Arizona’s 15 Most Popular Active Adult and 55+ Communities

Category: Active adult communities

October 18, 2017 — The allure of Arizona’s warm winters, mountains, and deserts has made it a retirement magnet for a long time. Although most people who retire here come from the midwest or west of the Mississippi, it also attracts a fair number of retirees from the East. Some retirees come here as snowbirds for the winter months only, while others move to the Grand Canyon State full time. However they come, Arizona is one of the most popular places in the U.S. for retirement. This article highlights the 15 most popular active adult and 55+ communities in Arizona, as measured by visitor interest at Topretirements.com.

We encourage you to use our Arizona Directory of Active Communities to explore the more than 150 active adult and 55+ communities we have reviewed there under 36 towns. You can also use our Advanced Search to find communities by state, size, expense, type of community, (more…)

Posted by Admin on October 17th, 2017

The 15 Most Popular Active Communities in Florida

Category: Active adult communities

October 4, 2017 — The allure of Florida’s warm winters, soft sandy beaches, and every imaginable kind of place to live has made it a retirement magnet for over 100 years. Some retirees come here as snowbirds for the winter months only, while others move to the Sunshine State full-time – lock, stock, and barrel. However they come, Florida is by far the most popular place in the U.S. for retirement. This article highlights the 15 most popular active adult and 55+ communities in Florida, as measured by visitor interest at Topretirements.com.

We encourage you to use our Florida Directory of Active Communities to explore the more than 250 active adult and 55+ communities we have reviewed there under almost 100 towns. You can also use our Advanced Search to find communities by state, size, expense, type of community, amenities, etc. – you’ll be sure to find what you are looking for.

A geographically diverse state
In many people’s minds Florida is one big swamp or runaway, cookie cutter development. But in reality it is many different areas that look and feel (more…)

Posted by Admin on October 3rd, 2017

Are There Big Differences in West Coast vs. East Coast 55+ Communities?

Category: Active adult communities

August 2, 2017 — Last week we reported that for the first time ever, 2 towns in the Western part of the U.S. came out at the top of our “100 Most Popular Places to Retire List for 2017“. We found that to be pretty big news, particularly since: a) more people live in the Eastern part of the U.S. (58% in 2011), and b) we assume that more folks in the East consider migrating in retirement because their winter weather is worse. 2017’s winners could be a one year anomaly, or it is possible it is part of a long term trend – we are not sure.

That question brings up another aspect of the East vs. West retirement issue. We have long had an assumption, not supported by any data, that the the two parts of the country have quite different types of active adult and 55+ communities. This article will explore that question. But beyond our speculations on the topic, we are really hoping for input from our Members who have spent time visiting or researching active communities in different (more…)

Posted by Admin on August 2nd, 2017

On an HOA Board: Here’s How to Avoid Problems

Category: Active adult communities

May 2, 2017 — If you live in an established 55+ community or an active adult community there is a Homeowners Association (often called Community Associations) in charge. While often maligned, these boards are necessary – somebody has to run the place. Boards need interested and capable people to fulfill that responsibility – and maybe that person is you. This article is based on an association board member orientation provided by David Rogel, Chair of Community Association Litigation for the Miami law firm Becker & Poliakoff (www.bplegal.com). He is the General Counsel for over 200 community associations. Our hope is that our notes of his presentation will help you understand how you and your association can avoid legal trouble, and provide a positive experience for your fellow residents. Note that this article was based on notes taken along with a few minor additions made by your editor; we apologize for any errors we might have introduced.

Fiduciary Duty
If you a board member of an HOA the first thing you need to know is that you have a fiduciary duty to the Association and its members (residents). That means that you have a legal and ethical relationship of trust to the organization and its members. You are in essence responsible for their money and assets, and you must hold their interests above your own.

Avoiding problems
One of the easiest ways for an association to find itself in a lawsuit is to make important decisions with no clear trail as to how it arrived at them. Attorney Rogel covered a number of potential problem areas along with the steps associations can take to avoid them. He pointed out that your underlying condo/association documents control most activities in your association. As a board member you must read and follow those.

Meetings/meetings/meetings
Proper notice needs to be given of meetings so (more…)

Posted by Admin on May 2nd, 2017

17 Largest Active Adult Communities in U.S

Category: Active adult communities

April 10, 2017 — Retiring to a very large active adult community offers a unique experience to baby boomers. Developments with over 10,000 residents almost always provide an amazing variety of amenities and lifestyle options. They often have hundreds of clubs and dizzying choices for non-stop activities every day. Populated as they are with people of all kinds of backgrounds and interests, you would have to work hard NOT to make a lot of great new friends.

