Everything A 'snowbird' Needs To Know About Active Adult Retirement Communities

Posted on: 24 April 2020

While retirement homes of yesteryear may have resembled the infamous Shady Pines of "Golden Girls" fame, today's communities are focused on the active and robust lifestyle of retirees. In fact, Del Webb lake communities prefer the term 'active adult communities' to fully embrace this growing trend. 

What is an active adult retirement community?

Retirement is not meant to be a time when you just sit at home, watch television, and wait for the grandkids to visit. Active adult communities are designed for retirees to get out there and have fun. From golfing to cooking classes, walking paths to tennis courts, active adult communities want you to make the most of your retirement.  

How old do you have to be to live in a retirement community?

The standard age for retirement communities is 55. This means, for couples, that one partner needs to be at least 55 in order to buy a home and join the community. Some age-restricted communities do have the option to allow a small percentage of the homeowners to join with a  'junior membership' option at 50 or even 40 years young. You could also buy the real estate in your name with the intention of having an older parent live there. 

Are there any other restrictions to living in a retirement community?

Age is not the only factor to consider before buying in an active adult community. Children (or grandchildren) under 18 are not allowed to live in 55+ communities. If you didn't have children until later in life, you have to wait until they are over 18 before you move in, even if you meet the over 55 requirement. In fact, many communities limit stays of children to just two weeks out of any 12 month period.  

There may also be pet restrictions, not just breed, but also size, in retirement communities. Check with your sales office or real estate agent so that you know specifically what the by-laws state regarding pets. 

What type of support services should I look for in a retirement community?

Understand that this purchase should be able to help you transition from your 50s through your 80s and beyond. Look for a community that has access to a variety of support services as your needs increase so you can age in place. Proximity to local hospitals, access to in-home health care, and other support services are all important features to look for.  

Retirement dreams vary from person to person, but an active adult community can them all come true.