Get Active, Stay Active 'Over-55' Communities Flourish

You’ve all seen the ads—whether you’re over 55 or not. They’re called “active adult” communities, “retirement” communities, “over-55” communities, “active-lifestyle” communities or any number of other names.

Popular locations for such communities are “Sun Belt” states like California, New Mexico and Arizona —but many are right here in Illinois. Sun City Huntley by Del Webb, the Woods at South Barrington, River Crossing Luxury Condominiums—these are just a few located in Chicagoland.

Regardless of whether they're in a desert or by a Great Lake, what nearly all active adult communities have in common is that they advertise a maintenance-free lifestyle for older adults that includes recreation options like golf and tennis nearby, a clubhouse, amenities such as exercise centers, small-group classes, entertainment, business centers, organized outings, and more.

Matching Up

Maybe you’ve retired—or are about to. You’re healthy, active and want to have fun; an assisted-living community is probably not really your speed, but your old house is too big, and has become a bit of a hassle to maintain. If that sounds like you, an adult active community may feel like a better fit. There’s about to be a big spike in “baby boomers” retiring, and many will certainly be heading to such communities. In fact, according to retirementliving.com, start-ups in 55-plus communities are projected to increase by almost half within the next two years.

But how do you choose the right kind of active adult community, and by what criteria do you evaluate them? And what’s life like inside one of these communities?

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