Singles Find Fun Ways to Mingle in 55+ Communities

by Susan Quilty on November 12, 2010

Singles

Many people think that active adult communities are only for couples when, in fact, often a third or more of the residents are single.

In the 1980s, The Golden Girls showed America that singles can be vibrant and sexy at any age. These iconic television characters may have famously shared stories over late-night cheesecakes, but they were also depicted as active adults who enjoyed volunteer work, taking classes, working, dating, traveling and taking part in community plays and events. Today, single men and women over the age of 55 can find a similar lifestyle at a number of resort-style active adult communities.

When picturing the residents of an active adult community, some people envision happily retired couples. Yet that is not necessarily the case. According to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), approximately one-third of Baby Boomers are single. Many of these single active adults opt to live in age-restricted or age-targeted communities, and for good reason. Active adults communities allow older singles to do many things, such as:

1. Live Among Peers

Single or married, some active adults prefer to live in a community designed for residents over a certain age. This often means living on a quieter street and not having to share community amenities with children or teenagers. It can also lead to more opportunities to meet peers who may turn out to be supportive neighbors or even close friends.

2. Join Social Clubs

Whether joining a book club, sharing a love of tennis, meeting to ride motorcycles, or performing with a choir, the diverse social clubs offered at active adult communities provide single adults with many ways to share their interests with others. Social groups can be a great way for singles to make new friends or even find travel companions.

3. Participate in Community Events

Active adult communities often hold special events throughout the year. Holiday parties, seasonal festivals, chili cook-offs, card tournaments and dances are just a few of the events available to residents. For singles who are new to a community, an on-site Activities Director can be a great resource to find out about upcoming events.

4. Find Support Groups

When coping with a chronic illness or a recent tragedy, a strong support system is crucial. Several active adult communities offer specialized support groups for coping with cancer, addiction, depression, diabetes or a number of other problems. Bereavement groups are also available at many communities.

5. Discover Safe Dating Opportunities

Single active adults may date regularly or be interested in rejoining the dating scene. Special social groups designed for singles can help residents find single neighbors or get advice on getting back into the swing of things. Singles clubs are popular at many active adult communities, including SaddleBrook in Arizona, Palm Cay in Florida, Pheasant Run at Barnegat in New Jersey, or Chesapeake at Easton Club East in Maryland.

Many of the same amenities and activities that draw couples to active adult communities also appeal to single adults. Age-restricted or age-targeted communities let residents live among peers while pursuing a variety of social and recreational opportunities. For single adults, active adult communities can be an ideal way to meet new people, become involved in a community, make close friends, stay active or even find a new life partner.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Jan Cullinane November 17, 2010 at 3:44 pm

Many active adult communites are gated; enhanced secuirty is another reason active-adult communites appeal to single women. And, some communities include the upkeep on exteriors and yards in their monthly fees; busy singles might like this maintenance-free aspect.

Jan Cullinane, co-author, The New Retirement: The Ultiamate Guide to the Rest of Your Life (Rodale)

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Bill Ness November 17, 2010 at 3:50 pm

Great point Jan! Thanks for the input.

By the way, love your book! I have a copy of it next to me on my desk right now!

-Bill Ness
55Places.com

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