Senior Resources » The Truth About Age in 55+ Retirement Communities: What to Expect as a Resident

The Truth About Age in 55+ Retirement Communities: What to Expect as a Resident

different ages in 55+ retirement community

Some people may want to know how old people are that live in an over-55 retirement community. The most relevant people to ask that question are those considering an early retirement and want to consider if they are ready to move in with older people.


A sales associate once told me they were heading to the model home park with a couple in their 50s when they saw a person using a walker. The couple immediately decided they didn’t belong there and they didn’t need to see the model. Another couple (also in their 50s) moved into a community close to us and after a year, moved out because there were too many older people for them.

Is Age Really Relevant?

senior man sitting outside with bottle of soda

When you define old age, it is usually from the perspective of the person doing the defining.


There are a number of quotes about age, but the one I like best is by Bernard Baruch:

“To me, old age is always about 15 years older than I am.”

Mark Twain had a good one too:

“Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.”

mark twain quote on age

Back to the question of how old are people living in a 55+ retirement community. Well, obviously, they are at least age 55. In an active adult community, the average age of residents may depend on when the community was built. A community built out over 10 years ago may have a higher average age, than one being built now. This is because a lot of people moved in 10 years ago and are older now, but there have been resales and new people are always moving in.

If you ask the sales office how old are the people living in a community, they will tell you they do not keep a record of the ages.


Living in my Del Webb community, which is 7 years old, I will venture to guess that the highest percentage of people are in their 70s. I would guess the next age decade is probably people in their 60s, then 80s. There are people fewer in their 50s and 90s. But, I suppose the ages are pretty spread out.

I have admired and been inspired by people of all ages living in our community.

Robert and Mary Ann Fowler

This year in our community, several people in their 80s have beaten me in pickleball and in bocce. Several play softball. Last year at the National Senior Games, there was an 80-year-old who had a faster time than I did for the 5k race walk (I was age 68 at the time).

But even more impressive, I think, are the mental abilities, life experiences, enthusiasm for life, and living in the present, people have.

Two members of our writing group around 90 years old are sharp as a tack. I saw two over 90-year-olds participate in USA Track and Field events, setting national records. But I have been most impressed with people in their 80s  and how much they are involved in activities. People in their 70s are in prime time, going as fast as they can to enjoy as much of life as they can.

Many of all ages, like to travel. Many write. Some of the hobbies people have here are just fascinating. Many manage their money well and stay abreast of financial conditions. Politics is alive and well. Volunteering is part of many people’s lives here. There is a joy of living and zest for what’s next. Being part of their grandkids’ lives is important to many, as well as church.  Staying active and engaged is the key common denominator.


I think most people who move into a 55+ retirement community feel younger in a year. It’s all up to you really, but you will have lots of good examples to show you how to stay younger.

So, What’s the Truth About Age in 55+ Retirement Communities?

As long as you are age 55, I don’t think you can be too young to move in.

Originally published August 31, 2023

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