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retirement communities retire

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"It will be our faces you see, not our backs." ~Volodymyr Zelensky

"Israel was not created in order to disappear - it will endure and flourish." ~John F. Kennedy

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Today's Community Review

Bentwater, Montgomery, Texas

Montgomery is near Lake Conroe in southeastern Texas and is the location of Bentwater, a lovely community with private islands, a marina, a day spa and a wide range of home prices.

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Previous Community Reviews

Sea Pines, Hobe Sound, Florida

Hobe Sound is a nice town on the southeastern Florida coast and is the site of Sea Pines, a small, low key 55+ town home community with a clubhouse, a swimming pool and neighborhood get-togethers.

Rossmoor Village, Monroe Township, New Jersey

In central New Jersey, Monroe Township is the setting for Rossmoor Village, a large 55+ community with a New England village look about it. It has condos, co-ops and a few single homes in 18 neighborhoods. Amenities include a golf course, a 30,000 square foot clubhouse, more than 50 activity groups and more.

Laurel Island Plantation, Kingsland, Georgia

Kingsland is about 10 miles inland from the Cumberland Island National Seashore in southeastern Georgia and is the site of Laurel Island Plantation, a gated community with attached homes, single family homes, an 18 hole golf course, amenity centers, retail centers, preserve views, fairway views and more.

Sun City Apple Valley, Apple Valley, California

Apple Valley is in south central California and is the setting for Sun City Apple Valley, a large 55+ community with single family homes, two recreation centers, a golf course, swimming pools, an art studio, a crafts studio, an activities director and more.

Vineyards, Naples, Florida

Pretty Naples is on the southwestern Florida coast and is the location of Vineyards, a large, gated community popular with baby boomers. It has 40 neighborhoods, single family homes, attached homes, a 70,000 square foot clubhouse, golf courses, swimming pools, eateries, planned events and more.

Waterway Cove, Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina

Little Ocean Isle Beach is on the southern North Carolina coast and is the locale of Waterway Cove, a charming community with colorful homes and a nice clubhouse. The beach is six minutes away.

Ironwood Village, Casa Grande, Arizona

Casa Grande is in southern Arizona and is the setting for Ironwood Village, a gated 55+ duplex community with single level homes, Mediterranean architecture, a clubhouse, a dog park and more.

Cinnamon Cove, Ft. Myers, Florida

On the southwestern Florida coast, Ft. Myers is the site of Cinnamon Cove, a gated, age-targeted community with condominiums, town homes, single family homes, three lakes, four swimming pools, a spa, a plethora of activity groups and more.

West Neck Villages, Virginia Beach, Virginia

Virginia Beach is in southeastern Virginia and is the site of West Neck Villages, an attractive 55+ community with single family homes and condominiums clustered in villages around a golf course. Activities include outdoor concerts, exercise classes, wine tastings and more.

Carillon at Tuscany, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

On South Carolina's northern coast, entertainment-capital Myrtle Beach is the location of Carillon at Tuscany, a cozy 55+ single family home neighborhood within a larger development. Amenities include a clubhouse, tennis courts, walking trails, fishing lakes and more.

Sun City - Oro Valley, Oro Valley, Arizona

Outside of Tucson in southern Arizona, Oro Valley is the site of Sun City - Oro Valley, a large, settled 55+ community with single family homes, town homes, three recreation centers, a golf course, tennis courts, a good menu of activities and more.

Willow Lake, Bossier City, Louisiana

In northwestern Louisiana, Bossier City is the setting for Willow Lake, a leafy 55+ single family home community with a clubhouse, a stocked private lake, plenty of walking trails, planned activities and more.

Century Village at West Palm Beach, West Palm Beach, Florida

West Palm Beach is in southeastern Florida and is the setting for Century Village, an established 55+ community with condominiums, swimming pools, tennis courts, a theater, a community bus, an island clubhouse and more.

Peacan Plantation, Granbury, Texas

Outside of Fort Worth in north central Texas, Granbury is the location of Pecan Plantation, a large community with single family homes, tall trees, river access, a golf course, a marina, a dog park, an air park, a village center and more.

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Communities by State

Alabama   Arizona   California   Colorado   Delaware   Florida   Georgia   Nevada   North Carolina   Oregon   South Carolina   Tennessee   Texas   Virginia   Washington  

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Age Restricted Communities 101

The kids have moved out. They have launched themselves into a career, parenthood, home ownership. You decide it's time to downsize. But how? Into where? You're still healthy, active. You're not ready for a continuing care community. The decision can be daunting.

A 55-plus or active-adult community is one option. The only legal exception to non-discriminatory fair housing laws, an age restricted community is run by a homeowners association that offers some exterior maintenance and amenities to its members. Amenities could include a private golf course, sizable clubhouse, 24/7 security, or transportation to and from local hospitals or shopping malls. Housing in such a community can range from modest condominiums to attached homes to luxury estates.

How will you decide? Are you ready for the time it might take? Demand for homes in active-adult communities is on the rise. You'll be competing against other baby boomers, maybe even some Gen-Xers. Start your research a few years before your retirement date. Find a real estate agent that specializes in master-planned communities or senior home purchases. The National Association of Realtors does offer training and certification for senior specialists.

Look at the location. Does it have the right weather? Is it close enough to family? Is downtown too far away or not far away enough? Will you have acclimate? What are local taxes like? Check out the neighbors. Are these the people you want to age with? Make sure you know what services might be available for you as you age. Is your 55-plus community near a hospital, a grocery store, a bank, a pharmacy? Can they get you to the hospital and grocery store once you decide you no longer want to drive? Maybe the community offers grocery delivery? Are there senior fitness classes, personal trainers?

Be sure you understand what amenities you are paying for. Some communities require that you buy an equity membership or hide the cost of that lap pool and golf course in high HOA fees. Inspect your prospective community's activity calendar. Does it have the right mix of leisure and lecture? Are there too many card tournaments and not enough day trips? Do you hate golf, need 39 shuffleboard courts? Is there an activities director?

Understand your prospective HOA. How long is the list of restrictions? Do the board politics give you pause? Will they force you through a long approval process? Will they ask you for bank records and references?

Investigate the community's financials. Are they solvent? How well did they weather the crisis when the housing bubble burst in 2008? And what about the builder? How long have they worked for seniors? Do they understand aging in place? Do they understand the need for zero step entries, wider hallways? Or have they just gotten into the game? Del Webb is credited with inventing the age-restricted community. Keep your eye on what they're building. Other companies to watch are Lennar, Shea, and Taylor Morrison.

Remember, you're not just buying a new house. You're buying a new way of life.

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