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5 Surprisingly Affordable Retirement Communities


Retirement can be a glorious period of life for many people, but it also heralds a time when finances tend to become much tighter as people generally stop working.

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Finding the right place to live becomes important on a budget. Retirement communities offer the independence of living in your own home, with additional community facilities and camaraderie you may not get from living in a traditional neighborhood.

These communities are often pretty expensive to buy a home, but we found five surprisingly affordable communities, three of them even in Florida.

Sun City Huntley in Huntley, Illinois

Sun City Huntley is part of a larger residential community known as the Del Webb Huntley Retirement Community in Illinois, according to 55Places.com. It is aimed at people aged 55 and over.

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There are 37 single family home models in this subsection, ranging from 1,130 square feet to more than 3,000 square feet. Each home has at least two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and attached two-car garages.

This community is rich in amenities: a golf course and tennis courts, a 94,000 square foot clubhouse, fitness facilities, an indoor walking track, an indoor lap pool and an outdoor pool. Residents can also take advantage of aerobic and dance studios, meeting rooms, and more.

For those who don’t feel like cooking, lunch and dinner can be enjoyed seven days a week at Jameson’s Charhouse at Prairie Lodge. Some smaller homes or condos start in the high $200,000.

Solivita in Kissimmee, Florida

Florida, one of the most coveted retirement states, isn’t always affordable, but one community that won’t break the bank in the Sunshine State is The Palms Amenity Complex, known as Solivita. These single-family homes in 21 neighborhoods range in size from 891 to 2,545 square feet, according to 55Places.com. They have one to four bedrooms, den rooms, and one to 3 1/2 bathrooms. Each home also has an attached garage, some with space for three cars.

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Amenities here include a full-service fitness center, aerobics studio, business center, multipurpose room and catering kitchen. Outside, residents can enjoy a pool, heated spa tubs, and a piazza with a fireplace.

Outdoor sports complexes offer bocce ball, pickleball and tennis, a golf course, an indoor walking track and an indoor heated pool. Solivita also has an open pet policy for animal lovers and a gallery/studio offering arts, crafts and games. For dining options, there is the Marketplace Bistro and the Mosaics restaurants. Homes can be found here in the high $200,000s.

The villages in Sumter County, Florida

With over 20,000 acres and more than 100 miles of roads and trails, The Villages is one of the largest senior citizen communities in the United States, according to 55Places.com. The Villages is more than just a community; It is literally a “self-sufficient city” with shopping, banks, restaurants, post offices, health care facilities, a hotel, an opera house, a cinema and a performing arts center – just to name a few of its amenities.

Here, residents can choose from townhouses or single family homes, from over 100 floor plans and one of seven categories: Patio Villas, Courtyard Villas, Cottage Ranch Homes, Designer Homes and Premier Homes. Single-family homes range from 1,157 to 4,705 square feet and offer two to four bedrooms, two to 2.5 bathrooms, and attached garages.

Known for promoting an active lifestyle, The Villages has more recreation centers than your average city, including swimming pools, tennis, bocce ball, shuffleboard, pickleball, and basketball. Other amenities include a fitness center, hobby and craft studios, meeting rooms, ballrooms, billiards, catering kitchens and more. Homes here start in the low $300,000.

Stone Creek in Ocala, Florida

With Stone Creek, Florida offers another successful retirement community in Ocala. Residents can choose from three series of homes: The Garden, Classic, and Estate series are all single-family homes ranging in size from 1,133 to 2,634 square feet. These homes include one to five bedrooms, 1.5 to four bathrooms, and attached two- and three-car garages.

Within this community, residents can take advantage of a 60,000-square-foot social and recreation complex, a billiard room, a catering kitchen, and a card room. A fitness complex includes cardiovascular and weight-training machines, an aerobics and dance studio, massage services, pools, spas, and more.

Sports enthusiasts will enjoy a softball field, horseshoe, tennis, pickleball and bocce courts and a golf course. Those who enjoy fishing have access to a catch-and-release fishing lake and pier, and others can enjoy miles of hiking trails. Homes here start in the mid-$300,000s.

Del Webb Sweetgrass in Richmond, Texas

Del Webb Sweetgrass is a 55+ community with some beautiful natural features, including a natural creek, a 50-acre lake, and four miles of hiking trails, according to 55Places.com.

Single-family homes range from 1,109 to 3,800 square feet, and you can choose from three “series” known as Garden, Classic, and Estate. Garden and Classic Series homes have two or three bedrooms and 1.5 to three bathrooms. Estate Series offers two and three bedrooms with 1.5 to 3.5 bathrooms. All homes have attached garages.

Residents can take advantage of numerous amenities, starting with a state-of-the-art recreation center and a 27,000-square-foot lodge. There are numerous activities, from billiards and cards to fitness, swimming, exercise classes, a wellness centre, internet café and a continuing education centre.

Active guests can take advantage of tennis, pickleball, and bocce ball, as well as a boat launch, outdoor amphitheater, and fire pit. Homes here start in the high $300,000.

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