History of Active Adult Communities in America

Our friends over at AV Homes sent over an interesting graphic titled “History of Active Adult Communities” so I took interest since I just moved into a home in an Active Adult Community.  I am also a student of retirement and have become a big fan of active adult communities.

The graphic speaks for itself.  Don’t think you know Active Adult Communities until you check them out for yourself.  As the graphic says, a new generation of active adult living has arrived.

History of Active Adult Communities
History of Active Adult Communities

AV Homes is a nationally respected builder of award winning homes and 55+ communities. Founded in in 1970, AC Homes has built over 7,500 homes across the United States. You can find out more about the brand on their website:

Top 5 Retirement Searches

Having a web site and a company named “Retirement Media”, naturally I am interested in what retirement related information is searched for on the Internet. Well, according to our friends at Google, here is the answer.

Retirement Calculator – is one of the most searched for retirement terms. People must be looking for an online financial calculator that will help then plan their path to a secure retirement.  The Vanguard Retirement Nest Egg Calculator seems to be one of the best.

Retirement Age – Since there is no mandatory retirement age, I bet people are searching for the age which they can get their full social security benefits. The best way to learn your full retirement age (also called normal retirement age) for full social security benefits is to visit the Social Security Retirement Planner. You may be able to start receiving your social security benefits at a reduced amount as early as age 62, but most experts suggest waiting until your full retirement age if you can because your benefits will be more.

Retirement Plan – could mean just about anything, but I bet most people are looking for a financial plan so that they can at some point reduce or stop working and have enough income to support their retirement. Financial advisers and brokerage firms can help with that but getting a financial education yourself is the best way. That takes a lot of effort and last a lifetime. For some non financial retirement planning tips see Planning for a Successful Retirement.

Retirement Home – Us boomers are looking for a home for our retirement. Maybe a one level ranch style with no steps with low maintenance. Universal design and a great floor plan sounds good to me. Oh friendly neighbors too. See these retirement homes for sale or for rent.

Retirement Community – is a general term that includes Active Adult Communities, Senior Apartments and even Assisted Living.

These terms make perfect sense to me, with ten thousand people a day reaching retirement age people need the information for their retirement.


A Retirement Move Can Be Hard

On our Retirement Media sites, we have touted the reasons to move in retirement. We have sites like 55 Community Guide, Small Town Retirement and even City Retirement .  Those sites show the advantages and sometimes even the disadvantages of moving to each.  I do believe in the advantages of moving to a place better suited to your retirement with activities and plenty of potential friends and in a house better designed for retirement living – this is a good thing.

See my articles about moving in retirement.
Anticipating a Move to a Small Town
Move Now Rather Than Later To A 55+ Retirement Community

A Retirement Move Can Be Hard

In fact my wife and I have bought a house in a Del Webb 55+ Community that we will be moving to shortly.  We are excited but have only moved once since 1980 so moving is not something we do too much. This is going to be a good change for us, but I have to tell you a retirement move  can be hard.

Our new house will be roughly the same size as our current house minus the basement, but the de-cluttering has been a six months or longer project. It needed to be done and this move is the catalyst. I will have to get some advice from my friends who moved recently as to what the best procedures are for the logistics of the move, like hiring a moving company.

Then we will have to get the current house ready to sell, but that is something I have a lot of experience doing, since I am a retired master property manager. Piece of cake.

There are the doctors and medicare insurance change overs to think about.  We will only be moving about 50+ miles away to the outskirts of metro Atlanta and may be able to keep some doctors but there is a brand new hospital at the entrance to Village at Deaton Creek where we will be moving. There is a medical campus spouting up around the new hospital with doctors of all sorts, so it will only make sense to me to start seeing local doctors.  I believe when you move you can make a change in your medicare insurance plan even if you are not in open enrollment, but luckily I think we can wait for open enrollment and get a policy suited to our new location.

The Hard Part is Leaving Your Friends

All of the above is expected and we can and will deal with that. But the hard part is leaving your friends behind.

I told my fellow Senior Center Activity Committee members to look for a replacement for me at the end of my two year term because I would be moving. Oh boy, now the word is out and all of our friends at the senior centers are asking questions about where and why we are moving. We are not keeping any secrets about our move. It will be hard to leave our wonderful friends at the senior center that we play bocce with and so many other things.

Our neighbors are good friends that we have been on six cruises with and go out to eat with every weekend. They are not taking the news of our move well. We certainly will keep in touch and hope to cruise with them again, but once we move things just change. I am sure we can stay good friends, but just not neighbors. They joked (maybe) they may move with us.

All of this is part of the process we are going through with a move to our retirement community, one we probably won’t do again anything soon, if ever. Despite these things we are dealing with, we are very much looking forward to being in our new home in an active adult community. We certainly will have the opportunities for many new activities as well as activities that we enjoy already like bocce, walking, even dancing.  I hear meeting new friends will be easy, just join in on some activities and you will meet people. People so far have been very friendly and engaging.

It was difficult deciding in the first place to move. Once we decided on moving to an active adult community and we became excited,  we soon thought “why didn’t we do this sooner?”.  At age 67 we will enjoy the activities and look forward to making new friends.

Robert and Mary Ann Fowler

Robert and Mary Ann
Robert and Mary Ann