October 20, 2020 — Jaw-dropping amenities like indoor therapy pools, art galleries, and rooftop decks overlooking the Brooklyn Bridge. Lifecare options along with concierges and celebrity chefs. For those who crave the bright lights and constant stimulation of an urban retirement, many new luxury options are coming. Expensive, yes, but what an interesting lifestyle for those with the means to pay for it! After all, if you have it, why not spend some of it to get the most out of your remaining years?
Retirement in a big city is not for everyone, but there is a small segment that really wants it. New York City, which has many older people but not that many senior retirement living choices, is adding a raft of them in the next year. One of the newest and fanciest is the Watermark at Brooklyn Heights. Converted from a luxury hotel built in 1928, it retains many grand features from that earlier era. For example, the former grand ballroom is now a dazzling restaurant. The Watermark community offers a full range of care from independent living to assisted living to nursing care. There are 275 units. Developers have included an amazing 50,000 sq. ft. of amenity spaces that incorporate three restaurants, a pool, and art gallery. A rooftop deck overlooks the Brooklyn Bridge. Watermark told the New York Times that it looked for 2 decades to find an urban spot like this. The reporting was in an article about “New Senior Housing Towers Coming to New York“.
September 23, 2020 — Always wanted to live on the water? Have a boat or thinking about getting one? Turns out there are a ton of places to retire where you can not only live on the water, but enjoy your community’s own private marina too. This article will show just 12 of the almost 150 communities in the Topretirements database that are on the water and include a marina as part of their amenity package. You can use “Advanced Search” to refine communities by State or other parameter. You will find many more exciting communities to choose from there.
Some of the communities who list these characteristics are fairly modest, offering a small dock or boat launch with a location on a lake or river. Here we tried to concentrate on developments where living on the water with your boat is either the main attraction or a very big deal. If we miss some that you think should be included, please let us know in the Comments section below.
September 16, 2020 — It is clear that consumer tastes are fickle, and that sure seems to apply to what retirees are looking for in an active adult or 55+ community. Certainly that is what we found when we analyzed our visitor logs from the first 8 months of 2020, looking for the 15 most popular communities in the Southeastern states of Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina. This article complements a similar one for the Southwest: “15 Most Popular Active Adult Communities in the Southwest for 2019“.
Changes from the 2019 list aplenty. More than half of the communities on this list are new to it this year, which is pretty exciting (see links below to last year’s list). All of the top 5 are repeat winners. The review for the most popular community on this list, Amelia Island Plantation, was viewed 1,330 times during that period. As usual there are several “no-brainer” choices like The Villages and Solivita, both located in Florida. Some winners were a bit of a mystery, and that includes The Cottages at Lakeview Road in Warner, GA. Nalcrest is a speciality community that caters only to retired postal letter carriers. Florida had 9 winners with the rest coming from Georgia (4) and South Carolina (2). Note that most, but not all, of these communities are designated 55 plus. But the majority of the residents in all of these communities would probably meet that qualification.
While these are the 15 most popular active adult communities on this site for FL, GA, and SC, they might not necessarily be the “best”. There are thousands of choices that might work for you, but you won’t even find out about them unless you look around. If this list does anything for you we hope it expands your horizons.
The most popular 55+ communities in the Southeast for 2020
Many, many thanks to the generous 300+ Topretirements Members who took the the time to fill out our survey on retirement community preferences. Your input confirms much of our past research and offers fresh perspective on others. Once again your favorite amenity was walking trails. You also wrote in almost 200 illuminating comments – we just wish we had room to highlight every one – because they all offer a unique perspective.
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 134 comments made to Question 10, “Please describe your ideal retirement community”. Here are some of the top takeaways from the survey:
June 17, 2020 — Following up on the theme of a few weeks ago, how stereotypes affect where you might retire, we thought it would be interesting to highlight the amazing range of active adult, 55+, and baby boomer appropriate communities that exist. While to many people all active communities seem alike (clubhouse, golf course, tennis courts, and walking trails), there is, in fact, quite a range. The samples we have selected here are just a few of the many communities added to the Topretirements database since March (we generally add about 6 per week). We tried in these selections for a range of styles and locations across the country.
