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How Are Life Plan Communities and Active Adult (55+) Communities Similar?

Two senior women lean against each other while they laugh

You’ve done it. You’ve decided to trade in some of your household chores for more freedom to do the things you love by moving to a retirement community. Congratulations! Now the only question is, which type? As you’ve explored your options, you’ve probably come across terms like 55+ or active adult community and Life Plan Community (among others). So, why are there so many different terms that seem to describe the same lifestyle? How are they similar and how are they different?

To help you select the best fit for your lifestyle and plans, here’s a brief overview of each.

What is a 55+ Community?

This type of community is designed for adults ages 55 and better who are looking for a low-maintenance or maintenance-free lifestyle. At a 55+ community, you typically buy your residence, and, like other real estate purchases, the price of your residence depends on its size and desirability. While there might be slight differences between 55+ communities, here are their major pros and cons:


  • Active social life: Your neighbors will be of a similar age and share similar interests and backgrounds.
  • Amenities: Communities typically offer access to nearby amenities like tennis courts, golf course, swimming pool, walking trails, fitness center, etc.
  • Financial options: While 55+ communities don’t have large upfront entrance fees, the purchase price of your residence will be comparable to area home values.


  • Household chores: You’ll be responsible for your home’s indoor maintenance, upkeep and housekeeping.
  • Dining: While there may be on-site dining options available to you, they probably won’t be included in your monthly fees.
  • Additional costs: You’ll be responsible for real estate taxes, homeowners’ insurance, HOA fees (or similar) to cover the cost of outdoor maintenance and services and amenities. Also, some utilities may or may not be included.
  • No on-site health services: If you or your spouse ever need care, you may have to move again or pay for their care at another community, in addition to your 55+ residence.

What is a Life Plan Community?

At first glance, a Life Plan Community looks and feels a lot like a 55+ community. They both might offer the same or similar amenities. However, Life Plan Communities offer added on-site health care services that allow you to age in place. Also, instead of paying additional real estate taxes, residents of Life Plan Communities prepay for future health care needs (which may come with tax benefits). It’s always a good idea to consult with your tax advisor on your individual situation before deciding.


  • All-inclusive lifestyle: A monthly fee covers amenities, wellness programs, activities and dining.
  • Maintenance-free living: You’ll no longer have to worry about inside or outside maintenance, repairs or upkeep. Life Plan Communities even provide housekeeping
  • Active social life: Live among active adults of a similar age and interests who want to enjoy life to the fullest just like you.
  • On-site health services: Never change communities again because of future health care needs.
  • Tax breaks: A portion of your entrance and monthly fee could be tax-deductible. Consult with your tax advisor.
  • Refundability: A portion of your entrance fee may be partially or even fully refundable to you or your estate.


  • Unneeded care: There’s a chance you could pay for care you don’t end up needing. However, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 70% of seniors 65 or older will need some type of long-term care.

Experience the Joy of Our Lifestyle for Yourself

To learn more about the benefits of choosing a Life Plan Community like Freedom Village, join us at an upcoming event or give us a call to schedule a tour.