Best Senior Retirement Homes in the US

Seniors today are leading much longer lives than ever before. Statistics actually show that American adults live around twenty more years post-retirement. It's no wonder, then, that retirement planning for seniors now includes a variety of senior living options to make aging in place both comfortable and rewarding. Retirement should not be something you dread—it should be an exciting new chapter.

Senior housing is a common choice, as these living communities give individuals a chance to live in a residence with other older adults. At the same time, there is usually staff who can assist with daily household tasks or can provide nursing home care for those who need it. There are usually many community activities, services, and amenities that make senior living communities a utopia.

Retirement homes encourage independent living, but as mentioned, there are other options that can give you extra support if needed. Indeed, there are numerous options across the US these days, so you will definitely be able to find a place that can address your specific concerns in a location you prefer.

Retirement Home Options for You in the US

When saving for retirement, it is imperative that you also know what your retirement home options are. Sudden transitions are never easy, so you must find living facilities that allow you to age in place to ease the burden. A retirement community is one of the best choices, as you will get to be surrounded by seniors who are on the same page as you.

This can provide you with additional comforts, much-needed camaraderie, and the necessary support as you move toward your next stages in life. Below we have gathered a list of the best retirement home communities in 2022, for various reasons. We hope you are able to find a new home in any one of these independent living facilities.

Best for Affordability: Lakeside Crossing in Conway, South Carolina

  • Cost of living is below $100,000
  • The nearby Myrtle Beach is a common retirement location due to its low living costs and low property taxes for seniors

Lakeside Crossing gives residents a taste of ranch-style living at an affordable price—the cost of living is below $100,000. Located in Conway, South Carolina, Lakeside Crossing is a strategically short stretch away from pharmacies, churches, stores, healthcare providers, and the like. The nearby Myrtle Beach is also a recommended place for retirement due to low living costs and property taxes.

Low-maintenance older adults will thrive in this independent living facility and will be able to take walks along the Boardwalk, Myrtle Beach State Park, and other postcard-worthy sights. These famous attractions are only around fifteen minutes away from the senior community, but there are also several things to do in the living facility itself.

The independent living facility has a main clubhouse, shuffleboard courts, tennis courts, a jacuzzi, and an indoor lap pool. There are regular events, clubs, classes, and organizations in Lakeside Crossing, and residents can even plan their own get-togethers with their neighbors in the clubhouse. Common areas are also always well-maintained.

Best for the Overall Package: The Villages in Sumter County, Florida

  • Starting cost for properties is around $160,000
  • Florida is one of the most popular retirement destinations, and senior citizens are able to keep more of their retirement income as it is tax-friendly for retirees

Aside from being one of the most popular independent living communities, The Villages is one of the biggest retirement communities with age restrictions in the country. The living community has six housing options, with over 60,000 residences in total. Properties usually have a starting cost of $160,000. Florida is also an extremely common retirement option as it's tax-friendly for seniors.

More independent or active older adults will enjoy living in this community as it pretty much functions as its own town. Everything you could possibly need is within the vicinity of the community itself, and they have plazas, town squares, restaurants, a golf course, and establishments that are accessible via a golf cart. They have numerous fitness centers and amenities, as well as various activities for residents.

The 20,000-acre property also includes its own public safety department for emergencies and ahospital located on-site. It is also known to be one of the safest areas in Florida. You will have peace of mind that either you or your loved one will be residing in a living community that is truly catered to them and all that they could possibly ask for or need.

Best for Both Independent and Assisted Living: The Forum at Park Lane in Dallas, Texas

  • Apartment rentals begin at $2,700 a month for independent living and $4,400 a month for assisted living facilities
  • Around 12% of Texas's population is aged 65 and above, which is why there are many facilities catering to them

The Forum at Park Lane has both independent living and assisted living apartments. Residents will be able to customize whatever services they need as well. Their housing options include year-round residences, short-term stays, and seasonal living. All residents will get to experience restaurant-style meal preparation, beauty salons, and barbershops without feeling the need to leave.

