The Best Gay Retirement Homes in the US

Planning for retirement is one thing seniors across the board devote a lot of time, attention, and resources to. It takes years of saving, planning, and investing in life insurance for seniors. LGBTQ retirees, in particular, have other needs when it comes to spending their retirement in a living community that has been designed with their wellness in mind.

Thankfully, there are now numerous living options and retirement communities for LGBTQ people to thrive in as they age.

Whether you are gay, bisexual, transgender, or identify with any other sexual orientation, you can be assured that there is an LGBT-friendly senior living retirement community suited to your preferences and needs. You do not need to spend the rest of your years hiding in discrimination and shame.

At the end of the day, it is all about choosing between retirement communities that allow you or your loved one to spend their golden years in dignity and openness. Here's a look at some of the best gay retirement homes in the United States.

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Finding the right place to retire as an LGBTQ individual means finding retirement communities that advocate for your needs. In many cases, same-sex couples are not afforded the same rights when it comes to life insurance policies or senior housing options. Retirement options for the LGBTQ community are still not on par with those for heterosexual couples or individuals.

LGBTQ seniors are 25% behind their straight peers in terms of planning and saving for retirement. They also have other concerns for retirement communities: proximity to healthcare providers who understand their specific needs, tolerance of same-sex couples or same gender loving (SGL) individuals, support for their concerns, and the size of the community's gay population, to name a few.

Below you can find some of the top choices of retirement communities for LGBT people. These range from retirement communities with lower costs, proximity to gay neighborhoods, luxurious living, and everything else in-between.

Best for Independent Living with Added Conveniences: Carefree Cove in Zionville, North Carolina

  • Monthly cost of $1,739 on average
  • Four percent of adults in North Carolina identify as LGBTQ
  • The first and only openly gay and lesbian residential community in the area

Carefree Cove in Zionville, North Carolina offers a senior care system for assisted living, with staff members who offer an intermediate level of care. Pricing in Carefree Cove's senior residences begins at around $1,739 monthly.

North Carolina has become more progressive, and Carefree Cove is actually the first openly gay and lesbian community in the High Country. With gated log cabins, Carefree Cove is an excellent choice for LGBT seniors who are still independent, active, and healthy but want to enjoy other conveniences within their little neighborhood.

Carefree Cove offers maintenance services, housekeeping, and in-room amenities such as kitchenettes, laundry facilities, and the like. You may interact with other individuals who live in these senior residences, making Carefree Cove a very social, LGBT-friendly environment.

Best for Five-Star Living: Fountaingrove Lodge in Santa Rosa, California

  • Around $3,825/month for assisted living (starting price)
  • Santa Rosa, CA ranks #2 in a list of the highest rate of same-sex married couples in the country
  • Santa Rosa is located in Sonoma County, a place known for its picturesque views, golf courses, nature trails, wineries, and cultural events

Fountaingrove Lodge is known to be the first five-star LGBT retirement community in the United States. With personalized living, gourmet dining, housekeeping, spa treatments, and concierge services, there is little else residents will want or need. However, the cost of living in this elderly housing community is on the pricier side, starting at around $3,825 a month.

Its location in Santa Rosa makes it the perfect place for LGBT elders, as it nearly tops the list of same-sex married couples in the US. Sonoma County is also rich in its sights and cultural activities, and Fountaingrove's location gives residents access to events and locations in the nearby Napa Valley and San Francisco that are catered to the LGBT community.

One noteworthy offering at Fountaingrove Lodge is their Concierge Medical Program. Aside from their temporary home healthcare such as full-time private care, this program extends individualized care for seniors, 24/7. More active seniors can also enjoy their art studio, exercise room, movie theater, gardening and cooking activities, book clubs, among many other facilities and amenities.

Best for Proximity to Gay Neighborhoods: The Palms of Manasota in Tampa Bay, Florida

  • Average monthly cost of $1,805
  • Around 4.1% of the population in Tampa (including St. Petersburg and Clearwater) identifies as LGBT
  • Tampa is one of the most notable cities for LGBT seniors, and South Tampa even hosts its own Tampa Pride Festival. There are also several LGBT businesses in the area.

