Learn & Grow/Independent Living/Independent Living Community Must-Haves
Independent Living

Independent Living Community Must-Haves

Choosing where to spend your retirement years is a big decision. As you begin your research, you might notice many senior living communities have a long list of amenities and benefits you can enjoy. With so much information, it can be a challenge to determine what’s the most important. Luckily, with this list you can narrow down your choices to include your unique must-haves for an independent living community. 

What is an Independent Living Community?

If you have spent time searching for retirement communities, one term you’ve likely come across is “independent living.” Independent living communities like Querencia allow residents to live in their own private residence and enjoy the freedom to choose how they spend their days.  

On top of that, residents have access to the community’s amenities and services. Team members are there to support your goals and passions so you can live your ideal lifestyle and get the most out of every day. Independent living is like living year-round at a resort. Everyday maintenance and housekeeping duties are often included in your monthly fees, as is access to transportation and on-site fitness classes and events. 

Figuring Out Your Must-Haves for a Retirement Community

With no shortage of options, figuring out where to start with your community search can seem like a steep climb. Some of your must-haves may be easy to articulate. If you want to enjoy a daily swim, you will want to choose a community with a pool. If you want extra space for a home office or craft room, you will want a community that offers two-bedroom options. However, once you have determined the initial essentials, what’s next? 

Here are some suggestions to help you make your decision.

  • Take a tour. Experiencing the community for yourself is a key part of choosing a community. While a community may say online that it offers chef-prepared meals from upscale dining venues or a state-of-the-art wellness center, you won’t have an idea of what that truly means until you enjoy a meal there or see the wellness center. 
  • Evaluate reputation. While each individual’s experience will be different, researching a community’s online reputation can give you an overall sense of its strengths and weaknesses. Other areas to evaluate include how long the community has been in operation, team member retention and community accreditations. 
  • Trusted input. There’s a tremendous amount of value in getting a second opinion. While the decision of where to live is ultimately yours to make, trusted family and friends can provide perspective. They may also offer additional considerations that may not have occurred to you.

Additional Tips for Finding the Right Retirement Community

Finding the right retirement community is even more involved than choosing the right residential home. This is because you aren’t just choosing a residence, you are also selecting a community that supports the lifestyle you want to enjoy. Aspects of the community to evaluate are the amenities and resources available to support your goals, and the values and preferences of existing residents, as well as the level of professionalism displayed by the community as a whole.   

Here are some tips on which factors to keep in mind as you examine these communities.


What does retirement look like for you? Is it about easy access to the beach? Do you want to go to your grandkids’ soccer games on weekends? Depending on how you expect to spend your days, location will help you make many of your initial decisions. For most of us, proximity to friends and family is one of the most important deciding factors in choosing a community. For others, leaving brutally cold northern winters behind for sunnier and more temperate destinations like Querencia in Austin, Texas are key.


A careful examination of one’s finances, expenses and projected income is a necessity when choosing the right community. All of us want to ensure that our years of working and financial planning will see us through for the long-term. In addition to comparing your current cost of living with that of the community, you will want to consider what is included in your monthly fees. When costs such as housekeeping, transportation, utilities and meals are included in the monthly fees, it can simplify your expenses. Also ensure you understand if an entrance fee is required, and know what happens to it in the event of your death.

Care Options

Even if you don’t need care now, your community choice should factor in your future needs. Many communities feature a number of health services ranging from memory care to skilled nursing. The availability of different levels of care on the same site brings with it a wealth of convenience.  For instance, on-site care means a reduction in transportation costs and the disruption that may occur if you needed to move to another community with a higher level of care. 

Personal Preference

Research is vital when selecting the right community, but in the end, it’s important to follow your instincts. You want the community you choose to feel comfortable and inviting. It should be a place that enables you to not only enjoy life, but to thrive. Seek out information about dining venues, group activities and social opportunities that the community may offer. Remember that you will be spending many years here, and every detail matters.  

Schedule a Tour at Querencia

Querencia is a senior living community located in the beautiful Texas Hill Country, just a short drive from downtown Austin. We provide residents with an upscale living experience, pairing the comforts of home with unparalleled hospitality. Our dedicated team is here to support every resident in accomplishing their goals and being their truest self. 

Though we can tell you about what Querencia has to offer and what makes our community so special, it’s best experienced in-person. Contact us today to schedule a tour and learn why we’re one of the most celebrated communities in the Lone Star State.

Related Stories