Active adults and seniors all over the country are retiring in droves! Active adult housing communities are all the rage and cater to an active, resort style life! New home communities are popping up in desirable retirement locations… especially in “snowbird” states like Arizona and Texas.

With so many options and things to consider, it is easy to become overwhelmed with information … and questions! This will help answer … what should you consider when looking for your slice of the good life?  

Active Adult Communities

You’ve put in your time, worked hard, saved and now you are ready to enjoy your golden years! According to a retirement lifestyle expert, Jackie Oldenburg (www.retirementlifestyleaz.com), there is a laundry list of question and things to consider when making the decision to join this lifestyle movement!

With countless communities to choose from, here are some of the tips she offers her clients relocation to Arizona (one of the top retirement states in the country).

Location, Location, Location

As always in real estate, location is key. With not just a focus on the community itself, there are a lot of factors to consider.

Cost of Living and Property Taxes

With property taxes and cost of living extremely high in areas like California, Washington, Illinois and New York … places like Arizona keep popping up. With a great climate (9 months out of the year), low taxes, high quality of life and low cost of living communities in Arizona have grown tenfold. Regardless of the state or city you are looking at… these numbers and factors are important to consider and should play heavily into your community and location choices.

Proximity

One thing to consider is not just the community itself, but the surrounding area where the community is located. Is it close to family, relatives or friends? How long does it take to get to the grocery store or other shopping? Where are the doctors and hospitals?

These are all excellent questions to consider when researching a community, you may want to join. Sometimes these small details and can make or break your comfort level and ability to enjoy your new retirement life worry-free.

Future Development and Equity

Something often overlooked is the future of the community. Retirement seems somewhat final, but cities grow, towns change, and it is important to consider what the future of the area will be. C

onsider digging up some public records or working with a local realtor to understand where things may be in 3, 5, 10 years. This is also good for evaluating future home values and making the most out of your investment! With most retirees being on a fixed income this is a step not to be overlooked.

Community Perks and Amenities

Now to the fun stuff. Retirement is basically college with money! A time in your life to enjoy the fruits of your labor while staying active! It is important to select a community that offers the type of life you are in search of… from hiking and biking to poolside relaxation, some of these communities have it all.

Golf, Country, and Social Clubs

Many retirement communities, like the Trilogy® communities by Shea Homes, offer a country club and resort style living. These include social or golf memberships and offer a very packed activity and event calendar.

With anything from wine tasting and poker night to lady’s golf day and competitive golf tournaments, these active communities are for those who see and want to be seen!

While this is not for everyone it does offer a one-stop shop for retirees who want to have the sense of community and access to everything you could ever need without ever leaving the gates. This club lifestyle is not right for everyone, so it is important to research and visit the community before making your decision.

Fitness and Fun

Most communities offer group fitness classes, a fully equipped gym space, spas and programs that will feed your soul.  Whether you are looking for a place to have something to do daily, or just a couple things a week, these communities cater to all types of interests and you are free to pick and choose as you please!

Make sure you work with a local realtor or a community representative to ensure you are getting the most bang for your buck… some communities will offer much more than others!

The People

One thing Jackie thinks is often overlooked are the personalities and rules in the community. These will be your neighbors, colleagues and ideally friends… you will see groups at the club or at the gym, so you want to make sure you find a community that is a match for you. There are so many options and it is important to tour the communities, have lunch there and spend some time… not just see the models.

Also, make sure to research the HOA rules and regulations… pet policies, fees, guest rules and more. It should feel welcoming and inviting and meet your needs for your slice of the good life!

Choosing a retirement community is much easier when you are equipped with information and know how to ask the right questions. For more information on communities in Arizona, please visit www.retirementlifestyleaz.com.

What are your goals in retirement? If you could design your dream retirement situation, what would it look like? Share your thoughts and comments below!

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