Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
How to evaluate 55 + COMMUNITIES
Old 12-31-2015, 03:01 PM   #1
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 123
How to evaluate 55 + COMMUNITIES

We both just retired, I at 59 & DW 54, and are getting thru de cluttering & soon start the process of down sizing our present 3600 sq ft house.
Our children are both gainfully employed & are spread out in the country & seem to be busy with their own lives

This transition is causing anxiety, imagined discomfort & the question keeps coming, of where to buy & move to.

What have you done when & if you downsized & what did/do you think of Active 55 + communities ??
The attraction for us is the club house, Gym & a venue to join various clubs to meet & make friends with the neighbors. Lately since we both retired, we are missing the the social life & people interaction. The grounds/lawn maintenance by them is also a big break.

I would appreciate other forum member's experience as they went thru this stage in life. Thanks in advance for sharing.

Best regards
__________________

__________________
rkser is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 12-31-2015, 03:25 PM   #2
Full time employment: Posting here.
Silver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Orlando, Fl
Posts: 580
I like this site;

55+ Communities | Active Adult Retirement Communities | 55 Places

It certainly does not include all 55+ communities available, but it has a nice overview of many. My DH and I have lived in a 55+ community for 8 years and are very pleased. We did not want to live around young families any longer, and we like the more controlled environment of an adult community with lots of active groups and an active (read that strict) homeowners association. Not everyone does, but for us it's great.
__________________

__________________
Silver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2015, 03:28 PM   #3
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Souschef's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Santa Paula
Posts: 1,200
My wife and I downsized from our individual 1800 sq ft homes into a 1400 sq ft manufactured home in a +55 park. It is NOT a "trailer park". We have a clubhouse and a pool, which is all we needed.
Depending on your interests, there are many Del Webb developments around the country. Friends of mine moved to Surprise AZ because they are golfers and there were 2 courses in their development.
I am half a mile from the small airport I fly from, 15 minutes from a tourist railroad I volunteer on, and 20 minutes from the beach and marina.
For our lifestyle, it is perfect, but YMMV
Happy New Year
__________________
Retired Jan 2009 Have not looked back.
AA 50/45/5 considering SS and pensions a SP annuity
WR 2% SI 2SS & 2 Pensions
Souschef is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2015, 03:33 PM   #4
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,975
Social life, people interaction, seems to be important to you. You're still relatively young. Keep in mind that most of the people in a 55+ community are well over 55. Are you comfortable socializing with people 70+ or would you prefer people your age or younger? There's a lot of turnover with neighbors since people are dying or moving to various levels of assisted living fairly frequently.
__________________
aaronc879 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2015, 03:38 PM   #5
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
braumeister's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Northern Kentucky
Posts: 8,630
The standard advice is to pick a place you think you would like to live and rent for a while. VRBO and AirBnB are just a couple of easy ways to do that affordably.
While it may not be easy to find a rental in exactly the place you're interested in, you should be able to get close.

Living there for a month or two (and ideally at different times of the year) will tell you far more than you could learn online or from friends.

You may have to do multiple iterations of this, but at some point you could easily say "This is it."
__________________
braumeister is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2015, 03:43 PM   #6
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 1,437
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronc879 View Post
Social life, people interaction, seems to be important to you. You're still relatively young. Keep in mind that most of the people in a 55+ community are well over 55. Are you comfortable socializing with people 70+ or would you prefer people your age or younger? There's a lot of turnover with neighbors since people are dying or moving to various levels of assisted living fairly frequently.
Yeah way over 55 in age. DW and I checked one out and resident came right and said that we are way too young for that place. Most are over 70. BTW we were checking it out for my 86 year old mother.
__________________
Retired in 2016. Living off dividends / interest and a mini pension. Freedom.
foxfirev5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2015, 03:48 PM   #7
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Lisa99's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: The Villages
Posts: 1,327
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronc879 View Post
Social life, people interaction, seems to be important to you. You're still relatively young. Keep in mind that most of the people in a 55+ community are well over 55. Are you comfortable socializing with people 70+ or would you prefer people your age or younger? There's a lot of turnover with neighbors since people are dying or moving to various levels of assisted living fairly frequently.
it's not true that all communities are "well over 70". DH is 51 and I'm 55 and we love our Dell Webb Sun City. Yes most people are older than us but we meet people by joining clubs that have people of the same interest so age doesn't matter.

