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What Is The 80/20 Rule in 55+ Communities | Simple Guide

What Is The 80/20 Rule in 55+ Communities | Simple Guide

Recently, this concept has been applied to 55+ communities in order to determine what you should focus on if you want your community members to get the most out of their experience. To find out What Is the 80/20 Rule in 55+ Communities, read our post!

The 80/20 rule is a common law of the universe that states that 20% of input has 80% of impact. It can be applied to many things, including time management and communication skills.

What Is the 80/20 Rule in 55+ Communities?

Before moving, it’s important to understand the rules and regulations of an active adult community.

A community may not be a perfect 55+ community unless 80% of the units are occupied by at least one person who is at least 55 years old. The 20% is added to be sure in case some who are younger than 55 wants to be part of the community.

Communities will try to maintain age restrictions for all of their households, and depends on the community. Some 55+ communities have relaxed their requirements to allow adult children living with their parents.

However, the age restriction will be the same for all communities, so you can relax and enjoy being around other people.

As long as a community is verified to be providing housing for occupants over 55 years old, and has an 80% occupancy rate of those that meet the age restriction requirement, then they can use 20% of its space in any way legally.

What Is The 80/20 Rule in 55+ Communities | Simple Guide

What is HOPA?

HOPA, or The Housing for Older Persons Act of 1995, was a federal law that defined what qualifies as housing for older persons.

In the case of 55+ communities, it means being able to occupy at least 80% of your space with people who are over the age of 55 years old. Some states have stricter rules than others which may be why some communities can’t qualify under HOPA while others do.

HOPA covers all “housing facilities” that are for older persons, including but not limited to: rental housing complexes, common interest developments (CIDs), and continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs).

What About 55+ Communities That Don’t Qualify Under HOPA?

It can be frustrating to find a community you love, only to find out it doesn’t fall under the HOPA guidelines.

To qualify for this exemption, a housing facility must have at least 80% of its units occupied by individuals who are 55 years old or older and comply with all requirements that apply to age discrimination in federally assisted housing programs.

There is some good news though! Some communities that don’t qualify under HOPA still go by the same rules.

If you find a community with 20% of its units occupied by at least one person who is 55 years old, then it may still be able to fall under this exemption for age discrimination purposes if they do not discriminate against other persons on the basis of familial status (i.e. having children).

However, just because a 55+ community or other housing facility is required to comply with the Fair Housing Act doesn’t necessarily mean they will enforce its rules and regulations equally in all cases.

It’s important for you to check out any agreements that are outlined by your specific community before signing them!

What Are the Top Things You Should Focus On in Your 55+ Community?

So, now that you know about the 80/20 rule and how it applies to 55+ communities, what should you focus on when looking for a community of your own?

Well, the 20% are these factors:

  • Number of children in the community
  • Condition and age of existing homes for sale or rent
  • Community budget, including amenities offered to residents such as golf courses, swimming pools, etc.

Additionally: If your home is not on a fixed income you may want to consider living in an active adult community with a large number of renters . This can help keep your monthly costs down.

In the case that you have a child who needs to live with you, then check out 55+ communities that allow children under certain guidelines!

There are plenty of options for everyone in every situation when it comes to finding a great community and living there happily ever after.

What Is The 80/20 Rule in 55+ Communities | Simple Guide

What is the Fair Housing Act?

The Fair Housing Act forbids discrimination in housing based on race, sex, status, religion, nationality and disability. It also makes it illegal to refuse to rent or sell housing on the basis of any one of these factors.

Landlords, real estate firms, and other providers of housing are not permitted to discriminate against their tenants.

The act also gives certain rights to people with disabilities.

However, this law does not apply if the building or community qualifies as housing for older persons (55+). There are other laws that protect senior citizens from discrimination in housing.

Age-restricted Communities

The Fair Housing Act does not apply to age-restricted communities.

A housing facility is considered restricted if it meets both of the following criteria: At least 80% of its units are occupied by at least one person who is 55 years old or older and The facility posts a policy that makes clear its intent to operate as an age-restricted community.

In this case, the acts rules about discrimination still apply when it comes to familial status and disability for housing facilities in which at least 80% of units are occupied by 55+ individuals.

The Fair Housing Act also doesn’t protect people under 18 years old from discrimination in housing.

There are other laws that protect people under 18 years old from discrimination, though they apply to all age groups and not just those who are 55 or older.

To be sure about the age of the occupants, there must be a proper process in place to verify that the age of the occupants is at least 55 years old.

Benefits of Living in an Age-restricted 55+ Community

As you plan for your retirement, one of the many things you may want to consider is where you are going to retire. The average age in the United States is around 47 years old, which means that more and more people are looking into active adult communities or 55+ communities.

So what exactly do these age-restricted communities offer? Here are four benefits of living in a 55+ community:

What Is The 80/20 Rule in 55+ Communities | Simple Guide

1. Socialization opportunities abound.

The social life in an age-restricted community is one of its biggest selling points. There are always things going on, from card games and golf tournaments to happy hours and group dinners. You never have to worry about finding something to do or where to go when you don’t feel like staying in.

2. There are many amenities that can be enjoyed.

These communities often feature different kinds of health facilities, such as gyms, pools, and spas. They will typically have movie rooms and game rooms for entertainment purposes, along with special events to help bring the community together.

3. There are plenty of ways to get around.

Typically, these communities will be equipped with walking trails and other features such as golf carts that make it easy for anyone who is interested in joining the community, but is not quite able to manage a long walk on a regular basis.

4. It’s going to cost less than living elsewhere.

Since these communities are designed to accommodate younger seniors, property prices will be a lot lower than in other communities around the country. This means that you could own a brand-new home in a 55+ community for less than what it would cost elsewhere.

5. Expenses remain low during retirement.

Healthcare and housing costs are among the leading expenses for retirees, so living in an age-restricted community can help to keep these expenses down significantly. There is also a lot of support available at 55+ communities, which may allow you to lower some of your other monthly spending as well.

6. You’ll have access to continuing care.

Most age-restricted communities will have a section that is specifically designed for residents who may need more assistance as they age. This could be in the form of assisted living, memory care, or nursing care, depending on the needs of the individual.

7. There is a sense of community.

One of the best things about age-restricted communities is that there is a built-in sense of community. Everyone there is in a similar life stage, so it’s easy to make friends and connect with people on a deeper level.

8. You’ll have more time for yourself.

Although there are plenty of social opportunities at 55+ communities, residents are also given their own time to do as they please. This means that you could enjoy spending your free time catching up on reading, working on a project, or even keeping up with hobbies.

There are many benefits to living in an age-restricted community, whether you’re just starting out your retirement or are already well into it. If you’re looking for a place where you can have fun, socialize, and live life to the fullest, then a 55+ community is definitely something to consider.


As you can see, there are many things to consider when it comes to 55+ communities and the benefits they offer. If this is something that interests you or someone close to you, then be sure to look into what’s available in your area today.