Showing posts with label Laguna Woods Village. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Laguna Woods Village. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Laguna Woods Village Statistics and Amenities

Laguna Woods Village, CA has numerous amenities.
When you are looking for a retirement community, it can sometimes be difficult to get specific information about it.  If you only go to their website, you will typically read an abundance of superlatives about how wonderful the community is, but find very few actual details.  As a result, when Laguna Woods Village in Orange County, California released a list of very specific statistics about the community, as of 2017, the information was exactly what potential residents would want to know if they were interested in living in this retirement community on the edge of Laguna Beach, California.  This information can also serve as a basis for potential retirees to compare the communities they are considering, even if Laguna Woods Village is not on their list.

Statistics About the Community of Laguna Woods Village

* Rated one of the Top Ten Retirement Communities in the U.S. in 2017 by
* Voted Best Senior Living Community in Southern California by the Orange County Register
* Built on 2,100 acres of rolling hills in Orange County, California
* Housing consists of 12,736 condos and co-ops with 94 different floor plans
* Most of the housing was built between the mid-1960s and the mid-1970's
* Many of the condos and co-ops have been extensively updated over the years
* Only a 10 minute drive to the beach from most parts of the community
* Averages 255 days of sunshine per year

Statistics About the Residents of Laguna Woods Village

* Average new resident is 66 years old, although many are in their 50s
* Average current resident is a median age of 76.7
* Approximately 18,500 residents live in the community
* Average of 1.45 residents per household
* Approximately 65% female and 35% male
* Approximately 96% have at least a high school diploma; 42% have a bachelor's degree or higher
* Median household income of $38,674 (in 2017)
* Median home value was $211,500 (in 2017), although home prices can range from below $150,000 to over $1,000,000

Race and Ethnicity in Laguna Woods Village

* White 87.3%
* Asian 10%
* Black 0.7%
* Other 0.6%
* American Indian 0.1%
* Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander 0.1%
* Hispanic or Latino 4%

(I realize those numbers do not quite add up, but those are the figures they published.  I assume that the 4% of residents listed as Hispanic or Latino would also be included in the white category.)

Safety at Laguna Woods Village

* Lowest crime rate of ANY city in Orange County, California
* Guarded 24 hours a day with 14 security entrance gates
* Private security force which roams throughout community 24 hours a day
* Contract with Orange County Sheriff's Department to provide additional police services, as needed. 

Amenities in Laguna Woods Village

* Over 250 clubs and organizations, most with a full slate of activities
* 814 seat performing arts theatre with a wide variety of choices in entertainment
* Two professional golf courses - a championship 27-hole course and a 9-hole walking course
* Five swimming pools
* Equestrian center with 38 stalls for horses, a riding ring and guided trail rides; residents do not need to own a private horse in order to go on trail rides or take lessons
* Two community gardens with private plots which can be reserved by residents
* Transportation system with 8 fixed bus routes and on-demand rides to local retail, dining and medical facilities
* Community television channel with exclusive programming
* Three fitness centers; two are staffed by trainers
* Ten tennis courts
* Table tennis facility, pickleball courts, and archery facility
* Seven clubhouses including an American Contract Bridge League accredited facility
* College level extended learning classes on-site provided by the Saddleback College Emeritus program
* Three multimedia computer labs
* Professional workshops including facilities for jewelry making, slip casting, woodworking, ceramics, photography, sewing, painting and more.

If this sounds like a community which might appeal to you and your spouse, you may want to pay the community a visit.  There are a number of hotels in the area and most local Realtors would be happy to show prospective buyers around.  You can also sign up for one of the New Resident Orientation Meetings by making reservations at (949) 268-2337.

Even if you are considering a different retirement community, reviewing this list of amenities and activities can help you come up with a list of questions to ask the Realtor about the community you are considering.

If you are interested in an overview of retirement planning, watch for my book Retirement Awareness: 10 Steps to a Comfortable Retirement which will be published by Griffin Publishing in 2018.

If you would like more information about where to retire, financial planning, Social Security, Medicare, common medical problems, changing family relationships and more, use the tabs or pull down menu at the top of the page to find links to hundreds of additional articles.

