Every winter break, my family and I hop on an airplane, and jet off to Florida’s most lavish and activity-filled location: my grandparent’s adult community.
I refer to their 55 and older community as a “resort” because in my eyes, their community musters every amenity under the sun– no pun intended! With a heated pool, fitness room, walking trails, restaurants, and more, I find myself wanting to move to their adult community. Everyday feels like a vacation.
About 20 years ago, my grandparents relocated from New York City’s gem that is Manhattan to the always sunny and 75 Delray Beach, Florida. Transitioning from the hustle and bustle of the city that never sleeps to nightly card games at the clubhouse, my grandparents endured a whirlwind lifestyle change.
Relocating and downsizing may have nothing to do with age, but merely a craving for change. The move to an adult community may be the perfect next step of your life’s story.
Ready For A Change
In your 50s, your interests, hobbies, and energy have most likely changed within the past few decades. You may be in need of a lifestyle change. Aging happily in a social, active, relaxing community is important – wherever that may be.
Active-adult communities, depending on the community, are, most obviously, designated for older adults. The atmosphere, layout, amenities, and facility are geared toward a healthy, active, and social lifestyle for all residents. Each community is different from the next, but all communities are tailored to the residents’ needs.
In most cases, adult communities are divided into one of two categories: age-restricted and age-targeted.
Age-restricted communities: Adult communities with age restrictions are available in many options, such as 55+, 62+, and 65+ communities. According to the Housing for Older Persons Act, housing must include at least one person who is 55 or older in at least 80 percent of the occupied units. Communities with age restriction are also labeled as “age-qualified.”
Age-targeted communities: Adult communities that market to a certain age group are age-targeted. However, age-targeted communities are not age-restrictive. Age-targeted communities technically house couples with children. For many adults, younger children in the neighborhood may be a make-or-break deal.
Many times, the demographics of both age-restricted and age-targeted communities are almost identical. Both types of communities have a common goal to serve active, older adults, looking to live their best life with similar individuals!
Benefits, Benefits, Benefits
Today’s active-adult communities bring countless opportunities and advantages to the table.
After retirement, a practical decision is to downsize your lifestyle. Letting go of your beloved neighborhood and the home in which you raised your family is an emotionally-charged decision.
Perhaps your children may have left the nest, and the upkeep and cost of living in a home designed for an entire family can become unnecessary. Or, maybe you’re just ready for a change. Now is the time to live life for you!
A home in an adult community is practically-sized for your needs. For example, you may choose to live in a community with houses, condos, townhomes, or apartments. Ranch-style homes without stairs are also popular in adult communities.
Many times, property care is eliminated, which means no more mowing the grass or fixing the leak under the sink. Downsizing in location simply provides a more low-maintenance lifestyle, leaving you more time for daily activities.
Adult communities promote a social and communal atmosphere for all residents. Relocating to an adult community guarantees a built-in network of new friends and acquaintances. Staying social as an older adult provides both physical and mental health benefits.
According to a study, seniors who engage in a higher level of social activities have improved cognitive function. Cognitive decline was 70 percent slower in people with frequent social contact than adults who isolate themselves. Staying social in an adult living community will ultimately keep you smarter for longer!
Socialization can also boost your brain health and lower your risk of dementia. Having an active social life can help you live longer and improve your mental health, according to Psychology Today.
Taking advantage of a community of similar individuals is not only enjoyable, but intellectually stimulating as well. Thankfully, adult communities focus on fostering socialization through countless activities and amenities.
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Amenities and Activities
Each adult community provides a wide range of amenities. Finding the right community for your lifestyle is important, depending on your level of activity and mobility. Active-adult communities are designed to provide residents with a range of activities to keep the days full of excitement and movement.
Adult communities have both indoor and outdoor amenities. Indoor amenities can include fitness centers, painting classes, billiards, educational classes, book clubs, cook demonstrations, movies, and other social events. Outdoor amenities found in many adult communities include swimming pools, shuffleboard, golf courses, fishing, walking trails, tennis courts, and many more.
Engaging in physical activities as an older adult encourages many benefits. According to The American Heart Association, exercise can help prevent bone loss and a reduced incidence of heart disease, hypertension, depression, anxiety, and type 2 diabetes. With a plethora of exercise options available in an adult community, choosing an enjoyable physical activity with a companion shouldn’t be a difficult task!
Safety and security are two key aspects not to ignore when moving into a adult community. Many adult communities are gated with 24-hour security guards on staff. Total security provides peace of mind, reassurance, and less worry.
Taking a nightly stroll or leaving your home for a vacation are activities that should not be feared! With a community’s safety precautions, you are free to live your life without hesitation.
Are you currently happy with your home and neighborhood? Are multiple bedrooms too much to clean? Is yard work a huge hassle? Would you rather live with other active adults like yourself?
Adult communities do not need to have the attached association of slow-moving “retirement” or “senior” communities. Don’t let the senior stigma stop you from living an active and vibrant lifestyle!
If you are considering moving into an active-adult community, this website provides a list of communities in every state. Debating on location? Check out our article on choosing where to live in retirement.
Have you recently moved into an active-adult community? Share your life-changing experience with us!