Top 10 Benefits of 55+ Communities (And a Few Cons)

Can you spot the $207,744 difference between these identical homes?

Financing is the difference!

Get the details in The 62+ Loan Homebuyers Guide.

55places Mortgage is a joint venture between Mutual of Omaha Mortgage and 55places.com.
Details here.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Get Weekly Updates

I agree that 55places and its affiliates, partner providers or agents may call, text, or email me about my inquiry, which may be made with automated means. I understand that my consent is not a prerequisite for buying a property. I may revoke my consent at any time by contacting optout@55places.com. Message/data rates may apply. I also agree to 55places.com’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

A retired couple dances in their kitchen while enjoying the benefits of a 55+ community.

13 minute read

What You’ll Gain From Reading This Article: Learn about the numerous benefits of living in 55+ communities, such as low-maintenance living, active lifestyles, onsite amenities, and safety features, while also being informed of potential drawbacks like HOA fees, visitor restrictions, and reduced privacy.


Retiring may be the end of your professional life, but it doesn’t mean your life is over. In fact, you’ve got a lot of life to live, and you should enjoy it. For many, this involves selling their family home, but most retirees aren’t ready for the stereotypical retirement home lifestyle. Instead, you might consider moving to an active lifestyle community to take advantage of the many unique benefits of 55+ communities.

Across the United States, there are thousands of age-restricted and active lifestyle communities designed specifically for retirees. Some of the states with the most active adult communities include Florida, Arizona, Texas, New Jersey, and California. Whether you want to retire in a warmer climate or stay closer to home, there are plenty of options for your budget and needs.

We know from helping thousands of people find the perfect community that this move can be exciting and a little overwhelming. We’ve gathered the 10 benefits of living in a 55+ community to help make your decisions a little easier. Whether you’re just starting your search or already have retirement plans, keep reading to consider the top 10 benefits of living in a 55+ community, including:

For many active adults, chores like mowing the lawn, cleaning gutters, and pulling weeds can become arduous and time-consuming. Luckily, many 55+ communities offer low-maintenance or maintenance-free lifestyles.

Misconceptions about 55+ communities.

Many residents of 55+ communities benefit from a homeowners’ association (HOA) that takes care of a number of tasks to keep the community and its homes beautiful. For an annual fee, the HOA often covers:

  • Exterior maintenance: An HOA frequently covers common area maintenance, community landscaping, amenity maintenance, yard maintenance, exterior home maintenance tasks, and season chores such as leaf blowing and snow removal.
  • Additional services: Your HOA may cover valet and concierge services, housekeeping, meal preparation, pet care, and other resort-like services.
  • Lock-and-leave lifestyle: Your HOA will cover many tasks while you are gone, so when you return home, you’ll only have to unpack your suitcases. 

Because you don’t have to focus on these tasks, you’ll have more time to pursue new hobbies and opportunities. Instead of mowing the lawn, use your time to join a new club or explore the surrounding area.

The lifestyle offered at many 55+ communities puts the “active” in active adults. Before moving to a 55+ community, homeowners have to travel to and from places like fitness centers, tennis and golf clubs, and other locations for club and group meet-ups. In a 55+ community,  everything needed to live an active and enriching lifestyle is conveniently located right at home.

Two mature adults riding a bike on the beach while enjoying the benefits of a 55+ community.

Some popular active lifestyle perks you’ll find at 55+ communities include:

  • Fitness amenities: 55+ communities cater to an active physical lifestyle through amenities such as exercise equipment, outdoor pools, and sports courts so you can play pickleball, tennis, bocce ball, shuffleboard, and gold to your heart’s content. Some 55+ communities may also offer fitness classes such as yoga, tai chi, and Zumba®.
  • Outdoor spaces: Many 55+ communities recognize the power of fresh air, so they’ve incorporated outdoor amenities such as walking and biking paths, nature trails, greenspaces, lakes and ponds, and gardens. 
  • Classes, activities, and meet-ups: Get to know your neighbors with classes, activities, and meet-ups. Enjoy social time with friends and encourage each other to be more active.