The senior housing community has housekeeping services and in-house visits from doctors. The Forum at Park Lane also has an activity center and several opportunities and activities for recreation and socialization. Prices for apartments begin at $2,700 monthly for independent living and $4,400 monthly for assisted living. The smallest cut of an apartment is 651 square feet.

The Dallas Museum of Art, Finley Ewing Senior Fitness and Aerobics Center, George Bush Presidential Library, Northpark Mall, Carell Clinic, Presbyterian Hospital, and multiple churches are just a quick drive away. An estimated 12% of Texas's population is aged 65 and older. Therefore, there are many nationally-ranked hospitals and Dallas has city-wide initiatives specifically for the senior population.

Best for Beach Living: Laguna Woods Village in Laguna Woods, California

  • Prices for homes begin at the mid-$100,000 range
  • Orange County has been ranked as one of the top places to live in the United States

Individuals who want to experience beautiful weather year-round may find refuge in Laguna Woods Village—the epitome of Southern California living. They have 80 different possible layouts for homes, with prices beginning in the mid-$100,000 range. You will get to join a senior living community of roughly 18,500 residents where the gated community is safe, serene, and secure.

Not to mention, it is also 10 minutes away from the ocean and was voted best senior living community by the Orange County Register. This is an active and independent living facility, and residents will get to spend their days enjoying the facilities like the golf course, 5 swimming pools, fitness centers, courts, an equestrian center, and 7 clubhouses. They also have over 250 different clubs for people to socialize.

Laguna Woods Village has its own bus service to take residents around. Retirement Living in Orange County is fantastic, with Orange County earning a top spot in the best places to live in the US. Laguna Woods Village is also very near multiple medical centers, parks, beaches, golf courses, and is a little over an hour away from the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles if you want a change of pace.

Best for Physically Active Seniors: Sun City Huntley in Huntley, Illinois

  • Homes begin in the mid-$100,000 price range
  • The majority of retirement income is tax-exempt

Sun City Huntley is a large active retirement community, with around 5,500 different properties that begin in the mid-$100,000 price range. Choices include single-family homes, townhouses, and condominiums. There is a diverse range of services and amenities in this community. Aside from having over 80 clubs for different hobbies and interests, they have a 94,000 sq ft. clubhouse.

The clubhouse, known as the Prairie Lodge, has an indoor walking track, top-tier fitness center, lap pool, whirlpool spa, and outdoor pool. They hold several live performances and events. Sun City Huntley is located amidst nature preserves, where Wildflower Park is part of the community, together with lakes for fishing and biking trails. You can change things up in your exercise routine to stay motivated.

Illinois is a good place to retire as the majority of retirement income—including pension, social security, 401(k)s, and the like—is tax-exempt. Sun City Huntleys is also 45 miles away from downtown Chicago, but nearby, there are numerous pharmacies, healthcare services, entertainment options, dining establishments, and parks.

Best for Outdoor Enthusiasts: Heather Gardens in Aurora, Colorado

Outdoor enthusiasts may have their sights on Heather Gardens, a peaceful independent senior living community in Aurora, Colorado. Prices for homes in Heather Gardens start at $100,000. Here, residents will get to experience living in what has been described as a park-like environment filled with walking trails and ponds. Nature lovers will get to witness the best of Colorado living.

They have their own 9-hole golf course, together with a 50,000 square foot clubhouse that has its own fitness center and indoor pool. Heather Gardens even caters to unusual interests, with a ceramics and woodshop studio for seniors who want to express their creativity. The costs of residing in this living facility already include use of the clubhouse, amenities, activities, and property maintenance.

Retiring in Colorado has numerous benefits, with one being its deduction of $24,000 annually on retirement income for senior taxpayers. Aside from this, Colorado has world-class recreational activities from national parks to trails for hiking and mountains for skiing. However, it also gives retirees a taste of city life if they want a break from all the outdoor activities.

