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Discover the Enchantment of Sun City

“Out in the west Texas town of El Paso,” retirees will find Lone Star bliss in the city ranked one of the top retirement destinations by U.S News & World Report for the quality of living, affordability, and low crime rate. Aptly nicknamed Sun City, El Paso is the state’s largest border city, and is a melting pot of historic attractions, rich heritage, and endless entertainment. Surrounded by breathtaking views of the Franklin, and Waco mountains, active adults will find a thriving, and colorful city that combines metropolitan energy, with a glimpse into history as reflected in it’s architecture, and infamous local landmarks.

This Southwestern treasure of a city is located near the Mexican border, and stretches along the banks of the iconic Rio Grande River. With over 300 days of sunshine, and a stunning desert landscape that lends itself to a bounty of outdoor recreation, baby boomers, and retirees will find a picturesque backdrop for all their fresh air adventures whether they love to hike, rock climb, or capture its beauty behind a camera lens. No need to take a rain check on tee sessions thanks to a fantastic year-round climate, and challenging golf courses including the Tom Fazio designed Butterfield Trail Course and Painted Dunes Golf Course offering scenic fairways for a captivating day on the green.

senior on a bike with friends in the background

3 Cities Going Green One Bike Share at a Time

In an effort to reduce our carbon footprint, the concept of city bike shares has taken the country by a storm. The idea of renting a bike to get where you need to go is brilliant considering most bus systems operate on a limited schedule making leaving the office late or commuting on a Sunday a challenge. Not only is biking a cost-effective alternative to filling the gas tank, but cities who’ve implemented the program are finding it gets more cars off the road and encourages people to lead healthier lifestyles. While European cycling meccas like Amsterdam have led the bike share pack for years, these U.S cities are just a few of the places adding this option to their public transit repertoire.

Ashland, Oregon is a hip college town known for its bike and pedestrian-friendly downtown. The Rogue Bike Share program was newly introduced just this year as yet another step towards an eco-friendly city. Conveniently located alongside the bus stop, folks can now skip waiting for the next transfer, and cycle to their next stop. No stranger to alternative transit, Ashland’s “car-free” day event encourages residents to leave their cars at home and take advantage of incentives like free refreshments, and complimentary bike tune-ups.

Nashville, Tennessee’s welcoming southern spirit is best enjoyed on two wheels, and the city’s B-Cyle program is the perfect way to explore. With convenient membership options ranging from 24-hour rentals up to annual passes, getting into the rhythm downtown, or enjoying a scenic ride along a 180-mile greenway is as easy as picking up your bike of choice, and returning it when the adventure is over. Nashville’s walkable city center is easily accessible for commuters, and tourists or anyone who agrees fresh air, and a myriad of bike routes is the only way to travel.

Washington, DC is home to iconic attractions and the Capital Bikeshare system where 440 stations throughout the city give active adults the chance to immerse themselves in rich history, without sitting in traffic. For a modest rate, cyclists can rent a bike for a quick 30-minute trip, up to the yearly membership, with a mobile app feature to check availability. DC is notoriously affluent, and abundantly monumental with a lively urban atmosphere, and boasts a network of beautiful trails.

Across North America, and all over the world, bike share programs have proven to be a great way to improve the health and environmental sustainability of participating cities. Both functional, and economical, this growing trend is definitely worth the ride.

Working With Kids Proves Good For the Soul

Whether we like to admit it or not, we’re all kids at heart, and who better to teach us the importance of play, and laughter than youngsters themselves? It’s no secret that engaging with children is good for our health, in fact, according to a study out of Berlin, grandparents involved with babysitting their grandchildren had a 37% lower mortality rate, including those who spent time with children in general. Whether someone lives alone, or near loved ones, these ideas for getting out into the community to connect with a child, are just a few of the ways to make a difference, and experience a greater sense of well being.

Multi-Generational communities like the 55+ community of Gavilan in Rancho Mission Viejo, are designed to give active adults their independence while providing an opportunity to spend quality time with the younger generation. Whether it’s spending the afternoon crafting with the grandkids or enjoying cocktails on the veranda, these close-knit communities have a nostalgic feel not often experienced in traditional neighborhoods.

