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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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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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Cadence at Lansdowne is a brand new 55+ active adult community offering a vibrant lifestyle in Lansdowne, Virginia. It's where you can ha...

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Bon Ayre is a 55+ active adult, manufactured home land lease community located in Smyrna, Delaware, a town which was recently ranked 31st...

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Welcome to Cresswind Charlotte!  This nature-rich refuge of inviting streetscapes, manicured landscaping and miles of walking trails...

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Showcase Listing

Few towns in the Southeast offer more gracious charm than Aiken, South Carolina.  Take a relaxing stroll through Aiken's tree-lined ...

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The Villages: Fascination and Machination

Category: Active adult communities

April 22, 2022 — Journalists looking for a good story hit the jackpot any time they check out The Villages, the giant retirement community in north Central Florida. The community has all the elements needed to fascinate readers: high stakes politics, real estate machinations, Viagra fueled Lotharios, and the latest – voter fraud. Let’s take a look at what’s been happening in this community that stretches over 3 counties with some 60,000 (and growing) households.

Books, Magazines, and Movies

Starting with Andrew Blechman’s Leisureville in 2009, The Villages gained a certain notoriety. Blechman’s youthful vantage point might have made him a little too cynical, but he did produce a good read. His account of Mr. Midnight, a boomer aged Lothario cruising for action among the community’s many single women, was highly provocative and one of the most entertaining parts of the book. He poked a lot of fun elsewhere too, although it actually might have encouraged other baby boomers to move there for the non-stop activities and socialization. Then there is The NY Times version of TV life, published in this March feature: The Disney for Boomers Puts Hedonism on Full Display.

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Posted by Admin on April 21st, 2022

Is Apartment Living in Your Retirement Plan?

Category: Active adult communities

March 21, 2022 – A while back we heard from one of our Members, Debby, who asked about apartment living. She wondered why we don’t ever write anything for people who want to retire in an apartment. She has always lived in that type of housing, and being a single senior, doesn’t want a house now either.

In particular she would love “a senior community of apartments that is gated and has washer/dryers in the apartment, plus an attached garage. She is not particularly interested in other amenities that she won’t ever use. She lives in Scottsdale, AZ now, but apartment prices have gone up so much!”

Not alone

We are sure that Debby is not alone in seeking apartment life. Although we assume she is interested in rentals, many other apartments are owned as condos. The good news is that there are many communities that provide apartments suitable for baby boomers. Using Advanced Search for Communities at Topretirements, we came up with almost 1,000 apartment communities across the U.S. in our database. That list can be made more selective by choosing parameters like expense (if we delete higher cost the list goes down to 775). Other amenities might include covered garages, swimming pools, fitness centers etc. Using a state parameter narrows it even further; e.g., choosing only Arizona results in a list of 43 (we will explore some of those choices later in this article).

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Posted by Admin on March 21st, 2022

Georgia Active Adult Community Excludes Female Softball Player from League

Category: Active adult communities

March 10, 2022 – In a move that is sure to be controversial, a softball commissioner at the Del Webb Village at Deaton Creek has banned Linda Evans, a female, from participating on a men’s softball team at that community. Ms. Evans, 70 years young, is an experienced player, whose coach said of her: “She can play.”

The active community in Hoschton, GA has one softball league with 7 teams. There is no women’s team or league. The commissioner banned Evans from playing in games or participating in practice, saying that it was a “men’s only league”. A poll of the players reportedly found that a majority did not women playing in the league. However, the community’s ownership bylaws say “membership in any Chartered Club must be open to all bona fide members of the association without discrimination as to race, religion, color, sex, ethnic culture or national heritage.”

Not an uncommon problem
The problem of inclusion of the sexes has long existed. Private country clubs have excluded women from membership. Some active communities provide access to facilities slanted towards men (such as the earliest tee times), or have mens-only grills. How communities maintain fairness can be a struggle that often pits one group against another, and even results in lawsuits.

