Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Recreation in Retirement Communities

One important issue in choosing a home in the right retirement community is deciding what recreational activities are important to you. For example, my husband and I looked at a variety of over-55 communities and, even more important than the housing, was the recreational opportunities. One of the communities had an indoor track and swimming pool. Another had a golf course, but not much else.

One of the reasons that we chose Laguna Woods Village in Orange County, California is because it had such a wide selection of recreational activities, including horseback riding. Above is a photo of me on a trail ride with other residents of the community. Every winter we plant wildflower seeds as we ride along the trail. In the spring, we benefit from acres of gorgeous flowers.

In addition to the horseback riding, the real estate community where we chose to buy a house has two golf courses, five pools, seven clubhouses, two gyms, tennis courts, over 200 clubs, an auditorium for live performances, and an auditorium appropriate for bands and ballroom dancing. In addition, we are only five miles from the charming community of Laguna Beach, which has its own assortment of restaurants, theaters, art festivals and other activities. With such a variety of activities, I didn't think we would ever get bored or run out of things to do.

In fact, one of our biggest challenges is limiting our activities. We are constantly invited to join clubs, go to concerts, or sign up for activities. Fortunately, everything is very inexpensive. My husband pays $7 for 9 holes of golf, and I pay $7 for a trail ride. One of our granddaughters can also take riding lessons there. Group lessons for beginning riders are $11 for grandchildren.

Whatever retirement community you choose, you need to give a great deal of thought to the recreational opportunities that are available, and how much they will cost, before you buy a house. You want to be able to continue to have some fun as you age. My husband plays golf with people in their 80s and 90s. He hopes to be able to keep up his golf the rest of his life, too!

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Photo credit:  Photo taken by author, Deborah-Diane

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