An “Over 55 community”–also known as age-qualified communities, active adult housing, age-restricted communities, or age-segregated communities–has an age restriction for residence and are designed for seniors who want to remain social with people in their age group.

The over 55 community is usually an apartment complex, condominiums, or gated developments with single-family homes. They typically provide amenities such as clubhouses, fitness centers, tennis courts, pools and spas, game rooms, and golf courses. Physical activities are often a big selling point for an over 55 community, to attract folks who want to stay active.

To find the right fit, take some time to learn about amenities and services these communities provide. Learn how other residents feel about their over 55 community to gauge whether it’s ideal for you.

Homes in these communities are often designed with the needs of aging residents in mind. Accessibility and safety are key components of homes and communities. These homes tend to be smaller, single-level detached houses or residences with one or two bedrooms and one or two bathrooms. Smaller homes provide a cozy environment with less time spent on upkeep and cleaning. Homes are usually designed with handicap-accessible bathroom features and other floor-plan modifications to make the home more navigable for seniors.

Communities tend to be close to shopping centers, restaurants, churches, and libraries and usually offer safety features, such as gated entry and security patrol.

One of the many benefits of living in communities for active seniors is the low-maintenance lifestyle. Homeowner associations usually take care of the maintenance of the amenities and landscaping. Community associations also may offer or cover over 55 community activities, home insurance, transportation services, some utilities and cable television, and other services to their members.