Across the country, retirees are busy searching for their perfect retirement destination where they can make the most of their Golden Years. They may be searching for places with great weather, affordable homes and cost of living, top-notch medical facilities, or proximity to city centers. And while locations like Florida, New Jersey, and Arizona get the most attention for being popular retirement destinations, active adults can rejoice knowing there are other areas that can provide the same options for their retirement lifestyle and needs.
At 55places.com, we gathered internal data to find the ten hottest 55+ markets according to our unique pageviews for each area in the last calendar year. Check out the list below to see if one of these 55+ markets will entice you to move to a new area and settle into an exciting active adult community.
Ocean County in Southern New Jersey has been a retirement hotspot for years thanks to its easy access to big cities, abundant recreational activities, scenic Jersey Shore location, and four-season climate. Retirees flock to Ocean County because it’s also home to oceanfront boardwalk resorts and popular New Jersey towns like Little Egg Harbor, Brick, Barnegat, Manchester, Whiting, Lakewood, and Toms River. Ideally situated along 44 miles of Jersey Shore, this prime coastal retirement hotspot allows retirees to enjoy sandy beaches, Atlantic Ocean breezes, and plenty of outdoor recreational activities and entertainment options that keep them busy throughout the year. Ocean County is also home to some of the state’s most popular 55+ communities, including Holiday City at Berkeley and Leisure Village West.
Active adults flock to the Denver area in Colorado because of its walkable downtown area, four-season climate, affordability, exciting attractions, impressive outdoor scenery and recreation, and its combination of urban vibes with natural charm. Denver has also grown into a modern city that offers great architecture, parks and natural spaces, and cultural attractions. Retirees who love the outdoors will enjoy the city’s park system that has more than 850 miles of urban trails as well as the 314-acre City Park, which is also home to the Denver Zoo and Denver Museum of Nature and Science, and offers plenty of space to enjoy nature in the city. The Denver area is also home to some of the country’s most exciting 55+ communities like Hilltop at Inspiration and Anthem Ranch.
The Phoenix area is another booming 55+ market and is home to numerous active adult communities, including the country’s first active adult community: Sun City. With the success of Sun City, more developers and builders began building more active adult communities throughout the Phoenix area to meet the demand of the Baby Boomer market. Not only do retirees flock to this retirement hotspot because of its warm climate, year-round sunshine, and low cost of living, but the Phoenix area also has impressive outdoor recreational opportunities and top-notch age-restricted communities with world-class amenities and vibrant social atmospheres that retirees seek. Active adults seeking newer construction in the Phoenix area also have Trilogy at Vistancia and Victory at Verrado to choose from.
The Tampa Bay area is Florida’s most popular retirement market because of its coastal vibe, diverse attractions, and quality healthcare options. The Tampa Bay area attracts Boomers from across the country because of its sunny weather as well as beaches along Florida’s western coast. The warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico combined with a variety of ports of call makes this area a prime retirement destination. The area also has a rich lineup of active adult communities that offer resort-style amenities, tranquil settings, exciting social environments, and easy access to entertainment and recreation. Some of the state’s most impressive 55+ communities call the Tampa Bay area home, including Sun City Center, Kings Point, and On Top of the World Clearwater.
There’s more to the Las Vegas area than just the bright lights of the Strip. This market is a popular retirement area for the 55+ crowd with a majority of age-restricted communities being situated on the outskirts of Las Vegas or in suburban areas like Henderson. Retirees will find everything they could want or need including comfortable weather, affordable homes, reasonable cost of living, outdoor recreation, and scenic desert views. Homebuyers can also find new construction active adult communities like Heritage at Cadence, Ardiente, and Trilogy at Summerlin, all of which offer a variety of home designs, resort-style amenities, and an exciting lineup of activities and recreational facilities.
Another coastal area that’s popular among retirees is the Myrtle Beach area in South Carolina. This charming destination features plenty of active adult communities as well as a relaxed coastal lifestyle. In addition to the popular Grand Strand beaches, fresh seafood, lush golf courses, and subtropical climate, the Myrtle Beach area also provides a lively boardwalk, bustling metropolitan area, and a reasonable cost of living. Retirees will love the state’s generous tax policy as the state does not tax Social Security benefits and offers a deduction for retirement income. The area also boasts some awe-inspiring 55+ communities, including Lakeside Crossing and Myrtle Trace.
Regarded as the gateway to the Jersey Shore, Monmouth County in Central New Jersey has a lot of perks that attract active adults. One of the main reasons why this area draws retirees is because of its proximity to urban areas like New York City and Philadelphia, which allows them to remain close to family and friends. Monmouth County also offers Boomers a wide selection of 55-plus communities, including Covered Bridge, Greenbriar at Marlboro, and Four Seasons at Manalapan. Residents of this area are close to the Jersey Shore that includes more than 50 miles of ocean and bay beaches as well as historic sites and modern day attractions.
The Palm Beach area is another hot retirement market located in Southeast Florida. This area draws the 55+ crowd thanks to its year-round tropical climate, sandy beaches, tranquil lakes, endless entertainment options, and various attractions. Many of the active adult communities throughout the Palm Beach area offer low-maintenance homes along with impeccable resort-style amenities and exciting social atmospheres. Another reason why so many retirees settle in the Palm Beach area is the state’s friendly tax climate that offers several tax exemptions as well as numerous world-class healthcare facilities like John F. Kennedy Medical Center in West Palm Beach, which is ranked as one of the top cardiovascular hospitals in the country. Active adults also have no shortage of communities to choose from, including Century Village at Boca Raton, Palm Isles, and Huntington Lakes.
Offering a tranquil and relaxed lifestyle along with abundant natural beauty, it’s no surprise to see that the Ocala area is a popular market among retirees. The area offers an assortment of recreational and cultural attractions within a comfortable setting without enduring the hustle and bustle of larger cities or seasonal crowds. Active adults will find plenty of natural beauty and outdoor recreation including Ocala National Forest, Silver River State Park, and Silver Springs Nature Theme Park, which is the state’s most popular outdoor attraction and known for its glass-bottomed boats. The city of Ocala is known as the “Horse Capital of the World” due to the many thoroughbreds being raised in various horse farms throughout the area. Although horse farms are common sights throughout the area, retirees will also find several active adult communities, one of which is On Top of the World, which will boast 10,000 homes at build out.
Sunny San Diego and its surrounding area is an ideal retirement destination for Boomers looking to enjoy great weather and the outdoors in addition to numerous attractions and activities. The area is full of beautiful soft, sandy beaches and excellent surf conditions and provides retirees with numerous golf courses, boating, fishing, and kayaking activities. Outdoor enthusiasts can explore the city’s 5,800 acres of recreational areas that are perfect for hiking, biking, walking, and camping. Retirees who love to travel down south will enjoy San Diego’s location, which is just 20 miles north of the Mexican border for quick international getaways. The San Diego area hosts some of the region’s most sought-after 55+ communities, including Costa Serena and Auberge at Del Sur.