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What You Said: Finding the Right Active Community a Top Concern among Topretirements Members

Category: Retirement Planning

August 20, 2012 — As we increasingly find out, members and visitors at Topretirements are not typical retirees (actual or future) by any means. Last week’s 5 question poll made it clear that you are more prepared to retire, have better resources, and are much more willing to relocate in your retirement than comparable baby boomers nationwide.

The response to our poll was once again fantastic, with almost 400 people taking the time to respond. Your input is incredibly helpful in understanding your retirement concerns and hopes – thanks! This post will provide an analysis of what we learned.

1. What are your top concerns about retirement?
Where to live
Having enough money
After those 2 responses the choices dropped dramatically, with “what to do with my time” at 8% and “health issues” at 5%. There were 17 write-in responses, most of which indicated the same kind of concerns as on our list, as well as worries about health insurance, when to retire, and general economic uncertainty.

We should note that in most nationwide surveys we see, not having enough money is usually the biggest concern by far – it’s clear that since Topretirements visitors are better fixed than most, they are free to come to this site to try to research where they should live.

2. How would you rate your retirement preparation?
Moderately prepared
Very prepared
Slightly prepared
Not at all prepared
This is definitely good news for Topretirements visitors, since 85% of you being at least moderately prepared for retirement.

3. What is your most important criterion for choosing a place to retire?
Active community fits my needs
Warm weather location
Low tax environment
Close to family members
Area that lets me pursue my hobbies/interests
Interestingly, “Other” generated a number of responses (9%). Some of the write-ins here included being close to family, low taxes, friendly and diverse environment, being near mountains or water, etc. A few said it was hard to choose: many of these factors were equally important.

4. Do you have a retirement bucket list?

Frankly, we were pleasantly surprised that almost half of those taking the survey have a bucket list, indicating that you folks are definitely giving retirement some of the good thinking it deserves! The best part is that so far 212 of you shared some or all of your bucket lists with us, which make for some fascinating reading. Rather than make this article unnecessarily long, please see our companion article on “What’s on Your Bucket Lists“, which also includes a downloadable file with all of the bucket lists we received.

For further reference:
See analysis of our member polls:

Comments: Please share your thoughts about these responses in the Comments section below. We would all love to hear from you!

Posted by John Brady on August 20th, 2012


  1. Ideal Living Resort and Retirement Expos ( is a free opportunity to meet representatives from about 50 communities (they have their expos in hotels). (Full disclosure: I gave talks for this company for about four years, and I am not a realtor.) If you’re looking for a place to live in the SE United States, it’s an easy way to get information. Expos are held in Washington DC, Pittsburg, Bridgewater (NJ), Greenwich, and the Greater Chicago, New York, and Philadelphia area. They also provide some free seminars to attendees.

    Jan Cullinane
    The Single Woman’s Guide to Retirement
    The New Retirement: The Ultimate Guide to the Rest of Your Life
    Retire Happy!

    by Jan Cullinane — August 21, 2012

  2. As one who participated and provided bucket list items, it was interesting to see not only how my responses compare, but that most TopRetirements members considered themselves prepared. We all know that it takes some planning and it takes some luck (or putting yourself on the right path) — we can only hope others of our and later generations will see the light.

    As for the bucket lists, it’s good to see more ideas, to see my own ideas and the ones I might have added. It appears that members here are not much about “sit back and let life happen to you”. Or at least are always trying to be aware of opportunities and ready to grab them. I think this is what makes a successful retirement and a successful life.

    by Rich — August 22, 2012

  3. Is anybody out there feeling as lonely and lost about retiring as I am? I am fitter and more healthy than plenty of teenagers that I know. Retiring and sitting at home is definitely not on my agenda.
    I am 57 and and do not have any active friends left. My family are all busy with their own stuff. Being a free baby sitter is just not challenging enough.I have enough money to live a low budget but independent life on my own.The single and lonely factor freaks me out though.Is there anybody out there that would like to share a nice big house in a nice area with me? South Africa is not all bad.There is lots waiting to be done if you are in good company.

    by anne-marie — September 9, 2012

  4. Anne-Marie – I suggest you do a few stay and play visits to areas that are full of active people. Not all are age restricted so you will find your age peers as well as activity peers in the right communities. The young singles (in their 50s) that live in Fairfield Glade TN are so busy that they can’t imagine how they ever had time to “work”. They are in hiking groups, kayaking groups, in exercise classes in the fitness center, playing pickleball and tennis, swimming, taking educational classes, line dancing classes, going to the singles activities which are about 4x per week, and volunteering. Some small jobs are available in town or in the community so that you can still make a bit of money for the ‘extras’. Keep looking. Best of luck to you!

    by Holly H — September 10, 2012

  5. Anne-Marie

    The below website was just recently created for single women that are looking to find a retirement spot for them. Give it a try (hope this website works!)

    by Kay — September 10, 2012

  6. anne-marie, you have my interest.

    by Billy — September 10, 2012

  7. I recently retired in my 50’s and a single widow. I moved to the Phoenix-Scottsdale Az. area. If you are older and looking for singles, there are plenty here that are older, and lots of activities going on all the time! Very easy to make new friends!! Holly

    by holly2381 — September 10, 2012

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