Active retirement commmunities have a lot of appeal. Why?
I live in one myself, I would never consider moving back to a "traditional" neighborhood...there is a lot of truth in the statement "you rest, you rust."
You have just retired, you want to play...
If you feel that retirement is about non-stop activities...this style of community is for you...just make sure you do some homework to avoid surprises
Active does not always mean athletics...a retirement community can have bridge clubs, mahjong and a photography club and still be considered active.
Remember your first few cruises? You were overwhelmed by all the activities...welcome to an activity-rich retirement community.
Just like a cruise ship, you could do them all (good luck) or just relax.
In an active retirement community the choice is yours... and that is what retirement should be all about...you doing what you want to do.
The key here is that you have choices to make.
You would think that if you want to play golf a lot you should have no pronblem getting a foursome together.
I find that my golfing buddies are juggling lots of activities besides golf. Personally my group has conflicts with softball (big in AZ), pickle ball, wood shop, church activities, trips to Las Vegas, fishing trips...it goes on and on.
Sometimes it is very tough to get three other guys together to play golf. It is a nice problem to have... being busy in retirement is not just lip service.
For instance, we have two world-class workout facilities... 20,000 ft.² apiece... All included in our homeowners association dues, which are a very reasonable $1200 a year... Imagine what you would spend for a private gym membership that requires some commute to enjoy...
We live in an active community for adults, 80 % over 55...Sun City Grand in Surprise Arizona. Why?
It was one of the last communities planned and built by Del Webb...the pioneer in active adult living.
The list of activities is endless...very much like being on a non-floating cruise ship.
The community boasts 4 well-maintained golf courses.
The community of 9200 homes has 2 world class gym, community center, and pool complexes.
Retiring baby boomers want more...rocking chair retirement is not their thing.
When you can spread facility cost over 9200 homes the result is a low price for all the amenities. Yearly HOA dues at a $1,200...average cost for a round of golf...$26.
The $26 a round was based on playing 100 rounds in 2008.
Although I use the gym and golf course on an almost daily basis...active retirement can mean crafts and less strenous activities.
Crafts include pottery, as shown here, stained glass, jewelry making, photography club, computer labs...and continuing education classes.
The motto here is..."you rest, you rust".
When you have 9,200 homes and over 19,000 residents...you have some talent. The community theatre recently put on a very acceptable "Oklahoma". All six performances were sold out.
Since Arizona is a melting pot of retirees you have Michigan clubs, Iowa clubs, veterans groups, etc.
If you cannot find something to do in such a community...it is your own fault.
All of these activities have a price and you need to be aware of who pays for what. For instance, you are dazzled by community X:3 golf courses, 12 tennis courts, sounds great. Just make sure you know how your HOA dues are spent...if HOA dues are going to be used to build 2 more golf courses and you are not a golfer (I'll try and understand) you may not be happy funding a resource like golf courses.
Most communities have a pay as you go program...you play golf, you play extra...you use the wood shop you pay dues...if this is your community that is a good thing.
Just make sure you ask where your HOA dues go.
I just got my bill for $1,250 for a year. What a bargain... a world class gym to use..two huge swimming pools...and a beautifully landscaped community with strict HOA standards to protect your property values.
For my money an vibrant active retirement community is heaven. If this is you, you are in for a treat. The cruise ship analogy has a lot of truth in my hometown. Just make sure you do your homework before you sign anything.