Now if we only interacted with our neighbors, who for the most part aren't active, then we wouldn't be happy. But find clubs you like and the people part of it will follow.
__________________
Lisa99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2015, 03:55 PM   #8
Full time employment: Posting here.
Silver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Orlando, Fl
Posts: 580
Quote:
Originally Posted by foxfirev5 View Post
Yeah way over 55 in age. DW and I checked one out and resident came right and said that we are way too young for that place. Most are over 70. BTW we were checking it out for my 86 year old mother.
That's interesting. I guess it must be true for some 55+ communities, but not all. I would say that in my community there are fairly evenly spread age groups, and most new community members are almost all in their 50's, some still working. Turnover is fairly rare, and there are over 600 homes.

I guess it depends on what you are looking for, and getting accurate info about any community is essential.
__________________
Silver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2015, 03:57 PM   #9
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 1,437
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver View Post
That's interesting. I guess it must be true for some 55+ communities, but not all. I would say that in my community there are fairly evenly spread age groups, and the most recent community members are almost all in their 50's and still working. Turnover is fairly rare, and there are over 600 homes.

I guess it depends on what you are looking for, and getting accurate info about any community is essential.
Exactly. Do your homework.
__________________
Retired in 2016. Living off dividends / interest and a mini pension. Freedom.
foxfirev5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2015, 04:01 PM   #10
Dryer sheet aficionado
boog's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Ocala, FL
Posts: 41
We moved into a 55+ community in October. 58 (me) and 56 (DW). Our community is about 40% built out and is growing steadily. Our experience is a (relatively) new, growing community has more folks closer to our age than one which is older. We have no kids, so the social interaction of our community has lots of value for us. DW retired in June before our move and I planned to work OMY or so. Since moving here, I have decided to move up the RE timetable to this April - there is too much going on that I'm having to miss due to work! We downsized from 3300 to 1700 sq ft, which has been refreshing. The amenities and activities are excellent and this area of Florida offers GREAT opportunities for cycling and other outdoor activities. This environment is a bit regimented with HOA guidelines of course, so it doesn't appeal to a lot of folks. We find the clean, orderly neighborhoods a refreshing change from our previous location. Most communities under active construction have programs for you to stay a few days and experience it from a resident's perspective. I highly recommend this approach. We visited several before deciding on our community.
__________________
boog is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2015, 04:02 PM   #11
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Mulligan's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 7,384
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisa99 View Post
it's not true that all communities are "well over 70". DH is 51 and I'm 55 and we love our Dell Webb Sun City. Yes most people are older than us but we meet people by joining clubs that have people of the same interest so age doesn't matter.



Now if we only interacted with our neighbors, who for the most part aren't active, then we wouldn't be happy. But find clubs you like and the people part of it will follow.

That is my goal as you describe, Lisa, when I am 60. But old folks arent so bad. I play in weekly local senior scrambles in the area, and out of the 100 or so that show up I imagine only 2-3 of us are under 65. An incredible amount is over 80. They are a total riot....But I tend to have hear a lot of dying, nursing home, and Alzheimer's stories though. But, hey thats what is on their mind, so be it, then.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
__________________
Mulligan is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2015, 06:21 PM   #12
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
braumeister's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Northern Kentucky
Posts: 8,630
I think many of us tend to narrow our focus more than necessary.

I'm thinking of a rafting trip we took through the Grand Canyon a few years ago. One of the people on the trip was 82, and one of the 2 or 3 most active individuals (out of 48). I was just in my early 60s, and considered myself athletic (marathons, etc.), yet I had my hands full just keeping up with him.

