How to Choose an Active Retirement Community

Dec 29, 2022 | 55+ Community, Savannah Lakes

Your Guide to Choosing the Right Active 55+ Community

If you’re just starting to conduct research on available age-restricted communities, it’s important to know what you need to consider when choosing the place that’s best for your needs. In this blog, we’ll go over some of the top things to keep in mind when hunting for your active 55+ community, including:

  • Retirement Location
  • Age Restriction vs. Age Targeting
  • Budget
  • Lifestyle Needs
  • Amenities (Including Surrounding Location)
  • Housing

What to Consider When Choosing an Active Retirement Community

No two retirees are the same, so not every community will be a perfect match to every active adult. If you neglect to do your due diligence before moving in, you could get stuck with an irreversible investment in a place that doesn’t meet your needs. As you research your available options, be sure to consider:

Retirement Location

The first thing to look at when deciding whether a retirement community is right for you is where it’s located. Obviously, if you have plans to spend your golden years catching fish and relaxing by the lake, it’s a good idea to find communities that provide easy access to fishing and wildlife.

Beyond the recreational possibilities of the location, you’ll also want to keep your weather preferences in mind when selecting potential communities. A retirement retreat in New Hampshire might have all the recreation you want, but it won’t be worth it if you hate the cold.

Additionally, you’ll want to research the crime statistics associated with the area. While most active retirement communities are gated, it’s still important to know what’s going on right outside your neighborhood. A community might seem safe on the inside, but the sound of sirens can carry easily through any fence.

Age Restriction vs. Age Targeting

It’s important to understand the difference between an age-restricted community and an age-targeted community. Age-restricted communities are those that do not accept any residents younger than 55 years old. These communities are often much quieter, and do not permit children, teenagers, or young adults to live on the premises.

By contrast, age-targeted communities are open to all ages but are still designed with amenities that appeal to active adults. These communities typically feature a more diverse environment with young folks sharing amenities and playing in communal areas throughout the campus. The choice between an age-restricted and age-targeted community largely depends on what you desire from your living experience.


One of the most important things to consider when choosing the right retirement community is what you can afford. There are a broad variety of communities at many different price points, so it’s good to have an idea of what you can reasonably afford before falling in love with a location that’s out of your range.

When planning a budget, you’ll not only need to consider the cost of buying your new home, but the additional costs associated with your relocation and community experience. These include things like:

  • Movers
  • Storage space
  • Transportation
  • Real estate agent
  • HOA fees
  • Membership fees
  • Amenity fees

Lifestyle Needs

How active do you want your active retirement community to be? The answer to this question is an important one to keep in mind when making a list of your top contenders. If you find the idea of being partnered with a community guide to coordinate your daily and weekly activities cringe-worthy, it’s probably best to focus on places that can provide a more independent experience.

Still, part of the beauty of retirement is the ability to relax, socialize, and not worry so much about the day-to-day. Figure out the things you’re willing to relinquish control over (i.e. trash pickup or lawncare) and the things you’d like to keep under your domain (i.e. managing your social life and activity involvement). This can help you find the place that best suits your lifestyle needs.

Amenities (Including Surrounding Location)

As you research active 55+ communities, you’ll notice many of them boasting their on-site amenities. Before reading through them, create a list of must-have features that you want most from your community. As you go through the available options, see how many of your must-haves can be checked off by one location to find your best match.

Along with the amenities offered within the community itself, it’s also a good idea to find out what’s available to you in the surrounding area. If you’re someone who likes to go out and experience city life frequently, then a community located in the middle of nowhere is probably not a good match.


When moving into an active retirement community, residents often must select from a set variety of pre-built homes. Depending on the layout and style, these homes might not suit your every need. Just like you made a list of must-haves for your amenities, it’s a good idea to create a similar list for your housing requirements. If a community can’t provide a house that feels like home, it’s not the right choice for you.

Some active retirement communities, like Savannah Lakes Villages, allow residents to purchase and build on their own land. Building a custom home is a great way to enter your retirement years with confidence and comfort. If you’ve chosen Savannah Lakes Villages as your active 55+ community, Lee Builders can help you build your dream home. We have proudly been the go-to custom home builder of choice for Savannah Lakes Villages residents for nearly 20 years.

If you’re ready to build a home at Savannah Lakes Villages, contact Lee Builders to get started today!