Aging in Place vs. Moving to a Life Plan Community

Why Senior Living?   |   By HumanGood

man and woman smiling on couch with their dog looking at a tablet

Where do you envision the next chapter of your life (or a loved one’s life) unfolding? If you’re like most people, you hope to remain in your home for as long as possible. Maybe you even have a little fear about the possibility of moving — especially if it’s to a community. 

The benefits of aging in place are clear: staying in a familiar setting, being surrounded by memories and often living in a big home that family members love visiting. Aging in place is also commonly chosen because of fears about the future — especially fears of moving to a retirement community. 

But these fears spring from a fear of the unknown and a wide range of myths about aging, age and retirement. Today’s older adults are living longer and healthier lives than ever before, and many of them are choosing to do so in Life Plan Communities. These vibrant communities offer a similar experience to aging in place but with a wide range of amenities and resources most people just can’t get at home. They also help you remain more independent and offer support should you ever need it. 

What are the key differences? And how do you decide which option is best? 


Benefits of Aging in Place vs. a Life Plan Community

The next chapter of your life should be as unique as you are, reflecting your goals and values. There’s no “right” choice here — no one-size-fits-all aging solution that works for everyone at every age and stage. 

Whether aging in place or moving to a Life Plan Community, each offers many ways to achieve your goals and live life on your own terms. Here are some of the differences: 


Let’s face it: Maintaining independence is a key goal — and sometimes a point of contention — as you age. No one wants someone else directing their life from the sidelines. Many people say they want to age in place because they desire to remain independent. They envision a community setting controlling what they do and how they live, but nothing could be further from the truth. 

The reality is that both options offer independence! 

Life Plan Communities don’t tell you what to do or how to do it. They’re there to serve you. And they’re certainly not jails. Residents come and go as they please. Many travel the globe or even keep their jobs. Many residents find they have more freedom in a Life Plan Community because their relatives are no longer concerned about their health and safety. Plus, you no longer have to hire a house sitter when you travel or worry about home maintenance. 

In addition, Life Plan Communities can help preserve your health — and, therefore, your independence — by keeping you physically active, socially connected and inspired to continue doing new things. Because you can access it all just outside of your door, driving, planning and paying for programs or events no longer have to stop you from living how you want. 

Moreover, when planning for an uncertain future  it’s important to consider all potential paths. After all, none of us really know what the future holds. This may include the potential that you develop a chronic illness, need additional support or can no longer safely live at home. 

Life Plan Communities can help you remain independent in these situations because they offer safe and secure living options where help is available on your terms when you want and need it. Privacy is key. There are no prying relatives or neighbors telling you how to live — just supportive people empowering you to decide what’s right for you at every step of the aging journey. 

Dr. Sara, an activist and author, found that downsizing and moving to The Terraces at Los Altos, a HumanGood community, was the perfect place to continue her thriving career while doing more of what she loves. 

“I finally found my enough,” she says, “and I am extremely happy.”

Life Plan Communities offer a variety of senior living options right on one  campus. Learn how each allows you to live well. >>

Doing What You Love

Whether it was raising a family, volunteering, climbing the corporate ladder or all of the above, you’ve spent your life working hard. Shouldn’t you have a chance to do the things you enjoy, cultivate a sense of deeper purpose and maybe even learn something new? 

Many older adults want to age in place so that they can live life on their own terms. But finding ways to fill the day, coordinate plans with friends and get from point A to point B can be major barriers. 

Life Plan Communities don’t compromise your ability to head out into the world and do whatever it is you crave. But they also offer tons of programming just outside your door, so you can do more of what you love while meeting new people. 

Jerry and Kay, who live at Las Ventanas at Summerlin, a HumanGood community, spend their days volunteering, joining everything they can and making tons of new friends. 

“You might not think you are ready, but move into a great community when you are younger so you can be fully involved, make great friends and enjoy all that is offered. It keeps you young!” 

Life Plan Communities offer all-in-one pricing, which means that programming and amenities, ranging from live music and community gardens to a fitness center and library, are included. This can make filling your day with what you love much more affordable than it would be at home, where you have to pay for each club you join and class you attend. 


Homeownership can feel freeing. That is, until you begin to feel like a captive to the leaky pipe, the grinding refrigerator and that weird smell coming from the basement. No matter how much you love your home, very few of us want to spend our time fixing what's broken. Aging in place can mean spending your retirement in a place you love filled with memories. It can also mean a lot of work — and even more expense. 

Life Plan Communities include all home maintenance in their pricing, so you never again have to worry about hiring a contractor or doing it yourself. This can save you thousands of dollars and tons of time. More time and more money mean more freedom to live the life you desire. 

Linda, a resident of Rosewood, a HumanGood community, says moving to a Life Plan Community has helped her live exactly as she wants to. 

“Rather than spending time maintaining a house, I now have more time to do what I want to do. Moving to Rosewood has given me more independence and the gift of time to do what I enjoy," she says.

A Continuum of Support

Many older adults worry about the potential costs of aging, especially if they need additional help. For many, though, Life Plan Communities actually reduce expenses by eliminating the costs of homeownership, lending predictability to the budget and supporting you to enjoy amenities you might never be able to afford living at home. 

Life Plan Communities also offer the peace of mind that comes from knowing support is there if you need it. You can access a continuum of support services as your needs change while remaining in the community you call home. 

If you're like many older adults, you probably worry about what would happen if you ever needed immediate help, particularly if you live alone. Living in a community means there’s always someone there for you, whether you have an urgent need for assistance or just want a friend to hang out with. 

It’s important to remember that our needs change as we age. Roughly 70% of older adults will need some form of long-term care as they age. If you choose to remain at home, getting the help you need will require a change in your lifestyle and/or the addition of paid help. If you move to a Life Plan Community, though, you can get help without moving — often at a fraction of the cost of in-home care. 

Danny, a resident of Westminster Gardens, a HumanGood community, says community life balances independence and support and puts his family’s mind at ease. 

“The security is what I value most. I have my independence, but there’s still help at the push of a button. My daughter especially likes knowing I am safe and happy,” he says. 

Ready to make the move to a Life Plan Community? Learn more about your available options by reading our free guide.

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