Coastal Living

You adore taking a weekend getaway on the water, but what if you could turn your love of all things surf and sand into your next retirement destination? Some of the best coastal adult living communities in the country offer 55+ retirees glorious sunsets, walks on the beach, boating, and seaside amenities like shopping and fine dining. To indulge your dreams of retiring on the coast, here are some of the top 55 places USA sure to make your senior living experience unforgettable.

Albemarle Plantation-North Carolina

Located next to North Carolina’s Albamarle Sound, this waterfront golf community is rich in natural beauty, and exciting amenities. With new, and resale options, Albemarle Plantation features single family homes, condominiums, and lots to build your dream retirement home. A Dan Maples designed course greets golf enthusiasts with a brilliant layout, amidst picturesque surroundings for a challenging, yet enjoyable experience. The community also features a marina perfect for water recreation such as fishing, sailing, or water-skiing. Tennis courts, a junior Olympic sized pool, and plenty of room for hiking or cycling is ideal for active adults. A serene, waterside community, Albemarle Plantation is the ideal place to make new friends, in a truly stunning location.

Kings Point in Delray Beach

This highly desirable Florida retirement community is best known for its seemingly endless array of amenities, and ideal location of Palm Beach County. Kings Point features resale condominiums perfect for 55+ retirees preferring lower maintenance living, or snowbirds looking for a second home. Health minded active adults will love the fitness amenities offered by not one, but three clubhouses that feature swimming pools, fitness center, tennis, and bocce courts. Two Robert Trent Jones golf courses provide retirees with the ultimate seaside tee time. A theater, and an exhaustive list of social clubs, and events ensures there’s never a dull moment in King’s Point.

Four Seasons at Harbor Bay

K. Hovnanian’s Four Seasons at Harbor Bay is a beautiful 55+ community right on the Jersey Shore, with resort style active living at your fingertips, and Little Egg Harbor beaches nearby. This prestigious community features new single family homes equipped with designer kitchens, luxurious baths, with a focus on energy efficiency. A stunning16,000 square foot clubhouse features a fitness center, library, craft, and billiard room, and Harbor Bay’s outdoor recreation knows no limit. This active lifestyle community makes retirement feel like a year-round luxury vacation.

Is Postponing Retirement Good For Your Health?

We’ve all been warned about procrastination, but is putting off retirement for a year or so an exception to the rule? So many of us say the stress of our jobs is killing us, but on the flip side is it the adrenaline rush of a deadline that keeps us going?

It’s a known fact that staying active is a major factor when it comes to longevity, and health. Older adults who keep their bodies, and minds engaged in a job may add years to their lives according to a study by Oregon State University. From 1992 to 2010 when the participants retired, healthy, and unhealthy retirees demonstrated the positive effect working one more year had on their mortality rate. The healthy group had an 11 percent lower risk of mortality, and the unhealthy group had a 9 percent lower risk. Interestingly, those who worked an additional year despite preexisting illness, did quite well. Perhaps this is a prime example of mind over matter? The more time we have to spend dwelling on our health issues the easier it is to succumb to them.

Retiring early may sometimes mean becoming less active or socially involved. Of course slowing down to a halt after years of a daily activity can be a shock to the system. Another thing to consider is the stress of finances. Working was a regular source of income, and unless you have a comfortable nest egg, retiring early can mean really tightening your belt.

I think the moral of the study, is along the same lines as getting enough exercise. Whether you’re healthy or not, keeping busy, keeps you going. Most Baby Boomers in today’s society are working well beyond age 65. The National Institute on Aging says our average life expectancy has increased dramatically, could it be attributed to our refusal to call it quits?

Baby Boomers Not Ready to Call it Quits

A recent news story featured a woman in her 90’s who’s worked at her job in a San Francisco hospital for 70 years – with no plans of leaving anytime soon. She found her position so rewarding that going to work each day was a joy rather than a task. Now that’s commitment! According to USA Today, 65% of Baby Boomers will continue working after age 65, which shows older adults are thriving, and continue to dominate the work force.

For those who continue in the same job, or decide on a second act career, it tends to be less about the money, and more about feeling satisfied, and motivated doing what you love. I knew a gentleman who’d retired from law enforcement but found himself unable to stay away too long. He returned on a part-time basis because he truly enjoyed serving the community, and felt more fulfilled getting up, and out each day.