When I asked, he told me he lived in Phoenix and ran up Camelback mountain every morning before breakfast.

The point is that age is such a relative thing that it's pointless trying to pin it down. People are individuals, and it's best to take them for who they are.
__________________
braumeister is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2015, 10:30 PM   #13
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Lisa99's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: The Villages
Posts: 1,327
Quote:
Originally Posted by braumeister View Post
I think many of us tend to narrow our focus more than necessary. People are individuals, and it's best to take them for who they are.
Exactly! About 25% of our pickleball club is >70 and we have several very active members >80. One woman is 77 and she plays softball for a couple of ours then joins our afternoon games for several more hours.

55+ communities are a great choice if you want to meet people and have fun in retirement.

And maybe it's because pickleball isn't really conducive to talking but we rarely hear or talk about illnesses.
__________________
Lisa99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2016, 01:02 AM   #14
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 257
We are about to move to Leisure World in Seal Beach, CA (what a name; at least the one in Laguna changed their name.) I never thought I would do such a thing. It will not be our only home however as we plan to spend most of the year at our small condo in Puerto Vallarta Mexico. I am 64 and completely retired 2 weeks ago, DH is an extremely active athletic 73. We figure we will spend part of the summer into the fall there yearly, then as we age and can't travel as much we will have it as a home base with a built-in community. The prices were reasonable, the maintenance fee not too high, the taxes much better than TX or NY where we live(d) before and the weather is pleasant. No more lawn work or outside maintenance! I especially like that they have their own bus route and the development is about 3/4 miles in all directions, has sidewalks, is walkable and you don't have to drive to everything. There's even a 3 mile bike path that leads right to the beach.

We thought that since we won't be there year-round it would be good to be in a place where there are a lot of activities and a social life already present, especially for introvert me who meets people primarily through like-minded hobbies and interests. There are 200 clubs and activities. If this were our only residence we might have considered a more expensive community, but maintenance fees only go up and we have 2 places to pay for.

We've been out there 3 times and have gotten a feel for the community. Yes, many of the residents are older than we are, but one day we will be older too.

W*rking as a geriatric psychiatrist for years I saw many people who lived in Brookdale or Del Webb communities and they all liked them. Perhaps it is self-selection in that those who move there want to be in such a place.


Sent from my iPhone using Early Retirement Forum
__________________
iac1003 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2016, 07:04 AM   #15
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Humble
Posts: 188
DW and I have struggled with this decision (I'm 56, she's 61). We're very interested in the 55+, due to the social activities and no worries about the trampoline/BB goal etc. showing up next door (no kids).

I'm not as excited as her about living in a community with all "old people". Yes, I know this isn't that realistic, but it's a mental hurdle.

I'm also concerned that if I'm in a smaller community, a few strong-willed personalities may take over many of the activities. If you don't like these people, then what do you do.

We're both introverts to some degree and have hobbies that we do at home (sewing/quilting and woodturning). We're typical introverts, as we enjoy some social life, but we need the alone time to recharge.

We've decided NOT to go the 55+ route, as we don't want to downsize, as we can't figure out how to get our hobby areas set up in the smaller homes prevalent in the 55+ communities. We're in 2300 sf now and really need a bit more space. What's likely going to happen is we'll get the ~3000 sf house, live in it for 10-15 years, then move to the 55+.

There has been a LOT of back and forth and LONG discussions re - this topic at our house. We know that we'll have to work a bit harder to keep our social life active. More driving vs. walking to the clubhouse.
__________________
Turn_the_Page is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2016, 10:37 AM   #16
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 257
DH just sold his entire woodshop contents but there are 2 communal woodshops in Leisure World and there are a few guys hanging out there all day, part of the day or none of the day.

We also wanted a larger community than some others we saw (Oceana in Oceanside CA for example, which is 4-5 very small communities each with their own clubhouse and no crossover among the communities). If there's 7,000+ people rather than 200, it should be easier to find some like-minded souls.


