Guide To Moving Into a Retirement Community In Topeka

Greg Armbruster
Published on August 2, 2019

Guide To Moving Into a Retirement Community In Topeka


Retirement comes at different ages depending on how you have lived your life.  No matter what may happen as you approach retirement, EVERYONE needs to have a plan. You may want to start thinking of the future, the “next season” of your life, when:

  • Your children go to college
  • Your youngest one gets married
  • You survive your spouse
  • You are approaching retirement (18 months or less)

Few things to think about when starting this process:

Remember it is YOUR decision but getting feedback from family and friends MIGHT be helpful.

Make a budget AND ask for advice from a trusted financial advisor.  If you don’t have a financial advisor, ask others who they use.  HOWEVER, you want someone who has experience in helping retirees.

  • Determine at what age would be best for you to start getting social security and how much you will receive each month.
  • You’ll need to have a budget of monthly expenses that will carry you through independent living and into full health care in case you need it.
  • Find out how much equity do I have in my current home.
  • If you qualify for Medicaid assistance, find out when you need to start this process.
  • Will your children be able to help with finances if you need them to?
  • Apply for Medicare several months prior to turning 65.

You’ll need to decide whether you want to stay in your current home or sell.

If you’re considering staying in your home, will your children be able to help physically with repairs and yard work.  Once you are unable to drive, will they be available to take you to doctor’s appointments, and church activities.

  • If you think you’ll sell your home contact a Realtor to help you determine value and what repairs might be needed before selling.


The first thing you need to do is write down every independent living community, assisted living facility and nursing home in your area and break them down in those 3 categories. Then determine what category best fits your situation.

If you choose independent living you might consider a senior living community that has at least two of these categories. That makes it easy to change categories and transition to the next level of care. Here is a list of communities in Topeka that have two or more levels of care.

Then make a list of priorities that you want in your new independent living community, assisted living facility or nursing home.

  • Check to see if pets are allowed
  • What kinds of activities are scheduled
  • If there are exercise facilities such as a swimming pool, a gym or walking path.
  • Is transportation included in the monthly costs?
  • Does the housekeeping services include laundry services?
  • Are guest accommodations available for out of town guests?
  • Is there a month to month lease?  What are the termination terms?
  • What is the policy for cable, utilities and pictures on the walls?

Other things to consider:

  • Make sure the furniture you have selected for your new place will fit.
  • If you have a walker or a wheelchair, check to see if these are allowed to be parked in the hallways and/or will fit into your new living areas.
  • If you need safety rails, make sure these are in the apartment or can be added without additional expense.
  • Check to see if the new place has a safety call system or a daily check in system.

As you research your options: retirement communities or independent/assisted living facilities, think about:

  • Taking a tour of the places that interest you
  • Try to talk with the residents when you visit
  • Eat lunch or dinner at the facility to determine if you like the food choices


  1. Check into cost of renter’s insurance if you have valuables that you want insured.
  2.  Measure each room.  Make or ask for a diagram of each room so you know where windows and doors are located.
  3. Square foot:  Compare the square foot of the potential living space to the square foot of living space where you are currently living.
  4. Start cleaning out closets, basements, garages and other storage areas.  Make three piles:
  • Throw away pile
  • Keep pile – Heirlooms*
  • Give to Kids or to the goodwill

*Put names of each child that wants a special piece.  Remember to keep  decorative items for the new place OR budget for new pieces.

5)  Depending on how much stuff you have you might consider having a tag sale.  People who specialize in tag sales can help you determine this.


Once you move into your new place whether it is a retirement community, independent or assisted living facility or a nursing home, make sure you get involved in the activities that are offered.  Plan to spend at least part of the day with others in your new place.

Most places have a daily routine of certain activities.  Prior to moving in, find out what these activities are so you can decide if this new place is where you want to live.  These activities might include an exercise class or physical therapy every day.  Some places have a coffee club that meets every morning. 

If possible, stay involved with any activities that you were involved in prior to moving to your new place.  You might even volunteer to host the next card party or Bible study at your new place.  If your apartment isn’t big enough to accommodate all of your friends, reserve the activity room.  Most places have a room for their residents to use for this purpose.

THROW A WELCOME PARTY…for yourself.  Reserve a room and invite the residents to come and meet you.  Have some mementos sitting around the room or on tables so that others get to know you.

REALIZE… it will take time to adapt to a new life style.  One of the most important things to remember…DON’T ISOLATE YOURSELF!!

About the Author:

The above article Moving Into a Retirement Community In Topeka was written by Greg and Rene Armbruster of the Armbruster Team at RE/MAX Associates of Topeka. The Armbruster Team are local leaders in Topeka Real Estate, Marketing, and Social Media. You can contact the Armbruster Team at (785) 554-3997 or through this form. They have helped hundreds of people buy and sell homes in the Topeka area for years, and would love the opportunity to help you as well.

Are you thinking about selling your home? They have a passion for listing and selling homes in Topeka and would love the chance to use their expertise in Real Estate, Marketing, and Social Media to help you sell or buy yours! Are you interested in buying a home? Give the Armbruster Team a call. They have helped people buy and sell real estate in the all of the following Topeka School Districts:

Social Media: @ArmbrusterTeam

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