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.
December 3, 2019 — For baby boomers who love to play golf, living on a golf course seems like a dream. Drive over in your golf cart and play any time you want, no waiting. Later on in the afternoons, sit back and enjoy the beauty of a golf hole in the setting sun from your lanai. Unfortunately, golf is not as popular as it once was. That decline is interrupting the dream of golf course living.
Our friends over at www.retirehoppy.com just wrote about unpleasant experiences at their community, Trilogy at Vistancia in Peoria, Arizona. Seems like the developer has changed its mind, and now would like to sell the golf course to the Home Owners Association. Nobody there knows what is the best decision. Buy it (HOA has first right of refusal), or let the developer try to sell or develop it? Either way is fraught with problems.
May 8, 2019 — Chances are you aren’t looking for the most expensive place to retire. Most people are looking for the opposite, a 55+ or active community where they can retire and stretch their savings and social security into a comfortable retirement. But just for fun, here’s a look at where we might retire if we were to suddenly join the ranks of the 1%. Which one would you pick?
We looked around in researching this article and were amazed at how little good information there is on the ritziest places to retire. 55places.com had an article on the topic, but the communities on its list barely approached the mid-range of pricing. The same can be said for a very similar list put out by ThinkAdvisor.com. Our list is by no means complete, but we think it is a lot better. If you know of a super-expensive retirement community, please suggest it in the Comments section below.
April 17, 2019 — Our Online Retirement 101 Course continues today on a topic relevant to any retiree interested in an active adult community: what are the best ways to visit and appraise the developments you are interested in. The topic is far bigger than it initially appears because it includes how to find and select the communities you want to visit, how to get the most out of your on-site visit, and finally, how to compare the properties on your list of possibilities. In this article we will start with a general outline of how to get started. Then we will go on to some representative comments from the hundreds and hundreds of Member Comments we have received over the years on evaluating 55+ communities. See list on “Further Reading” at end for a list of articles on this topic.
The Process: How to Get the Most Out of Your Active Community Visit Following a disciplined path to visiting and evaluating 55+ communities will get you the information and feedback to help you make the best decisions. Finding the right community for you is a process – one site visit normally won’t give you an instant answer, but it will help build your knowledge base. After visiting several communities you will be in a position to knowledgeably evaluate all the properties you are interested in. Here is a basic approach to follow:
March 19, 2019 — If you have been on the campus of an active adult community or near a city park lately, you might have heard a repetitive loud sound – that of a composite racquet hitting a softball sized whiffle ball. What you are hearing, along with many cries of joy and frustration, is the game of pickleball, and it is expanding everywhere. Unless you have mobility or other serious health issues, we recommend you get it a “whack”.
Pickleball got started in 1965 on a modified badminton court. Kids in gym class sometimes play it because it can be played indoors in a fairly limited space with minimum equipment. Since then it has expanded around the globe, but has really taken off as an activity in 55+ and active adult communities.
What is it the game and how is it played Pickleball is played on a court that is roughly half the size of a tennis court. There is a net and there are different lines marked to indicate the playing area. Watch the Youtube video above to see a championship match in action!
The game can be played as singles (2 opponents) or more commonly doubles (4 players). It starts by a player serving a plastic ball with holes in it from the baseline across the net and to the diagonally opposite opponent. It must land in the box on the receiver’s side and bounce once before being hit back across the net. The small honeycombed racquet is several times the size of a ping pong paddle. When the racquet hits the perforated plastic ball there is a distinctive “whack”. To counter complaints about noise, newer, quieter racquets are coming in to play.