The Palms of Manasota is the first gay and lesbian residential retirement community in the United States. In fact, they were the very first senior care community in the US to welcome and accept LGBTQ people. Housing options include standalone homes, of which they have 21, as well as duplex and condo units. Pricing begins at an average of $1,805 monthly.

Tampa is known to be one of the most LGBT-friendly communities in Florida, with 4.1% of their population identifying as such. The historic Ybor City is Tampa's gay district, and they have their own Tampa Pride Festival, as well as a coalition of businesses that formed the LGBT Chamber of Commerce referred to as GaYbor.

An LGBT senior who finds a home in The Palms of Manasota can enjoy easy access to this wider LGBT community and spend their time absorbing the energy of the rich and vibrant atmosphere. The Palms is generally for more independent LGBT seniors who are in good health, but it may give you peace of mind to note that it is located near numerous healthcare providers and drugstores.

Best for Its Outdoor Landscape: Birds of a Feather in Pecos, New Mexico

  • Estimated $1,624 monthly
  • 4.5% of adults in New Mexico identify as LGBTQ
  • New Mexico has been named one of the top retirement cities for LGBT seniors due to its progressive nature and ideal, serene atmosphere

Birds of a Feather is a senior retirement community for gays, lesbians, and people of any gender identity who want to age in place. Pricing begins at around $1,624 monthly, which is relatively cheaper compared to senior living communities in other states. Seniors can spend their retirement in a beautiful 140-acre wooded space with access to hiking and biking trails around the property.

The place is just twenty-five miles away from the capital of Santa Fe, a progressive city rich in history and diversity. Birds of a Feather is surrounded by the Pecos Wilderness national forest land and the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. It has also been named one of the top cities for LGBT individuals to retire, and 4.5% of its adult population identifies as LGBTQ.

They have four types of sustainably built, green retirement homes to choose from: EcoNests, Casitas, Single Family Homes, and Los Nidos. Pecos, its small neighboring village, has an ambulance service, a nearby medical facility, stores, and Frankie's—a gay-owned restaurant.

Best for Affordability in an Urban Setting: Stonewall House in Brooklyn, New York

  • Affordable housing (price not disclosed)
  • Over 100,000 LGBT seniors reside in New York City. Around 5.1% of the adult population in the state (nearly 800,000) identify as LGBT.
  • Brooklyn is home to numerous LGBT communities in East Williamsburg, Bed-Study, Park Slope, Windsor Terrace, and Bushwick

LGBT seniors who are more interested in big-city life may find a home in Stonewall House. It's the first LGBT-friendly senior housing development in the entire New York City. Pricing at the Stonewall House is affordable, given that it is meant for seniors who earn 60% (or less) of the median income in the area. New York has one of the biggest LGBTQIA+ populations in the world.

Around 5.1% of its adult population identify as LGBT. Stonewall House is named after the monumental Stonewall Riots in 1969, which were marked as the catalyst of today's gay rights movement. Its location in Brooklyn gives LGBT seniors access to neighboring gay-friendly areas and communities. It's minutes away from Fort Greene Park, where seniors can get some fresh air, walk, and socialize.

There are 91 one-bedroom apartments and 54 studios in the building. The SAGE NYC organization which is dedicated to LGBT seniors has a huge community center on the ground floor of the building, so residents will definitely feel like they are in a space truly designed for them.

Best for Cost-Effectiveness: A Place for Us in Cleveland, Ohio

  • Rent is around $500/month for a one-bedroom and $800/month for a two-bedroom
  • An estimated 10% of Cleveland's population are gay
  • Strategically located near Edgewater and Downtown Cleveland, giving residents access to a wider range of sights and offerings

A Place for Us is Ohio's first affordable housing living community designed for LGBT retirement. Apartments are affordably priced at either $500 a month for a one-bedroom and $800 a month for a two-bedroom. A good 10% of Cleveland's population identifies as gay. The gay population is actually quite visible and active in the community.