Amenities offer an enticing selling point for many homebuyers. Onsite amenities provide entertainment, fun, and social activity close to home. Active adults searching for a community have to look closely at the amenities to ensure the services and facilities offered cater to their lifestyles and preferences.

A mature adult enjoying a drink at the pool, a popular benefit of 55+ communities.

You’ll find all sorts of onsite amenities in 55+ communities, but some of the most common include:

  • A clubhouse: Depending on your community, this can be a multipurpose gathering space or a massive amenity complex. You may find game rooms, arts and crafts studios, spas, community kitchens, classrooms, libraries, media rooms, fitness studios, restaurants, lounges, theaters, ballrooms, and more. 
  • Everyday conveniences: Large 55+ communities such as The Villages in Central Florida have town squares and shopping centers that residents can enjoy without leaving. Some of these communities are also golf cart-accessible, meaning you won’t even need your car to grab your groceries.

Making the move to a 55+ community comes with a new home, new amenities, and new neighbors. Because the sizes of active adult communities differ, homeowners can have hundreds, thousands, or even tens of thousands of neighbors, which may seem overwhelming. However, one of the benefits of living in a 55+ community is that the active lifestyle and amenities make it easy to find like-minded neighbors.

Mature adults enjoying an art class, one of the benefits of 55+ communities.

Because you live near people with similar interests, you can make connections and experience the following benefits:

  • Activities, clubs, and classes: Many 55+ communities employ a full-time lifestyle director who hosts a full social calendar for residents to enjoy. Join a club that interests you, or approach the lifestyle director to start your own. Embrace new hobbies from woodworking to knitting, book club to ballroom dancing, photography to pottery. These amenities are a great way to meet your neighbors if you’re just moving to the community.
  • Events, classes, and performances: Mingle with your friends and neighbors at holiday parties, potlucks, dances, band performances, plays, movie nights, or community outings. You can also meet at local attractions such as museums, movie theaters, restaurants, vineyards, and casinos.
  • A healthier life: A robust social life in your later years can come with various health benefits, including improved cardiovascular health, decreased risk of dementia, better sleep, and a lower risk of depression and anxiety.

The single-family, attached, or condo homes within 55+ communities aren’t just the average residences you can find anywhere. The developers of age-restricted communities have expertise in designing and building homes specific to the needs and preferences of active adults, ensuring that your next home can be your forever home.

Two mature adults cooking in their spacious kitchen, a popular benefit of 55+ communities.

Many homes in 55+ communities feature:

  • First-floor living
  • Accessible storage spaces
  • Modern floor plans

It’s common among homebuyers to hear that “location, location, location” should be the top priority when choosing a new home. Another positive reason to choose a 55+ community is that developers often build these neighborhoods in appealing locations that put active adults close to everyday conveniences, attractions, and entertainment. 

A mature adult taking advantage of convenient locations, a common benefit of 55+ communities.

Although active adult communities provide plenty of amenities and activities for residents to enjoy without leaving the comfort of their neighborhoods, their convenient locations also make it possible to get out and explore the surrounding areas.

Don’t just look at the 55+ community itself. Consider the following as well:

  • Nearby metropolitan areas: Suburban areas offer many options for grocery stores, pharmacies, coffee shops, and restaurants. You can also find plenty to do any day of the week. Also, consider the location of things you love to do. If you love to travel, look for a 55+ community near a major airport. 
  • Parks, greenspaces, and natural areas: Most communities are within easy reach of local parks or reservoirs that offer fun days in the sun. Popular activities include hiking, bird watching, fishing, and canoeing. Many of the coastal communities in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Florida make spending any sunny day at the beach possible.

Smart homeowners always consider their homes’ safety and security, but living in a low-maintenance 55+ community eases much of that burden. Many age-restricted communities have HOAs that prioritize community security by implementing several measures to ensure active adults feel safe in their homes.

A mature adult leaving on a trip because her 55+ community is safe.

