From unmatched culture to the magnitude of monuments and historical sites, Washington, DC, has much to offer. The greater DC area has also become a hot spot in recent years for retirees seeking to stay close to what interests them while enjoying ample opportunities for new discoveries.

The greater metropolitan area also offers a variety of retirement communities. If you’re looking for the right fit for your future, understanding the differences among these options will help you make the best choice. Here are some questions that your peers ask as they determine their next steps, along with answers and important considerations to keep in mind so you can move forward with confidence.

How can I best prepare for what the future may bring?

One reason that forward-thinking seniors choose a retirement living option is the ease of access to health care services should their needs evolve down the road. Not all retirement communities in DC offer on-site care or care coordination, so understanding the distinctions among them is critical.

For example, many rental retirement communities do not offer on-site health care, possibly necessitating a future move, reliance on an existing long-term insurance plan, or the expense of in-home care. This is often the case for 55+ communities or senior apartments. Although these types of communities offer some flexibility and upfront affordability, consider the total picture when determining the best path for your future needs.

Most people want to avoid the need to move again or having to worry about coordinating care through an off-site provider. This is what makes a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC)—also known as a Life Plan or Life Care Community—a great alternative.

A CCRC includes a full continuum of care services in one location, eliminating the need for a future move. Plus, any needs that arise can be addressed in a setting that keeps you as active and independent as possible.

And because they offer a range of health services, CCRCs are regulated and rated by agencies such as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). For its part, Maplewood Park Place offers an on-site five-star-rated health care center—the highest-possible rating given by CMS.

Can I own my home in a retirement community?

You want to put your hard-earned home equity and assets to work, so it’s fair to wonder if you can own your own home at one of the retirement communities in the DC area. Selecting a rental retirement community or 55+ community does not coincide with home ownership; however, some retirees enjoy the flexibility rentals allow despite the lack of long-term equity potential.

By contrast, most CCRCs operate on an entrance-fee model, which is related to securing health care services for the future. Many view this exchange of an entrance fee (typically through the proceeds from the sale of one’s house) for the guarantee of future care as an agreeable one. But that still doesn’t fulfill the desire to truly own one’s own home within a retirement community.

Fortunately, some retirement communities offer a genuine home ownership model. Maplewood Park Place operates as a co-op where owner residents maintain equity and control over their home in Maplewood, as well as participate in the governance of the broader community. They also enjoy all the benefits of owning a home, such as tax advantages and the ability to include their residence as an asset in their estate or trust.

Plus, owner residents at Maplewood are empowered to fully customize their homes rather than being limited to paint colors, flooring, or a countertop or two as in most other communities. Finally, if an owner resident decides to relocate, he or she can re-sell their co-op and will reap the benefit of the return of their investment and any increase in his or her home’s value.

Although they’re relatively uncommon among the retirement communities in DC and the greater Washington metro area, options like Maplewood Park Place combine the security of a CCRC with the equity and tax advantages of a traditional real estate investment.

Do I have to worry about maintaining my home?

Owning a home is one thing, but taking care of it is an entirely different consideration. The near-constant upkeep and maintenance are what lead many seniors to consider the retirement communities in the DC area, and for good reason.

Across the board, most rental, 55+, and CCRC options provide a maintenance-free living experience. And to avoid confusion, even though you own your home at Maplewood Park Place, the community handles all the maintenance and upkeep (the best of both worlds).

Maintenance services (including landscaping, regular housekeeping, semiannual deep-cleaning, security, concierge, transportation, and more) are typically covered by the monthly service fee or included in the monthly rent, depending on the type of community.

Although that’s usually where the benefits end for a 55+ or rental community, CCRCs also add in life-enhancing amenities such as dining, recreational and social activities, cultural programming, and much more—an important distinction when evaluating the daily lifestyle you seek. With so much included, CCRC living gives you more time to do what you enjoy, while empowering you to truly connect with others.

This is especially true at Maplewood Park Place, a tight-knit community with a co-op structure. Members of this community are eager to connect, and they’re ready to welcome you.

To learn more about what sets Maplewood Park Place apart, or to connect with one of our friendly and knowledgeable sales counselors, click here or call 301-571-7444 today.