Buyers at today's 55-plus active adult communities have higher expectations than before, reports Washington Post writer Michele Lerner. Golf courses, for example, are less of a priority, Lerner says.

“There’s a race to meet the expectations of younger buyers in active-adult communities,” said Sean Keeley, content strategist for in Chicago. “Their top priorities are wellness, cooking and experiences. We’ve noticed that things that used to be unique even a year or two ago, such as demonstration kitchens and good restaurants with chefs, are almost expected at larger active-adult communities.”

At Trilogy at Verde River near Scottsdale, Ariz., the Outfitter store provides an array of kayaks and stand-up paddleboards for residents, along with a cycling shop and guided excursions into the adjacent Tonto National Forest. The Outfitter at Trilogy at Lake Norman near Charlotte, N.C., includes kayaks and bike repair supplies, as well as shuttle service to the Boat Club at Lake Norman, which offers boating lessons and rentals.

The Villages in Central Florida, an active-adult community with more than 115,000 residents, has more than 40 golf courses, three libraries and even its own polo team, Keeley said.

“One of the standout amenities at the Villages is their enrichment academy, which is almost like their own community college for residents,” Keeley said. “In a survey, our readers said continuing education is a big interest, so this amenity addresses that. They offer 155 different courses on all kinds of topics, so residents can pursue their interests and learn new skills.”

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