveling to rent by the week or month.

J.C. Smith On Apr 26, 2013
I am planning to move to Nashville Tn. in the next six months and I am looking for an independent living senior housing complex where my wife and I can call home. I currently live in such a complex in Richmond Va. and would like something similar in Nashville. What do you have to offer in the two bedroom all on one floor type bungalow apartments?

M K On Mar 14, 2013
Do you know of any affordable senior independent living apartments in Seattle that don't have an income restriction? Thank you

Anne Smith On Mar 4, 2013
Be careful with what these places want to sell to you. Read the fine print and have an attorney look over it. My mother was sold on one of the ACTS communities and they have a 40 page contract. You sign about 10 pages in and then at the end of the contract. In PA they have death clauses in them, that is where you will loose your money. Buyer beware.

Gloria J. Smith On Jan 23, 2013
I'm a 70 year lady living on social security plus a part time job and having a hard time finding something nice in my price range all the nice places start at two thousand and more a month do not have that Type of money but do want to feel safe and call this new place my home. Can you assist me in finding a nice place in my price range under one thousand dollars. Thanks

Gia Salmon On Jan 3, 2013
My husband, Ray is 68 yrs. old and I am 54 yrs. old. We are both working as Tutors. Ray is receiving Social Security. Currently, we are temporary renting a room frm a friend. We need to be out by the end of January. Last year, we applied to four different senior housing. They have a long waiting list one year to five year wait. We are in dire strait trying to find a place. Most places are only either renting to both over 60 years old or single man or woman only. It is frustrating. We live in Honolulu, Hawaii. Please advise.

n akinde On Dec 30, 2012
need 55plus home on ss

Russell Clark On Dec 24, 2012
Had good luck using the internet, including classified ads in the local town newspaper of where you want to move to, and Craigslist. Filter using furnished and pets allowed. In Oregon I paid $450 p/m for a lake cabin with no lease furnished and utilities and allowed sm dog. Presently in Washington state paying $550 p/m for a park home no lease, furnished, utilities, large fenced garden with washer/dryer in seperate building. They are out there, get a cheap laptop use local free wifi and GOOD LUCK

Priscilla perry On Dec 19, 2012
I'm a very Active single 66 year old female looking for a nice one bed room apartment (not to small ) modern. I work and receive SSI disability (about 2066.00 ) can you help me?

Jeanne On Dec 19, 2012
Where do I and all of the other people needing help go to get our answers to our questions?

Jeanne On Dec 19, 2012
Where do I and all of the other people needing help go to get our answers to our questions?

Jeanne On Dec 18, 2012
I am a senior lady 65, recently divorced, house is in forclosure, only income is Soc. Sec. Disability, where do I go for help finding a place to live?

Bonnie Ridd On Dec 17, 2012
what do the apartments start at. i need a one bedroom. 1 bath..for independent living im 60.

kenneth sem On Dec 16, 2012
am looking for 1 bd furnished, will be leaving az approx. 1st of mar. need availabaty and rates, income $2000.00 mo.

Eunice Marrero On Dec 4, 2012
Quisiera conseguir un apartamento para mi (tengo 62 años) y otro para mi mama (tiene 88 años)que sean independientes que tenga un costo bajo que pueda pagar ya que por lo que veo todos son caros. Quisiera que me dijeran a cuanto ascienden estos?

Connie Bradley On Nov 30, 2012
I am looking for independent living, however, I would like to live on my own. I am 67 on a fix income, my home was sold in foreclosure and I need help with rent to move, looking for advice on how to get help with rental assistance.

sharon coolbrith On Nov 15, 2012
will be 65 in may. am looking to move to maine.I live in brockton housing authority in massachusetts. I am mobile healthy and on a fixed income from social security. I have a small 12 lb shihtzu dog. will not give her up. do you have any suggestions on housing for a fixed income senior lady.

Judith King On Nov 8, 2012
I am looking for Independent living places and need some help. I don't know where to start someone mentioned this to me and i am in look. The places that i seem to fit into will be the 55+ crowd. Thank You, Judy

I am a 71 year old single male with only limited income from social security & cannot afford a lot of homes for seniors.I am toatlly mobile,do not require any assistance.No pets.Any suggestions???!!.

Deborrah Oliveri On Sep 18, 2012
61 yo disabled woman recently divorced living on disability income below poverty. No section 8 or any other housing options available. I don't know where to turn. Still living with ex husband and he is constantly pressuring me to go! Time to move on! Where can I go and afford to live???

Charlene Knight On Sep 17, 2012
not helpful at all no listings of Independent living places, monthly rental charge or information on location? Not sure why this website exists???

Charles Dow & Sandra Dow On Aug 27, 2012
Selecting an Independent Living Community I am in a pickle. The Townhouse raised condo fee to high need to move in next 2 months looking for 2 bedroom apartment or rential Townhouse pets included In Mass help appreciated

sherry mcquarrie On Jun 30, 2012
Ive tried looking up apts for seniors{low income}and there arent many. oh thwere are new aptsbe built but where are the ones for the elderly 65 and older. Did you know that all the High rises in rochester have young people in them a lot of them are young. It use to be you had to be 65 or older and now they just rent to most anybody there hub apots. theres a lot of problems in the highr rises that never get delt with. It seems the 65 and older have to share now with the younger people and is that fair. we would like to have a building for 65 and older thats it maybe we would like to enjoy our late yrs with people our own age.

Lucille White On May 7, 2012
Most of the Independent living apts that are advertised, turn out to be assisted with a high rent cost, others have a limited # of market price,which makes the independent apts hard to find.

Trina S. Dixon On Apr 11, 2012
Where are these Independant living places? How can I make up my mind,if I can't see the places or where they are located?