Many people choose to retire in a retirement community. But which of these is the best option in the United States?
There is no single top retirement community, as everyone will want something different, including location, amenities, pricing, and home type. With that in mind, some of the top luxury retirement communities include The Villages and Sun City Hilton Head.
Take a closer look at these and others of the best private retirement communities in the United States as well as how to choose the ideal one for you.
Your Guide To The Best Private Retirement Communities In The United States
Retiring in one of the many luxury retirement communities allows for a maintenance-free retirement, along with easy access to activities and amenities. But there are so many of these communities to choose from that it can be daunting to select one. We've saved you the effort by gathering the best private retirement communities.
Luxury Retirement Communities: How To Choose
Before going into more detail about the best 55+ communities, it's important to note that everyone is different. Your ideal city will depend on your preferences and your family's location. From there, factors like budget, favorite activities, and other preferences will vary from one person to the next.
As you consider which community to retire in, keep the following considerations in mind:
- The location and amenities of the city
- Community amenities, such as pools and golf courses
- Types of houses
- Age restrictions
- If your family is welcome to spend the night
- On-site healthcare
- Easy access to nearby healthcare
- The reputation of the community
Forbes Best Places To Retire: Suggested Cities
Location should be more than just a passing consideration. Decide how important it is to be close to your family and friends. Then, think about how retirement-friendly your chosen city is.
Many retirees look for tax friendliness, nearby activities they like, healthcare, and even the political climate. With those factors in mind, the following are some of the Forbes best places to retire. You will notice these are all suggestions of cities and they span the country.
- Asheville, North Carolina
- Augusta, Georgia
- Beaufort, South Carolina
- Charlotte, South Carolina
- Clearwater, Florida
- College Station, Texas
- Columbia, Missouri
- Fargo, North Dakota
- Green Valley, Arizona
- Iowa City, Iowa
- Jacksonville, Florida
- Knoxville, Tennessee
- Lawrence, Kansas
- Lincoln, Nebraska
- Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
- Pittsfield, Massachusetts
- Roanoke, Virginia
- Rochester, Minnesota
- San Antonio, Texas
- Savannah, Georgia
- Sioux Falls, South Dakota
- Sun City, Arizona
- The Villages, Florida
- Virginia Beach, Virginia
- Wenatchee, Washington
While these are all excellent cities for retirees, they are far from the only options. You will notice that we suggest some communities that aren't in those cities. With that in mind, here are some of the top luxury retirement communities.
Heather Gardens (Aurora, CO)
Living in Heather Gardens gives you the benefits of living in an area that is quickly growing, giving you easy access to great amenities. The community is smaller than many others on this list, sitting on over 190 acres that feel like a park.
Make use of the numerous walking trails, many of which let you watch your fellow retirees play on the nine-hole executive golf course. Or visit the woodshop or ceramics studio to let your creativity flow. Don't forget to put the ballroom and indoor pool to good use as well. Homes in this community range from $200k to $500ks.
Laguna Woods Village (Laguna Woods, CA)
Located in Orange County, this is one of the best 55+ communities for those who enjoy SoCal and being minutes from the beach. You will be one of over 18,500 residents in the well-equipped community.
This community has over 80 floor plans, so you can pay anywhere from the mid-$100k to more than $1 million. This gated community features 36 holes of premium golf, swimming, and areas for social events and games. It even has a private bus system, so you don't have to worry about walking across its spacious grounds unless you want to.
Sun City Hilton Head (Bluffton, SC)
Sun City Hilton Head is one of many Del Webb retirement communities across the country. If you want the biggest active retirement community in the Lowcountry, then this is the community for you. It is sizable, with more than 16,000 residents living in over 8,200 homes. Prices range from the mid-$100k to over $1 million.
The community features a large area with plenty of amenities, which is perfect for socializing. This is where you will find dining options, swimming pools, and plenty of games. You can also choose from three fitness centers, each of which is state-of-the-art. Or play on one of the three 18-hole golf courses, each of which is a championship course. If you prefer, walk along the 7.5 miles of trails that give you gorgeous natural views of wetlands.