Exact figures are hard to come by, but we estimate that there are at least 20 active communities in the U.S. with more than 10,000 residents, and at least 10 that have more than 10,000 homes (some communities might be below that now but have plans to go over). Because of their size they feature a range of recreational and social options that smaller communities generally cannot provide. Here are some of what they typically offer:

– Wide choice of sports suitable for all ages of retirees (multiple golf courses and tennis courts, swimming pools, softball, pickleball, bocci, etc.)
– Active social program with planned events on a daily schedule
– Wide array of clubs to match many different interests. Sometimes there are hundreds of different clubs
– Planned activities to enjoy such as crafts, woodworking, arts, singing, theater, etc.
– Classes and opportunities for life-long learning on campus
– Clubhouses, community centers, ballrooms, and performance venues that bring people and talent together
– Many of these communities have restaurants, stores, medical facilities, (more…)

Posted by Admin on April 9th, 2017

Don’t Worry Retiring Boomers – You Can Retire to Margaritaville

Category: Active adult communities

March 11, 2017 — Jimmy Buffett fans, not known for worrying, can keep relaxing. In fact they can now find that last shaker of salt in their very own active adult community. The first one of many to come, dubbed Latitude Margaritaville, will go online next year in Daytona Beach, Florida. Press releases say the sales center there will be open later this year with the first models available in early 2018.

Topretirements must have seen 10 press reports about this new community – there is a lot of excitement about it. Here is what John Cohlan, chief executive officer of Margaritaville said about the new communities: “With Minto’s (the developer) expertise in creating master planned developments and Margaritaville’s inherent ability to deliver fun and escapism, Latitude Margaritaville has the exact coordinates for those looking to live the Margaritaville (more…)

Posted by Admin on March 10th, 2017

Jay Michaels Retirement Tour Bus: 5 Years Later

Category: Active adult communities

February 8, 2017 — This article is the 3rd in a series written by Jay Michaels on his pursuit of the perfect retirement community. Now, five years after the second installment, he and his wife Jane have gone a long way (and then again not so far). Here is their update (links to Parts 1 and 2, both highly recommended for their site visit and decision process details, are below).

Jay Michael’s tour bus ran out of gas
Several years ago I wrote about our travels to find a new place to live after my retirement, and these were published on the Top Retirements blog. My wife and I had travelled thousands of miles and visited over 60 communities intermittently over a two year period from 2011-2013. We finally made a decision in 2013 on where to retire, and enough time has passed for me to now summarize our decision and how it has worked out for us.

Where did we end up?
My brother gets a laugh from people when he tells them I travelled for two years investigating the best place to retire and picked Cleveland, Ohio, as my destination. As you will read below, however, Cleveland has some really big and nice surprises, and I feel its reputation is not accurate or justified in many ways.

The place we picked is a golf community in Avon Lake, Ohio which is about (more…)

Posted by Admin on February 7th, 2017

Best Way to Visit an Active Adult Community? Advice from the Pros

Category: Active adult communities

January 31, 2017 — We think a lot of people looking for a place to retire get intimidated when they start to visit active adult and 55+ communities, particularly if they roll up to a gated entrance and face a guard with a clipboard. They might think, “Gosh, maybe we don’t belong here”, or, “I don’t want to go into the sales office because they are going to give me a hard sell”. So we asked some of the professionals we know, advertisers at Topretirements all, how they would advise baby boomers who want to visit and find out more about a community. While we were at it, we tacked on a few other questions about what makes their communities unique, desired amenities, and how they see the current market and the future. We hope you enjoy it.

The questions
The format here is that we will print out each question, and then give the answers from each of our 4 active adult community executives. Thanks to them for taking the time to share their (more…)

Posted by Admin on January 31st, 2017

How People Who Live in HOAs Really Feel About Them

Category: Active adult communities

Nov. 18, 2016 — Ask a group of retirees what they think about living in an active adult or 55+ community and you will get a wide range of responses (as we did in our recent Member Survey). Most people seem to think they are OK. But a common anecdote you will hear from a certain subset of folks is that they cannot/will not to live in a community that has a Community Association (also known as Home Owner Associations – HOAs). Their attitude seems to be that HOAs are a loathsome bunch, dominated by cliques on power trips. In this article we will explore attitudes towards HOAs as reported in some actual surveys, as well as why they sometimes generate negative opinions. In this we were fortunate to receive input from Joe West, CEO of the Community Associations Network, the largest free website of information for people on HOA boards.

Actually, most residents are positive about their HOAs
By large majorities, most of the people who actually (more…)

Posted by Admin on November 18th, 2016

Walking Trails, Single Level Living, and Social Interaction Top Likes for 55+ Communities

Category: Active adult communities

November 9, 2016 — Many, many thanks to the 756 Topretirements Members who took the the time to fill out our most recent survey on retirement community preferences. You are good people – thanks!

Your input confirms some of our hypotheses and offers fresh perspective on others. One surprise was your favorite amenity – walking trails! You made hundreds of excellent comments to several of the questions – we just wish we had room to highlight every comment because they all offer a unique perspective. Here is one, describing the type of community someone is looking for, that is fairly representative: “Large, walkable, active community with urban area nearby for culture, restaurants etc. A Clubhouse with social clubs will make it easy to make new friends.”

Highlights
Everyone has their own unique take on retirement, that much is obvious from these results. That is particularly true if you look at the 327 comments made to Question 10, “Please describe your ideal retirement community”. Here are some (more…)

Posted by Admin on November 8th, 2016