Our point: Not all retirement communities fit in the same bucket. We encourage you to do a little exploring to make sure you don’t miss one that might be exactly what you might are looking for.
Some interesting choices
The selections on this list cover a wide range of types. There are several traditional active adult communities (golf courses, etc.), intergenerational, independent living communities, independent living within a CCRC, Traditional Neighborhood Developments, urban rental loft apartments, Eco-Friendly, mixed use (commercial and residential combined), a cooperative development, and another with different ownership options including fractional ownership.
Carolina Park – Mt. Pleasant, SC. A master-planned community just a few miles from Charleston, this development offers several neighborhoods in a park-like setting. The community is connected through a network of pedestrian walkways, with The Residents Club as the central gathering place.
June 10, 2020 — For over 100 years, Florida’s warm winters, soft sandy beaches, and every imaginable kind of place to live has made it a retirement magnet. Some retirees come here as snowbirds for the winter months only, while others jump all the way in, moving to the Sunshine State to become full time residents. However they arrive, Florida is by far the most popular place in the U.S. for retirement. This article highlights the 14 most popular active adult and 55+ communities in Florida, as measured by visitor interest at Topretirements.com. You can see how the list changed by comparing the 2017 version of this article.
May 27, 2020 — Any time active communities come up in a discussion HOAs and their fees are always a big focus. For many retirees, avoiding those fees or finding the lowest ones can become an obsession. So, is there a central depository of the fees at the thousands of active adult and 55+ communities around the country? Alas, the simple answer is no.
But that flat response does not mean that you cannot discover what you need to know before making an important purchase like buying a home. Ongoing HOA fees and assessments are key to your decision. First, let’s talk a little bit about what kind of charges you might expect if you move into a community with a Home Owners Association (HOA) or Community Association (CA).
May 12, 2020 — Not everyone wants to retire in the Sunbelt. One reason is that people who already live in the northeast, midwest, or northwest are reluctant to retire far from where they live now, and would prefer to stay close to the familiar, including their relatives and friends. To help those folks looking for an active community in the northeast or northwest, we went exploring in the Topretirements visitor files for the last six months to find the communities that seem most popular on this site.
The results are a combination of big surprises and pretty much what we expected. No big surprise, Delaware ran away with in this “most popular” sweepstakes with 6 communities in the top 20. Virginia netted 3 places, and Pennsylvania 3. The biggest surprises were a community on a lake in Canada and a Lutheran community near Fort Wayne, Indiana; the popularity for which are not clear. Almost all of these most popular, non-Sunbelt active communities were in the northeast, plus one in Idaho and another in Oregon. It was a bit of surprise not to see a better showing from communities in New Jersey, which has many large developments to choose from.
April 29, 2020 — The names used by retiree-oriented developments to describe their properties cause so much confusion. In the old days life was simpler – we had old folks homes, retirement homes, and nursing homes. We understood those terms meant, often describing warehouses for the elderly and infirm. Today those concepts have evolved and expanded – now we have communities that are 55+, active adult, retirement, independent living, assisted living, and Continuing Care Retirement Communities. Overseas there are retirement villages. Fortunately today’s choices offer a much richer retirement than in days of old!
Since there is so much confusion and misunderstanding about the two categories most new retirees are interested in, 55+ and active adult communities, we will concentrate on those here.
April 19, 2020 — We were curious – which towns and cities offer the greatest variety of 55+ and active adult communities? To answer that question, we have prepared this report, which we hope will be useful in helping refine your search for the perfect active community. The numbers used here come from the Topretirements.com database of 4,123 active adult, 55+, and independent living communities. What is most amazing about this report is the astonishing variety of community types available – anyone who thinks that retirement living options are all the same is sadly mistaken. It also says a lot about where people and the real estate market agree about where to retire.
Sunbelt prevails – and a surprising winner.
As might be expected, states and towns in the Sunbelt tend to have the most active communities. Florida is jam-packed with them – in our FL Directory, which has reviews of almost 1,000 active adult or 55+ communities, 270 of those are clustered in just 11 towns and cities. Arizona, California, Nevada, the Carolinas, and Texas have thousands of communities among them. Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Colorado represent non-Sunbelt states with huge numbers of retirement living choices. The biggest surprise was the city that came in 4th place for the most communities – the City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia.