6 Best Retirement Communities in Florida

By Altay Gursel | August 27, 2020

Florida has an established reputation for being a leading place to retire not only in the country but in the whole world. Warm and sunlit beaches and the state’s tropical climate are primary interests along seniors searching for a place to call their own home after they have retired.

The Sunny State is also known for having no inheritance tax, state income tax, or estate tax. Lastly, it has a lower expense of living, which is practical for people with a fixed income.

Finally, Florida is known for having a lot of health care services and options suited to seniors. It is no wonder that many senior citizens continue to choose Florida as their destination to retire.

Whether you’re searching for someplace to live permanently, or just a part of the year, it can be a challenge to pick the best retirement communities in Florida.

If you need help looking for a place to call home, here are some of the top retirement communities in Florida.

1- The Villages

Located in The Villages and is about an hour’s drive north of Orlando, The Villages community in Florida is known as one of the most significant retirement communities in Florida and also in the whole world. 

The age-restricted community spans over three counties and 20,000 acres connected by over 100 miles of golf cart trails.

The Villages is a fully independent town with retail businesses, restaurants, healthcare centers, post offices, banks, and countless restoration amenities.

The citizens residing here, also known as Villagers, have gathered to the community from all around multiple states and countries.

This community also has attracted homebuyers because of the active lifestyle it offers as there are a newsletter and guides for the activities each week, which features all of the distinct clubs, businesses, and events present. 

Quick Facts

  • Price Range: Under $50,000k – High $1M
  • Home Types: Single-Family, Manufactured, Attached
  • Resale/New: Both
  • Age Restricted: 55+
  • Gated: No

Amenities

The Villages is known for the wide selection of amenities it provides. From its over 80 outdoor pools, 41 executive golf courses, and 35 community centers, The Villages has plenty to offer for its residents.

The community also has a concept where every citizen should have access to its amenities that is easy and convenient. For this, there is a mix of golf courses, town squares, retail plazas, and recreational centers built throughout the community.

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The three town squares offer residents plenty of amenities and recreation choices. The community also features locations for gatherings and socializing with the neighbors.

Lake Sumter Landing Market Square, Spanish Springs Town Square, and Brownwood Paddock Square have free entertainment every night for the whole year. The various retail shops, movie theatres, cafes, and restaurants, give the town squares enough opportunities for amusement.

Recreational Centers

Recreational centres are present throughout this age-restricted community that as of today includes 35 neighbourhood recreation centres, 17 village recreation centres, and eight regional recreation centres. 

  1. Regional recreation centres organize many amenities that include gyms or fitness centre, hobby and craft studios, meeting rooms, and also ballrooms. They also offer various swimming pools where sports such as water aerobics, water volleyball and lap swimming take place. Sports courts are also available here, which are great for those who play basketball or tennis.
  2. Village recreation centres, on the other hand, focus on community activities where it includes meeting rooms inside a clubhouse, billiards, and family-friendly pools.
  3. Neighbourhood recreation centres are conveniently located in neighbourhoods and have pools only for adults and also bocce ball, horseshoe pits and shuffleboard.

The blend of recreational centers scattered all through the area guarantees that occupants consistently have necessary and convenient access to the well-planned community’s amenities.

Homes and Real Estate

Different types of housing, ranging from intimate villas to single-family homes packed with golf course views and everything in between are here in the real estate market. There is a housing type, size, and cost to suit the necessities of practically any active buyer. 

Since the development in 1978, roughly 100 different floor plans have sold across 70,000 homes. The floor plans, split into seven unique classifications ranging from patio villas, courtyard villas, cottage-ranch homes, designer homes, and premier homes.

Each series provides a fantastic set of included features and customization.

There are both new construction and pre-owned resale homes in The Villages community. Many of the resale homes are highly desirable for their reasonable prices and already included upgrades such as landscaping, window treatments, screened lanais, and other popular add-ons.

There are a variety of pre-owned resale homes for sale in The Villages community in Florida. These homes provide you with the ideal opportunity to find an apartment that meets your needs. 

New developments and previously owned resale homes are available in the community. Many of the resale homes have high demands due to their reasonable costs and the included upgrades, for example, landscapes and window treatments, and other add-ons. 

There is an assortment of resale homes available to be purchased in The Villages that can give you the perfect opportunity to find the home that addresses your needs.

Lifestyle

Clubs and gatherings that represent an assortment of activities or interests are available in the Villages. Another recreation, exercise, and newsletter are brought upon the residents every week. This 50 or more page paper features everything the community brings to the table.

Artists can participate in activities, for example, pottery, painting, knitting, and carpentry. Dancers can choose from jazz, tap, square moving, the line moving, artful dance, formal dancing, etc. Choirs, bands, or theatre groups are also available for anyone who are interested in music and theatre.

Health enthusiasts have a variety of wellness classes, heart stimulating exercise, yoga, power walking, and weight training to choose.

Lastly, The Villages hosts Camp Villages every year, which is an eight-week summer program filled with plenty of activities for the seniors to enjoy.

2- Century Village at Boca Raton

Situated in Palm Beach County, the Century Village at Boca Raton is an age-restricted condo community. The community is well known for the excellent resort-style amenities it provides.

Numerous entertainment and recreation activities, plus shopping and medical services are some of the exemplary services the retirement community offers.

Alongside a low-support lifestyle, citizens love the excellent retreat-style luxuries. Boca Raton is a popular community filled with active adults.

The area caters to unlimited opportunities for amusement and entertainment alongside shopping and clinical services.

Quick Facts

  • Price Range: Under $100k – Above $200
  • Home Types: Condos
  • Resale/New: Resale Only
  • Age Restricted: 55+
  • Gated: Yes

Amenities

The seniors living in this active adult community enjoy numerous amenities suited for them. A 125,000 square-foot clubhouse present here where occupants can remain active both physically. The wellness community offers exercises and weight-lifting equipment for those hoping to stay fit. 

Neighbors regularly gather in the party room for any of the booked clubs or occasions. Theatre shows and plays also take place here. The residents can also appreciate the pool room, library, art studio, and study halls situated here.

The amenities do not stop here, outside Boca Raton is equipped with 12 tennis courts, 12 shuffleboard courts, and an open pool ideal for getting away from the Florida heat. Grand lakes and lakes add up on the scenery to this adult community.

Home and Real Estate

Houses built as condo units in buildings two to four-story-high with premium security, and elevators are available in Boca Raton. Homes can be purchased but only on a resale-only basis. The houses range in size from 600 up to 1,600 square feet where you can build up to two bedrooms, a parking lot and a living space. 

Lifestyle

Residents enjoy a calming low-maintenance lifestyle. Homeowners pay an annual homeowners’ association fee which covers general maintenance of the community grounds as well as building upkeep and trash removal. This fee allows residents more time to enjoy their families and hobbies rather than worrying about daily tasks.

Century Village at Boca Raton has an on-site activities director who makes sure there is always something to do. Residents enjoy socializing with friends and neighbors during card clubs, billiards, book club, or tennis club. Holiday parties and performances in the theatre are also popular among residents.

Boca Raton is known for the low-maintenance lifestyle it provides for the seniors. An annual homeowner’s association payment is paid by the homeowners, which covers maintenance for the community.

With this, residents will have more time for activities or to relax, making Boca Raton an excellent choice for the seniors looking for a place to retire.

3- Cypress Lakes

Located in Central Florida Lakeland, Cypress Lakes is a 55+ retirement community developed for the active senior citizens. The city boasts a resort-style clubhouse with amenities that offers entertainment and recreational activities.

Seniors living here would have a great time keeping themselves fit and healthy with activities presented in a social calendar. The tropical weather also adds up to the premium qualities this retirement community offers.

Quick Facts

  • Price Range: Under $100k – Mid $100k
  • Home Types: Single-Family Homes Only
  • Resale/New: Resale Homes Only
  • Age Restricted: 55+
  • Gated: Yes

Amenities

What sets the Cypress Lakes apart from the other retirement communities is the 30,000 square-foot clubhouse it boasts which is also called the Big Cypress Club. This huge clubhouse is where all the activities in the city take place. 

Florida boomers can do a lot of things from meeting each other for card games or attending a club that gathers in the meeting room. The community’s library is a great place to relax that is also equipped with computers. Lastly, the clubhouse also has a fitness centre for all those active individuals.

The amenities don’t stop outside the clubhouse. An outdoor resort-style pool and spa directly behind the clubhouse are perfect swimming or suntanning.

On the other side of the clubhouse is a lap pool designed for the athletic swimmers. A variety of sport courts can also be found outside the clubhouse, which is great for playing tennis, pickleball, bocce ball, and shuffleboard. 

The additional two 18-hole golf courses are great for all of the golfers out there. While all the other amenities are available for all, the golf courses require a membership pass before you can enter.

Homes and Real Estate

Single-family homes on Cypress Lakes are available on a resale basis only. Homebuyers can select from the premade floor plans that range from 1,008 to 1,920 square feet of living space catered for all of their needs.

Models differ from up to three bedrooms, two bathrooms and a garage. Some models also have additional features such as dens and back patios that are perfect for morning coffee and relaxing.

Lifestyle

Senior citizens can experience a low-maintenance lifestyle in Cypress Lakes. Retiring means to relax and enjoy recreational and entertainment activities, without thinking about the duties that you usually do. 

Cypress Lakes has an annual homeowner’s association fee that covers the maintenance of the community, that includes the care for the amenities and the lawn of all homes. Residents will also be given a social calendar that displays schedules on all the activities and all the events that take place here. 

From the affordable homes to the recreational activities, Cypress Lakes surely has everything to offer as a retirement community.

4- On Top of the World

Surrounded by ancient oaks and rolling heels at the heart of Central Florida, On Top of the World, is a retirement community with over 10,000 homes in Ocala City.

With its well-crafted homes, high-end amenities, and an overactive lifestyle, the adult community has attracted retirees not only in Florida but in the whole country.

The place offers the perfect escape for the senior citizens who want to get the most out of their lives. With everything On Top of the World has to give, it is understandable why it is one of the best retirement communities in Florida.

Quick Facts

  • Price Range: Under $100k – Low $400k
  • Home Types: Single-Family, Attached
  • Resale/New: Both
  • Age Restricted: 55+
  • Gated: Yes

Amenities

From the community’s numerous clubhouses, sports courts, swimming pools, fitness centers, restaurants, golf courses, and its fascinating R/C airplane field and car track.

On Top of the World have world-class amenities that can be exclusively enjoyed by the residents. They also have a Recreational Center, Arbor Club, and Hobby Building that are all available for the seniors.

Circle Square Commons hosts most of the social and entertainment activities for the public. The Circle Square Cultural Center, which is a theatre-style center, features extravagant events and performances for the residents to enjoy every year.

With seats that can cater to 30 guests, seniors can experience concerts inside. Additionally, the Circle Square Cultural Center is the perfect venue for the banquets in Ocala. Not only theatrical productions, but the center also hosts conventions, fundraising events, and expos.

The community also has The Ranch Fitness Center which is a combined modern fitness center and world-class spa. This center is excellent for retirees who want to stay fit and healthy. Not only that, but the Ranch also includes a professional salon that provides extended services.

The Circle Square Commons also has numerous conveniences situated inside, such as farmer’s market, deli, or an ice cream shop. Lastly, The Commons also has a Town Square wholly equipped with a stage gazebo that showcases live performance and entertainment every Friday and Saturday for the seniors to gather and unwind. 

For those residents looking for a place to gather for a meal and a drink, the community has two restaurants that provide excellent food service for the retirees. The Pub is exclusive only for the residents and The Club at Candler Hills, which is a public restaurant near the community’s golf courses.

On Top of the World also features three 1-hole golf courses namely Candler Hills Golf Club, The Links, and The Tortoise and The Hare. Candler Hills Golf Club is a semi-private yard course designed by Gordon Lewis, a renowned golf course architect.

The two other golf courses are private that are exclusive for the residents and their respective guests.

Homes and Real Estate

Homebuyers interested have plenty of choices to choose from the community floor plans. Designed for the active adults, On Top of the World has single-family homes and attached villas that are maintenance-free which ranges from 1,000 to over 3,000 square feet.

New homes built are employed with modern building techniques that are energy efficient. Homes constructed are either made of concrete block, steel stud, or stucco construction.

On Top of the World also has pre-owned resale homes that offer numerous home styles and floor plans. Constructed since the early 1980s, buyers can choose from stately homes to intimate villas with scenery the residents will surely enjoy.

The age-restricted community has two discrete communities that buyers can choose from depending on one’s budget. Meridian Preserve, which is the most extensive section, residents have fully maintained homes that have monthly association dues.

Candler Hills, on the other hand, consists of stylish and elegant estate homes that offer intimate deluxe attractions and golf course scenery for its residents. Additionally, seniors of the Candler Hills community can enjoy the exclusive Candler Hills Community Center.

Unique for the residents in Candler Hills, the place is ideal for gathering and interacting with neighbors. Inhabitants of the two communities can appreciate the 250,000 sq ft. of luxuries situated at On Top of the World in Ocala.

Lifestyle

With over 175 organized clubs and interest groups, the lifestyle here is unmatched compared to any other retirement communities in Florida. Residents will be busy and socially active all year long with its wide variety of events, classes, and activities offered every day of the week.

Retirees can take a class, join a club, or pick a new hobby like ceramics, painting, or yoga. Other clubs and activities boast extravagant red hatter, bocce, bowling, pickleball, and R/C Flyers. Residents can also choose clubs depending on their interests.

From the community’s singles’ club, travel club, garden club, snowbird club, and teacher’s club, homeowners will never have a dull moment residing in this retirement community.

5- Four Seasons at Orlando

Situated in Kissimmee, Florida, Four Seasons at Orlando is a newly built age-restricted community. The community offers free access to plenty of attractions in an embracing environment ideal for this part-time or full residence. 

The community is widely known for its 18-hole championship golf course located inside the Mystic Dunes Resort and Golf Club.

The community also has access to major roadways that gives the residents numerous opportunities to have fun and recreation nearby.

Minutes away, residents can enjoy plenty of world-class golf courses as well as restaurants, shops, and movie theatres. Florida Hospital Celebration Health is near the community, which only takes less than ten minutes by car. 

The Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World is perfect whenever your grandkids will come to visit. Traveling far is also not a problem here, as the Orlando International Airport is only thirty minutes away.

 Active senior citizens will love Four Seasons at Orlando as residents will have access to endless entertainment not only inside the community but also outside the neighborhood.

Quick Facts

  • Price Range: Mid $200k – High $300k
  • Home Types: Single-Family only
  • Resale/New New Homes Only
  • Age Restricted: 55+
  • Gated: Yes

Amenities

The Four Seasons at Orlando features a 14,000 square foot clubhouse that hosts the activities in the community. Inside, senior citizens can chat with friends and neighbors or play board games in the gathering rooms.

 For those looking to stay fit and in shape will be able to enjoy the modern fitness center and the movement studio. Creative individuals can use the art and crafts room which is excellent for relaxing after a day of playing a round of billiards.

The amenities extend outdoors with the community’s swimming pool equipped with a patio and a cabana that is great for relaxing in the shade. Sports like pickleball, bocce, and tennis are also outside the clubhouse where neighbors can challenge each other. 

Additionally, some paths wind through the community that is great for biking and walking for the residents to enjoy the fresh air. Golfers will love the Mystic Dunes Golf Club’s 18-hole championship golf course that the community have. 

Lastly, the community includes a full-service restaurant and bar named Kenzie’s, which is excellent for individuals looking for a place to eat or drink after a tiring day.

Homes and Real Estate

Four Seasons at Orlando has 530 single-family homes that comprise 11 distinct floor plans. Constructed in 2017 by premier home builder K. Hovnanian, this gated neighborhood has floor plans ranging from sizes 1,428 to 2,328 square feet of living space.

These homes include up to three bedrooms, two-and-a-half bathrooms, and two-and-a-half car garage.

