Showing posts with label active adult communities in California. Show all posts
Showing posts with label active adult communities in California. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

California Active Adult Retirement Communities

Are you looking for an over-55 active adult retirement community in California?  Do you believe that California is too expensive or has other issues which would make it undesirable for you to live there?  Most of the retirees who currently make California their home have been very satisfied with the decision, including those who have relocated from other states.  Here is some of the information you should know.

Cost of Living in California

Admittedly, parts of California, especially near the coast, can be more expensive than living in other states.  Homes in some areas can cost more than similar ones in other retirement meccas, such as Florida, and California also has a state income tax.  However, there are both condos and single-family homes throughout California which may be more affordable than you expect, including many in the $150,000 to $400,000 price range.  Many of these condos and homes can be found in the large number of active adult retirement communities scattered throughout the state.

In addition, property taxes are lower per $100,000 valuation than in some other states which do not have a state income tax, such as Texas.  Many people have found that the added expense of paying a state income tax on their modest retirement income is offset by the lower property tax rate.  Of course, you would have to talk to your financial advisor or income tax professional to see which of the states you are considering would work out best financially for you.

Weather in California

There are a wide variety of climates in California.  Along the coast in Southern California, you will find mild temperatures most of the year.  The inland desert area around Palm Springs, in the Coachella Valley, is pleasant in the winter, but extremely hot in the summer. It has been a popular place to retire for decades, with everyone from former President Gerald Ford to Sonny Bono and Bob Hope taking up residence there in their later years.

Northern California is colder and wetter in the winter than Southern California, but mild and sunny in the summer.  For those who enjoy winter sports, the California mountain ranges are sprinkled with ski resorts in Southern, Central and Northern California and many people who enjoy outdoor sports have purchased mountain cabins in rural areas, where they have been able to retire very affordably.  Fishing lakes, golf courses, vast park lands and other recreational areas can also be found throughout the state and hundreds of thousands of retirees have found comfortable places to retire near their favorite spots.

Consider an Active Adult Retirement Community

One popular choice is to retire in one of over 100 active adult retirement communities which are scattered around California.  These age restricted communities for people age 55 and over contain homes and amenities designed to be fun, convenient and accessible for people as they get older, even if they have limited mobility.  Below you can learn more about some of the more popular, affordable choices available in California.

A Popular Retirement Community in Southern California

Laguna Woods Village, just outside of Laguna Beach, is one of the most popular retirement communities in the state, with 18,000 residents.  Located just five miles from the Pacific Ocean, it also contains golf courses, swimming pools, tennis courts, gyms, clubhouses, a theater, a stable with horses for resident use, and many other amenities.  Condos are available in a wide range of prices, from $150,000 to over $1,000,000.  The biggest downside to the community is that it was developed in the 1960s and 1970s, which means many of the condos need to be updated, although some of them have already been modernized by the current owners.  There is so much to do in this community that a friend of ours who lives there refers to it as "Camp Laguna."

Other Affordable Southern California Retirement Communities include:

Oceana in Oceanside
Four Seasons in Beaumont
Terra Lago in the Coachella Valley
Sun Lakes Country Club in Riverside County

You can learn more about these communities, as well as others, at  The article below is a good place to start:

A Popular Retirement Community in Northern California

Trilogy at Rio Vista has a variety of lovely homes which start in price around $300,000.  My husband and I have several friends who live there and they all love the community, which surrounds a golf course and is near the Sacramento River ... a perfect arrangement for people who love golf, sailing and fishing.  We attended a party at a home on the golf course and the view was gorgeous.  Many of the homes have solar panels on their roofs, which dramatically reduces the cost of heating and air conditioning.

Other Affordable Northern California Retirement Communities include:

Four Seasons at Westshore - near Sacramento
Sun City Roseville
The Vineyard in Redding
Diamond Glen in Folsom

You can learn more about all of the above communities, as well as others, in the article below.

Learn More about Other Active Adult Communities in California

Of course, the ten communities listed above are not the only choices in California.  If you would like to see a complete list of over 100 active adult retirement communities in California, including more comprehensive information than can be detailed here, you can download the entire 2017 California Active Adult Community Guide.  It is available free online and will give you detailed information about a wide variety of neighborhoods. 

Do you need a good overview of retirement planning tips? Watch for my book, Retirement Awareness, which will be published by Griffin Publishing in 2018.

Would you like more information about retirement planning, where to retire in the US or abroad, common medical problems, Social Security, Medicare 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 credit:  Photo of the golf course at Laguna Woods Village in Southern California is property of 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
Garden Spot Village Community for Seniors in PA
Cheap Places to Retire
The Best Sunny Places to Retire

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Photo of Laguna Woods Village equestrian trail from author's private collection.