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

The 100 Top 55+ and Active Adult Communities for 2016

Category: Active adult communities

October 6, 2016 — Our new list of the 100 most popular 55+ and active adult communities at Topretirements for 2016 is here, and there are surprises and new faces galore. There is also plenty of consistency – most of last year’s top 10 communities are back. We think that looking at the kind of communities that our visitors and Members are most interested in is valuable – particularly to see the types of 55+ communities that generate interest, and where they are located.

Speaking of our top 100 list, we want to stress that these are not necessarily the “best” 55+ communities – however someone might determine that. Rather, The top 100 communities were chosen on the basis of visitor popularity at Topretirements during the period January 1 to September 30, 2016 as reported by Google Analytics. The communities whose listings were viewed by our visitors the most were determined to be the winners. Please see the end of article for more details (more…)

Posted by Admin on October 5th, 2016

Which Has the Best Choice of Active Adult Communities – East or West

Category: Active adult communities

June 16, 2016 — We’ve been wresting with a question about active adult and 55+ communities. The question is: does one side of the of the USA have a better range, selection, and type of active and 55+ communities than the other? Does the East (from Maine to Florida and west to Wisconsin and Louisiana) offer more, or is the Western half of the country (from Kansas to Hawaii and parts North and South) the one with more interesting active adult possibilities? The obvious answer finally came to us – ask our Topretirements Members – you have a range of collective experience that is incredibly valuable! So we are asking you at the end of this article to share your point of view about the areas that provide the best options for active adult living.

Part of the reason we ask comes from the challenge we continually face in adding new active adult and 55+ communities to our database. Although it usually easy to find a community we haven’t yet reviewed in the Eastern part of the US on any given day, it is much harder to discover new or existing ones from the West. Which leads us to believe that perhaps the fence is much greener if you decide to retire somewhere in the East. But perhaps it is, as several frustrated (more…)

Posted by Admin on June 14th, 2016

Start Your Own Cohousing Community

Category: Active adult communities

December 1, 2015 — We are very happy for the folks who find their perfect place to retire -it is wonderful that you can live your dream. But we know there are many others who haven’t found their Goldilocks place, yet anyway. For those who haven’t, perhaps your experience is something like… the right community is too old… HOA fees are too high or restrictive… they have amenities you don’t want… too many young people… or, it would be perfect, except it’s in the wrong place. But maybe the problem is that your community hasn’t been invented yet. Perhaps it is up to you to build it yourself.

Nextavenue.com had an interesting article, “Not Your Mother’s Retirement Home“, that discusses different (more…)

Posted by Admin on December 1st, 2015