Sunday, March 24, 2013

Golf Cart Friendly Retirement Communities

The other day, while relaxing at our local Starbucks just outside one of the gates to our community, a golf cart with a surfboard tied to the roof pulled into the parking lot.  Although the surfboard was an unique accessory, it is not unusual to see golf carts in the parking lot of our local Starbucks, the grocery store, the pharmacy, neighborhood restaurants and the Home Depot.  Even golf carts that are not officially "street legal" are able to use the streets inside our gated community, as well as access the parking lots of local businesses.  There are special golf cart paths and parking spaces around many of our community facilities, including the horse stables.

The use of golf carts within the walls of over-55 communities is an amenity that is rarely mentioned in the brochures for these gated communities.  However, they are a wonderful benefit to many people, even those who never play golf.

Advantages of Owning a Golf Cart after Retirement

Many people in states like California and Florida have discovered that they can legally operate a golf cart within their retirement communities, even if they have lost their driver's license due to health or other issues.  This enables seniors to maintain their independence, visit friends, access the clubhouses and do their grocery shopping whenever they want, without relying on buses, taxis or friends.

Residents have also discovered that operating a golf cart is much less expensive than owning a car.  They can purchase a used golf cart for under $1000; a new one can cost from about $5,600 to $10,000 or more if you want something really fancy.  Accessories can include radios, custom paint jobs, and plastic enclosures to protect you from the weather.  You can also upgrade to features that will make your golf cart street legal, including turn signals, seat belts and brake lights.

Residents charge the electric carts overnight for very little money.  Every few years, depending on how often you use it, you will need to replace the batteries.  This can cost about $600 to $700.   Even with this maintenance cost, operating a golf cart can cost far less than operating a car.  Some people may choose to purchase a gas powered golf cart, which can still be operated for significantly less money than the typical gas powered car.

Golf carts are considered environmentally friendly for people who want to have a minimal impact on the world around them.

In addition, owning your own golf cart is fun for people who actually use them on the golf course!

Golf Cart Accessible Communities

A number of retirement communities around the United States have been planned with the idea of making them golf cart accessible.  Here are a few examples:

Laguna Woods Village
Orange County, California

Timber Pines Retirement Community
Spring Hill, Florida
(Has held the world record for its golf cart parade.)

The Villages
Central Florida
(This may be the largest golf-cart oriented community in the world.)

Sun City Center
South of Tampa, Florida

Ball Ground
North of Atlanta, Georgia
(Allows golf carts on some of its streets)

Naturally, nearly all gated communities that have private golf courses will also permit residents to drive their golf carts on the streets.  Without this ability, the residents could not get their carts to the golf course!

If you are aware of other specific golf cart friendly communities that may interest our readers, please feel free to mention them in the comments section of this article.

If you are interested in reading about different retirement communities, as well as obtaining additional retirement information, check out these topics.  Each link below will connect you to a number of articles on that topic.  You may be particularly interested in viewing "Great Places to Retire in the United States."

Gifts, Travel and Family Relationships

Great Places for Boomers to Retire Overseas

Great Places to Retire in the United States

Health and Medical Topics for Baby Boomers

Money and Financial Planning for Retirement

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Photo of golf carts in a parking lot courtesy of


  1. This is a wonderful article and topic for all the reasons you mention. The idea that seniors without licenses can still realize a bit of independence is a huge benefit to owning a golf cart.

  2. We also offer an amazing alternative to golf carts with our solar powered electric assist trike that offer a solution to the seniors without licenses.

  3. This is amazing blog that defines everything very easily and clearly. I know the important use of golf carts in golf community because I am the very old member of an big golf community which is named as Cullasaja Club. I have my own golf cart which I have purchased last year. I am totally agree with your shared benefits of owning a golf cart.

  4. Found in this article exactly what I was looking for. Thank you!


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