Active adult homebuyers often consider what kinds of amenities are present in a community, what types of interest groups and classes are available, and how many homes the community will have at build-out. These criteria determine the desired level of engagement with fellow residents and the community’s overall atmosphere.

What to Look for When Touring a 55+ Community

Since the type and frequency of activities depend on the community, daily life in a 55+ community can vary, depending on the preferences of the homebuyer. If you’re looking to stay active and engaged every day, explore communities with a large number of homes, a comprehensive collection of amenities, and daily activities. If you’re looking for a more relaxed living environment, explore smaller communities with fewer amenities and interest groups. The great thing about active adult communities is residents can be as active and engaged as they desire. The benefit of having amenities and activities is they provide the option for a more vibrant lifestyle than is typically available in typical non-active adult neighborhoods.

What’s Day-to-Day Life Like in a 55+/Active Adult Community?

Because of the amenities and social activities offered by 55+ communities, moving to an active adult community is a much easier adjustment. There are many opportunities to meet new people, get involved, and try new things. However, it may also take some time to handle downsizing, learning the rules and restrictions established by your HOA, acclimate to a new style of active living, and adapt to living in a new location. 55places can connect you with a local Partner Agent who will address these and any other concerns or questions you may have about transitioning into a 55+ community.

55+ communities offer an active lifestyle that appeals to homebuyers looking to stay socially and physically engaged during their retirement. Many active adult communities have fitness classes, exercise equipment, and swimming pools, which help residents stay in shape. Communities with creative arts studios nourish lifelong hobbies and encourage residents to try new things. Many communities also have a long list of interest groups and clubs to join, which turns neighbors into friends. Overall, 55+ communities allow their residents to stay active and engaged in lots of fun and exciting ways.

Top 10 Benefits of Living in a 55+ Community

Some 55+ homebuyers express concerns about the restrictions and rules established by homeowners’ associations, the stresses associated with relocation or distance from family or friends, the kind of lifestyle in a given community, or even adjusting to a new location and climate. With guidance, many homeowners are able to avoid these concerns.

The Pros and Cons of 55+ Active Adult Communities

If you are looking to stay physically active, socially engaged, and don’t require assistance with daily tasks, you may want to consider living in an active adult community. However, residents of these communities are not required to exercise or participate in groups or activities, so if relaxing poolside is your thing, an active adult community may still be the right choice for you. Sharing your lifestyle preferences with a 55places Partner Agent may help you decide if the 55+ lifestyle is right for you and may also help you narrow your search.

Is the 55+ Community Lifestyle Right For You?

Here are some questions that you can ask current residents to learn more about their community:

  • What does your daily routine look like?
  • Do you have pets?
  • Which amenities do you most often use?
  • Are you a member of interest groups?
  • Do you attend fitness classes?
  • Are continuing education courses available?
  • How often do you leave the community?
  • What do you most like about living in a 55+ community?
  • How has your experience with your HOA been?
  • Is it easy to meet new people and get involved?

What to Look for When Touring a 55+ Community

Absolutely. Many active adult communities have singles clubs, and taking advantage of the amenities offered to active adults is a great way to meet new friends. Additionally, joining a club or taking a class is another great way to meet fellow residents. Each active adult community offers unique ways to stay engaged and socially active, and deciding which of these communities best fits your preferences is part of the fun of exploring active adult communities. Some people mistakenly believe that active adult communities are just for couples. But in most 55+ communities there are a lot of single people and there are many clubs and activities that cater specifically to singles. Ask your 55places Partner Agent to learn more about such programs.

It’s best to check with the HOA of each community to learn the policies and potential restrictions around long-term guests. The Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions documents for each HOA will explain the specific details of such restrictions. If you’re unsure about the long-term guest policy at a particular community, be sure to ask your Partner Agent or other 55places local real estate expert.

55+ Community Age-Restriction Rules: Can My Grandkids Live With Me?

While this varies by community, most 55+ communities allow some guest parking. Some communities have designated guest parking, while others may allow your guest to park in your garage or driveway. There may be restrictions on how long your guests can stay, whether or not they are allowed to park overnight, how long their vehicle can remain parked in the community, and they may even have to register as a guest with community representatives. Despite these potential restrictions, most active adult communities do allow guests to park somewhere within the community, though there will almost always be restrictions on how long guests can stay, whether their vehicle is parked or not.

The ability for your grandkids to visit or stay with you in an active adult community depends on the specific rules and policies of the community you are considering. Many active adult communities have age restrictions in place to maintain their intended demographic and lifestyle.

