group of mature friends playing croquet in backyard

Moving to a retirement community can be a daunting thought for many Baby Boomers. The thought of selling the home you have lived in for many years, leaving neighbors, friends and family is enough to deter many retirees from making any kind of change at all. Moving to a retirement community might mean moving across town or venturing half way around the country.

Chances are you have probably at least entertained the idea of moving, and more than likely you already know someone who lives in a 55+ age-restricted community. But if you are still wondering if living in an active adult community is right for you, 55 Places has compiled a list of nine reasons you should consider making 2009 the year you move to an age-restricted active retirement community.

1. You’re Not Getting Any Younger

Let’s face it, you might still feel like a 30-year old but time will eventually catch up to you. I often hear from retirees that they are “not ready for this type of living.” Yet, one of the greatest draws of active adult living is that you can take part in a great variety of fitness and social activities. Why wait until you are too old to take advantage of such a lifestyle?

2. Homes Are Cheap

The depressed real estate market has made for tremendous buying opportunities in retirement communities across the country. Yes, we know, you don’t want to have to give away your home for a rock-bottom price so you can buy a new home. Well guess what, homes in retirement communities are equally depressed. When your home eventually starts going back up in value, so will the home you want to buy. Why not take advantage of one of the best buyer’s markets in history?

3. No More Home Maintenance

That 40-year old home may have a lot of character and memories but it also causes a lot of home maintenance headaches. If fixing leaks, replacing windows and mowing the lawn aren’t as fun as they used to be, perhaps it is time you let someone do it for you. Most adult communities are maintenance free or offer very low maintenance.

4. Make New Friends

Picking up and leaving a neighborhood filled with lifelong friends can be a deterrent for many people to leave the home they love. On the flip side, however, imagine life in a community with several hundred or even several thousand neighbors your age who share similar passions. Chances are you’ll be more popular than you ever knew, and making new friends will be easier than you can imagine.

5. No More Stairs

Stairs weren’t fun when you were 20 and they aren’t getting any more appealing now that you're growing older. Almost every retirement community is filled with single-level homes with master bedrooms and laundry rooms all on the main floor.

6. Move To A Warmer Climate

Even the most die-hard fans of four seasons living start to question their motives this time of year. The fact is, most retirees who do move won’t even leave their current county, let alone their home state. But for Boomers, retirement living means finding a warm weather climate in a retirement community across the Sun Belt.

7. No More Kids

There is no need to defend yourself here. You love kids. You’ve probably raised children of your own and you might even have the most delightful bunch of grandkids. It’s not that you don’t want to see kids, you just want some peace and quiet from time to time. Don’t’ worry, most retirement communities are not filled with a bunch of children hating adults. In fact, most communities have very children-friendly rules that allow grandkids to visit for up 30 to 90 days or more throughout the year and even allow use of some of the community amenities.

8. Live Healthier

Living in communities with more physical and mental stimulation can help you live a happier, healthier life. Most retirement communities have fitness centers that include weights, cardiovascular machines, walking trails, and fitness classes. Plus, vibrant social calendars with clubs, continuing education classes, and exciting events make for a healthy retirement.

9. You Will Wish You Would Have Done It Sooner

I’ve helped several hundred active adults buy homes in retirement communities. Inevitably, the biggest complaint I hear once the new home buyers are settled in to their new home is that they wish they would have done it sooner. Retirement communities offer a lifestyle unmatched in a regular community. The sooner you take advantage of the opportunities available at an active retirement community, the longer you can enjoy life there.