Comments? What do you think, should communities have the right to have single gender teams, activities, and facilities? Or should men or women be able to mix together, based on ability or other qualifications. Please share your thoughts and experiences from your community in the Comments section below.

Posted by Admin on March 10th, 2022

Unique Communities Where Learning And Staying Busy Are a Priority

Category: Active adult communities

January 22, 2022 — Each year many of us make new year’s resolutions that we have every intention of keeping, at  least for a couple of weeks. Many of those resolutions may involve health, fitness, learning, and keeping up with the technology that surrounds us.  Fortunately, there are many communities that specialize in wellness and learning, and makes it a lot easier to stay on track with those resolutions all year long.  Some of these unique communities listed below are for all ages and some are for those 55+, but they are all interesting and feature a fun and inspiring lifestyle.    

Encanterra is an Arizona community that offers traditional amenities like golf, fine dining, and social spaces. But what makes the community unique is the hundreds of special interest clubs, travel, and exploration opportunities it provides. A good example is the technology program through which residents can take culinary classes, listen to guest speakers, educators and authors. Encanterra is made up of several neighborhoods including one for those 55+.

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Posted by Admin on January 22nd, 2022

What You Need to Know About Your HOA: 5 Things

Category: Active adult communities

January 4, 2020 — When people hear about Home Owners Associations (HOA) there is generally one of two reactions. Either they loathe them, citing high costs and restrictive rules, or they tolerate them as a necessary evil. They have no super fans. Also called Community Associations, HOAs govern critical aspects of life in condominiums and active adult communities. It is essential that retirees know something about their HOA before they move in. As Joe West, CEO of the Community Associations Network, told Topretirements many years ago, the most important thing to consider when buying into a community is: “Don’t fall in love with the house before you check out the association”.

In any 55+, active adult, or condominium development that has shared facilities the Community Association is the top dog. It establishes the rules, enforces compliance, manages the assets, and insures the financial and legal well-being of their communities. Even in the most successful community plenty can go wrong. When serious problems happen, as did in last year’s condo collapse in Surfside, Florida, the consequences can even become tragic.

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Posted by Admin on January 4th, 2022

In the West, These are the Biggest Competitors to The Villages

Category: Active adult communities

December 8, 2021 —

This is an updated version of Part 1 of a 2 Part series. Part 1 covers competitors in the West, while Part 2 discusses the 12 Largest Communities in the East.

Many people are excited (and sometimes appalled) by The Villages, the giant active community in Central Florida. They often wonder, are there any other age-restricted communities that approach The Villages’ size, which approaches 150,000 residents and sprawls over 3 counties? And, do any other communities offer a similar range of amenities?

Although no community in the west is quite as large as The Villages, there are many that have more than 5,000 residents. This article highlights some of the ultra-large active communities in the West. We invite you to explore over 3500 active communities of all sizes in our State Directories at Topretirements.

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Posted by Admin on December 8th, 2021

Solivita Ordered to Pay $35 Million to HOA Members

Category: Active adult communities

November 13, 2021 — The Associated Press reports that a judge has ordered the giant Solivita 55+ community in Poinciana, FL to pay back homeowners $35 million for improper HOA fees. The case arises from a proposal by the developer to sell various amenities including a clubhouse, swimming pools, and a tennis court to the residents for $73 million. An investigation revealed that the value of the properties were inflated to as much four times their actual value. Each homeowner could get as much as $10,000 in the settlement ruled by Polk County Judge Wayne Durden. The improper HOA fees paid in the case go back to the 2000s, but the statute of limitations limited them to to 2013. Solivita was a subsidiary of AV Homes, but has been owned by Taylor Morrison since 2018.

Comment: Nobody likes paying HOA fees, but normally they are a necessary evil if you want to have a well maintained community with nice amenities. Obviously the Solivita plaintiffs will be happy with the decision. This highlights the tricky situations that often arise after a developer finishes development and wants to exit the property. The developer usually owns the amenities and the HOA wants to buy them so they control them better. But how those amenities are valued can be controversial, as we see in this case.

Link to the Associated Press story.

Posted by Admin on November 13th, 2021

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