While most allow short-term visits by grandchildren, the duration and frequency of such visits may be regulated. It’s important to carefully review the community’s homeowners association (HOA) guidelines, specifically their CC&R (Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions), to understand the rules regarding guest stays and the presence of grandchildren. If you’re considering a particular community, it’s advisable to inquire with the HOA or management about their policies regarding the visitation and stay of grandchildren.

In 55+ communities, the use of amenities by guests or grandchildren is generally guided by the community’s homeowners association (HOA) rules. Typically, these communities have age restrictions to maintain their intended atmosphere. While some communities allow guest access to amenities within certain limits, usage for grandchildren may vary based on age and duration of visits. Some events may be open to residents and their guests, offering opportunities for interaction.

It’s important to review the specific community’s guidelines in their CC&R (Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions) to understand the rules for guest and family member amenity usage, and contacting the HOA for clarification is advisable if needed.

No, most active adult communities do not offer transportation services, but there are some that do. Of the ones that do, some of the larger active adult communities provide internal transportation to help residents get from amenity to amenity easily. Other communities may provide a shuttle service that includes external stops as well.

Yes, many 55+ communities have restrictions on the types of vehicles that residents can have within the community. These restrictions are typically outlined in the community’s rules and regulations, also known as CC&R (Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions) or bylaws. The specific restrictions can vary from one community to another, but here are some common considerations:

  • Recreational Vehicles (RVs) and Trailers: Many communities have rules regarding the parking or storage of recreational vehicles (RVs), motorhomes, campers, trailers, and boats. Some may prohibit these vehicles from being parked on the property or may designate specific storage areas for them.
  • Commercial Vehicles: Restrictions might be in place for commercial vehicles, such as trucks with signage or work-related equipment. These restrictions aim to maintain a residential atmosphere within the community.
  • Number of Vehicles: Some communities may have limits on the number of vehicles that a resident can have. This is often to ensure that parking areas are not overcrowded and to maintain a neat appearance.
  • Appearance and Maintenance: Certain communities may have rules regarding the appearance and maintenance of vehicles. This could include requirements for cleanliness, vehicle condition, and proper upkeep.
  • Parking Areas: Communities may specify designated parking areas for residents and their guests. Parking in unauthorized areas or on the street may be restricted.

It’s important to thoroughly review the community’s rules and regulations before moving into a 55+ community to ensure that you are aware of any vehicle-related restrictions.

After moving into an active adult community, smoothly settle in by attending orientation events, exploring the community, and getting involved in activities and social clubs. It can help to introduce yourself to your neighbors, attend community gatherings, and read newsletters to stay informed. You can also join committees and explore the local area to feel more connected. Above all, be sure to give yourself time to adjust to the new environment. Following these steps will help you integrate into the community and enjoy the enriching experiences it offers!

Pursuing favorite pastimes or exploring a new activity is a great way to make the most of your active adult community!

Here are some valuable resources to help ease the transition into a 55+/active adult community:

  • Senior Move Managers: Senior move managers are professionals who can help older adults with decluttering, downsizing, packing, coordinating logistics, and arranging for movers.
  • Community Welcome Programs: Many active adult communities have welcome programs that introduce new residents to the community and its amenities.
  • Community Staff and Management: The staff and management of the active adult community can answer questions, provide information about community activities, and offer guidance during your adjustment period.
  • Community Websites and Newsletters: Stay informed about community events, news, and updates through the community’s website or newsletters.
  • Social Clubs and Activities: Joining these groups can help you meet like-minded individuals and quickly build connections.
  • Resident Ambassadors: Some communities have resident ambassadors or welcoming committees that assist new residents in acclimating to the community.
  • Supportive Family and Friends: Lean on the support of family and friends during the moving process and after settling into your new home. Their encouragement can make the transition more enjoyable.

Adapting to Change: Transitioning into a Retirement Community

Transitioning to an active adult community offers a unique lifestyle that caters to the needs and preferences of older adults. Here’s what you can generally expect from this lifestyle transition:

  • a vibrant community atmosphere
  • little to no time spent on home maintenance
  • a sense of security
  • opportunities for learning and growth
  • social engagement and support networks
  • a laid-back atmosphere
  • age-appropriate activities
  • proximity to health care facilities
  • opportunity to downsize

Think You Won’t Fit Into a 55+ Community? Check Out These 6 Perks

Making sure an active adult community aligns with your preferences, needs, and long-term goals is important before making a decision to move. Here are some strategies to help you paint a clear picture of your desired lifestyle within a particular community:

Research the Community: Start by thoroughly researching the community you’re interested in. Visit the community’s website, read brochures, and gather information about the amenities, services, housing options, and location. Follow the community’s social media accounts, read newsletters, and watch videos to get a sense of the community’s culture and lifestyle.

