What is an Active Adult Community?

N. Madison

An active adult community is targeted towards people of 55 years of age or older. Often described as a viable alternative to single-family ownership, these communities provide residents with maintenance-free living, close proximity to desirable attractions, and a range of on-site activities and amenities. Each is designed differently and may include single-family homes, condominiums, town homes, multi-family dwellings, or manufactured housing units.

In general, active adult communities gear their marketing efforts toward people who are 55 and older.
In general, active adult communities gear their marketing efforts toward people who are 55 and older.

This type of community is designed to offer older adults the chance to enjoy independent, active lifestyles, while providing easy access to a range of social, recreational, and educational pursuits. Many offer everything from crafts and movie screenings to tennis and golf. Often, such communities offer designated dining areas and clubhouses as well. In an active adult community, daily living and medical needs are generally not covered. Residents are responsible for seeing to their own dietary, medical, and laundry requirements.

Art classes or groups can be part of an active adult community.
Art classes or groups can be part of an active adult community.

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There are two basic types of active adult communities: age-restricted and age-targeted. In the United States, rules created by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) govern age-restricted communities. These rules require at least 80% of the households include an individual who is 55 years of age or older. Individuals under the age of 55 may live there, but permanent residents must be 19 or older.

Grandchildren are frequent visitors to active adult communities.
Grandchildren are frequent visitors to active adult communities.

An age-targeted community is very much like an age-restricted community, but they simply aim their marketing materials at individuals who are 55 or older rather than specifically require residents to be of a certain age. These communities make use of carefully structured marketing campaigns to attracted older individuals without minor children, instead of young singles or families. While it is true that children are typically not residents of such communities, they are not unwelcome. Many residents have grandchildren visit on a frequent basis.

There are many communities for active adults aged 55 and older.
There are many communities for active adults aged 55 and older.

A popular type of active adult community is the leisure or resort-style community. Here, residents can expect to experience resort-style living, complete with pools, golf courses, entertainment, tennis, fitness clubs and more. Some resort-style communities even offer business centers and grand ballrooms.

Golf courses are a very common ammenity of active adult communities.
Golf courses are a very common ammenity of active adult communities.
Recreational facilities are often a part of an active adult community.
Recreational facilities are often a part of an active adult community.

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Discussion Comments

anon37678

If you live in a 55 plus home with someone older and you get pregnant, are you forced to move right away?

DonnaRe4

If you move into the community, age restricted, and the person in the family who is over 55 years old should pass away, will I be thrown out? We are planning to do this and fear someday losing the home if my father should pass.

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