Why Are Active Senior Communities Booming in Popularity?

Some people may picture assisted living or skilled nursing facilities when considering senior living communities. However, a new trend has emerged that appeals to younger and healthier members of the aging population. 

This group doesn’t consider itself frail or elderly. Thus, they don’t need the assistance or supervision that assisted living or nursing homes offer. Sometimes called active senior or adult lifestyle residences, these communities offer their residents a chance to enjoy socializing along with extra conveniences and amenities. 

Active adult communities, typically meant for people 55 and over, have boomed in popularity. Even more, this trend appears likely to continue into the foreseeable future. Continue with this article to learn about trends in the active adult market and what sorts of communities appeal to active seniors. 

The Growth of Active Adult Communities for the Over 55 Crowd 

Businesswire published estimates that the active senior community market would increase by a CAGR of about four percent each year until 2030. This growth would propel the industry’s value to over $800 billion. 

Women currently account for the largest share, though analysts believe the market for men will grow more quickly. Women tend to prefer the amenities offered by these communities, but men generally have more resources to afford their choice of lifestyle and location. 

Why Are Older Adults Seeking Active Senior Communities?

Occupancy rates in traditional retirement homes decreased during the pandemic. These typically provide rooms and communal dining, so older people may have feared getting sick because of their proximity to other residents. Along with room and board, traditional retirement homes also generally have healthcare aids and nurses on staff to assist residents with medical issues. 

At the same time, retirement rates increased for people aged 55 and over, even though only some who seek an adult community have retired, at least entirely. Still, most of these communities’ populations are at least semi-retired or are planning for retirement. 

In any case, most of these healthier or younger people don’t need the care provided by a traditional retirement facility. Typically, they no longer have children at home, and many senior communities do not accept children as permanent residents. According to Building Design and Construction, the active and mature crowd feels ready to begin their life’s next chapter and views moving to an adult community as a way to start. 

What Does an Active Adult Lifestyle Community Offer Seniors?

The positive news about the growth of active adult communities includes lots of choices for prospective owners or tenants. Even though some analysts categorize these communities as multifamily housing, some offer single-family homes. 

People seeking active senior communities want security, convenience, and privacy. Many also desire a chance to stay fit and socialize with like-minded neighbors. According to a ResearchandMarket report, this population looks for amenities like fitness facilities, classes, and community rooms. Some prefer walkable areas and available transportation to shopping and high-quality medical services. 

How Affordable Are Over-50 Communities?

Some luxury communities have relatively high-end homes for sale. These communities may also require the payment of HOA fees. Some homes also include extra amenities, like lawn care, for an additional cost. Others may rent relatively low-priced apartments for accessibility to people with lower incomes. 

For example, Kissing Tree in San Marcos, TX, offers a community with several luxury amenities. Examples include a 180-hole golf course, indoor and outdoor pools, and a community and fitness center. The community’s management schedules over 100 monthly activities, including genealogy, art, music, and dancing. Residents purchase their homes and must also pay a monthly HOA fee. 

On the other end of the scale, some modestly priced apartment communities restrict tenancy to people aged 55 or older. Some like Sunningdale in Conroe, TX, have amenities like a pool, a community room, and scheduled activities. Many of these apartments charge modest rents. Some even accept vouchers from subsidized housing programs for some units. 

The Future Outlook for Active Senior Communities 

Today’s seniors anticipate longer and healthier lives during their retirement and pre-retirement years. At the same time, they’re ready to begin the next stage of their lives by moving to a community that caters to their preferences. Meanwhile, various communities target people with different budgets and tastes. Thus, analysts expect the demand for active adult communities to remain strong well into the next decade. 

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