Popular safety and security features of 55+ communities include:

  • Gated communities: 55+ communities are often gated, which discourages anyone from entering and closely monitors all vehicle traffic. Some may even have a gatehouse or security guard to ensure no one gets in but residents and their guests.
  • Close-knit communities: Because 55+ communities often feature strong social programs, you can really get to know your neighbors. As a result, everyone watches out for everyone else and can spot suspicious persons or behaviors.

In addition to supporting an active physical and social lifestyle, 55+ communities enable residents to live their healthiest lifestyle. Health is incredibly important for active adults, and homebuyers should consider how a particular home, community, and lifestyle might positively impact their well-being.

Mature adults participating in a yoga class, a popular benefit of 55+ communities.

55+ communities often feature:

  • A holistic view of health: Being healthy isn’t just about visiting the doctor when you’re physically sick. It’s also about maintaining mental, social, emotional, and spiritual health. Many 55+ communities include programs that promote healthy aging, such as social events and physical activities.
  • Nearby health care: 55+ communities focus on wellness programs, so they don’t often have any health care infrastructure onsite. However, they are often near hospitals, medical centers, and other health care providers. 

Many active adults, especially empty-nesters, find that they have more space in their homes than they actually need. Moving to a 55+ community allows homebuyers to downsize their home and possessions to live a more active life.

Mature adults packing to downsize their home, a common benefit of 55+ communities.

By thoughtfully reducing your possessions to live in a 55+ community, you create more space, lift the burden of clutter, and make for a less stressful transition.

When searching for the perfect 55+ community, homebuyers can narrow their search by location, size, and amenities. Budget is another factor that impacts where active adults can retire. That’s why there are age-restricted communities that can meet any budget while still providing homeowners with the great benefits of living in a 55+ community.

Mature adults consider their budget to determine the cost of living in a 55+ community.

Homes in 55+ communities come in a wide range of price options within a neighborhood. Consider the different home types available, including square footage, lots, and HOA fees, to find an affordable home in your price range without sacrificing your dream home.

While living in a 55+ community offers many benefits, there can be a few drawbacks that may mean it’s not the right fit for you. Before purchasing a new home, it’s important to carefully consider the pros and cons of 55+ communities.

Potential cons of 55+ communities include:

  • Cost: While the amenities that 55+ communities provide are great, they come at a cost in the form of an HOA fee. Some amenities, such as access to a private golf course, may even cost additional money when a resident uses them. These HOA fees may be cost-prohibitive for some retirees living on a budget. You can potentially lower these costs by choosing a community with fewer amenities.
  • Visitor restrictions: Some 55+ communities have limits on visitors in their bylaws. They may limit how long your guests can stay or how many guests you can have. Visitors may be unable to stay in your home when you aren’t home, so no one could stay with your dog while you’re on a cruise. Some bylaws may even restrict your visitors under a certain age, so your grandchildren may be unable to stay with you. 
  • Less privacy: Homes in 55+ communities tend to be closer together than in traditional communities, so you may share a wall or two with a neighbor. You also may struggle to find ways to enjoy your outdoor space without seeing a neighbor.
  • Lack of onsite health care: 55+ communities are intended for active adults who can live independently. While many 55+ communities offer health and wellness amenities such as yoga classes or an onsite gym, they don’t offer medical care. If medical care is important to you, consider choosing a 55+ community near a health care facility or opt for third-party home health care or an assisted living facility.
  • Lack of age diversity: While living around people your age is often a reason for moving into a 55+ community, some people miss interacting with younger people. 

Read a potential community’s bylaws carefully and ask questions while on a tour to avoid these cons.

Since the 1950s, 55+ communities have been popular with active adults seeking a happy and healthy retirement option. Benefits of a 55+ community include access to resort-style amenities, engaging social events, and a buzzing atmosphere of social activity.

With modern floor plans and state-of-the-art amenities, age-restricted communities are more popular than ever. But with thousands of options available, finding the right one for your lifestyle and interests can be a challenge. The expert agents at 55places can help you find the perfect 55+ community in your dream location.

Learn more about 55+ communities and their benefits.

What Is a 55+ Community?

