Consider more than just cost when looking for the perfect retirement community

Moving to a retirement community is undoubtedly a big decision and it's one that should be made after careful consideration. However, there are a wide variety of factors that can come into play, and it can sometimes be difficult to know exactly what to look for in a new residence. While not all prospective residents need the same features, there are several things in particular that they should look at when deciding where to live, according to U.S. News and World Report.

Perhaps more than anything else, prospective residents should consider what kind of health care options they have available to them. For instance, criteria such as proximity to a hospital, whether it offers service such as memory care and what training the staff has are all important. In a similar vein, it's imperative that retirement communities offer exercise and wellness classes, as well as other amenities that can help residents head down the path toward healthy aging.

Of course, a community's health care offerings is just one part of the equation. When doing research, prospective residents should also look into what costs will be included. According to the news source, sometimes not all the expenses appear up front. There may be additional out-of-pocket expenses such as meal plans, health care coverage and other incidentals. 

It's also crucial for prospective residents to ask several questions before deciding which retirement community is right for them, notes The Huffington Post. Issues such as whether children, grandchildren and other extended family members are welcome should be answered. Additionally, speaking to some people who already live in the community can offer insight into what everyday life is like there.