Sent from my iPhone using Early Retirement Forum
__________________
iac1003 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2016, 10:52 AM   #17
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
mpeirce's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Columbus area
Posts: 1,597
Quote:
Originally Posted by iac1003 View Post
We are about to move to Leisure World in Seal Beach, CA... the taxes much better than TX or NY where we live(d) before...
I'm curious. I assume you are talking about property taxes and not state income taxes since California has rather high state income tax vs. Texas having none (though NY's are on the higher side as well).
__________________
mpeirce is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2016, 11:17 AM   #18
Full time employment: Posting here.
Tailgate's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Texas
Posts: 881
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisa99 View Post
it's not true that all communities are "well over 70". DH is 51 and I'm 55 and we love our Dell Webb Sun City. Yes most people are older than us but we meet people by joining clubs that have people of the same interest so age doesn't matter.

Now if we only interacted with our neighbors, who for the most part aren't active, then we wouldn't be happy. But find clubs you like and the people part of it will follow.
+1 on your comments Lisa.. DW and I moved to Sun City Texas in October and have been thrilled... we are 64 and 59. Most folks here are very active physically, mentally or both. I suspect the older neighborhoods have a lot of original owners who are now in their 80's and might not get out as much, so we don't see that population. OTOH, one neighbor is 78 and plays golf 6 days a week and is also on the senior softball team that travels all over the country for tournaments.
There is so much about the community that allows one to connect with others or do their own thing as they please.
__________________
Tailgate is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2016, 11:28 AM   #19
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 123
Thank you to each one of the Posters, your posts form a part of the information/research we are doing to form our decision.

We live in Florida (have for 25 years) and will probably retire in Florida or in some such warm place.

Keep your experiences & suggestions coming.


Thanks
__________________
rkser is offline   Reply With Quote
How to evaluate 55 + COMMUNITIES
Old 01-02-2016, 12:55 AM   #20
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 257
How to evaluate 55 + COMMUNITIES

Quote:
Originally Posted by mpeirce View Post
I'm curious. I assume you are talking about property taxes and not state income taxes since California has rather high state income tax vs. Texas having none (though NY's are on the higher side as well).

Nothing is worse than having combined salaries of well over $300K a year in NYC and having to pay federal, state and city income tax. Plus the property taxes on our 980 sq ft condo were over $10,000/year and our common charge was about $1200/month. Then there was the mortgage and quite high sales tax on everyday items bought.

Texas may have no state income tax but property taxes are quite high even with homestead and over-65 exemptions. Sales tax is no bargain either. So the advantage has been no state income tax - and low gas prices - but I just retired and DH retired 5.5 years ago.

I have no income now that I retired. DH has SS and his RMD which we've been paying hefty taxes on while I was w*rking. For the next 2 years we actually have enough cash, no need to go into investments, to make up for the shortfall in our budget until I collect SS at FRA. There are some interest/dividends from an after-tax account but it is not a lot. Yes, someday I will have an RMD and that will push us up into a tax bracket where we would have to pay more in state income taxes, but not really by too much. The property taxes where we are buying are 40% of what we pay in Texas.

So where we came from and where we are now = less taxes paid overall. At least at this point in time. I know many here RE and have tax-advantaged themselves greatly. We were just 2 working stiffs who retired at 68 (DH) and 64 (me), mostly in salaried positions with just average tax deductions and paid a lot of taxes over our lifetimes. It won't hurt so much now.


Sent from my iPhone using Early Retirement Forum
__________________

__________________
iac1003 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
How do you evaluate investment risk? DJRR FIRE and Money 5 01-30-2008 06:55 AM
Evaluate my portfolio soupcxan FIRE and Money 28 01-31-2007 09:50 AM
Wharton MBAs & Harvard undergrads can't evaluate cheap index funds Nords FIRE and Money 38 06-05-2006 11:04 AM
How to Evaluate Offers Canadian FIRE Young Dreamers 10 05-23-2006 07:37 PM
Evaluate & critique my situation! *: ) Tommy_Dolitte Young Dreamers 11 09-03-2004 09:10 AM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:40 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.