Best for Lifelong Learners: Oak Hammock in Gainesville, Florida

  • Standard Life Care Contract begins at $200,000-700,000
  • Gainsville, Florida is a college town—but is also a great retirement town due to its thriving arts and culture scene and outdoor activities

While also located in Florida, Oak Hammock provides an entirely different living experience compared to independent living communities like The Villages. This is the place to retire for seniors who consider themselves lifelong learners as it is located right by the University of Florida. As such, they promote continuing education classes for seniors who want to pursue their favorite subjects or learn new ones.

They have an Institute for Learning in Retirement on campus, which gives residents of Oak Hammock free access to classes like music, playwriting, mathematics, science, and literature. Aside from keeping your mind active, you can stay physically active with their biking and walking trails. They have healthcare on-campus, and it is also just short of 2 miles away from the University of Florida Health.

Living in Oak Hammock gives you access to long-term care, with various options to fit your price range. The standard Life Care contract has an entrance fee between $200,000-700,000 which includes coverage for healthcare. While a college town, Gainesville is a great place to retire because of its rich and thriving arts and culture scene, together with outdoor sites like the Butterfly Rainforest.

Choosing The Best Retirement Home For You

When choosing a retirement home, there are numerous factors to consider. It is easy to get lost in all your options, especially since there are so many these days. Having a rubric to guide you through the decision-making process could be of great help as you get to look at the community from a more objective standpoint.

Here are some tips for choosing the best retirement home:


Independent living facilities can be pricey, so costs could be a huge deciding factor when selecting a retirement community. Be sure to assess the exact breakdown of costs, and compare your options—especially for those with the same housing types. Check out the coverage and extent of your monthly fees as well in order to know what you will get to save on and what you need to spend on.


Most retirement homes try to provide as many amenities within the independent living facility as they can. If you plan on mostly staying within the property, you may want to seek out a retirement home that offers as many amenities as possible. You may also want to choose an independent living community that has amenities that specifically meet your needs, interests, and hobbies.

Reputation of Location for Senior-Friendliness

The location of a retirement home may be a big dealbreaker. Many places are known to be senior-friendly due to factors like tax exemption or proximity to healthcare facilities. Depending on your personality, you may also want to consider a more urban independent living location if you are a city dweller, or a suburban home if you like the outdoors.

Appropriate Level of Care

Some retirement communities may offer both independent and assisted living—or one of the two. It's important that you assess what level of care you need before deciding on a retirement community. If you are more active, you may not be willing to pay a premium for assisted living services. Alternatively, if you need extra support, you do not want to find yourself in an independent living facility.

Is Independent Living In A Retirement Home Good For You?

Opting to retire in an independent living facility definitely has its perks. Keep in mind, however, that there are other options out there that could be more fit to your particular needs. If you are more active and independent, then the above list may be perfect for you. Take time going through your options—this could directly affect the quality of your older years.

Here are some of the pros of living in a retirement home if this is a housing option you have been considering:


One of the biggest appeals of a senior housing living facility is convenience. These have amenities, services, personal care facilities, clubs, and other features within the actual grounds. Some may even have transportation services to bring you around—whether within the property or to its nearby areas. There is more than enough to do in retirement homes, and you will likely always be occupied.

Consolidated Costs

Although it is rather expensive upfront, even from a wide range of apartment complexes or actual homes, you may be able to save money in the long run. Independent living facilities usually charge monthly fees that already consolidate the costs for property taxes and other utilities. Be sure to look into the specific breakdown of fees so that you are aware of what separate bills you have to pay for.

Ability to Socialize

Loneliness is very common among older adults. Moving to an independent living facility can combat this, as you will be surrounded by other seniors who know exactly what you are experiencing. You can interact with people who share your interests and hobbies. Case in point, many retirement communities have clubs and on-site activities for the purpose of socialization.

Smooth Transitions for Aging in Place

A big, abrupt move is not the most ideal situation for older adults. Retirement communities make transitions smoother, especially those that give you options for independent senior living and assisted living. You will find that you will have the support and personal care you need at any level while still exercising autonomy and independence. You can age in place with dignity and grace.

Safety and Security

The staff at independent living facilities are trained to provide you with various levels of care. In the event of an accident, you can be assured that they will know exactly what to do. Many retirement communities on this list are also gated with security patrolling at all times. If you leave your home, you can trust that it will be protected against any intruders.

