Let's be clear about one thing: today's retirement communities are not the kind of death-watch residences you may have seen your parents or grandparents consider a decade ago. Nursing homes and assisted-living communities are still out there for folks in poor medical condition. But you can also find vibrant contained communities with luxury single-family homes and condos that are built around shopping districts and restaurants and feature activities centers that will coordinate all sorts of group functions, from golf and bridge to kayaking and rock climbing. This might be just what you're looking for. But be careful: These communities are often age-restricted and may not allow the grandkids to stay overnight as often as you'd like. You'll be surrounded by a lot of people just like you. Is that what you want? Or would you prefer some diversity? Visit and take note of the people living there; some older developments have mostly older retirees who don't sign up for a lot of the group stuff you might be counting on. And in the current economic climate, an unfinished development may stay that way for years.
See more questions about where you should live:
Introduction: Where Should I Live?
Should I Move Abroad?
Should I Move to a Low-Cost Region?
What Are the Tax Implications of a Move?
Should I Just Stay Put?