Active Lifestyle Resort Retirement Community living offers a wealth of activities, special interest clubs,dining and new friends… all in one convenient and beautiful location!
Golf and Lake Retirement Communities have lots to offer!
What are the Best Retirement Communities?
A new generation of Baby Boomers are seeking out the Best Places To Retire. Many of these Baby Boomers and new retirees are finding out that Active Lifestyle Resort Retirement Communities are the answer! Today, the Best Places To Retire are just a click or two away!
Detailed below are relevant tips and factors which should be considered in order to ensure the successful selection of your ideal active lifestyle retirement community.
Best Retirement Community – Area Cost of Living
This is just about the most important factor for new retirees who are watching their budget, or who may be on a fixed income. Probably your two most expensive annual recurring costs will be real estate taxes and insurances for your home, autos and/or boat. So I suggest that you consider these costs first. The cost of insurance in Florida, for example is expensive and may require extra wind and flood insurance policies for hurricane protection. For my family, we relocated from Florida to Tennessee and reduced our tax and insurance costs by 33%! That’s correct… we can live for about 3 years in East Tennessee for every 1 year in Florida (with comparable waterfront residences and life styles).
Real estate taxes are a major factor to consider. For example, in my research I found that owning a home in East Tennessee (very close to the Smoky Mountains much like neighboring North Carolina) it is a lot less expensive than owning a similar home in the same proximity on the North Carolina side.
Be sure to research your projected real estate taxes and insurance costs before you make any decisions. Compare various states and locations regarding real estate taxes and insurance costs… remember these are annual recurring costs that you will be paying for each and every year.
Additionally there are a handful of states which have no state income tax… and if you plan on working to some extent, you’ll want to consider which sates have no state income tax.
Find a Low Cost of Living area to live in. Be sure to check the National Cost of Living Index which is based upon the base average of 100. Hopefully you can find your chosen city with a Low Cost of Living Index in the 80 – 90 range. For example, the Cost of Living Index for Knoxville, TN is 82.5; the Cost of Living Index for Asheville, NC is 101.7; the Cost of Living Index for Tampa, FL is 98.8. A Low Cost of Living is a very important consideration, especially if you are on a fixed or limited income.
Be sure to research a community’s activity fees for golf, tennis, wellness centers, etc. For example… Some communities may require you to pay a large upfront golf membership fee ($25,000+) or require mandatory monthly spending minimums for dining at the country clubs.
Do your research and know all your costs upfront. The goal is for you to enjoy your retirement community, not sacrifice your life’s savings for it.
Best Retirement Community – Weather and Seasons
One important factor to consider when deciding where to call your next home is the local climate. What is your personal preference? How does your location choice affect your social and recreational activities?
Many people prefer the warm weather all year long and head south to Florida… and that’s a great destination. But for us… we lived there for 20 years… and it’s beautiful, but it can get old having 90+ degrees/90+ % humidity every day from June to Thanksgiving Day! Not to mention the hurricane preparation and evacuation drills every summer hurricane season. If you like warm weather all year long that’s your place to be… and with that in mind, it’s still a top destination for many who are considering retiring. We made the decision to live in Tellico Village East Tennessee offers the right climate, cost of living, active lifestyle and amenities we were looking for at this time in our lives.
In general, most people do not head North to the colder climates for retirement. A good East Coast compromise is the Middle Atlantic and North Carolina, East Tennessee and Georgia (North). On the West Coast, Oregon, Washington (South) and Northern California are good bets… although more expensive.
These are the questions you must ask yourself: Do you enjoy a moderate 4 season climate change? Do you enjoy the Fall colors and Spring blossoms? Do you want to live in a central geographic location for easy travel and trips back home to see the kids?
Climate is very easy to research on the web. You can find average temperatures for any city and to determine the length and depth of its winters. Climate will ultimately be a major factor in your decision as to where you live.
Best Active Retirement Lifestyle Communities
Today’s retirement generation is vastly different than even that of our own parents. In one generation’s time… we’re living longer thanks to advances in medicine; we’re much more mobile, active and fun seeking; and most of our generation have the financial resources to choose the retirement option that best suits us individually.
My parent’s retirement was pretty typical for their time. They moved from the Northeast to a condo on the 12th floor overlooking the beach in Fort Lauderdale. The weather was warm, the shuffleboard was plentiful and the early bird dinners were cheap.
Fast forward to today’s Baby Boomer Retirement generation. The shuffleboard court has been replaced by kayaking, hiking, golf, tennis and softball leagues. The condo on the beach may still exist, but it’s only one of many options including living on the lake, the golf course, the mountain retreat or a planned active resort lifestyle community. The next generation of retirees are here… the Baby Boomers have arrived!
