A retirement community is a residential community or housing complex designed for older adults who are generally able to care for themselves; however, assistance from home care agencies is allowed in some communities, and activities and socialization opportunities are often provided. Some of the characteristics typically are: the community must be age-restricted or age-qualified, residents must be partially or fully retired, and the community offers shared services or amenities.
There are various types of retirement communities older adults can choose from, and new types of retirement communities are being developed as the population ages. Examples of retirement community types include:
Retirement communities are often built in warm climates, and are common in Arizona, California, Florida, and Texas, but they are increasingly being built in and around major cities throughout the United States. Youngtown, Arizona, established in 1954, was the first age-restricted community. Del Webb opened Sun City, Arizona, with the active adult concept, in 1960. In 2011, The Villages, Florida became the largest of these communities. While new retirement communities have developed in various areas of the United States, they are largely marketed to older adults who are financially secure. Lower income retirement communities are rare except for government subsidized housing, which neglects a large proportion of older adults who have fewer financial resources.
Retirement communities have been around since the 1920s and 1930s.
The term Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) is the primary term for a major part of the retirement scene, in books, magazines, accreditation and legislation, in parallel with the categorization just presented. A typical definition, from a New York Department of Health website  is "Continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) and fee-for-service continuing care retirement communities (FFSCCRCs) are residential alternatives for adults that offer, under one contract, an independent living unit (an apartment or cottage), residential amenities and access to a continuum of long-term care services, as residents' health and social needs change over time." The accrediting agency CCRC/CARF  uses the term CCRC with the same meaning.
In 2010, over 2,000 CCRCs existed in the United States with an estimated 640,000 residents. The popularity of CCRCs is increasing, as the number of older adults in such retirement communities has more than doubled during the last decade. The primary benefit of the CCRC model is that it allows people to age in one community even if they need additional healthcare services with time. Additionally, CCRCs embody a general sense of community and offer peace of mind for couples with the assurance that they will always be near each other, even if one spouse needs more care.
There are three levels of care in most CCRCs, where as residents' health needs increase, they will transition from one level to the next. The levels are:
Most CCRCs include an entrance fee and a monthly fee, and these costs vary widely depending on several factors: the luxuriousness of the facility, the size and type of housing unit, whether the person enters alone or with a spouse, and how much future care is covered. Fees tend to be expensive and usually do not include additional services such as phone and television. Additionally, residents should plan on a 3-6% increase in monthly fees each year.
CCRC's usually offer various payment plans, which are listed below:
One risk of entering a CCRC is that most will refund only a portion or none of the entrance fee if a resident chooses to leave the community. The same refund policies exist when a resident passes away. Persons considering moving into a CCRC may wish to research existing CCRCs before committing to one.
Elder cohousing, also known as senior cohousing, is a living arrangement in which multiple individually owned housing units are oriented around a common open area and a common house. Residents actively cooperate to live in a neighborhood characterized by socialization and mutual support. The idea for elder cohousing originated in Denmark, where intergenerational cohousing was successfully implemented; intergenerational housing communities are planned, owned, and managed by the residents, who all share in many daily activities together. This idea spun off the idea of an age-specific cohousing model for active elders, in which community designs permit easy access for all levels of physical ability. There may also be options to include studio residencies in the common house to provide living quarters for home health aids, whose services may be shared by several residents.
To be considered a "cohousing community" the following six defining characteristics must be present:
At least 80% of the units in the community must include an individual aged 55 or older, to meet the age requirements to qualify as "senior housing".
As previously stated, the cohousing living model was first observed in Denmark. There, the communities are known as bofoellesskaber, which translates to "living communities". K. McCamant and C. Durrett coined the term "cohousing", and launched it in the United States in the 1970s. Since its introduction to the U.S. intergenerational cohousing communities have been developed in at least 21 states.