Low-Maintenance Lifestyle

Household chores are always arduous responsibilities that don't seem to go away, even with age. When you move into an independent senior living community, maintenance (especially of common areas) is taken care of. There is usually staff who may be able to assist with housekeeping and other daily tasks, especially if you are unable to do so yourself.

Motivation to Stay Fit and Healthy

Independent living facilities always encourage physical activity. From tennis to shuffleboard, aerobics, yoga, and even dance—you will find your motivation to stay fit and healthy. Moreover, retirement homes also encourage mental activities to keep seniors sharp and on top of their game. When you are surrounded by neighbors within your age bracket, you'll have a renewed sense of purpose.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the different types of retirement homes?

A variety of housing options are available for seniors, ranging from independent living apartments to nursing homes.

The types of facilities include independent living apartment complexes as well as adult and family-type residential communities with varying levels of care (e.g., assisted living programs). There is also a range in the type residences including continuing care retirement communities, skilled nursing facilities, and other healthcare settings such as long term acute care hospitals or hospices.

What do seniors want in a retirement community?

Senior living communities offer a range of classes, activities, and events to engage their residents. These varied opportunities allow them the chance to learn new skills or make friends while they enjoy being active with activities such as golfing, swimming, or yoga class.

What are homes for the elderly called?

A retirement home is a place for older people who have aged out of work. The facility provides food, shelter, and healthcare to the old aging population that may no longer be able to maintain their livelihoods due to physical or mental impairments.

These homes come in many shapes and sizes, but all have one thing in common: they provide the elderly with food, shelter, and safety from outside threats while also offering them company when it becomes too much of an effort to leave the house on your own or if you're just feeling lonely.

What are three options available to the elderly in the United States for care?

Looking for a place to retire? You're not alone. But what do you want your home in retirement to be like? There are lots of choices, from independent living (IL or ILF) all the way up through continuous care retirement communities (CCRC) and Assisted Living (AL or ALF).

How Can an Elder Care Consultant Help You?

One good thing about having an elder care consultant is that you'll have a single point of contact who can answer all of your questions about the process and make sure that everyone is on the same page. Once a match is made, you'll work closely with them to ensure that everything goes smoothly from start to finish.

There are many elder care consulting organizations out there that can guide you through the process, and one of the most highly recognized consulting companies in the US for this particular industry is Senior Care Authority. With its many franchisees across the country, it offers clients and families the assistance and services they need to make the best choice for their loved ones. It works in collaboration with families or other close relationships to help seniors discover the best residences where they may live safely and under supervision.

What is the most common living arrangement for older adults aged 65 and over?

In a time where more and more people can't afford to live on their own, living in extended-family households—those that include relatives such as grandchildren, nephews, and adult children's spouses—is the most common arrangement for people 60+ years old. This allows them to get help with everyday tasks while also being surrounded by loved ones each day.

What Are Some Options for an in-Home Care Service?

There are a lot of options for in-home care services, and it depends on what you need. If you need help with general housekeeping and cleaning, you can hire someone to do that part time or full time. However, for specific senior in-home care needs, you can hire a private caregiver. These are people who come into your home and provide services for you and your family. 

There are many homecare companies that offer these kinds of services. One good example is Executive Home Care. They give seniors and others in need of non-medical support at home the alternative that the majority of people choose - the ability to stay independent, safe, and comfortable in their own homes.

This option is great if you want someone with experience to help you with daily tasks or if you need extra assistance during an illness or injury for your loved ones. 

Think of retirement communities as places that have been specifically designed for you. Growing older is never easy, but finding an independent living facility can ease the pressures and burdens that come with your golden years. Independent living facilities may be the place for you, especially if you want to be surrounded by others who are living through this period.

With all the amenities and services you could ever ask for, together with added comforts for security and safety, independent living facilities can empower you to continue living your best life. Want more tips on planning for retirement? We aim to be a go-to resource for older adults navigating this new stage of their lives. Contact Senior Strong today to learn more!

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