America has seen a lot of changes over the past fifty (50) years, but none more so than the concept of retirement. Not only are people living longer, but the activities they are engaging in during their “Golden Years” are very different as well. That’s why the idea of “active adult or retirement communities” has become so popular, particularly here in Arizona where the concept began.
In the olden days, retirement often meant moving in with one of your grown children. More recently, many seniors checked into retirement homes where they pretty much sat around playing cards, watching TV or getting in a round or two of golf. Read More...
It seems pretty boring because it was.
Today, however, the “hottest” trend in age restrictive planned developments is the active adult community where residents fill their days with an untold number of recreational activities. These include sporting activities, history and cooking classes, yoga, swimming, spinning, walking tours and just about any kind hobby or pursuit you can think of.
The Baby Boomer generation is nothing if not of the mindset that youthfulness is eternal, at least as it relates to one’s lifestyle. The entire "youth movement" of the 1960’s was invented by Baby Boomers and they don’t appear to be walking away from that, even if walking has become more difficult with arthritic hips and bum knees.
According to National Geographic, the first active adult community was established in 1960 right here in Arizona. Sun City led the way in making retirement living more than just waiting around for the Grim Reaper. Today, Sun City has over 40,000 residents and the recreational activities are almost too many to count. They often far exceed the activities found in many mid-sized universities.
There are 130 clubs, swimming pools, 30 softball teams, lecture series, seven separate recreational centers and even a cheer leader tutorial. This massive complex is a city unto itself with manicured landscapes, palm trees and cactus lined roads.
Here are some of the benefits to moving to an Active Adult community:
Right Size Your Lifestyle
For seniors whose children have flown the coop, moving to an active community has a lot of things going for it. First, you can “right size” your home. Who needs 4-bedrooms and a large backyard when there only two of you in the house.
Low Cost & Easy Maintenance
And is anyone going to miss maintaining a large backyard, lawn and house? I think not, given all those weekends spent mowing the lawn, pulling weeds and revarnishing the deck. Active adult developments usually have fully staffed grounds keepers staff to do all that drudge work while you relax by the pool.
Living with Your Peers
Another great thing about age restrictive active lifestyle communities is that you get to hang out with people in your own age-group who often have the same values as you. It’s also nice to know that your neighbors can recognize all those 1950’s and 1960’s TV shows like Gun Smoke, Wagon Train and Leave it to Beaver, unlike your kids who are wondering what the heck you’re talking about.
Most of these communities have pretty much everything you need – grocery stores, barbers, medical facilities – either in the development itself or very close by. You won’t have to drive for miles and miles to pick up a quart of milk or to get a manicure.
Probably the single most important benefit, and the thing that separates active adult communities from other retirement community models, is that they are specifically geared towards structured entertainment and recreation for their residents.
Being able to choose from a large menu of activities lets you have fun, socialize with your peers and expand your horizons.
There are a few things to consider before you make a move, however. Here are some of them:
Do I really need all those recreational options?
You probably should sit down and say to yourself, “do I really want all those recreational options, and will I use them”? An active retirement sounds great but is that really you?
Is it worth paying for them?
All these recreational activities come with a cost. Is it worth the extra expense when I may not use many of them?
Am I ready for a radically different lifestyle?
Moving to a retirement community, active or not, is a big step. It is very different from living in a typical suburban neighborhood with single family homes, where you might not see your neighbors for weeks on end.
Arizona, and particularly the Phoenix/Scottsdale metro area, is a particularly good place to retire to an active adult community. First of all, there are so many of them here to choose from. Secondly, some of the highest rated active adult communities can be found here.
And the climate is great year around, particularly if you are used to those nasty winters up north. Sitting around a pool, cocktail in hand, is sure better than shoveling.
There are financial reasons that make it compelling to move to Arizona too. This is especially important to seniors, many of whom are on fixed incomes. Arizona does not tax social security payments. It doesn’t have a gift or inheritance tax either. And the cost of living is considerably lower than most states in the northeast and west coast.
These are some great active adult communities here in Arizona to choose from, and they come at different price-points. You don’t need a big 401K or an over-stuffed piggy bank to live in many of them. All you need is a lots of sunscreen and a desire to remain active.
Robson Ranch is about an hour’s drive outside of Phoenix. It calls itself a “resort” because of all the amenities and recreational activities it offers. Residents can join a softball team, play pickleball, swim, cycle and hit the tennis court. And it’s not crazy expensive either. Some homes can be bought for as little as $190,000.
If you are looking for an action-packed community, Sun Village in Surprise might just be the place for you. Besides the typical menu of activities offered at other active adult communities, Sun Village in Surprise has a wildlife zoo, aquarium and several golf courses. It even has a micro-hospital for 24/7 emergency care.
Trilogy at Vistancia won the 2015 “Best Place to Retire” award by Retirement Magazine. And they won for good reason. They offer a wide array of recreational activities for almost any taste. Moreover, they are known for encouraging lots of social interaction among their residents. So if you are looking for a good time, this may be the place to for you.
For the generation that used to sing the Who’s song “My Generation” with lyrics like “…I hope I die before I get old…” things have changed.
Today, they are probably humming lyrics from another song from the ‘60’s by the rock band Steppenwolf, that went like this, “…get your motor running, head out on the highway, looking for adventure or whatever comes our way…”
The song was titled “Born to be Wild.”
Included below are Active Adult homes for sale throughout Arizona. If you would like more information on any of these Arizona Active Adult homes for sale, just click the "Request More Information" button when viewing the details of that property. We can provide you with disclosures, past sales history, dates and prices of homes recently sold nearby, and more.
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Last updated - February 15, 2023
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