Luxury communities are all the rage in upper-middle-class America. Boasting gated security, exclusive amenities, and a leisurely lifestyle, who can blame them?
Florida is a prime spot for such communities — the weather perfectly matches the carefree attitude that luxury living inspires. You don’t have to worry about mowing your lawn (which roughly 80% of your neighboring Alabamians do weekly), you can experience privacy and community in the same space, and will be able to enjoy the safe and comforting feeling of knowing — and even being friends with — your next door neighbors.
However, many of these luxury neighborhoods are designed for people in the prime of their lives: they demand ample outdoor space for walks and hikes, play areas for young children, and approximately 60% of property managers revealed that pools and fitness centers are highly desired. For those discerning, independently wealthy retirees, such amenities usually go to waste.
Perhaps that’s why Westminster Communities of Florida decided to invest in the older crowd. The Floridian senior housing provider has recently decided to build a second 75-unit luxury apartment complex to meet needs specific to those age 62 and older.
“Now they have dining options and spa services and golf courses and wine rooms,” said Bruce Rosenblatt, owner of Senior Housing Solutions, which helps older adults narrow down residency options based on their needs and finances. “This is not an old folks’ home.”
It certainly isn’t. With entry fees that start at $250,000, residents can move from independent living to assisted living to full nursing homes without ever leaving the community; perhaps that’s why all 75 units in the new complex were snatched up before the company even broke ground.
“If anything happens to me, my wife is all squared away here,” said Troy Fletcher, 77, who lives in Westminster’s Winter Park community with his wife, Barbara. “And the same if anything happens to her, I’m squared away. And we would be here together. That was the main thing for us. At this stage in life, the worst thing that could happen is to be alone, and here you’re never alone unless you want to be.”
Having that added security is more valuable than ever when you’re in the twilight years of your life, and luxury retirement communities like Westminster offer that and more — for a fee. The specifics vary from one development to the next, but entrance costs tend to range from $150,000 to a staggering $2 million depending on your desired amenities. Obviously, requesting a fully furnished apartment complete with leather furniture will bump that price up, but growing old is (at least in part) about letting things go; knowing that you don’t have to haul every single thing you’ve ever accumulated in your 60 years of life (and that you don’t have to condition that leather furniture every six months) can make the move remarkably easier. After you’re settled, you can expect to pay $2,000 to $9,000 per month per occupant.
These communities are focused on selling peace of mind in what can be the toughest years of someone’s life. For people like Troy and Barbara Fletcher, that is absolutely worth the price.