A Guide to 55+ Active Living Communities in Wisconsin
Plan Your Retirement in America’s Dairyland
Wisconsin is a fantastic location for active older adults looking for a place to indulge in their passions year round. Lake sports are king in Wisconsin, although the first day of deer hunting season is considered an unofficial holiday. No matter the season, there’s plenty of opportunity to partake in your favorite activities.
From the state’s has six federally recognized Native American tribes to communities of first generation immigrants, many cultures call Wisconsin home. Big cities like Madison and Milwaukee tend to have the most ethnic and religious diversity in the state. Wisconsin welcomes immigrants from all over the world. In fact, the state’s population is growing due to a steady influx of semi-skilled residents looking for a place to find work and raise their families.
Food and beverage define Wisconsin. From wineries and breweries to Old Country sausages and cheeses, the options are endless. The most important meal to any resident is the “Friday Night Fish Fry”. In every town, on every Friday night, Wisconsonites gather to indulge in feasting on freshly caught local fish and the accompanying farm fresh fried potatoes.
Many 55+ adults love Wisconsin not just for its attractions, but also for its quality of life and friendly residents. Housing is budget-friendly in active adult communities. Master planned communities that cater to the 55+ resident offer residents a low maintenance resort lifestyle at a modest price.
55+ Friendly Regions in Wisconsin
Looking for the best places to live in Wisconsin as a retiree? Various regions throughout the state have 55+ communities located near the forests, lakes, and rivers that give Wisconsin its natural appeal.
North Central Wisconsin is best known for its dairy, potato, and cranberry farms. The rural farms are surrounded by forests and lakes. Hiking and mountain biking in the summer is a favorite way to travail the myriad of paths the wind from one town to the next. In the winter, the snowmobile is the most popular form of transportation to your favorite ice fishing spot or Fish Fry.
Wausau is the region’s center with a population of around 40,000. The Hmog American community is large and active in the region. Many of the first generation immigrants have chosen to make it their permanent home.
In Northeast Wisconsin, outdoor activities for active older adults reign supreme. Cleveland is one of the small towns that stay active with river and lake fishing. This is the place to live if you believe that the first day of deer hunting season should be an official holiday! During the summer months, canoeing, and rafting are important to the fit and active residents of the area.
If you’re looking for a Shopping enthusiasts can head to Sheboygan Falls, which has boutique shops with specialty goods alongside fine dining restaurants. It’s also home to an annual county fair.
On the border of Lake Superior lies Northwest Wisconsin. Nature lovers choose to retire in this area due to the convenience to the lakeshore and surrounding forests. If waking up to the sounds of birds and the smell of pine are in your retirement dreams, this part of Wisconsin is the perfect destination for you. Travel to Canada is nearby and convenient. There are many opportunities to build relationships with your Northern neighbors.
Eau Claire’s claim to fame is its music and arts scene. The Eaux Claires Music & Arts Festival takes place here annually.
Southeast Wisconsin is Wisconsin’s cultural hub. From art museums to the world’s largest music festival, Summerfest, this region is the most active and diverse in the state. Lake Geneva is at the center of the action. History abounds in the area’s historic mansions. Golf courses dot the community, and the hiking trails welcome trekkers year round. Fishing on Lake Geneva is diverse in species, with trout, bass, walleye, cisco, perch, and many more waiting for eager anglers.
History and paranormal enthusiasts will enjoy Whitewater, which has earned the moniker ‘Second Salem’ due to its witch tales. Kenosha is perfect for retirees looking for an affordable home near Lake Michigan and the Chicago region.
The big city of West Allis has diverse residents and dining options. There are also multiple walkable parks and the West Allis Farmers Market.
Milwaukee, one of the state’s biggest cities, is a travel hub and metro area. The Waukesha neighborhood is equally fast paced. It’s achieved acclaim for its natural mineral springs.
Alongside quirky points of interest and historic sites, Southwest Wisconsin is lauded for its natural parks and untouched wilderness. Find world class fishing, hiking, boating, and hunting in towns like Beaver Dam right along the Beaver Dam Lake.
This region also includes Madison, the state capital. This metropolitan city has endless shopping and dining districts, plus a diverse population with a more progressive political lean than you’ll find in the state’s more rural areas.
Fill Your Days With Fun Activities
If you’re hoping to stay active during retirement, Wisconsin may be the perfect state for you!
The state’s lakes and forested regions are ideal for hunting, fishing and hiking. Many senior communities are near nature destinations.
