What is a 55+ community?

What is a 55+ community, and more importantly, is it right for you?

There are many names for communities designed for adults over 55. Sometimes, they’re called active adult communities, implying no age restriction on the residents. Retirement communities are for retirees who usually need a higher level of care, and age-restricted communities are often referred to as 55+ communities. Many people have a lot of ideas about what 55+ communities are and what they’re not.

Here’s what you need to know about 55+ communities.

Who can live in a 55+ community?

As the name suggests, 55+ communities are designed for people over the age of 55. This means the home styles, amenities, and general layout of the community have all been created specifically to meet the needs of this demographic.

However, there are some caveats to what might seem like a hard and fast rule. First, there are some communities that enforce different age restrictions. Sometimes, the age limit is over 45 or over 50. You’ll hear these generally referred to as “age-restricted” communities, rather than “55+ communities.” Some communities may also only require one person in a relationship or marriage to be over 55, while the other partner can be younger. Almost all age-restricted communities also set limits on how often visitors under 55 can spend the night in the community in order to maintain their age-restricted rules.

55+ communities are also not restricted to retirees. In fact, as more Americans turn 55 but work until past 65, more 55+ community residents continue to work. In a 55places.com survey, representatives from Shea Homes and Del Webb said that only between 10% and 50% of their residents are fully retired. 55+ communities allow residents to live in a neighborhood with people who want a similar lifestyle.

How are 55+ communities legal?

If 55+ communities are restricting home sales based on age, prospective homebuyers might wonder if they’re actually legal. The Fair Housing Act protects consumers from housing discrimination based on several factors; however, age is not one of those factors.

How are 55+ communities different than retirement communities?

The terms “55+ community” and “retirement community” are sometimes thought to be synonymous. In fact, sometimes people may be using both terms to refer to a community designed with adults over 55 in mind. However, active adult and 55+ communities are different from retirement communities or retirement homes.

Active adult and 55+ communities offer independent living with amenities that older adults may want, including lawn service, gyms or workout facilities, and a relaxed lifestyle. For housing, this means that single-family or attached homes often have first-floor master suites and easy-to-navigate floor plans, while condo buildings will have elevators.

Retirement communities or retirement homes often offer accommodations for older adults who want extra assistance in caring for themselves. This may mean full in-home care, or it may simply mean that meals are provided for residents.

Where can I find 55+ communities?

In 1954, ‘Big Ben’ Schleifer, Elmer Johns, and Francis Greer developed the first age-restricted community in Arizona. They had an idea to develop a master-planned community exclusively for retirees, and shortly, the first 55+ community was born. Shortly thereafter, Del Webb developed Sun City Arizona, the longest-running 55+ community in the country. Del Webb saw the success with their Sun City development and began expanding into states across the country.

Today, people still think of Arizona and Florida as the top locations for 55+ communities. However, developers across the country also saw the benefit of offering age-restricted communities designed to fit the needs of active adults. 55places.com lists active adult communities in all fifty states.

Learn more about 55+ communities in your area today.

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.

Share this post:

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 [email protected] Message/data rates may apply. I also agree to 55places.com’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

The Best Places to Snowbird in 2021

We’ve gathered 25 of the best places for snowbirds, including cities in Florida, Arizona, California, Texas, South Carolina, and Nevada. For each entry, we’ve also provided a list of recommended 55+ communities in the area. If you’re ready to find your own winter retreat this season, here are some of the best places to consider.

A senior couple takes a hike in a low-humidity state they chose for their retirement.

Retirement: What Are the Top 5 States With the Lowest Humidity?

There are many factors in deciding where to retire, and the weather can be one of them. Luckily, many of the states with nice weather also offer additional benefits for people over 60 and have several exciting active adult communities. Here are the four best states for a low-humidity retirement.

Lake view during autumn at dusk of Table Rock Mountain in Pickens, South Carolina.

5 Reasons To Consider a South Carolina Retirement

What does South Carolina have to offer active adults? A selection of over 80 active adult communities is just the beginning. These five reasons to consider a South Carolina retirement just might convince you that this southern coastal state has everything you’re looking for in a 55+ community.

The Best Places to Retire in South Carolina

South Carolina is known for having some of the best golf courses in the country, but that’s not all it has to offer active adults. The state has a rich history and culture, a wide selection of entertainment and recreation, and miles of beaches and coastal living.

North Carolina vs. South Carolina

The Carolinas are a power couple when it comes to maintaining an active lifestyle in an amazing climate, but they’re separated by more than just a border. A side-by-side comparison of the two can quickly show which is better for you when it comes to your interests and needs.

Exterior view of a model home at Del Webb Carolina Gardens, Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina on a sunny day.

55+ Communities With New Homes for Sale Near Raleigh

If you’re in the market for a new construction home in Raleigh, North Carolina there are plenty of options to consider. We’ve put together a list to help you start your search for the perfect neighborhood with new homes.

A woman playing pickleball in her 55+ community.

Raleigh Area 55+ Communities Big on Pickleball

With the pickleball’s rising popularity, many active adult communities across the country have taken heed and added pickleball courts to their lists of amenities. And, the Raleigh-Durham area–which is home to 40 active adult communities–is no different.

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