Choosing a community can be a very difficult choice for many people. Some people find a planned golf, lake or tennis community extremely appealing:
What’s not to like? Its a community of like-minded people, built-in recreational and atheltic opportunities, social and hobby clubs, community events, on property dining… and everything right there at your fingertips. Still, some people may consider this type of lifestyle “marching to conformity” and head in a different direction.
Be sure to consider the amenities a particular community has to offer: Golf? Boating? Equestrian? Special Interest Clubs? Workout Facilities? Pools? Club Houses? Entertainment? Do you enjoy and utilize these activities? How do the costs of these amenities compare with outside services?
In the final analysis the choices and options are all yours. Do your research, talk to a local real estate professional, local residents, plan a scouting trip, maybe rent an onsite property for a month and access the web for local information.
If you do your homework, chances are you’ll make the right decision for you and your family!
Best Retirement Community – How Remote a Location?
No matter if you choose a planned community or individual homesite location you need to ask yourself the question: “How remote a location?”
Do you want the solitude of a cabin nestled in the mountains, or do you want to dine on the beach in metropolitan Fort Lauderdale? Are you willing to drive an hour to shopping centers or medical facilities and take your own trash to the recycling center? That might be the case for that cozy mountain cabin. The restaurants on Las Olas Blvd. in Fort Lauderdale are fantastic, but are you prepared to pay the price for a Fort Lauderdale lifestyle? And are you willing to fight the crowds?
Just maybe the perfect solution is a compromise. Can you find that special community that offers you privacy, nature and seclusion, but that’s also close to major medical, shopping, restaurants and entertainment? Many Active Lifestyle Communities are located just outside the county line of a metropolitan city and offer all that you could ever dream of in terms of goods and services. Additionally, as the Baby Boomer generation ages, the need for close and comprehensive medical care and hospitals increases. Do your research and you’ll find the right location that’s a perfect fit for you!
Best Retirement Community – Available Recreational Activities
When considering the best retirement locations, lifestyle must must be considered in the decision making process. After all, this is the time in your life that you want to do the things you never had the free time to do. What’s your passion? Golf? Bridge? Fishing? Hiking? Boating? Wood Working? Quilting? Tennis? Horse Back Riding? The Book Club? The Garden Club? The Classic Car Club?
You’ll want to make sure that the activities which you enjoy are readily available in your new location. Also, how many months of the year are they available? Year round? 10 Months out of the year? etc.
Are you the social type? Do you enjoy meeting new people and groups? Do you enjoy being part of a special interest club? If so, make sure that these activities and clubs are readily available to you. Consider the ease, or difficulty of making new friends and meeting new neighbors in a totally new and exciting, yet unfamiliar surrounding.
Best Retirement Community – Terrain and Physical Environment
It’s very common for people to work all their lives in a typical city/suburban environment (The “Rat Race”) to want to change their surrondings at some point. Many people, at this time in the lives envision an environmental change of their physical surroundings… to the beach, the mountains, the lake, etc.
We had the opportunity to live and enjoy the environment in Florida for 20 years. The beautiful beaches, the swaying palm trees, the turquoise waters…but over time it just became… all so flat, hot and one dimensional. When we came to visit East Tennessee, we saw a diverse topography, rolling hills, beautiful lakes, and distant mountains, it just seemed right to us…at this stage in our lives. Now we could never endure a northern winter, but we found the perfect compromise in the Knoxville area. I believe that’s the key for everyone… find what’s right for you at any given time in your lifetime…and you’ll just know it’s home!
Best Retirement Community – Family Members
You may be gaining an exciting new lifestyle, community and friends, but what about the family and friends you’re leaving behind? That’s a question you will have to address. Many people just can’t make the break from the status quo, and wind up staying put for the sake of keeping everyone together. Others simply have to move on and live their own individual lives. It can be a tough decision for some.
Here are some considerations: Typically you will live a longer, happier and more productive life doing what you really want to do… not doing something for the sake of others, even if they are family members. Your children have their own lives, friends and careers to be concerned with… and the grandkids grow up quickly and are off building their own lives.
Location is a major factor when it comes to family. If you select a community that is centrally located and easily accessible by interstates and/or airports, you’re likely to see each other often. Try to keep within a day’s drive back home if that is possible. Numerous, shorter stays make for the best family relationships. Your family will actually be looking forward to seeing you, as well as, spending time at the beach, or on the lake!
Best Retirement Community – Miscellaneous Factors
In addition to all the other selection criteria discussed, you should also consider the following local factors: Low Crime Area, Traffic Flow or Congestion, Pollution, Hospitals and Medical Facilities, Population Size, Access to Airports, Access to Major Interstate Roadways, Average Age and Demographic Statistics.
In the end, if you spend your time and energy researching and planning beforehand… you will reap the benefits and rewards of a happy, prosperous and successful retirement community lifestyle for many years to come!
Discover your Best Retirement Communities
(For more information and tours of local East Tennessee Best Retirement Communities Contact Me )