Top Amenities That Retirees Want in Their New Communities

Two senior men walking outside on a walking trail in a 55+ community

Two senior men enjoy their community’s walking trail. 55+ and retirement communities offer amenities that enhance sociability and fitness for active adults.

Baby Boomers looking for active adult and 55+ communities want to live where they can make the most of their retirement.

These homebuyers want amenity packages with more than a community pool and golf course. When shopping for new homes in 55+ communities, retirees want low-maintenance living, active neighbors, the ability to stay active and ways to relax and learn.

Low-Maintenance Homes

Nobody wants to work for years only to spend their retirement keeping up a large, empty house. Baby Boomers looking for the perfect retirement community keep a close eye on the types of homes available, looking for compact but comfortable living spaces and included maintenance for any front yard space and home exteriors.

High-End Homes

Downsizing and moving into an active adult community does not mean sacrificing home quality. Baby Boomers want their retirement home to have the same luxury features of their old home. Lucky for them that many new homes have modern smart home features that can be controlled via smart phones.

Convenient Locations

More retirees want to live in an active adult community with close friends and great amenities, but still want to have a vibrant city close by with museums, cultural events and restaurants for nights out on the town. Retirement communities in quaint towns that feed into large cites can provide retirees with the best of all possible worlds.

“We find that buyers want to live in an age-restricted space, but they also want to keep that connection with the outside too,” says Diahann Young, director of Digital Platforms & Innovation at PulteGroup, whose Del Webb brand is a leading builder of active adult communities. “As we get closer in to a city, there are less amenities in the community because that’s available around them.”

Linda Mamet, vice president of Corporate Marketing for TRI Pointe Group, agrees. “People want to stay in places where their family and friends are,” she says. “We used to have so many amenities inside “the wall,” but now it’s about the amenities around the area and the private amenities in the community.”

A Sense of Community

When moving into an active adult community, retirees want to stay social. They want to live somewhere they feel connected with their neighbors and look for amenities that help foster true community. “Spaces for community members to gather — whether it be a clubhouse or simply a gathering space where they can connect with neighbors, whether it allows for yoga or another type of class — is really important,” Young says.

In addition to building a sense of community, community centers that offer residents the opportunity to socialize, hold events and even work remotely are important to active adults, many who are still working.

“At this age, not all of our residents are retired, so having a conference-type space is ideal,” Young says. “The ability to use these spaces for conferencing and other work-related tasks is something that 55+ buyers want.”

Classes and Lectures

Even though Boomers entering retirement will no longer work, they still want to remain sharp and keep learning.

“Boomers want a more active lifestyle — not just the physical activity — they want the challenges that come with learning new things that will feed their mind, as well as their body,” Mamet says.

Active adults want community classes and lectures so they can learn new skills and about interesting topics. Lessons centering on hobbies and crafts are also popular community benefits, says Young.

Walking Paths

In their quest to remain healthy and mobile during retirement, active adults have increasingly requested walking paths in community amenity packages. In fact, Mamet says that, according to a recent Pardee Homes study, trails for walking and biking are one of the “must-have” amenities of 55+ buyers. In contrast, amenities such as community spaces were seen as “nice to have.”

Young says walking trails continue to be a popular amenity among Del Webb buyers too.

Plenty of Fitness Opportunities

In addition to community walking paths, retirees want a variety of fitness opportunities in their communities. Social sports like pickle ball and basketball, pools and fitness centers remain favorites, but today’s seniors are also on the lookout for personal trainers and a wider selection of exercise classes.

Community Gardens

Even though retirees do not want to keep up personal yards, many still enjoy getting dirt under their nails tending to flowers and fruits and veggies. Young says funkier amenities like community gardens, dubbed agrihoods, are increasingly popular and allow active adults to get the satisfaction of growing food and the social activity, without the high level of labor needed to maintain a personal garden.

Count other unique amenities such as cool bar areas, cafes and even chicken coops among newer amenities that pique Boomers’ interest.

Dog Parks

While active adults’ children may have left the nest, they still have their four-legged family members to spoil. 55+ communities that have pet-friendly amenities like dog parks attract retirees that want to share their new life with Fido, says Young.

Active adults are independent and want to enjoy their golden years. They look for 55+ communities where they can truly thrive. Thoughtful community amenities demonstrate how specific communities can accommodate different lifestyles and people who do not believe that age is a valid reason to slow things down.

Do you need help searching for the right 55+ community for you? Search NewHomeSource today to find your new home today.
After graduating in 2016 from The University of Texas with a degree in English, Sanda Brown became a SEO Associate for (...more)

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