Niche retirement communities target retirees who "share a common interest, hobby or trait". By 2011, niche retirement communities or "niche senior communities' - known as "'affinity' retirement communities" by industry professionals -  had become "one of the biggest trends in retirement living." These communities attract those over 55 who want to be in communities of like-minded individuals from the same ethnic background (for example, Aegis Living for Asian-Americans in Fremont, California or first-generation Indian immigrants (55-and-over) in Tavares, Florida, in the Greater Orlando area, Lake County, Florida), sexual orientation (RainbowVision in Santa Fe, New Mexico, or for those who share an interest such as academia and lifelong learning (in dozens of university-based retirement communities (UBRC) for example at Eckerd College, Holy Cross Village at Notre Dame, Indiana), Penn State University, Stanford University, University of Florida, creative expression and artists (for example the Burbank Senior Artists Colony, the Long Beach Senior Arts Colony, Meta Housing and EngAGE in California), astronomers, golf, RV aficionados (Escapees CARE center in Livingston, Texas)s, veterans, vegetarians, fans of Big 10 football games and country music (Nashville, Tenn)."
In the United States alone there are approximately 80 million people who were born between 1946 and 1964 - the baby boomers - who control about $25 trillion in wealth. By 2011 there were already over 100 niche communities.
Andrew Carle, founding director of the Program in Senior Housing Administration at George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia observed that the baby boomers " ... set the record for embracing fad products, and that'll likely translate over into the niche retirement community as well ... targeted toward people with specific interests and backgrounds, from Big 10 football games and country music to gay-friendly lifestyles."
In Florida alone there are niche retirement communities for Polk County retired letter carriers (which was union-built); for car buffs and RVers, such as Lake Weir Preserve in Marion County; for first-generation Indian immigrants (55-and-over) in Tavares, in the Greater Orlando area, Lake County, Florida. The Villages, in Sumter County, Florida- Florida's most well-known and fastest-growing retirement community development is the state's "biggest example of a culturally and ethnically homogeneous retirement community" with a 98.4% white population. The Villages, a gated community with low crime rates, offers "free golf for life" on their executive golf courses.
Colleges have created options for retired alumni who enjoy campus life, for example, at the University of Florida in Gainesville and Eckerd College in St. Petersburg's College Harbor Retirement Community, with its Academy of Senior Professionals.
There are downsides to living in niche retirement communities. According to research by Harvard Law professor Cass Sunstein, "[p]eople who surround themselves by like-minded people are more likely to become more extreme in their views. Sunstein observed increasing polarization in the United States in "ideologically-homogeneous communities" where groups composed of exclusively like-minded people isolate themselves from the wider, mainstream community and have limited exposure to alternative viewpoints. Carle also noted that residents in affinity communities can get burnt out with their life centered around what was once a favorite hobby.
Currently, there are over 3 million lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons over the age of 65 in the United States, and this number is estimated to rise to 4 million by the year 2020. LGBT elders face many additional issues concerning their future retirement plans and their choice of a retirement residence. Approximately two-thirds do not have children, and up to one-half live alone, so LGBT persons may have a lack of support in their retirement years. Since LGBT couples are often not legally recognized, spouses are often excluded in late-life decisions, inheritance claims, and spousal pension and social security plans. Several healthcare concerns exist for older LGBT adults, including increased incidence of illness and disease, lack of disclosure about sexual orientation to health providers, and lack of support for individual needs. And LGBT persons have increasing concern about discrimination as they age and fear that most retirement communities do not recognize the special needs of LGBT elders or offer supportive services; one study found that LGBT persons are least likely to choose a retirement community as a residence due to fears of unmet needs and heterosexism that occurs in many retirement communities.
The NORC model allows people to retire in their existing homes and encourages communities of seniors to band together to provide mutual assistance. NORCs can be very effective mechanisms to identify populations of people who need government-provided services and then provide those services in cost-effective ways. They may serve people of all income levels, e.g., those who get together to furnish cost-effective transportation services; they may involve low-income residents receiving a richer mix of public services through a NORC model; or they may serve relatively affluent households and charge $1,000 or even more in annual dues to support staffers who provide a rich variety of support services and cultural enrichment activities.
Special communal events can range from bingo to full, out door parties with live music and are often arranged by a committee of residents. Entertainers who provide services to nursing home communities are often preferred candidates.
