Your Guide To Exploring Types of Active Adult Communities

Retired woman enjoys swimming in her active adult community.

5 minute read

If you’re considering downsizing and upgrading to a more carefree lifestyle, you may be surprised to find how many types of active adult communities there are. The term active adult community means different things to each resident. Are you looking for a mountain town with miles of trail system to explore, the likes of which you might find in 55+ communities in Colorado? Or are you seeking a beachy getaway with a spa on-site to decompress after a good workout? Still, others might define an active adult community as one that supports residential health and wellness.

Explore the right active adult communities for you with our guide.

Options for Independent Retirees in a Private Home

A happy 55+ couple laughing on their living room sofa.

Active Adult Communities 

If you’re seeking a place that prioritizes recreation, you’ll feel right at home in an active adult community. These neighborhoods offer on-site amenities such as fitness centers, dog parks, tennis courts, swimming pools, and social activities. There’s also a large variety of neighborhoods that cater to specific interests. Some active adult communities include golf courses while others feature nature preserves. Whether you’re looking for walking trails or a putting green, you’re sure to find access to private recreation areas within a safe, well-maintained space.

55+ Communities

The label 55+ community is often used interchangeably with retirement communities, but that’s not exactly true. A 55+ community is simply as the name implies; a master-planned community designed for adults aged 55 and older. In these neighborhoods, you’ll find amenities, services, and events that appeal to residents who are in a more settled stage of life. You won’t find noisy house parties or young children in these spaces, but you will find a peaceful community with neighbors who share your interests and values.

Age-Targeted Communities

These communities aim to appeal to a specific age group. Unlike 55+ communities, the minimum age may vary or may be more flexible and open. These communities are great for households that may have varying age groups, but for whom the primary and long-term resident fits the target age group of the community.

Resort-Style Active Adult Communities

This is the gold standard in active retirement communities. Not only do resort-style communities offer recreation facilities and fitness centers, but they are built with the style of your favorite vacation getaway. Here, you’ll find world-class dining, spa services, and lap pools. Many even offer concierge services and added touches such as on-site salons. The epitome of this style of community is the ever-popular Latitude Margaritaville in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Some of the most popular states for these communities include Florida, and California. You’ll discover beachside spas and small vacation-esque towns built around a single gated community. Of course, if you’re looking for hidden gems, check out North Carolina. Many resort communities along North Carolina’s coast offer sparkling ocean views and amazing dining options. Some even offer move-in valet services to help get you settled.

Independent Living Communities 

Downsizing doesn’t mean giving up your space and privacy. Independent living communities offer private residences such as apartments, townhomes, cottages, and condos, alongside common areas and amenities. A homeowners’ association (HOA) maintains these residences. That means the grounds crew takes care of any repairs. You can also count on manicured lawns and common spaces outside of the home. Don’t worry; There’s still room to plant and tend your own garden at many of these locations.

Senior Co-Housing

If you enjoy a shared community, senior co-housing is a great option for single residents who like the idea of company. Senior co-housing is a more independent type of roommate arrangement. You won’t be sharing a college dorm, but you’ll enjoy the benefit of shared responsibilities and resources as well as common areas, while still maintaining private residences. These communities are ideal for those moving to a new area or for anyone who prioritizes a thriving social scene.

Additionally, many senior co-housing communities pair residents within their own smaller communities based on shared interests. That means you’ll always have a tennis partner or a friend to go out swing dancing with.

Options for Retirees With Health Care and Supportive Needs

A happy senior woman doing exercises at home with a physiotherapist.

Assisted Living Communities

Active living can look different for each 55+ homebuyer, and not all active adult communities are for everyone. For some, active living may be jetskiing, while for others, it may be settling in a community with resources to help you remain active. Assisted living communities make life hassle-free for retirees who require support in daily tasks. These communities honor independence while providing an accessible environment with care staff available 24/7.

Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs)

Continuing Care Retirement Communities or CCRCs provide residents with a clear path from independent living to assisted living or skilled nursing care as their needs change. While planning for a new life stage can be a difficult process, CCRCs make the journey a little easier.

There’s no need to move locations when and if your needs change. Flexible living is a great option for many retirees who have a goal of staying settled while also being mindful of evolving wellness priorities. A perfect solution, CCRCs offer the comfort, ease, and familiarity of remaining in the neighborhood you enjoy.

Memory Care Communities

Memory Care Communities house those with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and other forms of mental challenges. They offer advanced health care teams on-site as well as wellness offerings that support autonomy and empower residents who are living with cognitive decline. These facilities offer a safe environment to thrive.

Active Adult Communities: Find the One You Want

A senior couple relaxing by the outdoor swimming pool in their 55+ community.

Searching through all the active adult communities and finding the right one comes down to what you prioritize most in your future home. Luckily, with so many communities to choose from, there’s no need to compromise. Many neighborhoods fit a variety of needs such as age-restricted terms, a lively events calendar, and lush natural spaces. 

Learn more about what to look for when touring the active adult communities on your list and reach out to the team at 55places for more tips.

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