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Top Retirement Destinations

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 (photo courtesy of thinkpanama and flickr)

AOL had this great article today on different retirement spots in the US. The article was written by freelance writer Carol Vinzant. Enjoy all of the good information.

14 Retirement Spots Worth Considering

Today’s seniors want something better if they are going to bother moving out of their home and their community. They want to be entertained and engaged, to make personal connections and to bring their pets. They want to be able to go places and do things.

·         Meadowood Retirement Community

Bloomington, Ind.
The Indiana University is a leader in the trend of universities welcoming seniors to retire nearby and both enjoy and contribute to campus life. Retirees can choose to live in homes, apartments or eventually, hospital beds. In addition to campus life, they can also enjoy a spa or wet bar.

·         Pinehurst, N.C.

Many northerners retire to Florida only to find they don’t like the hot weather, traffic, outrageous real estate prices and dearth of cultural activities. But they don’t want to go back to winters, so they go halfway back, retiring in the Carolinas, where temperatures and property prices are milder. Founded as a vacation resort, Pinehurst has 30 golf courses, a cute downtown and lots of cultural attractions. The town is within a day’s drive to the Outer Banks, the mountains or Durham. The nearby Sandhills Center for Creative Retirement offers trips and classes.

·         Huckins Farm

Bedford, Mass.
Huckins Farm is one of a few dozen retirement communities around the country that cater to horse people. The Farm includes 164 homes and condos, an equestrian center, recreation center, pool, an apple orchard and lots of preserved land. It’s small-town New England, but close to Boston.

·         Silver Sage Village

Boulder, Colo.
Residents at Silver Sage have their own townhouses, but share a community center and get together for walks and exercise. They’re one of a handful of co-housing developments specially geared toward seniors. Co-housing is a growing movement to build micro-communities, which sometimes share common interests, instead of just isolated homes. Silver Sage has a commitment to the environment and to what it calls a “participatory community.” One bedrooms go for $400,000 to $500,000.

·         Beacon Hill Village

Boston
Aging residents didn’t want to leave this historic Boston neighborhood, so they got together and formed something like a senior citizens’ commune. You pay a membership fee ($580 for singles, $780 for couples) and get household help (repairs, errands like grocery shopping), trips, classes and lectures. And the chance to live in a lively community. Now the neighborhood is a model for aging-in-place programs around the country. And it attracts new residents who just want to be part of the special community.

·         Foxdale Village

State College, Penn.
A group of local Quakers wanted to establish a non-profit retirement home that would be “based on Quaker values and Quaker conviction that all people are to be treated with dignity and loving respect.” Residents have to be over 65 and in good health when they move into one of the 148 apartments, which range from studios to two-bedrooms, on its 21-acre campus. But then they offer a continuum of care from there while encouraging independence, including classes at nearby Penn State.

·         Manhattan

Lots of retirees want to ditch their car — either because it becomes difficult or just too much of a hassle. Naturally, that’s easier if you live in a dense city of other pedestrians. Manhattan, according to city-data.com, has the lowest car density in the country for big cities. A full 60% of residents don’t have a car. That’s led to a 24-hour reasonably-safe subway system, abundant cabs and car sharing services. Not to mention, there’s just a lot to see and do on foot in the Big Apple.

·         Highland Green in Maine

Billed as an adult resort community, Highland Green, on Maine’s mid-coast near Freeport, offers a chance for retirees to live independently in new homes, but in a community of like-minded retirees. Plus, the community handles both indoor and outdoor maintenance. That may be appealing to a couple dreaming of retiring to Maine from somewhere else, but afraid of feeling isolated. It has a golf course and club house, but what makes it really unique is its nature preserve. Residents see fox, beaver, deer and porcupine.

·         RainbowVision

Santa Fe, N.M.
As openly gay seniors start to retire, they don’t want to have to go back to being secret about who they are. So, a string of gay retirement communities are opening up to serve their needs. RainbowVision plans more sites in Palm Springs, the Bay Area and in British Columbia. For now the Santa Fe location offers apartments and assisted living rooms, a Billie Jean King fitness center and plenty of entertainment and comfort.

·         Your RV

Instead of picking one place, many retiree couples hit the road in a recreational vehicle. They get to migrate to warm weather in the winter, mild in the summer and see all the sites in between. Some keep their home; some don’t bother. One in ten Americans aged 55 to 64 owns an RV, according to the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association. The group claims more than a million Americans live at least part of the year in their RVs.

·         The Gatesworth

St. Louis, Mo.
The Gatesworth is a luxury retirement community in the heart of the Midwest. The independent apartments range from 700 to 2,200 square feet and the community assets include a 104-seat theater, onsite bank, spa, gym with a heated pool, nightly happy hours and even dog-walking services (yes, they’re dog-friendly, too). 
 

·         Lake Chapala

Guadalajara, Mexico
An increasing number of Americans are retiring to Mexico. The reason? Mainly cost — and that applies both to those who buy villas on the coast and those who live in a modestly priced retirement home. Many claim they can live comfortably on Social Security. Health insurance is just a few hundred dollars a year. Lake Chapala is an enclave of Americans; Guadalajara is reputed to have the largest expat community (which also includes Canadians). Living amongst local communities will be cheaper.

·         La Posada

Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
La Posada is like a waterfront resort, but with access to medical care. A concierge physician is on call and there are a range of medical services, from assisted living to Alzheimer’s programs. The waterfront facility has dining, a fitness center, bridge room, spa and wellness center and lots of activities. For those worried about leaving some money for their kids, La Posada has a program in which 90% of your deposit is refunded (in certain circumstances.)

·         Your Neighborhood

After researching communities, you may find the best one for you is your own neighborhood. In fact, most people want to stay in their own home when they retire. With a few modifications you can. On the simplest level, you can add bathroom safety bars and replace things that are hard to use with arthritic hands like round door knobs or small light switches. If you already use a walker or wheelchair or anticipate needing one you may want to make sure you have everything accessible on the ground floor. Some install elevators, outside ramps and widen doorways.  

One Comment

  1. Beth says:

    Great information for me to pass along. Those communites look amazing.

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