Retirement Senior Communities are oriented toward an active lifestyle, although "active" is not a criterion. Enriched with choices and opportunities of how to fill your days seems to be. Communities usually have a minimum age restriction of 55 for at least one of the residents. Sometimes the age minimum is 60 or 62. If it is 62, then all occupants must be at least that age. Check resident restrictions before purchasing.

The average age of residents in a retirement community may rise as the community ages. In a well-established retirement community, as the community matures, the average age of residents rises. The average age of new buyers, however, may continue to be in the early 60's.

Adult Retirement Communities may offer golf, tennis, swimming pools, hiking and biking trails, exercise rooms, and a variety of clubs and interest groups. They may be located in a resort region or a University town and offer the enriched lifestyle of the resort or the University.

Some age-restricted communities are built on in-fill sites in established cities or close-in suburbs. They attract retirees seeking to reduce their home maintenance chores (by downsizing), but wanting to stay close to where they have lived for many years. Some cities attract well-heeled retirees seeking the culture and lifestyle characteristic of their city.

Statistics show that at the larger recreational-oriented communities, the average new buyer age is in the early 60's with an annual income above $35,000 per year.

More than 50% of active adult community buyers continue to purchase their home for cash using a portion of the proceeds received from the sale of a previous home. They also tend to set a portion of the sale proceeds aside in an investment to generate additional income to supplement their annual cash flow or to use for an emergency, should it be needed. Focus groups indicate that on average, 2/3 of the cash from the sale of a home goes into the purchase of a retirement home.

The incorporation of amenities and shared facilities means senior communities have a Community Association. Considering a Retirement Community may be your first introduction to a Community Association. To better understand the costs involved, compare the Community Association fees to your present home costs:

  • Home Maintenance and Repair
  • Gardening Service
  • Landscaping costs including watering
  • Pool and spa costs including maintenance and repairs
  • Fire and theft insurance
  • Country Club membership and privileges
  • Golf and tennis fees
  • Snow plow, trash, and other local services
  • Cable access
  • Other home utilites -i.e.water, if included in C/A fee
  • Security services
  • Costs to retrofit or remodel to accommodate aging
  • Cost to commute to clubs and activities
  • Cost to get together with friends
  • Cost for home security

You should also be aware that a Community Association has Conditions, Covenants, and Restrictions (CC&Rs) that may control or affect what you can do with your property. Although many work well to protect your property values, become familiar with the regulations before you sign on the dotted line. Do some research about possible cautions and pitfalls so that you buy into a senior community with your eyes opened.

Here are a couple of good articles from our archives that will satisfy your thirst for more learning on this topic:

Find Senior Housing in Your State

You've come to the right place if you're looking for senior housing! If you haven't already read our guide on senior housing, you may want to start there. Otherwise, browse our local directories to find the type of housing that fits your needs best: