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The Best Retirement Communities in the Southeast Thumbnail

The Best Retirement Communities in the Southeast

There are so many options for a 55+ retirement community from apartments, condominiums, shared wall homes, and stand along homes.  Today, we will narrow our focus on 55+ retirement communities in the Southeast that offer a traditional single-family home.  

When choosing a community, there are many factors to consider, including the following:

  •  Location – is the community close to grocery stores, restaurants, doctors, and family (if that is important to you)?
  • Cost – do the cost of the homes fit your budget?
  • Pets - is your favorite furry friend welcome?
  • Amenities – does the community have outdoor amenities such as pools, tennis courts, pickleball, bocce ball, green space, and walking trails?  What indoor amenities are available such as an indoor pool, fitness center, spa, clubhouse?
  • Activities – are there scheduled activities such as card clubs, arts and crafts, etc.?
  • Resident Feedback - what are the current residents saying?
  • First Impressions – did you feel at home when you visited?
  • Staffing – is the staff happy?  Is there a high employee turnover rate?
  • Safety – is the community gated?  What safety features are you looking for that will make you feel secure?
  • Does the community offer continuing care?  Are you looking for a community which offers assisted living as well as long term care?

I recently wrote a blog titled The Best Southeast Cities To Retire In where I highlighted 11 cities throughout the Southeast that would be great in which to retire.  Many Florida cities made the list as well as well as other cities such as Marietta, Nashville, Huntsville, and Charleston.  So, the 55+ communities we mention below are of course in those cities.  From my research, I found some pretty impressive communities and my list below is by no means exhaustive.  This is a place to get started if you are looking for 55+ communities.

So, without further ado, here is the list of what my research turned up (in no particular order).

1.  The Villages, central Florida.  The Villages in central Florida is located 45 miles north of Orlando and 1.5 hours northeast of Tampa.

Wow!  That is one word to describe this community which is complete with its own shopping centers and town halls.  This is also by far the largest community I came across with 20,000 acres and over 50,000 residents.   There are several different small communities that make up the Villages.  

The Villages boast homes with several different floor plans and with a wide range in price from $100,000 to $1,000,000.  Although we are not focusing on apartment living, they also have an apartment living option for those who prefer that to a traditional single-family home.  

Can you say amenities overload?  There is so much to do at The Villages that one could never get bored.   These amenities include outdoor pools, several golf courses, shuffleboard, corn hole, bocce, access to meeting and gathering rooms, billiards, walking trails, fitness centers, pickleball, racket sports, arts and crafts classes, exercise classes (including karate), team and competitive sports teams, and much more.  

Shopping, dining, and other services are also located right in the Villages and accessible (as is everything) by golf cart.  The Villages are home to such stores as Target, Walmart, and Pier One.  Restaurants include Olive Garden and Bonefish Grill.  You can also grab an ice cream cone at Haagen Dazs after a day of golfing.   There are also services abound such as banks and a salon.  And for those who enjoy attending a worship service, there are over 10 houses of worship.   

And we hope no one needs it, but there is also The Villages Regional Hospital, medical plazas and a VA outpatient clinic again all accessible by golf cart.  

There is also both assisted living and long-term skilled nursing care along with memory care and rehabilitation care.  So, if you are looking for a one stop residence where you can own your own home and then transfer into assisted living or long-term care, this also offers that option.  

The Villages are ranked as one of the top retirement communities in Florida.   To learn more about what they have to offer, visit their website at https://www.thevillages.com/.

2.  Dell Webb eTown, Jacksonville, Florida.  Another gated retirement community in Florida is Dell Webb eTown in Jacksonville.  This is a new community which just opened in the Spring of 2019.  It is part of a 15000-acre master planned community, eTown.  Once completed, the community will have 346 single family homes.

Amenities will also be offered in abundance here at Dell Webb eTown.  The community will be home to over 5 acres of amenities including an 8,000 square foot clubhouse (under construction as of 2020).    The Clubhouse will offer a state-of-the-art fitness center as well as plenty of community rooms for social clubs.   The community also has walking trails, outdoor fire pits, tennis courts, pickleball, bocce ball, indoor pool, outdoor pool, spa, workout center, and clubs.  Although there is not a golf course in the community, there is one close in proximity and many throughout the northeast Florida region.  

One thing unique about this community is that the homes are state of the art with pre-wired smart technology which is perfect for those techies or just those who love having the latest and greatest in technology.  There are plenty of floor plans from which to choose and prices range anywhere from $272,000 – $455,000.  

As part of eTown, the Dell Webb community puts residents in close proximity to grocery stores, shopping, restaurants, entertainment, and healthcare centers.   Dell Webb eTown is only 35 minutes from downtown Jacksonville and for those beach lovers (like myself), only 15 miles from the beach.

Keep in mind that this is a new community and some amenities are still under construction.   This would be a great place for anyone who is at the beginning of their 55+ years and is not looking for a community that is already completed.  To learn more about Dell Webb eTown, visit:  Dell Webb eTown Jacksonville.

3.  Sun City Hilton Head, South Carolina.  As we move North into South Carolina, we come to our next gated community, Sun City Hilton Head in Bluffton.  This community has received Best Community of the Year 2 years in a row from the 55place.com. The location of this community is one reason why it has received top honors.  It is just a short drive away from Savannah as well as Bluffton and Hilton Head Island beaches.  

The amenities are also another reason this community is ranked as being top notch.  The amenities are abundant with three golf courses, tennis courts, bocce ball, pickleball, three fitness centers, more than 100 clubs and groups, 2 indoor swimming pools, 4 outdoor swimming pools, dog parks, clubhouses, performance arts theatre, softball field, croquet field, wood workers shop, arts and crafts building, 7.5 miles of walking trails and paths, over 36 common area buildings, and a spa.  The community is also home to three restaurants.  Other amenities close by include banking, hotels, restaurants, healthcare, and shopping.  

Sun City Hilton Head is home to over 16,000 residents and homes range from around $236,000 to $800,0000.  The community offers many different floor plans and for those wanting to build their 55+ home, there is still new construction available.  Sun City is comprised of over 5,500 acres with 1,500 of those being open land and wetlands.  

4.  Savannah Lakes Villages, McCormick, South Carolina.  If you enjoy lake life, this next gated property is definitely for you.   Savannah Lakes Village in McCormick, South Carolina is home to 71,000-acre Lake Thurmond which has 25 miles of shoreline. This property has plenty of water and land trails, state parks, and national forests.   Of course, a lake offers many outdoor activities such as kayaking, fishing, and boating.  For those boat owners, residents have access to a community dock and boat slips.  

There are also plenty of other non- lake related activities.  The property has a 23,000 square foot recreation center complete with a ballroom and a bowling alley.  There is also a golf club which is home to a bar and restaurant.   Other amenities include two golf award winning courses, indoor and outdoor pools, clubs and social groups, fitness center, whirlpool, sauna, tennis courts, bocce, pickleball, horseshoes, and table tennis.  Also onsite is a $3,000,000 healthcare center.  

Savannah Lakes is very conveniently located to larger cities such as Augusta, Charlotte, and Charleston.  Just a short drive to these cities will provide you with plenty of shopping, restaurants, arts/culture, and entertainment.

The community itself sits on 4300 acres.  Currently, the property has 1,400 homes, but this number continues to grow.   Full occupancy would be at 5,000 homes.   Homes range in price from $200,000 to $600,000.

5.  Cresswind Peachtree City, Georgia.  As we move over into Georgia, we come to Cresswind Peachtree City located in Peachtree City, Georgia.  This gated community is perfect for those who are wildlife and/or bird enthusiasts as it is surrounded by woods.  There are several cleared paths with bridges which take you over a stream.  The developers encourage residents to enjoy exercise and the beauty of nature by taking a walk through this paradise.

One of the primary objectives of Peachtree is to focus on living better, longer lives through fitness, nutrition and relationships.