A number of publishers have created lists of the 100 best retirement communities or "100 best places (or towns) to retire". For the most part these lists are helpful in terms of finding desirable communities to live in. The extent to which desirable amenities are "priced" in labor markets (lower wages in nice places) or housing markets (higher housing prices in nice places) will have a large impact on their appeal elderly retirees who no longer have to pay in the labor market. One drawback to these lists is that these communities often become more expensive as a result of their popularity.
In India, the traditional family system in which elders would be cared for by their children has collapsed, and a new generation of elders who value their independence has evolved. This has necessitated the development of retirement homes and communities in India. In response, one recent trend beginning to emerge in the Indian retirement industry is the "retirement resort": a long-term rental unit within a resort-like community that features many of the amenities of a traditional vacation resort.
Sun Park Living, with its holiday retirement complex in Lanzarote, is credited with the coming together of Senior Living & Senior Travel.
In the United Kingdom retirement villages have become increasingly prevalent; according to a BBC report of August 2009, there were approximately 25,000 people across the UK living within a retirement village model at that date. Another growing trend, witnessed recently, is the emergence of Holiday Retirement Community Living.
Models vary, from local authority funded and charitable schemes such as Hartrigg Oaks in York, led by the Joseph Rowntree Trust, to privately funded projects such as Roseland Parc in Cornwall by Retirement Villages Ltd, Fleet house retirement village in Devon, and Boughton Hall in Chester.
The ExtraCare Charitable Trust operates 14 retirement villages across the UK. Founded in 1988, ExtraCare has collaborated with numerous universities to develop their services. Research projects have included working with local nurseries to bring groups of children into retirement villages, as documented on the Channel 4 series Old People’s Home For 4 Year Olds.
An umbrella organisation called the Associated Retirement Community Operators (ARCO) works to collaborate thinking and best practice in the retirement homes market.
Captains Cove is a census-designated place in Accomack County, Virginia. The population as of the 2010 Census was 1,042. Known as Captain's Cove Golf & Yacht Club, it is a recreational community located on the west shore of Chincoteague Bay, bordering Maryland to the north. While numerous families with children live here, it's largely a retirement community, with a median age of 51 and the largest age group being 60-64.Continental, Arizona
Continental is a populated place located about 25 mi (40 km) south of Tucson, in Pima County, Arizona, near the town of Sahuarita and the retirement community of Green Valley. Once a center for cotton production, Continental is now nearly surrounded by large pecan orchards and Green Valley subdivisions. It is also the closest town to Madera Canyon, a premier birdwatching area and tourist attraction located in the Santa Rita Mountains.Continuing care retirement communities in the United States
A continuing care retirement community (CCRC), sometimes known as a life plan community, is a type of retirement community in the U.S. where a continuum of aging care needs—from independent living, assisted living, and skilled nursing care—can all be met within the community. These various levels of shelter and care may be housed on different floors or wings of a single high-rise building or in physically adjacent buildings, such as garden apartments, cottages, duplexes, mid- and low-rise buildings, or spread out in a campus setting. The emphasis of the CCRC model is to enable residents to avoid having to move, except to another level of care within the community, if their needs change.Edna, Texas
Edna is a city in Jackson County, Texas, United States. The population was 5,499 at the 2010 census. Edna is the county seat.Edna is the gateway to 11,000-acre (45 km2) Lake Texana, which covers the site of Texana, Texas. Edna has a hospital, convalescent home, library, museum, city park with swimming pool, three banks, two savings and loan associations, a country club with a nine-hole golf course, and Oak Creek Village, a retirement community. It is the center of a prosperous agricultural area with petroleum and natural gas production and has an active chamber of commerce, oilfield service industries, and two grain elevators.