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Photo of Laguna Woods Village golf course taken by author.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Laguna Woods Village Active Adult Community

Laguna Woods Village, on the outskirts of the town of Laguna Beach, California, has been chosen as one of the 2012 Top Ten Best Active Adult Communities in the United States by Top Retirements.  I have to agree with their assessment of Laguna Woods Village, since that is where I live.

It is a lovely retirement community, just four miles from the beach and surrounded by open land ... including the horseback riding trails shown in the photo.  It is also adjacent to the 20,000 acre Laguna Wilderness area.  Whether you like having all the advantages of living in an urban area or you enjoy time in the outdoors, this community has something that should appeal to nearly every retiree.

Advantages of Laguna Woods Village

Laguna Woods Village has a wealth of recreational choices and amenities, including a 27 hole golf course, a nine hole golf course, five outdoor swimming pools, two fitness centers with on-site trainers, ten tennis courts, four paddle tennis courts, lawn bowling courts, shuffleboard courts and numerous ping-pong and pool tables.  Two garden centers make it possible for people who love to garden to enjoy this activity in an area that has been set aside for that purpose.  There are also seven clubhouses, an elegant golf starter building with restaurant, an equestrian center with community owned horses, and a community center.  Part of the twenty-three acres of equestrian trails are shown in the photo that accompanies this article.

One of the clubhouses contains a theater where residents can enjoy live performances throughout the year.  Another clubhouse is devoted to artistic endeavors and contains woodworking and art studios, as well as a sewing room.  The other clubhouses have rooms that are appropriate for club meetings, parties, dances and social activities.

Speaking of clubs, Laguna Woods Village has over 200 official clubs.  Many of these clubs organize their own special parties, outings and trips.

The recreation department also offers a variety of exercise classes and activities.  The equestrian center offers trail rides and horseback riding lessons to the residents, as well as their adult children and grandchildren over the age of ten, at very affordable prices.

In addition, nearby Saddleback College offers approximately 200 free emeritus classes in and near the community.  Several Southern California casinos have buses that pick up residents and provide free transportation to and from the casinos.  There is also a free bus system that operates within the community, as well as to nearby shopping malls and doctors' offices.

Home prices vary dramatically.  Most co-ops can be purchased between $150,000 and $350,000.  Condominiums can be purchased from $200,000 to over $1 million for some of the larger homes with garages and views.  There are also high rise condominiums with prices that range from $10,000 to $350,000.  These prices are general and there are properties that are available outside these ranges.  This is just intended to give you an idea of what to expect.  Cooperatives are less expensive because they are older and there are more restrictions and financing complications involved.  However, they are a very good deal, especially for people who have sold a home in the Midwest and are looking for a bargain in Southern California.

Laguna Woods Village is a very safe community.  It has one of the lowest crime rates of any town its size in California, partly because the entire community is walled, with fourteen guarded gates and a private security force.  In addition, with so many senior citizens who are home during the day, it is very difficult for strangers to enter a home without someone noticing.

Laguna Woods Village is also well located in Orange County, California, just four miles from beautiful Laguna Beach.  This lovely nearby town not only features beautiful beaches, but also has numerous art galleries, shops, and restaurants, as well as fun art festivals in the summer.

There is no question that Laguna Woods Village qualifies as an active adult community.  Most of the residents have a full daily calendar of activities, which can include bridge, line dancing, yoga, water aerobics, art classes and much more.

Disadvantages of Laguna Woods Village

There are approximately 18,000 residents of Laguna Woods Village, living in about 12,000 condominiums and cooperatives.  Almost all of the housing units have one or two bedrooms and one or two bathrooms, which is smaller than many residents were accustomed to prior to living in Laguna Woods Village.  Most of the housing units are assigned only one parking spot in a carport.  While some of the condominiums have the appearance of single family homes with one or two car garages, none of the cooperatives have that option.  As a result, most residents have an adjustment to make when they move to Laguna Woods Village.  The majority of them no longer have a single family home with a private garage.

In addition, nearly all of Laguna Woods Village was built in the 1960's and 1970's.  Although many residents have updated their condominiums and condos, there are still many units that need to be modernized.  Whether or not the property has been updated is usually reflected in the price of the property.

There are also several layers of government in Laguna Woods Village, which does create some friction.  The cooperatives, condominiums and high rise towers each have their own governing association, with different HOA fees and services. Above all of these associations is another layer of government called the Golden Rain Foundation, or GRF.  GRF hires the maintenance people for the entire community.  Since Laguna Woods Village is also a city, there is a city government that needs to be dealt with from time to time, especially if you decide to make improvements to your property.  It can seem cumbersome to deal with all these governing bodies until one gets accustomed to it.