Although much smaller in size (400 acres), Peachtree City still offers a lot of amenities including a clubhouse, fitness center, indoor and outdoor pools, tennis courts, pickleball, golf course, arts and crafts room, bike and walking paths, hiking trails, and bocce courts.  Shopping, dining, parks and entertainment are all accessible by a 100-mile tree lined multi use trail that can be used by pedestrians, bikers or golf carts.  So, you don’t have to get in your car to go anywhere.  If you do desire a change of pace and need some of the bigger city accommodations, Atlanta is just 34 miles away to the north.  

There are still some home sites available and many floor plans from which to choose.  Homes range in prices from $290,000 to$600,000.  For more information on this community, visit Cresswind Peachtree City.

6.  Dell Webb at Lake Providence in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee.  As we move further north, we are back in the home state of Oasis Wealth Planning Advisors, where we come to Dell Webb at Lake Providence in Mt. Juliet, TN (Dell Webb At Lake Providence). Did I hear lake?  Yes, that is right.  This is another lake community.  This one is surround by 13-acre Lake Providence.  So, if you enjoy lake life (like I do), this one is for you!  As with most of the other communities we have highlighted, this one offers some great amenities which include clubs, fitness classes, volunteer opportunities, an indoor heated pool and spa, library, billiards, aerobics and dance studio, indoor walking track, ballroom, arts and crafts studio, lounge, clubhouse, ballroom, outdoor pool, 5 miles of walking and biking trails, tennis courts, bocce ball, pickleball, paddle boats and kayaks, playground, natural space, fishing, community garden plots, and a half basketball court.  Wow, there is something for everyone here!  

Dell Webb at Lake Providence has just over 1,000 homes so it offers the comforts and closeness of a smaller community.  Homes range in price from $250,000 to $600,000.  

Dell Webb at Lake Providence is conveniently located just outside of Nashville.   So, shopping, dining, golfing, entertainment in abundance (especially live country music), and healthcare are all close by.  For more information on why Nashville is a great place to retire, be sure to read Is Nashville A Good Place To Retire?.

7.  Redstone Village, Huntsville, Alabama.  Now let’s move south to our Huntsville, Alabama neighbors and where Redstone Village is located.  While more of a continuing care retirement community than our other selections, Redstone Village offers independent living villas and cottages and apartments as well as assisted living, memory care, and rehabilitation services.  So, if you are looking for a place to not only start your 55+ years, but that will carry you through the rest of your life, this is a great option.

Amenities include cultural, social, educational and recreational activities, multiple dining venues, fitness center, aerobics studio, indoor swimming pool, library, club room, arts and crafts room, billiards room, beauty salon/barbershop, and card room.  

Conveniently located in Huntsville and close to nature trails, fishing, golf, shopping, restaurants, cultural and sports events.  The village is also less than 10 miles from Crestwood Medical Center and the Huntsville Hospital.

Redstone Village sits on 114 acres atop Farley Mountain providing gorgeous views of the Appalachian Mountains as well as the Tennessee River.  The village consists of 21 villa homes and 127 private apartments.  Huntsville is an attractive mid-size city that continues to be an attractive relocation option for tech companies, families, and retirees.  While you do not have to be a rocket scientist to figure out Huntsville is a nice place to live, you may live next to one!  Click here for more information on Redstone Village.

As you can see, there are plenty of options for 55+ communities.  Some offer amenities galore while others focus on health and wellness.  One of the most important things to remember is to focus on what is important to you whether that might be playing golf, hiking, fishing, shopping, or getting involved in groups/activities.  And of course, location is very important too.   The 55+ years are what many refer to as “the best years of your life” so choose a place that promotes whatever your definition of “the best years of your life” is.  

As you enter your retirement years, consider critical financial planning issues such as home and lifestyle affordability, health care, how to develop a paycheck with your investment portfolio in retirement, tax minimization, and estate planning.  Please do not hesitate to contact us at Oasis Wealth Planning Advisors for an initial discussion.  Click Here To Schedule An Appointment.