Its location near the West 117th RTA Rapid Station gives residents access to parks, shopping centers, and other conveniences. Located near Edgewater, the community is also family-friendly, with loads of sites for activities such as fishing, walking, and relaxing by the beach. Downtown Cleveland is a mere four miles away.

Independent seniors may find refuge in this retirement home. They have a meditation room, fitness center, library, numerous activities for residents, and 24-hour emergency maintenance.

Best for the Community: Stonewall Gardens in Palm Springs, California

  • Average expense of $4,601 monthly
  • 33-50% of the city's population are LGBTQ —the largest in the US
  • Palm Springs has been lauded as one of the most LGBT-friendly cities in the US, and the top spot for senior LGBT retirement

If you truly want to feel like you are part of a community, Stonewall Gardens may be your top choice. Prices may be on the pricier side at $4,601 monthly, but you get what you pay for in this luxurious LGBT-friendly senior housing community. Palm Springs is also one of the prime cities for gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals, ranking #1 on a global list for LGBTQ seniors to vacation/retire.

Stonewall Gardens acknowledges that even the most independent LGBT elders may need assistance with some daily tasks. As such, this is one of the senior living communities that carefully balances independence and support for residents. Staff is available 24/7, and they also have laundry facilities and services, local transportation, housekeeping, maintenance, and emergency alert systems.

If you want to engage with other residents in the community, Stonewall Gardens has numerous common areas, restaurant dining facilities with nutritious menus, holiday celebrations, social activities, and excursions, to name a few.

Best for Communal Living: Mary's House for Older Adults in Washington, DC

  • Affordable pricing (costs not disclosed publicly)
  • Washington DC has thelargest gay and LGBTQ population in the US
  • There is never any shortage of activities, places, and events in Washington, DC for LGTBQ individuals, making it an inclusive place to retire

Mary's House for Older Adults hopes to provide seniors with independent and communal housing at an affordable price. Despite having the largest LGBTQ population in the country, this is the first elderly housing development in Washington, DC. Individuals who choose to retire here will have access to several Pride celebrations, gay neighborhoods, and safe spaces geared towards the queer community.

This residential community seeks to address individuals' holistic needs, particularly focusing on the communal aspect in order for residents to age comfortably with one another. There is one single dining room and a garden for growing food.

They seek to be a refuge for LGBT people free from feelings of isolation and discrimination. There are a number of events in the community, and communal areas for exercise, recreation, and the like. There is professional property management on-site as well.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are The Villages in Florida gay-friendly?

The Villages, located just east of Orlando and Ocala, is a self-contained paradise for more than 100,000 mostly white Republicans. With such strong voting power in the right-wing spectrum, it's easy to overlook that this area also hosts an active gay community as well.

What states are retirees moving to?

Florida and Arizona remain the top two states where retirees are moving. With over 95,000 people ages 60 and older migrating to both states in 2019, it's safe to say that these two states will continue being popular destinations for retirees looking for a new home with plenty of sunshine.

What city in Florida has the highest gay population?

Once dubbed the "gay village," Wilton Manors is home to a substantial gay population. Recently, it ranked number two in the country for the percentage of same-sex couples as compared with total populations. This means that 14% of its residents identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community.

What is the best age to retire in the USA?

The majority of people say that they plan to retire between the ages of 65 and 67.

Which state is tax-friendly for retirees?

Wyoming is a state where residents are guaranteed to have zero income, estate, or inheritance taxes. Sales tax rates in Equality State are also low and favorable for those who decide to retire there.

What are the worst states to retire in?

Some seniors make a big mistake by retiring to an out-of-state destination that is out of their means. One of the most common choices is New York, which is known for being pricey. Mississippi and Arkansas also rank among some other popular destinations that can be pricey without warning.

Retirement planning is never easy, even more so when you belong to the LGBT community. The most important thing is to find retirement communities that are safe spaces where you are free from any discrimination and are instead encouraged to live the life you were always meant to.

Want additional resources on planning for retirement? Be sure to check out some of our other articles on retirement communities for senior living. Contact Senior Strong today!

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