Have a Blast Without Leaving Your Senior Community
Wisconsin’s housing communities are just as fun as the attractions you’ll find around the state. Many of these homes are waterfront communities around the Great Lakes and other smaller bodies of water. Some have their own golf courses, while others have community staples like clubhouses and gyms.
Stroll the Community Walking Trails
The best part of moving to Wisconsin is getting to live right alongside nature. You can walk or bike along scenic trails without having to drive from your community. Walk around the lake, or go for a rewarding hike in communities located in the states’ mountainous regions.
Stop By the Clubhouse
Spending time at a clubhouse is the best way to build a sense of community with fellow residents. The clubhouse is perfect for a tailgate party to cheer on the Brewers as spring turns into fall. Then get ready for the Wisconsin’s Green Bay Packers and the joy of celebrating their games with your neighbors.
Clubhouses make it easy to share your hobbies with others. It’s the perfect place to get relief from the weather and indulge in a game of poker or learn a new technique to perfect your needlework.
Visit the Fitness Center
No community in Wisconsin is complete without a well-equipt gym. In addition to weight rooms and treadmills, many fitness centers in Wisconsin also have indoor pools where you can swim and take part in low-intensity water aerobics. Some communities also host workout classes like yoga, jazzercise, and Pilates.
Explore Wisconsin’s Things to Do for Seniors
Wisconsin's quaint towns and natural parks are the ideal place to spend a weekend away from home. Go camping or play a round of golf with friends. Professional sports are popular in Wisconsin with the Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Bucks, and Milwaukee Brewers calling the state home.
Locally owned businesses like farm stands and breweries can be found in nearly every town. There are also quirky landmarks that are worth a visit, from the International Clown Hall of Fame to haunted House on the Rock.
Take Up Snow Sports
Wisconsin’s winter months mark the beginning of the season for many sports in the snow. The state is famous for it’s snowmobile trails. On some winter days, snowmobiling is the preferred mode of transportation. Other snow sports that residents regularly indulge in are ice skating, snow tubing, and ice fishing.
Live Near Wisconsin’s Lakes and Rivers for Water Sports
During the warmer months, Wisconsin’s lakes and rivers defrost, and residents flock to the shores. Fishing, boating, canoeing, and rafting are all common activities for active retirees.
Summer is the perfect time to go primitive camping in a tent. Some seniors prefer the comforts of an RV or log cabin. Many 55+ active adults hike forest trails. Deer hunting season is prime time for outdoor activities in the autumn.
Play at Casinos
Wisconsin has over two dozen casinos where you can play the penny slots and bet on card games. Standouts include the Potawatomi Hotel & Casino in Milwaukee and the Ho-Chunk Gaming Wisconsin Dells in Baraboo.
How to Know if Wisconsin is Right for You
Could Wisconsin be the perfect retirement destination? If you’re interested in staying active year round with winter sports, water sports,hunting, and mountain biking, there are few better places in the nation than Wisconsin.
Wisconsin’s neighborhoods feature affordable properties and friendly neighbors. The high ethnic diversity of its cities lends itself to unique and farm fresh restaurants, wineries, and breweries. The state also has excellent healthcare facilities for seniors.
Wisconsin’s Retiree Communities
Whether you’re hoping to retire in Wisconsin or you just want to move into a more suitable residence designed as a 55+ active adult community, find the perfect housing for your needs.
Low Maintenance Communities
Wisconsin gets snow and occasional hail in the winter months. If you’re not keen on property upkeep, low maintenance communities reduce the need for cleaning and repair. These communities offer snow shoveling, plowing, and routine maintenance services.
Age Restricted Communities
In age restricted communities, 55+ active adults can enjoy a quiet atmosphere with like-minded community members. These communities have senior focused amenities such as fitness centers, hiking trails, and group activities designed with active retirees in mind.
Condominium (condo) communities are well suited to singles and couples that are looking to downsize during retirement. In exchange for smaller square footage, condominiums can be more affordable than single family homes, have HOA’s that handle exterior maintenance, and feature many community focused amenities.
Manufactured Home Communities
Looking to move to Wisconsin on a budget?
Manufactured home communities are the perfect solution. Maintain your independence in your own single story space while also living within a community.
Stay Healthy as You Age Gracefully in Wisconsin
Wisconsin’s best healthcare facilities provide exceptional care for seniors. The healthcare and insurance company United Health operates here, as does Elevance Health and HCA Healthcare. CVS Health pharmacies and minute clinics are available in all regions of the state.
Low income health care is provided through Medicaid and BadgerCare, while state Medicare is available for those 65 and older.
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