All houses have substantial open floor plans with spacious walk-in closets and master-on-main suites. Homeowners can include extras such as extended lanais, French doors, and sliding glass doors that add elegance to your homes.

Lifestyle

Homeowners of Four Seasons at Orlando appreciate the resort-style living all year long with the great amenities it provides. Low-maintenance homes allow residents more time to pick up new hobbies or to do recreational activities.

 A full-time activities director is assigned to help plan and organize clubs, events, and activities, to assure there will be activities that are for everyone to enjoy. Residents will have fun playing board games and cards together and join in the holiday and social events.

At Four Seasons at Orlando, you’ll be free to pursue no matter what your passions and interests are.

6- Indian River Colony Club

Last but not least, the Indian River Colony Club is an age-restricted community situated in Melbourne set on 453 intricately landscaped areas. Initially made for retired military soldiers, the city is famous for having a patriotic spirit along with its country club lifestyle.

The 55+ community is located minutes away from the city’s beautiful Space Coast Beaches. This community gives the residents convenient access to premium dining, shopping, and arts and entertainment in the area.

The town is also near numerous health care providers like Health First Medical Group that gives extensive medical services to residents whenever they need the said services.

Seniors searching for a place to retire in Melbourne should think about the lifestyle Indian River Colony Club has to offer.

Quick Facts

  • Price Range: Low $100k – Mid $200k
  • Home Types: Single-Family and Attached Homes
  • Resale/New: Resale Homes Only
  • Age Restricted: 55+
  • Gated: Yes

Amenities

The Indian River Colony Club has access to numerous amenities inside their Colony Hall and At Ease Club. Both of these facilities are the centers of the activities and the amenities the community has.

The At Ease Club is a modernized fitness center combined with a gourmet restaurant and the 19th Hole Bar AC Grill. 

Residents also have access to the art studio, library, and hobby room inside the community. The Colony Hall, on the other hand, includes a stage fully equipped with a sound booth, projection television, and a chapel.

This place hosts many events such as play, shows, banquets, club meetings, and even wedding receptions. The Colony Hall can lodge 300 people inside.

Outside, the amenities continue as homeowners have access to the community’s three tennis courts, four shuffleboard and bocce ball courts, and lawn croquet. For anyone looking for a place to relax and to swim, the 3,000 square foot heated pool equipped with lap lanes and sundeck is perfect for this.

For those who play golf, the community has a 72 par golf course that includes two putting greens, a professional shop, an aqua driving range, and practice bunkers.

Indian River Colony Club also has community ponds that are suitable for fishing and enjoying the wildlife which sets this retirement community different from the other ones. The city also provides enough RV and boat inventory for the seniors.

Homes and Real Estate

Constructed in 2006, The Indian River Colony Club contains 776 single-homes that are attached. The houses have 16 different floor plans for the homebuyers to choose from the options.

All attached homes have two-floor plans that range from 1,019 to 1,166 square feet of space. Each house can have up to three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and an attached car garage.

Homebuyers can choose from the 14 unique models in the single-family homes that range from 1,364 to 2,09 square feet of space. These homes can have up to four bedrooms, two-and-a-half bathrooms, and an attached car garage.

Multiple homes in the community have their exclusive private pools, lake views, or golf course views, that gives the residents a luxurious look outside their homes.

Resale inventory, on the other hand, may include laundry rooms, walk-in closets, and spa-like master bathrooms depending on the homebuyer’s interests.

Lifestyle

Being a not-for-profit organization, the Indian River Colony Club has monthly maintenance fees that depend on the home sizes of the residents.

The maintenance fee covers plenty of services from the repair and replacement of appliances, pest control, lawn care, and tree trimming where on-site maintenance does the job. This fee allows retirees to have more time to relax and not stress about cleaning duties.

Indian River Colony Club is suited for the adults who seek to have a very active community. Aside from playing sports and having access to all the community’s amenities, seniors can participate in a variety of social clubs.

These include computer club, book club, theater group, choir, ballroom, bingo, poker, and many more.

Whatever your interest and needs are, Indian River Colony Club has everything to offer for a retirement community.

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