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Fun Retirements in Florida's 55 Plus Communities

Aug 31, 2008
In just a few short years and for the first time ever, a very large proportion of the North American population will all be over 55 years old. The figure is quoted as high as 85 million by 2014. The face of consumerism will be markedly changed as markets tap into the profits to be made from the 'silver' dollar.

One of the up-coming popular changes we are seeing is the popularity of the 55+ communities and Florida is, of course, leading the way. These communities are usually gated and some even operate like independent villages inside the gates.

Is their popularity due to the fact that people of one age group prefer to be gathered together or is it because they are gated? Is it a security choice or a social choice?

How much part does the many desirable amenities that are also gathered within these gates also play in the choice?The factors involved in the increase of 55+ communities can be divided loosely into four areas: need, cost, safety and recreation.

The need factor is based on a practical need for less room. Housing developers are becoming more aware that smaller properties are coming into demand. As land and building materials rise in cost, larger homes become less affordable.

The fact that there are many baby boomers whose children have all fled the nest means that there is a big demand from that section of society for a smaller home. Most of the homes in the 55+ communities are noticeably smaller than average.

Cost does not only refer to the rising cost of land and the rising numbers of people wanting land, but also to the cost of running a home. Recently we have all been subjected to an endless dialogue of solar heating arguments and 'green' reasoning.

We have been made more aware of the environmental need to 'cut down' our energy intake. The final awareness perhaps came when the price of gas went so sky high that we all realized we could become a slave to our energy bills!

Another factor is the unspoken acceptance that we are all more vulnerable to violence as we age. A gated community will deflect most of this vulnerability. Some even offer a care facility so that as residents age they may still stay in the same facility as their friends.

Finally, the fun factor: it is convenient to have jogging pathways, fitness facilities, tennis courts and dance nights all within walking distance, and this draws many new residents in.

What are the different options of 55+ communities? There are rental options only, for instance in the snowbird communities of the warm south and there are also 'buy only' communities. Many of the 55 + communities also offer a mix of residential sales, rentals and long term parking spots for your RV.

One thing is for sure, senior's communities are no longer viewed as a place to slow down - in fact just the opposite is true! Statistics point to the fact that people are moving into these communities even earlier than before, and often couples move in together instead of the traditional singles only registration.

Some communities even run fetes that double as 'open days' and the events become tri-generational family affairs reminiscent of the old style street parties! Are 55+ communities really something 'modern' or are they just a nostalgic return to the 'old ways' of village life?
About the Author
Illustrated Properties is a Jupiter FL real estate company with professional, effective services to help you succeed in the local market. Visit TedSoldIt.com for information on neighborhoods and home listings, and to get in touch with an expert Tequesta real estate agent.
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