How to Choose the Best Retirement Community for You

The exterior of the Friendship Village senior living center including red, white, and purple flowers and a natural rock landscape fountain

Make it the best decision of your life.

Choosing the right retirement community​ is unlike any decision you’ve ever made. We can hear you chuckle as you remember college applications, choosing your profession, buying a first house, courting the love of your life (OK, it’s hard to compete with that one). Nevertheless, let’s consider:

The best ​retirement communities in Phoenix, Arizona,​ include so many benefits, amenities and services that your one decision is like choosing a home, your neighbors and social club, the restaurants you frequent, handyman services, maybe a house of worship and, if you ever need it, the place and people who will provide ​long-term care — all at once.
Surprising to many, so much is included in your one-time entrance fee and monthly fee that choosing a retirement community in Phoenix​ can be a tremendous value.

Tips for choosing wisely.

As you explore your options, it’s important to recognize ​retirement homes in Phoenix​ vary in many ways: aesthetic appeal, services and amenities, contract structure, levels of long-term care, overall quality and, of course, location and cost.

So how do you go about ​choosing the right retirement community​ for you?

Start online​. Websites abound that offer ​Phoenix retirement community ratings​. Some, like Yelp​ are more well known and may have more reviews. Others ​specialize in ​rating retirement communities and may offer more insight. Not to ​toot our own ​horn​, but Friendship Village reviews​ are ​overwhelmingly positive. Toot-toot, let’s move on.

Take community tours​. While you should start online, nothing replaces a boots-on-the-ground visit. Look at everything — from residences, common areas and green spaces, to whether people seem happy and engaged.

You can ​schedule a tour​ online or by phone. Why not book your visit over lunch? It’s a great way to sample the dining and see the community during a busy time of day.

Ask questions.​ Here’s a list of ​questions to ask before moving into a retirement community​:
Ask yourself:

  • Am I satisfied with the cleanliness?
  • Do the buildings and grounds appear well maintained?
  • Am I satisfied with the size and configuration of the community?
  • Do they offer floor plans to suit my preferences?
  • Does the staff seem friendly and attentive?
  • Do residents appear happy, comfortable and sociable?
  • Are common areas busy or desolate?
  • If it’s a nice day, are residents outdoors?
  • Are organized activities taking place in the fitness center or pool, multipurpose room or arts studios?

Ask your sales counselor:

  • Is there a monthly activities calendar? May I see it?
  • What type of wellness programs are offered?
  • What type of transportation is available?
  • Are special dietary options available?
  • Is the community financially stable?
  • What are the financial options?
  • What is included in the monthly fees? What isn’t?
  • Is any portion of my entrance fee returned to me or my estate?
  • What levels of ​long-term care​ are available?
  • Is care included in the regular monthly fee?
  • May I tour the health care center?
  • May I meet the executive director?
  • How much does it cost to live here?*

A reputable community with good sales counselors will show you everything and answer all your questions — either on your tour or during a more formal one-on-one appointment.

Remember, knowledge is your friend. The more information you have, the more confidently you can ​choose the right community​ for you.

This should get you started on your senior living journey. If you have any questions about Friendship Village Tempe or any ​retirement community in Phoenix​, please use us as a resource. Just fill out the form below, and we’ll be in touch.

*This is a fair question that must be answered before ​choosing a retirement community​. However, your costs will depend on a few variables, including the floor plan you want and whether you live alone or with a companion. Don’t be put off if your sales counselor can’t answer this one exactly and immediately. A good one will provide an answer sooner rather than later.