7 Reasons Life Is Better in an Active Adult Community

by Bill Ness on November 28, 2011

These amenity-rich communities often have full-time Lifestyle Directors or concierge services as well, which helps residents find activities to meet their own personal interests.

Active adult communities often have full-time Lifestyle Directors or concierge services as well, which helps residents find activities to meet their own personal interests.

There are many reasons why empty-nesters and retirees choose to live in active adult communities. Some love the idea of living on a championship golf course, others are drawn to the wide variety of social clubs, and many are won over by the thoughtfully-designed, low-maintenance homes. Here are seven benefits to consider when imagining life in an active adult community:

1. The Lifestyle

A healthy lifestyle includes a variety of social and recreational activities. At active adult communities, residents will find more clubs, classes, organizations, activities and events than they can imagine. These amenity-rich communities often have full-time Lifestyle Directors or concierge services as well, which helps residents find activities to meet their own personal interests.

2. Low-Maintenance or Maintenance-Free Homes

The monthly Homeowners Association (HOA) fees at active adult communities often include the home’s exterior maintenance and landscaping needs. This frees residents from tedious maintenance tasks and gives them more time to enjoy the active adult lifestyle.

3. Real Friendships

With so many social activities and events, active adult communities make it easy for residents to meet their neighbors and form real friendships with people who share the same interests. In addition to social clubs and recreational activities, some communities also offer support groups to help those coping with an illness, loss or other difficult situation.

4. World-Class Resort-Style Amenities

There’s a reason active adult communities are often described as providing resort-style living. While features do vary from one community to the next, most developments include spacious clubhouses with numerous indoor and outdoor amenities. Many offer championship golf courses, state-of-the-art fitness centers, full-service spas, lighted tennis facilities and other spectacular attractions.

5. Main Level Living

Homes in active adult communities are specifically designed for older residents. That generally means one-story homes which let residents avoid the hassle of climbing stairs several times a day. Even homes that do have second-story lofts or finished basements, still typically offer main level living with the kitchen, living room, dining area and master bedroom suite all on the first floor.

6. Child-Free Streets

People who choose to live in age-restricted communities generally like children — they just don’t necessarily want them playing in their streets or taking over the clubhouse amenities. Active adult communities let residents live among their peers, and enjoy visiting grandkids, without having to worry that their neighborhoods will be overrun by children or teenagers.

7. Community Curb Appeal

As visitors (and residents) drive through an active adult community, they are likely to be impressed by its scenic beauty. Developers commonly include lakes, fountains and natural green space into their community plans, and home landscaping is often included as part of the HOA fees. This creates an inviting community with plenty of curb appeal.

Are you a resident of an active adult community? If so, tell us why you enjoy this type of lifestyle in the comments below.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Marianna November 30, 2011 at 3:38 pm

I agree 100% with all 7 points in this article. The only negative about these communities is the problem of pesky HOA/Architectural Review committees. Here’s a good example of what I’m talking about:

Friends at The Villages in FL emailed me on Thanksgiving night to say that everyone on their street received notices that two women residents on that street wanted a special light garland lining all the lawns near the sidewalk. So they went out and bought the stuff, then billed all the residents on that street for $30, complete with orders that they wanted the whole street decorated by Saturday (Nov 26) – garland plus house lights. I told my friends to stand up to this, but they said “we have to live here.” In other words, they don’t want to rock the boat and get anybody mad. Are they kidding? Retired people in their 60’s, 70’s and 80’s who can’t live their lives as they wish, even decoration-free if they want to? This has been going on for years on that street, but everybody goes along with it. The kicker is they are a party street. My friends had a party for 30 people on Sunday night — no doubt including the two bossy women residents. How juvenile is this?!

All I can say is: BEWARE. Talk to residents before you buy in ANY community.

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Susan December 1, 2011 at 10:39 am

Boy, is Marianna ever right !! The same kind of thing goes on in my community. There are unfortunately those retirees who are still seeking an identity and seem to have found their arena in adult communities. These people push their ideas and some of them have created in roads with management who goes along with them. Our situation is so bad that the Declarant controlled BOD has given illegal voting rights to a group of voluntees and these votes are now illegally affecting our HOA dues.
People…..ask, ask, ask questions before you sign on the dotted line. The things that are negative about these communities can only be discovered by dues paying residents … buyer beware.

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Marianna December 1, 2011 at 11:48 am

Susan’s input raises an even more dire RED flag. Referencing a point Susan made, were it not for certain retirees who are using their new community as a means of achieving the power they apparently crave, I would be selling my home and moving to one of these communities, as I really need new friends and activities. But it’s not worth it, as the constant barrage of nosy pests from these HOA’s can sour all the good that exists in a community. I’d rather be bored than hassled by these people. At least I have peace with no false obligations. Like I’ve said in other posts, I lived at Sun City Georgetown (TX) and moved away for 2 reasons: the ridiculous HOA and the property taxes. So you can’t say I never tried. If I had it to do over again, I would have never retired. To what? Playing kindergarten with my age peers?

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Susan December 1, 2011 at 3:50 pm

I once again agree with Marianna. This may sound to some as “sour grapes”, however, these comments are coming from accurant experiences.

Both my husband and I are 65 plus. Some people are old at 50 and others remain young and active well into their golden years. Thankfully, we fall into the second category. As a result, the activities in our community have little to no interest to us and we actually consider them “corny”. Since we have made a large investment here and the economony and housing market is as it is, we look elsewhere for our source of entertainment vs playing bingo or bunco every afternoon. We have joined a local club and golf a great deal and may I add….we walk the golf course !!

We have made nice friends in our community, but had to learn the hard way to stay away from the power mongruls and the clicks and the gossip. One must choose wisely in these types of communities. I went through high school many years ago and do not choose to do it again. The mean girls still exist, even in active adult communities….sad to say, but true.

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Marianna December 1, 2011 at 8:42 pm

Susan, like you and your husband, I also had some wonderful friends at Sun City in TX. When I first moved there, a fancy lady up at the social hall asked me 3 questions: Do you golf? Do you play tennis? Do you play bridge? To all 3, I answered “No.” Then she said, “Well, honey, you’re gonna be totally alone living here.” Really? My thing was joining the Wood Shop and Woodcarvers — had a great time there. Also joined the Astronomy Club and loved the “star” gatherings when members brought their fancy telescopes for our enjoyment. I took gorgeous long walks on the Nature Trail morning and evening with my sheltie. I went out to eat with friends, swam, and worked out at the Fitness Center. It was all fun — and healthy. I still miss my friends there; I left in the fall of 2000.

People can be funny, interesting, and a big pain. You have to pick and choose so no one runs your life but yourself. We’re too mature to be bullied.

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