On the courthouse lawn is a monument to Irwin Moore Laughter (1893 - 1916) of the United States Navy, who was killed in Mazatlan, Mexico, during the attempt by U.S. forces to capture the Mexican revolutionary general Pancho Villa.Fairhaven, Carroll County, Maryland
Fairhaven is an unincorporated community retirement community in Carroll County, Maryland, United States.Karlee Macer
Karlee Macer is a Democratic member of the Indiana House of Representatives, representing the 92nd district. Macer also works at a retirement community.Lakeshore, Florida
Lakeshore, formerly known as Fedhaven, is an unincorporated community in Polk County, Florida, United States. Lakeshore is located in eastern Polk County, 1 mile (1.6 km) east of Nalcrest and 11 miles (18 km) east-southeast of Lake Wales. The community was established in the 1960s as a retirement community for former federal employees, and was thus named Fedhaven; when the land was later sold to private ownership, its name was changed to Lakeshore. Lakeshore has a post office with ZIP code 33854; Fedhaven and Lake Wales are both considered alternate addresses for the community. In 2004, three hurricanes severely damaged Lakeshore.Meadview, Arizona
Meadview is an unincorporated community in Mohave County, Arizona, United States, located near Lake Mead. Despite its name, the townsite does not overlook the lake; a ridge to the west of town separates it from the lake. It has 1224 residents in 2010. It was founded in the 1960s as a retirement community.Nalcrest, Florida
Nalcrest is a retirement community in Polk County, Florida, United States. The community's ZIP code is 33856. It is part of the Lakeland–Winter Haven Metropolitan Statistical Area.
The community's name is an acronym for National Association of Letter Carriers Retirement, Education, Security and Training, as it was designed by and continues to be operated by the Nalcrest Foundation, Inc., a branch of the National Association of Letter Carriers, the union representing United States Postal Service city letter carriers. It was the brainchild of William Doherty, the first United States Ambassador to Jamaica and NALC President from 1941–1962.
Construction began on the community in July 1962 and the community opened in 1963. Initially, due to HUD regulations, residency was open to both NALC members and others, but when the mortgage was paid in 2002, the HUD restrictions were removed and residency is now limited to NALC retirees in good standing only.
The community consists of 253 acres (1.0 km2), 153 acres (0.6 km2) of which are developed into 500 garden-style apartments. The remaining 100 acres (0.4 km2) are undeveloped and includes a manmade lake of 15 acres around which the community is developed, and that is connected to the 7,500 acre Lake Weohyakapka.
The apartments are a mix of efficiency and one-bedroom units, and all are on ground level. Units are leased on an annual basis and the rental rate includes water, sewer, trash removal, basic cable TV, interior/exterior maintenance, and use of the community's recreational facilities (but not electricity). Pets are not permitted. In addition to being NALC retirees in good standing, tenants must also be able to care for themselves and for housekeeping chores, as the community is not an assisted living facility and does not have an on-site physician. Prospective tenants must pay the first month's rent and a security deposit. Previously, the only form of payment accepted was a postal money order, but now checks and all types of money orders are accepted.
Among the most interesting features of the community is that, despite being a retirement community for postal letter carriers, there is no home mail delivery – residents must pick up their mail at the post office in the Town Center.Oak Park Arms
The Oak Park Arms is an independent living and assisted living retirement community located at 408 S. Oak Park Avenue, Oak Park, Illinois. The Oak Park Arms was built in 1921 by Arthur E. Lorenz and was a luxury hotel and residence that hosted gala weddings and was host to many movie stars who stayed there as guests. In the mid 1970s, the Oak Park Arms was purchased and converted into a retirement community for seniors.
