When planning where to retire near Chicago, location is often one of the most important factors. Many active adult homebuyers take into consideration how easily family can come to visit their new home as well as how easily they can visit nearby family in the Chicagoland area.
Luckily for Illinois retirees, some of the best places to retire near Chicago provide convenient access to all of the surrounding suburbs as well as downtown. Some of the area’s best active adult communities offer proximity to major interstates and Metra stations as well as spacious homes and adventurous amenities the whole family can enjoy.
Whether you seek a retirement community that’s affordable or luxurious, large or small, these active adult communities provide diverse options. If you have family in Chicago, here are some places to consider for retirement.
High $100s - High $400s
For active adults who want to retire in Northern Illinois, Sun City Huntley in Huntley is one of the most desirable options. This 55+ Del Webb active adult community features many of the popular amenities that retirees seek. Also, current homes for sale range from the high $200s to the high $400.
As the largest age-restricted community in the state, Sun City Huntley also boasts spacious amenities, including the 94,000-square-foot Prairie Lodge, the 20,000-square-foot Meadow View Lodge, and a 4,800-square-foot woodworking shop. In the clubhouses, residents can enjoy amenities such as a state-of-the-art fitness center, a restaurant, and indoor and outdoor pools.
When family comes to visit, the outdoor amenities offer something for almost everyone. Residents and their guests have access to an 18-hole golf course, a softball stadium, sand volleyball courts, fishing lakes, gardening plots, walking and biking trails, a playground, and much more.
The convenient location near Interstate 90 provides easy access to the surrounding suburbs, including Elgin, Schaumburg, and Evanston. Downtown Chicago is about an hour away. The nearby Milwaukee District West (MD-W) Metra runs from downtown Chicago to the Big Timber Road station about 15 minutes away, ideal for day trips to and from the city.
High $100s - High $500s
Lake Barrington Shores in Barrington is an active lifestyle community located along scenic Lake Barrington. The attached homes range from approximately 933 to 4,600 square feet, so potential homebuyers can find the residence with just enough space for them. Many of the larger homes have second master bedrooms or guest suites, ideal for when family visits. Current homes for sale range from the high $100s to the high $500s.
As an active lifestyle community, many of the amenities appeal to family members of all ages. The amenities provided by the lake include beach access and opportunities to boat, canoe, fish, and swim. The community clubhouse features plenty of space in the multipurpose rooms, outdoor patio, and banquet hall for community gatherings and private parties.
When residents want to visit downtown Chicago, they can take advantage of the nearby Union Pacific Northwest (UP-NW) Metra, which has several stations just ten to fifteen minutes away. Residents can also drive about an hour to downtown Chicago or about 40 minutes to O’Hare International Airport.
Low $100s - Low $300s
With some of the most affordable low-maintenance homes for sale in the Chicagoland area, Saddlebrook Farms in Grayslake offers a budget-friendly retirement. The single-family homes, which range from 1,169 to 2,516 square feet, offer an ideal opportunity for many active adults to downsize. Current homes for sale range from the low $100s to the low $200s.
One resident who recently reviewed the community shared his own positive experience buying a home at Saddlebrook Farms:
“We downsized to Saddlebrook Farms three years ago and never looked back. Where else in Lake County can you have a three-bedroom, two-bathroom home on a lake for less than $240,000? The convenience of having a maintenance staff on site is so helpful, not only for lawn care and snow removal but for repairs.”
Thanks to the affordable homes and provided maintenance, residents can spend much more time visiting with family and enjoying the community’s amenities. The historic lakefront clubhouse has been remodeled with modern touches but still retains some of its farmhouse charm.
Low $1Ms - Mid $1Ms
One of the most exclusive neighborhoods in Northern Illinois, Westleigh Farm in Lake Forest will consist of just 34 single-family homes upon completion. This luxury active lifestyle community is currently under construction on the site of the former King Country Estate, the inspiration for F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel "The Great Gatsby."
The spacious brand-new homes will range from 2,786 to 4,497 square feet with up to five bedrooms, three-and-a-half bathrooms, and attached two- or three-car garages. The open floor plans and luxury design features will create a gathering space ideal for family reunions, parties, and holidays.
Many of the home features in Westleigh Farm will appeal to active adult homebuyers. In addition to one-level living, the homes will include universal design features such as wide hallways, sensor lighting, and zero-step showers.
When family comes to visit, they can take either the Union Pacific North (UP-N) or the Milwaukee District North (MD-N) Metra, which both have stations about five minutes away. Near Interstate 94, residents can easily drive to downtown Chicago as well as Waukegan, Arlington Heights, and Evanston.