A 55+ community is any age-restricted community that requires residents to be 55 or over to purchase a home. Some communities may require all residents to be over 55, but most only require at least one person in a residence to be over 55. Check the specific bylaws of any 55+ community.

Additionally, 55+ communities are designed specifically for people older than 55. They often feature amenities and home floor plans preferred by seniors.

What Are the Types of 55+ Communities?

There are many types of 55+ communities, and you can divide them by the level of care they provide. You can find the following types of 55+ communities:

Active Adult Communities: Also known as independent living, these communities cater to seniors who can live independently. They are often individual homes, condos, or apartments and resemble resort living more than the stereotypical retirement home. Within this type of 55+ community, you’ll find all different levels from luxury to religious to resort-style, and most people own their home.

Assisted Living Communities: Seniors in assisted living communities still have independence but require more support to live a full life. They live in their own private space but receive special support, such as taking medication, getting dressed, and preparing meals.

Skilled Nursing Communities: When a senior needs medical care around the clock, a skilled nursing community may be the best option. Registered nurses and doctors staff these communities and more closely resemble a hospital than a private home. 

Memory Care: Seniors with dementia and Alzheimer’s require specific care from medical professionals. Memory care communities help promote the independence and cognitive function of those with memory challenges.

Are 55+ Communities Worth It?

Yes, 55+ communities are worth it if you value the amenities and lifestyle they offer. It’s important to carefully consider the pros and cons of a specific 55+ community and its bylaws before moving in.

Discover what’s next.

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

ABOUT BILL NESS

Bill Ness is the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of 55places.com. His real estate career began in sales for Del Webb before becoming a sales manager for Sun City Huntley. After noticing that the industry lacked a central, reliable, and unbiased resource for active adult communities, Bill left Del Webb in 2007 to start 55places.com. Having traveled to countless 55+ communities and having interviewed residents, builders, and agents around the country, Bill is considered a leading expert on the active adult lifestyle.

Can you spot the $207,744 difference between these identical homes?

Financing is the difference!

Get the details in The 62+ Loan Homebuyers Guide.

55places Mortgage is a joint venture between Mutual of Omaha Mortgage and 55places.com.
Details here.

We're here to help! (800) 928-2055

Call us to speak with a customer service representative.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Get Weekly Updates

I agree that 55places and its affiliates, partner providers or agents may call, text, or email me about my inquiry, which may be made with automated means. I understand that my consent is not a prerequisite for buying a property. I may revoke my consent at any time by contacting optout@55places.com. Message/data rates may apply. I also agree to 55places.com’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Exterior view of an attached home at Windsor Lakes in The Woodlands, Texas.

Houston 55+ Communities With Attached Homes for Sale

Imagine having more time for hobbies, travel, and friends—and less time spent on yard work and home repairs! In Houston, there are plenty of vibrant communities to choose from, each offering unique character and amenities. Let’s take a look!

The grounds of Gatherings at Potomac Station in Leesburg, Virginia.

New Active Adult Communities Added to 55places.com

In this comprehensive roundup, we bring you the latest additions to 55places.com—a trusted resource for exploring active adult communities. Over the past 30 days, several new communities have joined the ranks, each offering different amenities and locations.

A golf cart outside the golf club at CountryPlace in Pearland, Texas.

Retire on the Links in Houston, TX: Golf Course Homes for Sale

Active adults who are lifelong golfers or newfound golf enthusiasts can easily enjoy the sport when their neighborhood contains a golf course. Homebuyers who desire a golf course lifestyle and want to remain near the heart of a big city can find a great fit at one of these exceptional Houston area communities.

About 55places

We’re changing the way people 55 and older are searching for their perfect next place. With a national network of hand-selected real estate experts, plus comprehensive information, unbiased content, and on-the-go insight about thousands of communities across the country, we’re a trusted resource paving the way from here to home. Whether you’re interested in a low-maintenance single-level residence, an active lifestyle or age-qualified community, an intimate enclave, or anything in between, we can help you make your next move the best one yet.

Scroll to Top