Showcase Listing

Twin Oaks is a 55+ active adult community located in sunny Bradenton, Florida, and brimming with serenity and charm. Our private, pet-fri...

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Everything you need to live life to its fullest is now in Peachtree City. With Kolter Homes’ award-winning active adult community, Cressw...

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Showcase Listing

Reflections on Silver Lake is a popular 55+ Manufactured Home and RV Community in Highlands County, Florida, offering a choice of lifesty...

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Showcase Listing

Birchwood at Brambleton is an exciting new community for active adults 55+ located in the heart of Loudoun County, and is intentionally d...

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Showcase Listing

Life at Heritage Shores is full of amenities, activities and social opportunities. When you live here, each day can be as active or laid ...

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The 12 Largest Active Adult Communities in the East – They’re Big!

Category: Active adult communities

August 17, 2021 — There are active adult communities everywhere, and most have all kinds of great activities and amenities. And then there are the really large active communities, those with almost 10,000, or even over 130,000 residents. As for the popularity of really large communities, The Villages, the grandaddy of all, just showed up (again) as the fastest growing Metro in the U.S. So obviously, they are doing something right for a certain segment of the population.

These super communities offer a truly amazing variety of amenities and lifestyle options. Many have hundreds of clubs and a dizzying number of choices for non-stop activities every day. The problem there is not finding something to do on a given day, rather it is narrowing down the choices.

Exact figures are hard to come by, but we estimate that there are at least 10 active communities in the eastern U.S. with more than 10,000 residents. If you know of some that we have overlooked, please let us know about them! 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, etc. on the premises
– Golf carts are usually permitted on internal roads – many people rely on them for their daily transportation needs
– Not all of the communities we list here are exclusively for adults 55+. Some are open to residents of all ages and even have schools for the children that live there. But some have distinct 55+ neighborhoods within them.

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Posted by Admin on August 17th, 2021

When Amenity-Lite Is the Answer

Category: Active adult communities

August 2, 2021 — You have seen the glossy brochures and websites with photos of smiling couples relaxing by the pool, or tooling along in a golf cart. They sure make it look like everyone is having the time of their lives! In the real world, however, not everyone is looking for a community where the list of amenities goes on and on – big clubhouses, fancy golf courses, pickleball pavilions, hundreds of clubs, activity directors, marinas, etc. Although the amenities are what attract many baby boomers, many people just simply don’t want these extras, especially if it means paying for something they don’t tend to use.

That’s exactly what Pamela was looking for a few years ago when she wrote to Topretirements with this request: “Please consider writing an article for people who don’t want to live in an amenity-rich community, and how frustrating it is trying to buy a home because that’s all that is being built? I’d love your perspective on this dilemma and any suggestions you may have.” Pamela wrote a lot more to explain her issue and asked for input from us and her fellow Members. Wow, then, the Comments rolled in – 60 in all! We are going to include a representative sample of those Comments here, along with Pamela’s final thoughts after seeing what everyone one on this site had to say. In the end her question provided one of the most interesting discussions on this site of all time. We hope you enjoy it, and that it generates even more suggestions!

Amenity-lite suggestions

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Posted by Admin on August 1st, 2021

Before You Buy a Condo or Home in an Association: 4 Things You Need to Do

Category: Active adult communities

July 21, 2021 – So you managed to get lucky. It looks like you might win the bidding to buy that condo, or a home in an active adult community. But before you submit the winning offer and break out the champagne, here are 4 things you need to do first. Your new community’s financial picture deserves some extra looks, particularly in light of the collapse of the Champlain Towers South condo building in Surfside, FL. A community might look healthy, but until you have examined its financial reserves you really don’t know.

This week we listened to an insightful interview on NPR with Robert Nordlund, founder and CEO of Association Reserves. An expert on reserves and the financial health of communities, he lists four things things you need to do before you invest your hard-earned money in a condo or home in a community. We have added some of our own commentary to his questions.

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Posted by Admin on July 21st, 2021

Florida Building Collapse Highlights Serious Challenges Facing Condo Boards

Category: Active adult communities

Note: We are once again grateful to Joe West of the Community Associations Network, LLC, for helping us research this topic.

July 10, 2021 — The collapse of Champlain Towers South near Miami, built in 1981, has made owners and buyers nervous. The dream of living near the ocean has been interrupted by the fear that some buildings might not be safe, and that owners’ investments could be in danger. It also highlights the problems that condo, community, and home owners associations (HOAs) face all around the country. Some 70% of homes and condos in Miami were built prior to 1970 – more than 50 years ago. Since then they have been exposed to all kinds of problems like those at Surfside – salt air and salt water incursions, rising water tables, aging concrete, and older building codes. The problems are worse along the coasts, but, like us baby boomers, even buildings far inland are not exempt from the vicissitudes of age. And who are the people who are going to have to deal with these expensive, highly technical problems – you and your condo board!

The causes of the Surfside collapse and the actions of its condo board members have been a staple of discussion in the news. The problems with the building were well known for a long time. After great struggles and almost a complete turnover of its board members, a $15 million plan was approved to correct water incursion and corrosion issues in the 167 unit building, although work had not started on it. Board members and residents fought over the expensive plan, which was going to represent a hardship for many owners. Some experts believe even those repairs might have too late, and still not have prevented the building’s collapse.

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Posted by Admin on July 9th, 2021

The 21 Most Popular Active and 55+ Communities in the Southeast

Category: Active adult communities

May 18, 2020 — The Southeast is by far the most popular region for retirement on this site. But which of the hundreds of 55 plus and active adult communities in this region attract the most attention from our Members and visitors? To find out we examined the data from the first five and one half months of 2021. Here are the most popular communities in the Southeastern states of Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina (we included Alabama but no communities made the cut). Most of the winners are in Florida (15), with Georgia and South Carolina making up the rest. This article updates one we did in 2018, and complements a similar one for the Southwest: “15 Most Popular Active Adult Communities in the Southwest for 2019“.