Empty nesters or recent retirees may find this to be the opportune moment to pursue a passion or career that may have been on the back burner. Volunteer work is a big one because where earning income may have been a top priority before, giving back in this capacity gets people involved in a way that wasn’t possible during their working years. Going back to school in your 60’s? Absolutely! Learning a new skill set, foreign language or whatever sparks your interest can get you equipped to launch into your dream career.

Become an entrepreneur, motivational speaker, or whatever motivates you. Just because you left the old 8-5 job it doesn’t mean hanging your hard earned skills out to dry. Call it your second act, or round two performance, getting up every day to do something you love is a well-deserved accomplishment!

Best Retirement Cities – Athens, Georgia

According to Forbes, Athens Georgia is in the top 25 cities to retire with an average home price of $133,000, and ranks high for tax friendliness. This vibrant college town is home to the University of Georgia, and offers an eclectic mix of nightlife, and Southern hospitality, perfect for baby boomers looking to settle down where the action is!

The Millken Institute listed Athens as one of the best places for older adults, with its strong local economy, and affordable cost of living. The climate is ideal with mild year round temperatures with the occasional cold snap, meaning more time to enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, biking or kayaking.

Just because you’re retired doesn’t mean you don’t want a night on the town right? Athens is a hot spot for music enthusiasts, with a local symphony orchestra, and features Broadway shows at the Classic Center. AthFest takes place in June, and spotlights local artists, and offers live concerts. Residents will tell you college football is a serious past-time, so be prepared to become a Bulldogs fan! Pubs, and local breweries are a big deal, and downtown Athens has it all from college hangouts to upscale bars. Foodies can enjoy a little piece of paradise with a cuisine to please any palate, and Peta, and GoVeg.com listed this town as being the best vegetarian friendly small city.

Thought living in a college town was just for kids? Getting older isn’t what it used to be, and the University of Georgia knows active senior living may mean going back to school. If you’re 62 or older, contact the admissions office to see if you may be eligible for a tuition free program.

Small town charm plus plenty of shopping and entertainment makes Athens, Georgia a popular spot for retirees, and a great place for experiencing a second youth!

Here are a few selected new home communities for your consideration:

Orchards of Stoney Point, Cumming, GA

Cadence at Woodmont, Canton, GA

Del Webb at Lake Oconee, Greensboro, GA

Park Meadows, Suwanee, GA

If you would like to peruse the exhaustive ActiveAdultLiving.com directory of 257 GA communities, please click here! There are many communities detailed there to suit every lifestyle so you can refine your search if you only want to see Rentals, Manufactured Home Communities, New Home Communities, and more!
Our local area expert Bill Brown is ready to assist you:

BillBrownGA

55+ Communities are Redefining Retirement

I recently spoke with a gentleman who was still a working executive, but purchased a home in an active adult community because of the fulfilling lifestyle. 55+ “retirement” communities are popping up all over the U.S, and are attracting a younger demographic ready to embrace the life they’ve always dreamed of having . Baby Boomers aren’t slowing down anytime soon, and continue to dominate the market for these homes.

Active adult communities are no longer the cookie cutter neighborhoods from decades past, in fact many are offering resort style ambience, with active being the operative word. The 55 and over age group are fitter, and more health conscious than ever, and many of these developments are set up with state-of-the-art fitness centers, tennis, and basketball courts, pools, and hiking trails.

According to Bankrate.com, active adult communities made up about fifty one billion dollars of home sales in 2003. Homebuyers also have ample options in terms of floor plans, lot size, and location. There’s no one size fits all, in fact some homes are well over 2000 square feet with large backyards, spacious living areas, and gourmet style kitchens. Pair this with a list of amenities a mile long, and I’d say being in your prime never looked so good.

I have spoken with homeowners who’ve said they became more social after moving to an active community, and now participate in various clubs, and events. Being near family is also a consideration for those looking to move, and with so many communities available across the nation, they don’t have to sacrifice lifestyle to be close to loved ones.

Retirement, or moving to an over 55 community is just the beginning. This generation isn’t sitting back anymore, and has a “what’s next” attitude on life. My dad will be 66 this year, and is literally on the go 24/7. He’s more tech savvy than I’ll ever be, and hates missing a workout, so yeah, getting old is pretty much a thing of the past!

To find your perfect place to live to the fullest go to www.ActiveAdultLiving.com for over 7,000 communities.