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Arizona, renowned for its year-round sunshine, diverse landscape, and a myriad of recreational and cultural attractions, has become a top destination for retirees. This article delves into the best retirement resorts in Arizona, providing a wealth of information for those seeking the perfect place to spend their golden years.
Arizona, popularly known as the Grand Canyon State, has been a magnet for retirees for over six decades. Its warm, dry climate, combined with an array of recreational opportunities, prime shopping, dining areas, and a relatively affordable cost of living, make it a desirable state for active adults. The ever-increasing population of older adults migrating to the state has led to a surge in the number of active adult communities in Arizona.
Arizona is the origin of modern active retirement communities. Back in the 1960s, Del Webb introduced Sun City, the first age-restricted active adult community in the country. Since then, the concept of self-contained active adult communities has flourished, with over 100,000 homes in 55-plus age-restricted communities in Arizona.
2. Climate and Geography
Arizona boasts a myriad of climates due to its large area and varied elevations. Lower elevations primarily have a desert climate with mild winters and scorching summers. In contrast, Northern Arizona, with its high altitudes, experiences a cooler climate with cold winters and mild summers.
Arizona is famous for its desert and mountain landscapes. The Sonoran Desert covers the southwest area, the Mojave Desert is in Northwestern Arizona, and the Painted Desert adorns Northern Arizona. The state is relatively mountainous, with numerous mountain ranges exceeding elevations of 9,000 feet. With 194 named mountain ranges, Arizona retirement resorts offer some of the best views in the nation.
3. Recreation, Culture, and Entertainment
Arizona brims with an abundance of recreational, cultural, and entertainment opportunities. Cities like Phoenix, Tucson, Prescott, and Yuma host numerous professional sports teams, including the Arizona Cardinals, Phoenix Suns, and Arizona Diamondbacks. Thanks to its warm climate, Arizona also serves as a popular location for Major League Baseball’s spring training facilities.
Art and culture enthusiasts will find a plethora of museums, cultural centers, and art festivals throughout the state. Rich in Native American history, Arizona showcases galleries that display both historical and modern work.
Arizona, recognized as the Grand Canyon State, is packed with outdoor parks and recreational opportunities. From hiking in the mountainous Northern Arizona to boating in the lakes of the west, there is something for every outdoor enthusiast.
4. Cost of Living and Taxes
The cost of living in Arizona varies by city and region, but overall, it is lower than the US average. As of 2021, the median home value in Arizona is approximately $349,000. Arizona does not tax Social Security benefits, and there are exemptions for some retirement income. Property tax is also relatively low, and residents only pay local taxes. There is no state tax on food for home consumption, prescription drugs, or medical devices.
5. Healthcare Facilities
Arizona is home to 114 hospitals, four of which are nationally ranked. These include the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, University of Arizona Medical Center in Tucson, Scottsdale Healthcare Shea Medical Center, and St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix. Furthermore, the greater Phoenix area is renowned for its medical research and treatment facilities, housing well-known medical experts that attract people from all over.
6. Top 10 Arizona Retirement Resorts
Here is a detailed look at the top 10 retirement resorts in Arizona, offering a combination of amenities, recreational activities, healthcare facilities, and of course, beautiful landscapes.
6.1 PebbleCreek, Goodyear
PebbleCreek is a sizable community offering a wealth of amenities, including two stunning clubhouses, multiple golf courses, several pools, and fitness centers. All your favorite stores and restaurants are within a 5-10 minute drive.
6.2 Trilogy at Vistancia, Peoria
Our top favorite Trilogy community, Trilogy at Vistancia, boasts two impressive clubhouses, easy freeway access, and many nearby shopping and dining options. It’s one of the few Trilogy communities that do not require an expensive country club membership fee.
6.3 Encanterra by Trilogy, Queen Creek
Encanterra offers a private country club setting in a fast-growing area, making it a relative bargain for those seeking an upscale lifestyle without the high Scottsdale prices.
6.4 Province, Maricopa
Province is a true desert oasis with acres of lush green lawns, lakes, world-class amenities, a stunning clubhouse, and very affordable pricing.
6.5 CantaMia, Goodyear
Conceived by the same developer that created Province in Maricopa, CantaMia is ideal for those who like to get away from it all and enjoy beautiful views of the Estrella Mountains and refreshing lakes and canals throughout the community.
6.6 Sun City Festival, Buckeye
Sun City Festival is the newest Del Webb creation in the northwest Valley, with plans for 9,000 homes, 27 holes of golf, and three recreation centers.
6.7 Sun City Grand, Surprise
With 9,550 homes, hundreds of clubs and activities, and four golf courses, Sun City Grand delivers everything you’d expect from a Del Webb community.
6.8 Corte Bella, Sun City West
Corte Bella offers residents Santa Barbara-inspired architecture, velvet green fairways, neatly groomed cypress trees, and quaint street lamps, resulting in a charming and picturesque environment.
6.9 Robson Ranch, Eloy
Robson Ranch, located halfway between Phoenix and Tucson, is shaping up to be another beautiful Robson creation. With about 4,600 homes planned, it’s just 5 minutes from Casa Grande, where you’ll find plenty of your favorite stores and restaurants.
6.10 Sun City Anthem Merrill Ranch, Florence
Located within Anthem at Merrill Ranch, Sun City Anthem provides retirees with a 48,000 sq.ft. recreation center. It’s ideal for those who prefer to be away from the city and traffic.
Retiring in Arizona offers you the opportunity to live in a state that boasts a diverse landscape, year-round sunshine, a multitude of recreational and cultural attractions, and an affordable cost of living. With the surge in active adult communities in Arizona, you’re sure to find a resort that fits your lifestyle and budget. However, before making a decision, it’s advisable to visit these communities, gather as much information as possible, and consult with a real estate expert who specializes in retirement resorts.