Savannah Lakes Village (McCormick, SC)
This retirement community is popular among those who like being by the water and forests. The community sits along Lake Thurmond, a lake spanning 71,000 acres. That gives Savannah Lakes Village over 25 miles of shoreline for residents to enjoy. Or you can visit the Monticello Golf Club to tee off. Other activities include kayaking, boating, and fishing.
You can also head to the recreation center with its ballroom, outdoor pool, bowling alley, and other amenities. This community has nearly 5,000 homes priced between about $200k to over $1 million.
Sun City Huntley (Huntley, IL)
This retirement community sits on 2,200 acres of land and includes around 5,500 homes ranging in price from the mid-$100ks to the high-$500ks. As a bonus, you are close enough to Chicago to take advantage of all that the city has to offer but get the tranquility of the suburbs.
The community itself has a 94,000-square-foot clubhouse that has plenty of amenities in addition to 80 different clubs for residents to participate in. Some of those amenities include a spa, arts and crafts studios, and a ballroom. You will also find an indoor walking track, so you can walk in comfort even during the winter. During nice weather, use the miles of outdoor trails or other outdoor activities. The community also hosts events and activities throughout the year, such as jazzercise classes, yoga, cardio, and line dancing.
Sun City Summerlin (Las Vegas, NV)
Sun City Summerlin is not just another one of the Del Webb communities; it was the first community from the brand. It sits on the western edge of Las Vegas. This gives you easy access to dining, shopping, and entertainment without having to deal with overwhelming crowds.
Residents can choose from about 7,800 homes priced between the mid $200,000s and over $1 million. Residents get access to four clubhouses, each of which has luxury amenities. This is where you will find gaming areas, dining, and swimming, all of which confirm that this is a luxury retirement community.
The Villages (The Villages, FL)
The Villages is unique as it is such a popular retirement community that it has become its own census-designated place. It is easily among the best-known retirement communities, and it has an excellent reputation. Overall, the community has more than 115,000 residents living in over 60,000 units, which explains how it was able to become a census-designated place. This means that you are essentially living in a small city just made up of retirees.
Given its size, it should come as no surprise that The Villages has plenty of amenities available for residents. There is a public safety department, including fire services and EMS/EMT services, along with a hospital in the community. Residents also get access to various market squares with swimming, golfing, tennis, recreation centers, shopping, and more. There is also plenty of free entertainment. In terms of housing, there are six floor plans, with both houses and villas. Prices start at just $160,000 or so or can be well over $1 million.
Other Best 55+ Communities to Consider
These are far from the only choices for luxury retirement communities in the U.S. The following are even more options well worth consideration:
- Bella Vista Village (Bella Vista, AR)
- Canola Ranch (Green Valley, AZ)
- Del Webb Sweetgrass (Richmond, TX)
- Heritage Village (Southbury, CT)
- Lake Ashton (Lake Wales, FL)
- Lake Providence (Nashville, TN)
- Lakeside Crossing (Conway, SC)
- Lely Resort (Naples, FL)
- Oak Hammock (Gainesville, FL)
- On Top of the World (Ocala, FL)
- Quail Creek (Green Valley, AZ)
- Rio Verde Community and Country Club (Rio Verde, AZ)
- Robson Ranch (Denton, TX)
- Solivita (Kissimmee, FL)
- Stone Creek (Ocala, FL)
- Sun City Anthem (Henderson, NV)
- Sun City Palm Desert (Palm Desert, CA)
- Sun City West (Sun City West, AZ)
- Village at Deaton Creek (Hoschton, GA)
Choosing where to spend your retirement is an important decision, but it doesn't have to be overwhelming. One of the best private retirement communities in the U.S. is sure to be a great option for your needs. You just have to think about where in the country you want to live, what type of home you want to live in, and what other amenities you prefer. From there, you will be on your way to finding a good fit for your golden years.
Shawn Manaher is a former financial advisor, has founded 5 online businesses, and is a coach, speaker, podcast host, and author. He's been featured on Forbes, The Consults Corner on TAE Radio, The Writing Biz, What's Your Story, and more.