Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Recreation in Retirement Communities


Are you trying to decide whether or not living in an over-55 retirement community would be the right choice for you? 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, we were interested in the recreational opportunities. For example, one of the communities we considered had an indoor track and swimming pool. Another had a golf course, but not much else.

One of the reasons 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, in a red jacket, on a trail ride with other residents of the community. Every winter, the riders 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 over-55 community where we chose to buy a home has two golf courses (one of which is shown in the photo below), five pools, seven clubhouses, two gyms, tennis courts, over 200 clubs, an auditorium for live performances, and another 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 $8 for 9 holes of golf, and I pay $6 for a trail ride. One of our granddaughters can also take riding lessons there. Group lessons for beginning riders are $11 for grandchildren.

Across the United States, there are hundreds of retirement communities, including some by such well-know developers as Sun City.  Some retirement communities have golf courses; some are located on lakes or near the ocean; others are near colleges.  You have the choice of being in a cold climate with snow skiing or a more tropical climate with year-around mild weather. Retirees need to consider what they would enjoy doing after they retire before they purchase their retirement home.


Whatever retirement community you choose, give a great deal of thought to the recreational opportunities which are available both in your community and in the surrounding community.  Evaluate how much it will cost you to pursue your favorite hobbies 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!

If you are looking for great places to retire or other retirement advice, use the tabs or pull down menu at the top of this page to find links to hundreds of other articles on where to retire, health concerns, financial planning, family relationships and more.

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Photo credit:  Photos taken by author, Deborah-Diane

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