Visit the Community: Visit the community in person to take guided tours, attend open houses, and participate in community events to get a feel for the atmosphere, interactions, and overall lifestyle.

Interact with Residents: Speak with current residents of the community. Attend social events, join online forums or groups related to the community, and ask questions about their experiences and daily routines. 

Visualize Your Daily Routine: Imagine a typical day in your life within the community. Think about how you’d spend your mornings, afternoons, and evenings. Consider activities like exercise, socializing, hobbies, and relaxation.

Consider Social Opportunities: Think about the social interactions you value. Are you looking for a vibrant social scene with regular gatherings, clubs, and events? Or do you prefer a quieter environment with occasional interactions?

Evaluate Amenities: Assess how the community’s amenities match your interests and desired activities. For example, if you enjoy golf, a community with a golf course might be appealing. If you love crafting, a community with an arts and crafts studio could be ideal.

Think About Health and Wellness: Consider your health and wellness goals. Does the community offer fitness classes, wellness programs, and opportunities for outdoor activities that align with your needs?

Envision Your Social Circle: Imagine the friends and acquaintances you’ll make within the community. Are you drawn to a diverse group of people with varied interests, or are you looking for a smaller, tight-knit circle?

Explore Local Attractions: Research the surrounding area to see what attractions, services, and amenities are available beyond the community’s boundaries. Consider whether you’d like to explore nearby restaurants, cultural events, shopping centers, and healthcare facilities.

Financial Considerations: Factor in the financial aspects of living in the community. Does it align with your budget? Consider not only the upfront costs but also ongoing fees and potential changes in your financial situation.
Speak with Experts: Consult with our 55+ real estate agents, financial advisors, and others who specialize in retirement living. They can offer insights and help you evaluate whether the community aligns with your vision.

There are lots of ways to make your active adult lifestyle as enjoyable as possible. Join interest groups and clubs if they are available. Take a fitness class or a continuing education course. Challenge neighbors and friends to a friendly game of pickleball, bocce, cards, or dominoes. Participate in a walking or biking group. Spend time socializing in any provided common spaces in the clubhouse or perhaps around the pool. Each community provides multiple ways to maintain an active, engaging lifestyle. Work closely with a 55places Partner Agent to make sure that the communities you are viewing can provide the lifestyle you desire.

Deciding on an active adult lifestyle involves careful consideration of various personal factors. Here are some key aspects to think about before making your decision:

  • Health and Well-Being: Consider whether the community’s amenities and resources, such as fitness facilities, wellness programs, and health care services, align with your health goals and requirements.
  • Social Interactions: Consider whether the community’s social atmosphere matches your desired level of interaction.
  • Hobbies and Interests: Look for a community that offers activities and clubs that align with your passions, whether that’s golf, gardening, arts and crafts, or other recreational pursuits.
  • Financial Considerations: Review the costs associated with living in the community, including home ownership or rental fees, homeowners’ association dues, and other expenses.
  • Travel and Exploration: Consider whether the community offers the flexibility you need to pursue your travel interests.
  • Family Dynamics: Consider how an active adult lifestyle might impact your interactions with children, grandchildren, and other relatives. Assess whether the community’s rules and regulations align with your family dynamics.
  • Personal Goals: Consider your personal aspirations and goals for this phase of your life. Determine how the active adult lifestyle aligns with your vision for your future.

What to Know Before Relocating to a Retirement Community

55+ communities often place a strong emphasis on fostering a sense of community and providing residents with opportunities for social interaction and engagement. As a result, they frequently organize special events and holiday celebrations to bring residents together. Many 55+ communities have resident-led event planning committees or social committees that are responsible for organizing and coordinating special events and holiday celebrations. Holiday celebrations can include gatherings for major holidays such as New Year’s, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, Fourth of July, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, and Christmas. Decorations, themed meals, live entertainment, and other festive activities are often part of these celebrations. Communities might also organize events that coincide with the seasons, such as summer BBQs, fall festivals, spring garden tours, and winter holiday markets.

Discover what’s next.

To learn more information or connect with a real estate expert, contact us today.

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