The 5 Best Retirement Communities in the U.S.

There are options to suit every interest, from the East Coast to the West Coast.

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If retirement is in sight for you, there are probably a few things on your to-do list. You might be looking forward to relaxing somewhere warm and sunny, or perhaps you'll get to work on that project you've been putting off. One way to get the best of both worlds is to find a retirement community that offers everything you need. At one of these communities, you'll have time for yourself, with the option to spend time with other older adults looking to maintain that sense of community. Depending on your interests—and your age—there might be certain retirement communities that suit your lifestyle perfectly. Read on to find out the best five retirement communities in the U.S., according to experts.

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1
Mirabella at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona

mirabella at ASU
Mirabella at ASU

If you're ready to retire but want to feel forever young, look no further than Mirabella at Arizona State University (ASU). The community is part of the University Based Retirement Communities (UBRC) system and is actually situated on ASU's campus, Eric Mineart, vice president of marketing communications at Pacific Retirement Services, a national not-for-profit organization for senior living and healthcare, tells Best Life.

"Mirabella at ASU is a truly unique retirement experience fueled by lifelong learning and collegiate energy," Mineart says. "Residents have access to sports games and collegiate activities, the ability to enroll in university courses, and the opportunity to connect with and mentor university students."

In addition to giving you the opportunity to tailgate or test your knowledge, this retirement community also has amenities for older adults who have health concerns.

"With its continuing care model, Mirabella at ASU provides residents with an on-site healthcare continuum designed to meet their needs as they age, including assisted living and memory support programs," Mineart explains.

2
The Villages, Florida

golf carts parked at the villages florida
Jillian Cain Photography / Shutterstock

Florida is widely recognized as a go-to spot for retirees, but there's a specific community that stands out. The Villages is located in Central Florida and is home to a whopping 130,000 residents.

"Among the most well-known retirement communities in the United States, based in Florida, The Villages is age-restricted," William Rivers, founder and senior editor of Senior Strong, explains. "Its massive size, accommodating over 60,000 units and a large population, makes the community feel more like an entire town made solely for retirees."

Amenities abound and homes range in prices, Rivers says, including affordable and more luxurious options. You'll have the opportunity to make new friends in the market squares that typify the community, which is known for its motto of being "America's Friendliest Hometown." Dancing and golf carts are also a mainstay at The Villages, and parades are organized for every holiday you can imagine.

That said, the 32-square mile "empire" is not without its critics, and it's been at the forefront of many a political debate. So, if you find that this large community is calling your name, some additional research would serve you well.

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3
Saratoga Retirement Community in Saratoga, California

home at saratoga retirement community
Saratoga Retirement Community

California dreamin'? Saratoga Retirement Community in Silicon Valley should be at the top of your list.

"With a nearly 40-acre campus, it features contemporary single-family cottages and apartment homes as well as an original mission-style manor in 1912 and restored in 2004 during a significant expansion," Mineart says. Saratoga is a life plan community, giving you tiered choices when it comes to your health.

"Saratoga Retirement Community offers more than a fulfilling, carefree lifestyle, it provides residents with the peace of mind that their future healthcare needs will also be met through a continuum of care program," Mineart says. "It was originally built by the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and Rebekahs (IOOF), one of the oldest Fraternal Orders in the world with a long tradition of serving others."

The community's website also boasts "countless cultural and recreational opportunities," leaving you with plenty of options to enjoy in the ideal "Mediterranean climate."

4
Colony Cove in Ellenton, Florida

trooper bridge ellenton florida
rustycanuck / Shutterstock

Another Florida community to make the list is Colony Cove in Ellenton, which is primarily comprised of manufactured and mobile homes. You'll enjoy the sunshine and salt air at Colony Cove, which is located on Florida's Gulf Coast on the Manatee River, says Randy Berman, a representative from myMHcommunity.com, a database of manufactured homes in residential communities across the U.S.

"Residents of this resort-style 55-plus community enjoy amenities including a private marina, five spacious clubhouses, six heated swimming pools, pickleball and tennis courts, a community garden, fitness center, dog parks and so much more," Berman says. "Neighbors here gather to join in more than 50 social and sporting clubs, so there's never a shortage of things to do."

This past June, Colony Cove also added a unique amenity to its list—an eco-friendly microforest and nature trail to improve the local environment and fight climate change.

"Sustainability is top of mind and the microforest, where more than 4,000 trees were planted on a 1.5-acre peninsula located within the community, is a key element in the community's eco-friendly endeavors," Berman says.

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5
Rogue Valley Manor in Medford, Oregon

rogue valley manor oregon
Rogue Valley Manor

The largest continuing care retirement community on the West Coast is in Medford, Oregon. Almost 1,000 residents over the age of 62 call Rogue Valley Manor home, which is named after the original manor building that opened in 1961, Mineart tells Best Life.

"Rogue Valley Manor represents the best of Southern Oregon's retirement lifestyle," he says. "Its 670-acre landscaped campus features parks, trails, golf courses, two apartment towers, a wellness center, a memory care center, and 300 cottages overlooking the beautiful Rogue Valley."

You'll also have access to a continuum of care, Mineart explains, noting that "The Manor Life" is best described as approachable and elevated.

"Residents have more time to enjoy their lives and can leave things like home and garden maintenance, transportation, meal planning, and laundry to The Manor's staff," he says. "They also have peace of mind knowing their future needs will be taken care of should they change over time.

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