No more shuffle board or horseshoes will be found in today’s modern retirement communities. Instead, the focus is on the active adult, over 55 years of age, who is looking for a minimal maintenance home offering functional, open floor plan highlighting their independent social lifestyle. Many residents also demand access to a wide range of resort-style recreation, athletic and social activities, entertainment and mind stimulating learning experiences. Most communities are guard gated for security and safety.There are many choices to take into consideration before deciding which community is right for you to buy your new home. What type of recreational activities is most important, will this be a part time vacation residence, geographic location and how far are you willing to travel to find necessary day to day conveniences and what amenities do you require, are all important choices?Do you want to settle into a well established older active adult community or enjoy the vibrancy and excitement that comes with the development of a new community? If community size matters, developments range from small, quaint communities with few amenities, low HOA fees and several hundred homes to large sprawling master planned communities with thousands of homes, many neighborhoods and feature multiple golf courses, massive recreation and athletic facilities, restaurants, aquatic centers, miles of open spaces and trails for hiking and biking and much more.The roof over your head is yet another major consideration. Are you looking to buy a 700 sq ft condo or perhaps a 4,000 sq ft or larger estate home? Of course the price tag of these various digs will also be commensurate with your life style desires. Do you want to purchase an existing home or venture into building a new home? Is energy efficiency and green living an important consideration?Most active adults are looking for a carefree and comfortable lifestyle; therefore homes are designed to support that attitude. Interior home designs in active adult communities are typically open and barrier-free making the space easily accessible and safe for getting around in. The exteriors are low maintenance and easy to no care landscaping.Because of the high cost of land in and around the Phoenix area, most of the newer active adult communities are being built far from the city, therefore requiring a long drive from many city facilities, attractions, and basic necessities such as shopping and medical care. Do you want to drive your golf cart to local banks, shopping and entertainment, or would you rather jump into your car and drive to medical appt., the grocery store and yoga class? Therefore it is important to consider what is offered within the walls of each community.HOA fees are yet another consideration. They will vary greatly based on property amenities and services offered. Fees can be as low as $50-60 a month to several hundred dollars. Of course the more a community has to offer and needs to maintain, the more cost will be passed onto its residents. Therefore, you need to consider what you want to be doing and what you are willing to pay for.Due to the popularity of golf most active adult communities surrounding the Phoenix area are built with this theme in mind. They offer lush desert landscaped grounds with many homes offering gorgeous mountain and fairway views, some communities even feature multiple golf courses such as Sun City Grand, Sun City West and Pebble Creek.Upscale private guard gated communities featuring extraordinary world class golf courses, elaborate clubhouses offering gourmet dining, a pro shop, golf pro, leagues, tournaments, scenic views and pristine playing conditions. If this type of lifestyle is appealing, you might consider the beautiful Corte Bella Country Club.Other more modest active adult golf communities still feature 18-hole golf amenities and club house facilities, but allow public access. Their greens fees are considerably lesser than the private clubs, but still offer charm and appeal to many. Arizona Traditions and Sun Village Resort are smaller less known communities, but very adequate and very friendly residents.If a new active adult community is of interest consider Encanterra Country Club, a private Trilogy Resort Community in Queen Creek, Sun City Festival, a Del Webb master planned community in Buckeye or Encore, an active adult community located within the walls of Eastmark in Mesa.Popular West valley master planned communities include Pebble Creek, Cantamia, Sun City West, Sun City Grand, Corte Bella, Trilogy at Vistancia, and the new Sun City Festival.East Valley master planned communities include Sun Lakes, Robson Ranch and Sun City Anthem.