The socioeconomic and cultural revolution triggered by the baby boomers generation, which the nation has been experiencing since the heady days of the 1960's, has entered into its final cycle; retirement. True to form, their gradual arrival unto the retirement scene since the turn of the 21st century, with an average 8,000 turning 60 every single day, has changed the traditional concept of retirement/old folk’s homes.
However, with roughly 78 million baby boomers in the country, and about 8,000 of them now turning 60 every day, that may change.
Long gone are the social stigmas previously associated with moving to old-age homes, for both the parents and their adult children. In fact, today, people who plan in advance for their retirement living are lauded for their independence and foresight. In addition, the choices of retirement homes and communities today have moved far beyond plain hostels governed by nurses and orderlies. Instead, some of the top end ones resemble closer to country clubs and resorts.
Retirees can also look forward to richer and more fulfilling golden years in the company of like-minded individuals. Rather than watching TV in a common room or playing bingo twice a week, retirees can instead look forward to private homes in gated communities, daily rounds of golf, dinner parties, health spas and boat excursions, to name a few, all surrounded by opulent and luxurious environments. Of course, before being permitted entry into such communes, prospective members will have to meet the financial requirements (buying in costs and monthly or annual retainers) and be subjected to a battery of medical tests. This trend has even attracted the attention of property developers and hospitality providers, resulting in the recent explosion in luxury retirement homes. So here the 10 top choices for people looking to retire in luxury and style.
10 The Village at Sherman Oaks Senior Living Community, California: $4,600/Monthly
Located at the heart of San Fernando Valley, The Village at Sherman Oaks offers a retirement community that is rich with activities and amenities. From fitness classes, a library and over-sized pool to fine dining, spa and resort-level services, the place presents a perfect blend of tranquility and convenience. Each home unit comes with personal climate control and a weekly housekeeping service. Developed by retirement home specialist Senior Resource Group, the $90 million Village at Sherman Oaks provides a full range of independent assisted living starting from $4,600 a month, not bad for a place compared to a luxurious hotel by the Los Angeles Times.
9 Atria Rye Brook, New York: $5,850/Monthly
With beautiful landscaped gardens, a full range of amenities and an eventful calendar of activities, the Atria Rye Brook seeks to create a second family for its denizens. The luxurious and spacious private suites are complimented by restaurant-level cuisine and first class service. Situated just south of the Pleasant Lake near Westchester, the place also features a state of the art gym, beauty salon and indoor and outdoor pools. The Atria’s comprehensive array of services and facilities starts at $5,850.
8 Somerset House, Oak Harbor, Florida: $7,600/Monthly
The five-star Somerset House provides an extensive range of facilities that includes golf courses, spas and pools. The management also prepares in-house counselling on eating, nutrition and fitness, along with wellness programs to enhance the quality of life of its residents. Luxurious accommodation choices include villas, condos and cottages. Prices, either for assisted independent living or nursing home, start from $7,600 a month.
7 Vivante on the Coast, California: $11,000/Monthly
The 185-unit, $62 million Vivante on the Coast offers an ultra-luxurious lifestyle for its residents. Inside the gated community, seniors can expect the latest fitness and physical therapy facilities, expansive and beautifully landscaped gardens, 24-hours concierge service, fine dining and a variety of other amenities. If that was not enough, there’s even an indoor saltwater pool and a putting green. The newly-completed project was recently awarded the 2013 SAGE Awards for its contribution on enhancing the quality of life of Southern California seniors (55+).
6 Valencia Shores, Florida: Properties up to $625,000
This gated community located near Lake Worth, Florida consists of 1,143 homes and an exhaustive range of amenities that include a 30,000 sq. ft. clubhouse, swimming pool, 24-hour security, salon, tennis court, arts and crafts studio, whirlpool spa and much more. List prices of homes start from a little over a quarter million dollars and rising to about $625,000, with almost half of the homes offering a beautiful view of the lake. Valencia Shores contains one of the most vibrant and active senior communities in the state.
5 The Vi at Silverstone, Arizona: Properties up to $650,000
This luxury community for seniors offers two methods of becoming a resident: outright purchase of a property or paying a refundable (prorated) entrance fee. In either instances, residents are still required to pay the monthly fee which ranges from $3,020 to $4,560, depending on their type of homes. The entrance fee, which is between $206,900 and $566,900, are also refundable to heirs or estates. Facilities wise, The Vi at Silverstone offers a comprehensive range of indoor and outdoor amenities, complemented by in-house housekeeping and recreational activities.
4 Vi at La Jolla Village, California: Properties up to $754,000
Operating on a similar model to its Arizona counterpart (Vi at Silverstone), the Vi at La Jolla Village, San Diego lists a marginally higher entrance and monthly fee for prospective residents, peaking at $511,200 and $4,580 respectively.
The continuing care retirement community (CCRC) also offers an extensive range of facilities which includes a Phillips Medical Alert Service in each home unit, luxurious home amenities, San Diego city tours, weekly housekeeping, 24-hour security and concierge service, and healthy dining choices.
3 Trilogy at Encanterra, Arizona: Properties up to $776,882
The Trilogy at Encanterra is a scenic 55+ age-restricted mountainside community located 40 miles southeast of the state capital, Phoenix. Aside from access to the Tom Lehman-designed 18-hole championship golf course, residents are also treated to a fine dining restaurant, a 24-hour concierge service, an indoor pool, a state of the art gym, and saunas. The French, Italian and Spanish-themed homes here are priced between $320,937 (1,583 sq. ft.) and $776,882 (2,281 sq. ft.). A resident activity director plans regular programs for the residents of Trilogy.
2 Sun City Anthem, Nevada: Properties up to $889,000
The 12,500-strong age restricted community, constructed on the Black Mountains of Henderson, was named as the most luxurious adult community in the country by 55places.com in 2011. The 7,144 houses here, with prices ranging from $180,000 to $889,000, are all luxuriously furnished and built around the Revere Golf Club. The Sun City Anthem features an extensive array of amenities, including two golf courses, indoor and outdoor pools, a dance studio, spas, five tennis courts, two clubhouses and more. For good measure, there’s even a gourmet restaurant here. The best part is, the Las Vegas Strip is located just 16 miles away.
1 Sarasota Bay Club, Florida: Properties up to $1.8 Million
The Sarasota Bay Club is the most luxurious, expensive and comprehensive retirement home in the country, bar none. It also boasts having the most well-equipped onsite health care equipment and staff. Its range of activities, amenities and staff-to-guest ratio is unequaled.
The downside? The cheapest homes here will set you back about $350,000 – and that’s a one bedroom unit. In addition, the monthly fees will set you back between $2,043 and $5,100. If price is not a concern, then get ready for a truly exciting rest-of-your life.