Bottom Line on Laguna Woods Village

Essentially, this community is a wonderful place to live and, after living here the past eleven years, it is hard for me to imagine growing old anywhere else.  Although there are disadvantages anywhere you live, the advantages of living in this community far outweigh any problems we have experienced.

If you are looking for more retirement ideas, use the tabs or pull down menu at the top of this article to find information on finances, places to live, medical issues you might expect during retirement, family issues and more!

You may also be interested in reading:

Finding Niche Retirement Communities
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Photo of Laguna Woods Village equestrian trail from author's private collection.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Retiring Former Hippies Spark a New Generation Gap

Former Hippies are Getting
Close to Retirement!
Much to my surprise, when I opened my January 30, 2012 issue of "Time Magazine" and read the column near the back written by Joel Stein, I was stunned to discover that he had devoted a portion of his weekly column to Laguna Woods Village, the retirement community in Orange County, California where I live.  The comments he made were a bit embarrassing and, I'm forced to admit, entirely true.

Marijuana Use in Retirement Communities

Somehow, Joel Stein heard about the little fuss we had in our community last year over medical marijuana plants that are quietly being grown by some of the retirees.  Apparently many of my neighbors are able to qualify for prescriptions that allow them to grow and possess small quantities of pot, and they are taking full advantage of the opportunity.  Needless to say, this has once again created conflict between the Baby Boomer generation and the older retirees who lived here peacefully without marijuana for the past 40 years!

Some Baby Boomers were growing marijuana plants in the garden center, resulting in secret night-time raids by neighboring young people looking for easy access to the plants.  The Boomers wanted the homeowner's association to hire guards!  Instead, the board told them that, if they have a prescription, they can legally grow small amounts on their own patios.  Who knows how many pots of pot are now popping up?

Generation Gap in Retirement Communities

As Joel Stein points out in his column, the issue of whether or not marijuana should be grown in Laguna Woods Village is not the only problem to come between the Baby Boomers and the older senior citizens in this and other retirement communities.  It seems that the Generation Gap that was the focus of the 1960s has reared up once again, especially in 55 and over communities! 

Remember that the Baby Boomers are the children of a generation that grew up during the Great Depression, willingly supported and fought in World War II, and were very frugal with money.  The Baby Boomers, on the other hand, are the generation that listened to Rock n' Roll, loved to travel, and (in some cases) did not support the war in Vietnam.  During the past few years it has not been unusual to see Boomers sitting in lawn chairs on street corners in our community with signs declaring their opposition to the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

Beyond the issues mentioned by Joel Stein, I've also noticed that Baby Boomers and the older generation are struggling to come to agreement about how to run the community.  While the older generation is satisfied with things that are old and a little worn, as long as they are still functional, the Boomers want facilities and services that are modern and new.  For example, many Boomers are unhappy with our local community cable television station, because we are unable to access some types of programming, such as MTV and Pay-for-View.  The elderly volunteers who serve on the boards do not consider these services worth the extra cost.  Another issue has been our recently completed, elegant new golf and tennis clubhouses, which were resisted by some of the more elderly residents.  The younger residents have been able to get these new facilities built, despite the efforts to stop them, but it has not been easy.

Peace, Love and Rock 'n Roll after Retirement

Overall though, despite the bad publicity and the occasional disagreements, Laguna Woods Village (as well as the other over-55 communities I have visited) is a pretty peaceful place.  There is so much to do in these communities, that there are plenty of opportunities for people to find the types of activities they enjoy, including enjoying dances and music from a variety of time periods. 

It is also possible for residents to quietly putter around their own patios, whenever they want to enjoy some relaxation, peace and quiet.  Of course, from now on when I see one of my neighbors relaxing on their patio, I'm going to wonder if they are actually cheerfully tending their marijuana plants.  Whatever the cause, peace and love are still the rule of the day in Laguna Woods Village!

If you are interested in staying up to date with other issues important to retiring Baby Boomers, use the tabs or pull-down menu at the top of this page to find links to hundreds of additional articles about where to retire, financial planning, medical concerns, family issues and more.

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