When my husband and I chose our retirement community of Laguna Woods Village, on the outskirts of Laguna Beach in Southern California, we were pleased to find one which had a golf course for him and an equestrian center for me, as well as a mild climate and access to a wide variety of activities both within and outside our retirement village. The picture which accompanies this article is one I took while horseback riding on one of the trails in our community.
In an article published by MSN Money, the authors came up with their own list of "The Best Retirement Villages in America." You may or may not agree with the choices they made. However, if you want to make sure you have considered all your possible choices, this list is a great place to start, although you should not limit the possibilities just to the names on this list. If you click on the "Retire in the US" tab at the top of this page, you will find a number of additional articles about other potential retirement locations.
My best recommendation is to keep an open mind. You may find that a community you first discarded because of its location or climate may turn out to be the perfect place for you. Below is the MSN Money list:
MSN-Money: Best Retirement Communities
The Villages in Sumter County Florida is located about 45 miles northwest of Orlando. The community of single-family homes is occupied by 118,000 residents who manage to use approximately 50,000 golf carts to get around the community. The Villages are broken into smaller neighborhoods surrounding three town squares with dancing, drinking and live entertainment available every night of the year. There are 48 golf courses and 80 pools.
Del Webb Retirement Community at Lake Oconee, Greensboro, Georgia is a single family home community on the edge of a man-made lake less than two hours from Atlanta. It is near mountains as well as the lake and is a gated community with golf where residents can also find places nearby to go fishing, sailing, horseback riding and skiing in winter.
Covenant Shores at Mercer Island, Washington is a faith based community just across a bridge from central Seattle. Residents have easy access to all that Seattle has to offer including theater, music, and restaurants. The community has a putting green and private marina for canoeing and kayaking. The residences consist of studios or one and two-bedroom apartments. There is also a wellness center and health care services. These are independent living residences with a variety of dining options.
Del Webb Sun City Hilton Head in Bluffton, South Carolina is a single family home community with 14,000 residents, three golf courses, a fitness center, indoor and outdoor pools, performing arts center, sports park. There are a number of Sun Cities around the nation, including near Palm Springs, California and Georgetown, Texas. Although they are not on the MSN Money list, you may want to tour one of the other Sun Cities near you as part of your retirement community research.
Del Webb - Great Island Community in Plymouth, Massachusetts is located near Cape Cod. The community is made up of approximately 600 private homes, many with large backyards and wooded forest views. There is a large clubhouse and the 75 acre Great Island Pond with canoeing and other water sports available. In addition, you have your choice of leisurely weekends on Cape Cod or in the nearby city of Boston, with a variety of cultural and sports venues.
Solivita in Kissimmee, Florida is a 4,300 acre community of single family homes with lakes and two semi-private golf courses in the Stonegate Golf Club. Residents can also enjoy the Riviera Spa and Fitness Center with an indoor walking track and heated lap pool. The community is broken up into a variety of smaller neighborhoods.
The Clare in Chicago, Illinois is a 53-story high rise in the center of the city with easy access to all the city's restaurants and shopping areas. It is one of the tallest developments designed exclusively for senior citizens in the world. These are rental apartments and the amenities include a health and wellness center, as well as fitness and swimming facilities. There are regular monthly activities. The community has three restaurants and two bars for the use of the residents. Dining credits are included in the monthly rental fee, which means that most of your meals are included in the rent.
Rio Verde Community and Country Club in Scottsdale, Arizona has stunning mountain views, local wineries, Southwestern architecture, two golf courses, and a Saddle Club with a member owned luxury stable. It is proud of its "Cowboy Country" atmosphere and the design of the single family homes reflects that concept.
You can learn more about all these locations by reading the full MSN Money article or by looking up the websites for each of these communities. If you live near one of them, go ahead and arrange a visit. They are located all over the United States, including in the Northeast, the Northwest, the Southeast and the Southwest. There is a location and climate for everyone. A personal visit is always the best way to assess a potential retirement community.
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