It’s well known that Florida is a popular destination when it comes to retirement, and for good reason! Warm, sunny beaches, a humid subtropical climate in the central and northern parts of the state, the tropical climate of southern Florida, and it’s relatively dry winters are major appeals to individuals and couples looking for a place to call home after they’ve retired.
Due to such a large number of retirees living in the state, there are also a large number of retirement communities that can be found in Florida. These communities are excellent places for retirees to move into, as they provide a place to forge new relationships, maintain an active lifestyle, and become part of a community that cares for their well-being.
In this article, we will take a look at seven affordable retirement communities in central Florida, and some of the things they have to offer residents. But first, before we list these seven communities, let’s go over some things that retirees should consider when looking for a retirement community.
When it comes to looking for any place to live, the first concern that most people have is if they can find an affordable home that fits within their budget. It’s always a good idea to sit down with someone you trust and go over your finances, including your savings, before starting your search.
Take a look at your monthly bills and expenses to get an idea of what it is you are already able to afford. A retirement community may have their own monthly fees or membership dues, so keep that in mind when considering which community you may like to live in.
Because the price of buying a home in a retirement community is affected by location, knowing where you want to live is just as important as knowing how much you can afford. Location can also be a factor in determining what amenities may be available to retirees in these communities.
Would you prefer to be able to visit a beach regularly, or to walk nature trails near or in your retirement community? Take a look at some of the cities near the affordable Florida retirement communities on this list to get a better idea of where you may prefer to live.
What sort of lifestyle do you want to be able to live in your retirement community? Different communities may put an emphasis on different lifestyles, some promoting a more active lifestyle with many fitness and health-related activities, while other communities may promote a slower type of lifestyle with golf and other relaxing activities.
Some communities may have a greater focus on bringing the community together and forging relationships amongst their residents with large numbers of group activities for people to enjoy and make new friends. Think about what sort of lifestyle you would prefer.
Do you want to focus on your health and staying fit, or is the community a place you want to go to relax and slow down after retirement?
Keep these in mind as you look through our list of the best retirement communities in Florida.
Four Lakes Golf Club is a retirement community located in Winter Haven, Florida, which is about a one-hour drive south of Orlando and a one-hour drive east of Tampa.
Four Lakes Golf Club offers homes at prices as low as the mid-$20,000s and as high as $130,000. With such an affordable price range, this community has luxury homes that can fit a wide range of budgets. Most of the homes listed for sale on this community’s website also come with a golf cart and one year of golf for free upon purchase.
Speaking of golf, this community offers its residents a private 18-hole golf course that runs along the eastern bank of Lake Haines, a 700-acre lake. In addition to its golf course, Four Lakes Golf Club also offers its residents many other amenities, including tennis courts, an Olympic size heated swimming pool, a spa, a 20,000 sq. ft. clubhouse, a mini theatre, a library, billiards, 24-hour gated security, a restaurant, a lounge, and more.
As the defining feature of this retirement community is its golf course, this is an excellent option for golfers!
Bear Creek is a 55+ community located in Ormond Beach, Florida—only five miles north of Daytona Beach, which is great for any NASCAR fans looking for retirement communities in Florida! It is also about a one-hour drive north of Orlando.
This is another very affordable retirement community, offering pre-owned homes for sale at prices as low as $28,500 and as high as $94,000. Bear Creek also has three clubhouses for its residents, each of which has its own themed design, and offers different amenities unique to each clubhouse. All three clubhouses also feature a pool and spa for residents.
Other amenities include a fitness center, tennis courts, billiards, bocce ball, an aerobics room, nature trails, a public golf course adjacent to the community, and beaches just down the road. This community may be the perfect fit for retirees who enjoy spending time outdoors or at the beach.
The On Top of The World retirement community is located in Ocala, Florida, which, if travelling by car, is about an hour and twenty minutes northwest of Orlando.
This community offers move-in ready homes at prices between $204,000 and $420,100 within several different neighborhoods, allowing for budgets of varying sizes. While it is one of the more expensive communities on our list, it does offer many amenities not found in the other communities listed.
Some of the amenities offered by this large retirement community are quite unique, such as their Master the Possibilities lifelong learning program which offers classes and lectures by credentialed faculty, including medical professionals and university professors. The Master the Possibilities program covers a wide number of subjects including science, philosophy, languages, art, health and medical topics, legal subjects, and technology.
This is an excellent community for retirees who have a love of learning and are always looking to increase their knowledge.
The Cypress Lakes 55+ retirement community is Located in Lakeland, Florida. It is about 40 minutes east of Tampa and is owned by Blair Group Communities, the same developer that owns two other communities on this list—Bear Creek and Strawberry Ridge.
The Cypress Lakes community still has lots available to build your custom home on, but also has new and pre-owned homes for sale from $16,00 to $179,746.
Including gated security, some of the amenities offered by the Cypress Lakes retirement community are a clubhouse, driving range, fitness center, whirlpool spa, swimming pool, a library, a restaurant, billiards, two 18-hole PGA championship golf courses with an onsite PGA professional available to give lessons to groups and individuals, a putting green, and more.
This retirement community is another great option for retirees who love to play golf!
This retirement community is located in Valrico, Florida, just a 30-minute drive east of Tampa.
Strawberry Ridge has a few lots left in which to build new custom homes under $100,000. The community also has pre-owned homes for sale, with prices ranging between $15,000 and $99,999. Many of the homes have recently been remodeled on both the inside and outside.
Amenities offered by Strawberry Ridge are electronic access gates, two clubhouses with indoor and outdoor swimming pools, hot tubs, tennis courts, a health and fitness center, craft rooms, a dance floor, a ceramics studio and woodworking shop, a library, and kitchen.
Due to this community’s proximity to Tampa, the city is only a short drive away and is perfect for retirees looking to be able to get out and explore the museums, parks, restaurants, and other exciting places in the city.
The Villages is located in The Villages, Florida. It is about an hour’s drive north of Orlando.
This community is more of a town that has several neighborhoods available to choose from, each having its own theme. Some of these neighborhoods still have home sites available on which to build your own custom home. This community has a huge range of prices on its homes, from $82,500 to as much as $1,999,995.
Because of this vast price range, The Villages is an excellent option for retirees with any kind of budget.
The Villages also offers its residents a wide variety of amenities such as its more than 50 golf courses, cycling, swimming, fitness activities, arts and crafts, music, trails, shopping and dining by the town squares, and more. There are also several houses of worship found within The Villages.
A unique activity at the Villages is Camp Villages, a summer camp for grandparents and their grandchildren.
Arlington Ridge is located in Leesburg, Florida and is about a 45-minute drive northwest of Orlando.
Homes at Arlington Ridge come in four varieties: move-in-soon homes, the larger and more luxurious Estate homes, Designer homes that use an open floor plan, and RV homes that feature a garage large enough to fit a Class A motorhome.
The move-in-soon retirement homes have prices ranging from $245,900 to $304,900.
Note: Only the prices for the move-in-soon homes include the lot price as well as the home price. The other series of homes only list the price for “immediate build” homes. Arlington Ridge is best for retirees looking to build their own custom homes, and especially so for retirees who own an RV.
Moving to a retirement community is a big decision that takes time, but it also takes a lot of information. The communities found in this list are some of the best and most affordable retirement communities in central Florida, and you are sure to find a community from this list that will fit your needs.
Be sure to visit the communities and take a tour before you make an offer to purchase; pictures and videos will only show so much of a place. Get the full experience by exploring your future neighborhood if you are able!