Retirement Villages

Retirement Villages in the U.S.

Retirement villages, also called senior citizen communities, retirement communities or or active adult communities, is a generic term that covers many varieties of housing for retirees and seniors. They are intended for people who are no longer employed, and may be restricted to those over a certain age.

They are distinct from retirement homes whichare single building or small complex where no "common areas" for socializing exist. Many retirement villages are planned for that purpose, and have special facilities catering to the needs and wants of retirees, including extensive amenities like clubhouses, swimming pools, arts and crafts, boating, trails, golf courses, active adult retail and on-site medical facilities.

Age-restricted retirement villages generally require at least one household resident to be 55 plus years of age or older. Retirement villages are often built in warm climates, and are common in Arizona, California, Florida and Texas but are increasingly being built in and around major cities throughout the nation.

Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities (NORCs) are often populated by lower-income residents receiving a richer mix of public services through a NORC model. They might serve people of all income levels who got together to furnish cost-effective transportation services. And there are NORCs for relatively affluent households that may charge $1,000 or even more in annual dues, and support paid and volunteer staffers who provide a rich variety of support services and cultural enrichment activities. NORCs can be very effective mechanisms to identify populations of people who need government-provided services and then provide those services in cost-effective ways. They provide support and resources for those who do not want to leave their current neighborhoods.