The Oak Park Township Senior Services, The Lifelong Learning Center of Oak Park - River Forest are both located inside the Oak Park Arms. More than ten other providers of senior-centered care maintain offices at the Oak Park Arms.Run by the Polish National Alliance, WPNA, has been broadcasting since 1950 from the Oak Park Arms at 1490 on the AM dial and was formerly called WOPA in tribute to their location. The station's programming serves the diverse linguistic and cultural communities in the Chicago metropolitan area. Current-day urban AC iHeartMedia-owned station WVAZ (102.7) was originally WOPA's FM sister station and also broadcast in its early history from the Oak Park Arms.Patagonia, Arizona
Patagonia is a town in Santa Cruz County, Arizona, United States. As of the 2010 census Patagonia had a population of 913. Patagonia was formerly a supply center for nearby mines and ranches. It is a tourist destination, retirement community and arts and crafts center.Private community
A private community is a residential community that can be an association or a proprietary organization. Associations can include condominiums, homeowner associations or cooperatives.Whereas governmental communities are financed with taxation, where taxes typically have little connection with benefits, private communities are financed as payments for benefits. In a hotel, for example, the public goods such as elevators and security are paid for from room charges.One early American example was Lucas Place, laid out in 1851 in St. Louis, Missouri, the first of about 50 such private places unique to the city. Today, there are "60 million people who now live in roughly 300,000 private communities" in the United States.A noteworthy Canadian example, Arbutus Ridge Seaside Community for Active Adults in the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island was the first comprehensive retirement community built in Canada. It subsequently became the template and proving ground for the now accepted and commonplace age-restricted community.Retreat, New Jersey
Retreat is an unincorporated community and former hamlet located within Southampton Township in Burlington County, New Jersey, United States. The area consists of some residential houses grouped together along Big Hill Road and Retreat Road. A large cranberry bog exists to the southeast of the community while Leisuretowne retirement community is located southwest of here. Most of the remaining area consists of forestland.The community was originally named New Retreat during the American Revolutionary War by a Continental army soldier who used the site for a cannonball manufacturing. The site was concealed from the British army who at the time was occupying present-day Mount Holly. Retreat was later home to cotton mills which operated until the 1840s.Romeo and Juliet (Hebald)
Romeo and Juliet is an outdoor bronze sculpture depicting Romeo and Juliet by American artist Milton Hebald, located in front of Delacorte Theater in Manhattan's Central Park, in the United States. It is one of two companion works at the theater sculpted by Hebald, the other being The Tempest (1966). Unveiled in 1977 and cast in 1978, Romeo and Juliet was donated by philanthropist George T. Delacorte, Jr. The sculpture is 7 feet (2.1 m) tall; the two figures, shown embracing, are set on a granite pedestal. A cast from the same mold appears in the rose garden at the Hollenbeck Palms retirement community in Boyle Heights, Los Angeles.Rural Municipality of Ste. Anne
For the town, see Ste. Anne.Ste. Anne is a rural municipality lying southeast of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. It is part of the Eastman Region and the Manitoba Census Division No. 2. Its population was 4,509 in the 2006 census, up from 4,427 in the 2001 census. The separately administered town of Ste. Anne lies within the borders of the municipality, in its northwestern part.
The Rural Municipality of Ste. Anne has five golf courses: The Links at Quarry Oaks Golf & Country Club, Cottonwood Golf and Country Club, Oakwood Golf Course, Ridgewood South Golf Course and the Girouxsalem Golf & Country Club.
The Rural Municipality of Ste. Anne includes Paradise Village, a 55 plus retirement community, which was founded in early 1990. Many of its residents are "snowbirds" who travel south in the winter.The Cool Kids (TV series)
The Cool Kids is an American comedy television series, created by Charlie Day and Paul Fruchbom, that premiered on September 28, 2018, on Fox. The series follows three male residents of a retirement community that are forced to adapt to the arrival of a new, rebellious female occupant and it stars Vicki Lawrence, Martin Mull, David Alan Grier and Leslie Jordan. On October 19, 2018, it was announced that Fox had ordered an additional nine episodes of the series, bringing the first season total up to twenty-two episodes.Thessalon
Thessalon is a town in the Canadian province of Ontario, located at the junction of Highway 17 and Highway 129 on the north shore of Lake Huron. It is surrounded by, but not part of, the municipality of Huron Shores, and is part of Algoma District. The main industries are timber and tourism. The town is a popular retirement community. It is the administrative headquarters of the Thessalon First Nation an Ojibwe First Nations with a reserve, Thessalon 12.WVLG
WVLG (640 AM) is a radio station licensed to Wildwood, Florida.
WVLG broadcasts mainly to The Villages, Florida retirement community with a mixed oldies and easy listening format, and is an affiliate of Fox News Radio.Youngtown, Arizona
Youngtown is a town in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States. According to the 2010 census, the population of the town is 6,156. Youngtown is the oldest retirement community in the United States.