The results are a combination of: “of course” (The Villages and several communities we have as advertisers), “head shakers” that we never expected to make this list, and some pleasant “surprises”. What was really interesting is that only seven of the communities on our 2018 list made it again this year. The winners cover a wide range – from really big (On Top of the World and Solivita), to 55+ communities within larger master planned developments (Cresswind), to special interest (Shantinakin and Nalcrest), to inexpensive manufactured home and RV communities popular with snowbirds (Lost Lakes and Jamaica Bay). Note that most, but not all, of these communities are designated 55 plus, although the majority of their residents would probably meet that qualification.

While these are the 21 most popular active adult communities on this site for these four states, they might not necessarily be the “best” for your needs. They were, however, interesting enough to beat out hundreds of other great communities. If this list does anything for you we hope it expands your horizons, showing how important it is to spread your net wide when researching active adult and 55 plus communities. There are thousands of choices that might work for you, but you won’t even find out about them unless you look around. There are many good choices awaiting you, so make a little effort and go beyond the one you or your friends know about.

The most popular 55+ communities in the Southeast

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Posted by Admin on May 17th, 2021

Where Are the Most Innovative Retirement Living Options: 10 Examples

Category: Active adult communities

March 31, 2021 — For every person who loves the idea of an active adult or 55+ community , there is probably another who loathes them. For those who do not want to live in an active community, there are several common criticisms. A big knock comes from people who don’t want to live with a bunch of old folks.  Other slams are that they are boring, cliquish, difficult for singles, and expensive.  In this article we will explore a group of a developments suitable for those 55+ that break the mold, and that take bold measures to provide retirement choices that are innovative and attractive.

At the risk of omitting dozens of other really innovative ones, here is our list of great places to retire that think out of the box. We promise to add more in the Comments section of this Blog as we come across them.

What makes these active communities so great?

Here are some of the attributes and types that make these retirement communities so innovative and desirable.

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Posted by Admin on March 31st, 2021

20 Best Active Adult Communities of 2021

Category: Active adult communities

February 23, 2021 — Want to know the active adult and 55+ communities Topretirements visitors are interested in learning about? We sure do, so we went through our user logs for the last 12 months, using them to identify the retirement communities that received the most online visits on this site. You will find the top 20 below – with many surprises mixed in with some sure things. Best of all, it is an interesting list with communities of all types from all over the country. That makes us happy, because it just not the same names all over again. Instead, there are many new communities for people to consider. Two of the winners are advertisers on this site, the rest are not.

Top 20 Active Communities for 2021

The Villages – Central Florida. Just about everybody has about this giant community. It spans 3 counties, has of over 120,000 residents, virtually every kind of amenity, and hundreds of clubs. 2000

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Posted by Admin on February 22nd, 2021

Movie Review: Some Kind of Heaven: Is More More or Is Less More?

Category: Active adult communities

By Larry Gavrich

January 29, 2021 — With 3,000 social clubs, more than 30 golf clubs, 89 swimming pools and dozens of taverns, The Villages in north central Florida does not seem like the kind of place where any residents could be depressed or bored.  But, according to a new documentary film called Some Kind of Heaven, there may be a thin line between heaven and hell in the famous – some might say “infamous” — community. 

The movie focuses on three subjects, two single people and a married couple, all four dealing with different personal demons.  An 80-something male is the instrument of his own misery, a “vagrant” living out of his van and hanging out at the community pools hoping to find a lady who will take him home and tend to his goal of a life of leisure – all expenses paid.  You likely won’t feel much sympathy for his plight; he is both cunning and conning.

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Posted by Admin on January 29th, 2021

The Villages: An Incredible Place to Retire

Category: Active adult communities

By Jackie: (This was an unsolicited contribution by one of our Members who has retired to The Villages. It is so rich in detail we thought it had to be published on its own. See bottom of article for links to other articles on The Villages).

December 27, 2020 –

“The Villages is an incredible place to retire to”.  

Jackie

I spent the first 60 years of my life visiting family and friends mostly in Key West, Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Tamarac, Boca, Delray, West Palm Beach, Naples, Fort Myers, Clearwater, New Port Richey, Sarasota, The Villages and Ponte Vedra. I knew 10 years ago I wanted to move to The Villages (TV), but my husband was keen on either Naples or Delray.  So about 4 1/2 years ago I decided to retire to Delray Beach after looking for a home to buy over a 5 year period. Then I stayed at my aunt’s house in The Villages for a long weekend for a family wedding. After that we decided to cancel our plans for Delray and move to the Villages instead. We have not regretted our decision.

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Posted by Admin on December 27th, 2020

What I’ve Learned about Golf Communities…and the People Who Move There

Category: Active adult communities

by Larry Gavrich

Editor’s note: Larry is a frequent contributor to discussions here at Top Retirements, and we have learned much from him. We are happy to have him today as a guest to discuss what he has learned from helping individuals and couples find the best golf community for them (even if they don’t play golf!).

After 15 years of research, visits to 150 planned communities, more than 1,000 articles and hundreds of conversations with real estate professionals, golf directors, community board members and, most of all, the hundreds of clients I have worked with to identify the best community for them, I have come to a few important conclusions. I cover them, and more, in my new book, Glorious Back Nine, How to Find Your Dream Golf Home (which I could have titled, just as well, “Not for Golfers Only” since about half of those who live in golf communities never play golf).

Here are a few of the most critical lessons I’ve learned:

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Posted by Admin on November 29th, 2020