California’s Rossmoor 55+ community, where Lynne Kerwin lives, was once one of the Leisure World communities, developed by Ross Cortese, starting in the 1960s. The prevailing view at the time was that most seniors wanted to remain in the communities where they had always lived, close to family and friends. Many did, and many still do today, but Cortese realized that others would prefer to live among other active adults in communities with lots of amenities — pools, golf courses, restaurants and the like — and lots of things to do.
Ultimately, seven Leisure World communities were built. Today, they are independently operated, and some no longer use the Leisure World name, but this website gives links to them all. Each has its own website as well.
These are large communities — Laguna Woods Village in California claims 18,000 residents — but that means that there’s plenty going on. The list of clubs at Laguna Woods takes up several pages, starting with the American Association of University Women and ending with the Yoga Club.
The Leisure World and former Leisure World communities are not senior living centers with dining rooms and medical services. Residents are living just as they would in any other community, relying on the hospitals, doctors, supermarkets, services, and shopping centers around them. As a result, seniors don’t have to pay a large upfront entrance fee to get in, but simply buy their homes through a real estate agent.
Here’s a list of homes currently available at Lansdowne Woods, a former Leisure World in northern Virginia. Prices for condos range from about $180,000 to $675,000, with most somewhere in between. Monthly condo fees at Lansdowne vary with the price. On a two-bedroom, two bath at $219,000, you would be looking at $532.49 per month.
If you’re looking for an active life in a beautiful location, one of these communities might be just right for you.