Second homes have long been an escape for people who know their favorite getaway location. A turn-key vacation spot outfitted with personal amenities means no check-in or check-out hassle. Extending a holiday, or deciding spur-of-the-moment to take one, is hassle-free. Second homes are turning into retirement headquarters for many.

active retirees

Why not add retirement possibilities?

During the past decade and a half, the second-home market flourished in the United States. Resort-worthy destinations within easy driving distance or a quick flight of major metropolitan areas are responding to the demand with master-planned communities. These destinations are offering golf, pools and clubhouses to second-home buyers looking for an easily accessible retreat.

The economic downtown of the mid-to-late 2000’s slowed that trend. Now, with real-estate markets rebounding and the most recent recession appearing to wan, another group of second-home buyers is eyeing those same getaways communities.

Retirees or people preparing to be — those transitioning to early retirement or a reduced work life — view second-home communities as a future full-time residence rather than a getaway. That means resort-worthy destinations and second-home communities can market to both people seeking second homes and retirees seeking a resort lifestyle.

It all comes down to this: a weekend escape can transform into a permanent residence. Both groups of potential home buyers now are nearly a decade older. Their post-recession financial resources have stabilized. Both groups also may be considering retirement, but not in a rest home. More people than ever are opting for active retirement lifestyles. Those who continue to work can do so from afar thanks to telecommuting and digital connectivity.

What are the amenities to look for when turning a desirable second-home destination into a primary retirement residence?

Services, services, services

Convenience is key. Getaway-turned-retirement communities should be near grocery stores, restaurants, shopping centers, medical centers — all major businesses and services.

That community feeling

Being part of a community fosters uniqueness and a sense of belonging and pride. Plus, community bonds and social circles become even more important as retirees age.

 An afternoon drive rather than a road trip

Planned communities that double as active retirement havens should be within a few hours’ driving distance of where friends and family live. That’s typically in a major metro area.

Let’s go outside

Sedentary retirement is quickly becoming a cliche. The youngest baby boomers (born in the 1950’s) are showing strong signs of becoming the most active retirement generation yet. They want to be involved, in motion and often outdoors. That means planned communities with parks, trails, lakes and golf courses.

Let’s keep up with the grand-kids

Being active means also enjoying the same pastimes as younger generations who visit. That makes onsite amenities such as pools, billiards rooms and playgrounds important for these retirement-magnet planned communities.

New home plans and fresh design also become important as buyers consider second-home destinations as retirement retreats. ICI Homes opens in a new window offers many master-planned communities for future Florida retirees. Find your own retirement haven here.

Try before you buy: Discovery Tours

Some of our communities offer Discovery Tours, where you can “try before you buy.” Learn more about our Discovery Tours here.