Active Retirement Communities - What and Why?

Also know as 55+ communities, age qualified community,  lifestyle communities or retirement community, Active Adult Communities are planned communities that offer homes and community features that are attracted to 55+ adults.

Many are master planned communities that have a clubhouse or lifestyle center with a good many activities, sometimes with indoor and outdoor swimming pools, exercise facilities, craft rooms, demonstration kitchens,  Wall St. Rooms, decks and patios for gathering, and more. Homes recently build in Active Adult Communities are just what the 55+ adult is looking for.

Usually build with quality materials, low maintenance and energy efficient, master on main level, little to no steps, open floor plans in a resort type setting. Most are an age qualified community meaning at least one family member is age 55 and over. The housing style can be anything and usually there are a mixture of types and sizes from single family homes, town homes,  condos manufactured homes.  Other newer varieties like gold homes, villas, cottages are some times offered.

>No you do not have to be retired to live in an Active Adult Community. Many of us Boomers will be employed full or part time for the foreseeable future and almost everyone has a home office these days. Many pre-retirees are moving to these new active adult communities.

The benefits of living in an Active Adult Community include:

Maintenance free living. Most of the Active Adult Communities have home owner associations which take care of the landscaping, community amenities, etc.

Everything is right there. We just finished touring Village of Deaton Creek in North Georgia, a Del Webb 55+ community. They have a 37,000 square foot club house that looks like the Ritz Carlton. Everything is right there, indoor and outdoor pools, huge beautiful weight/exercise rooms, card rooms, game table, billiards, demo kitchen for classes, crafts room, many places to lounge, many social activities, and more.

Staying close to where I live now. Many of these active adult communities are being located on the outskirts or easy reach of all large metro areas. For most that is within 100 miles of where they now live. This allows one to stay close to old friends and family. They are aging in place even though they may be moving nearby.  It is comforting to stay close to home in familiar surroundings. Proximity to family and friends is important.  Boomers can find a suitable community without having to leave their current friends and associates, children and grandchildren. Some are employed in the area and can still maintain their job, full or part time.

Change of Pace and Enhance Your Lifestyle. - These communities will allow you new experiences, new scenery, new activities while a living situation where all your fellow neighbors are practically at the same stage of life as you are and have similar backgrounds and share the same interests that you do.

Activities for the specific interests of 55+ adults. They are called "Active" Adult Communities for a reason. The club house or as some call it the Amenities Center is the hub of organized and unorganized social activities.  Tennis, golf and clubhouse are sometimes present. Many people moving to the Active Adult Communities are planning to be more physically active once they move to their new home

Active Lifestyle - tremendous number of lifestyle amenities including indoor/outdoor pools, exercise programs and equipment , health and wellness programs, tennis courts, golf, walking trials with many acres set aside to be natural. And that is just outside. Indoors, there is full selection of indoor recreation, including crafts rooms and classes, arts, hobby shops, kitchen demo and cooking classes, theatre groups, musical programs, and professional entertainment groups which regularly tour the communities.

Similar Social Interests. Activities do sound appealing and gives the opportunities to meet new friends of similar ages and interests. The proximity of the neighborhood makes get togethers easier. Active adult communities have an immediate sense of community.

Livable Home Designs. Better design options. They make houses better today.  Homes in an Active Adult Community are more comfortable, easier and safer for independent living for any age persons. Homes in active adult communities are built with livable designs in mind. This may be a pleasant change from your current home, which was build before such things were thought of. Building with the latest advances in materials and energy saving technology, systems in a new structure may provide trouble free service for many years. Yes it is possible to purchase a home without sacrificing quality, square footage or the other desirable features you currently enjoy while upgrading to a more livable home which is enjoyable, efficient and affordable. You are not downsizing to a lower lifestyle, just the opposite, which surprising a lot of people.

Livable Community Design Easy access to all common areas and to activities. Proximity to shopping, churches, library. A full-service restaurant on property,  It would nice to walk from my front door within a block and get coffee and breakfast. Gourmet dining within walking distance if not on the property, at least near the entrance.

Resort Settings. A scenic location and a neighborhood feel. Many have mountain, desert, river, lake or waterfront views. How you you like to live in a resort-designed community year round. Feel like you are on vacation all the time. Vistas and scenery can really add something especially when you can enjoy every day.

Safety and Security - Many active adult communities have a gated entrance and a security patrols. These communities are generally safer. Health facilities are usually nearby as well as on-premise medical care.

Exciting New Concept. There is a new spirit and attitude about life for people in their 50's through 80's. Someone said "It is like going back to college again." You can see it in the faces touring the model home parks in the new Active Adult Communities. By all accounts this concept is a winner. Active adult Communities' popularity is rising. Visit a community nearby and take a look yourself.

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20 Sep 2016

By By Robert Fowler