Retirement Communities in AZ
Sun City Retirement Community
Sun City was established in 1960 by Del Webb, and has a sister community Sun City West. With 37,000 and 24,000 retirees respectively, there is a diverse group of activities and interests represented for anyone looking to make Arizona their retirement locale.
Because Sun City is only 30 miles from downtown Phoenix and 40 miles from Scottsdale, residents can easily swing over to these larger cities for nightlife, dining, and casinos. The golf scene in Sun City is also a major plus for retirees who love the game, and you can’t overlook the overall respect residents have for their fellow neighbors.
Del Webb Development
The story of Sun City Arizona is incomplete without the story of Del Webb. He was a real estate magnate, and co-owner of the New York Yankees whose vision led to the opening of the Original Sun City.
In the present, his legacy lives on with the Del Webb Communities name, one that is synonymous with an active adult lifestyle. They are also known for their exclusive GenYou Floor Plans, which offer unique home design availability for any resident.
Designing your own floor plan for a house in an Arizona retirement truly encapsulates the spirit of the state, Sun City, and its active community participants.
Senior Living in Sun City, AZ
There is a reason Sun City locations in the USA have reached their present-day popularity: the original retirement homes in Sun City, AZ set a standard for retirement communities. Not only are the Sun City developments iconic in their layout and home style, but the residents are able to enjoy a retirement experience that is unrivaled by other locations.
The financial perks that contribute to carefree living are amplified by community reinvestment in recreation and charity. Imagine a dream retirement in Arizona filled with golf, social clubs, volunteerism, and nightlife. This is a reality that the Sun City 55+ gated communities bring to the table.
Sun City Arizona Weather and Climate
The overall climate is fairly dry, with an average of only one or two days of precipitation per month each year. When it does rain, it is usually welcome as most storms occur during Monsoon Season which takes place during the hot summer months of July and August.
Sun City is also very much an Arizona city, so temperatures reach above 100 degrees during the Summer months. Most residents view this as a fair trade for the comfortable and mild temperatures during the Winter. This of course means no snow to deal with and plenty of opportunities to enjoy the beautiful outdoor setting that Arizona has to offer.
Amenities in Sun City
Sun City sets a high standard for retiree amenities, boasting everything you can imagine for an active retirement. With four recreation centers that include bowling, tennis, and racquetball, you can compete and stay fit with your community friends.
Similarly, there are nightclubs and fine dining for an evening after golf — Sun City is even famous for hosting friends and family. This adult playground leaves no game or activity to the imagination, making it a given that your retirement years will be spent smiling.
For those looking for a change of pace or some serenity, Sun City Arizona also holds over 30 churches, a synagogue, two libraries, and a performing arts theatre. With so many options available, it’s not even cliche to say there really is something for everyone at Sun City!
Things to do in Sun City Arizona
One of the best parts of retiring in Arizona is having multiple ways to keep busy. One of the foundational principles of Sun City is that people over 55 are still people who want ways to stay busy and entertained, so the community has been created with activity in mind. Whether you’re looking for community events and local centers or you just want to be close to where all the action is, Sun City has it for you.
Sun City is about thirty minutes from anything you want to do in the Phoenix area. Situated in close proximity to both Phoenix and Glendale, residents are close to plenty of shopping and entertainment options. In fact, there are even two spring training baseball parks within seven miles of Sun City. Whether you want to experience the nightlife or a day at the park, Sun City’s got everything one could want nearby.
If you’re looking for something a bit more natural, retiring in Sun City Arizona means you’ll also be located close to some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world. The community is just half a day drive away from the awe inspiring Grand Canyon, and the beautiful, scenic area of Sedona is even closer. Also, if you’re looking to spend the day in or around water, Lake Pleasant is just a 30 minute drive from Sun City.
Those staying in the general Phoenix region can still take advantage of numerous parks and walking trails, many of which are actually located within Sun City itself. If you’re looking for a way to get closer to nature, you may only have to walk out your front door.
Of course, there are also many activities that take place in Sun City’s various neighborhoods. Sun City has its fair share of recreational areas and golf courses, but where it really shines are the social activities. If you’ve ever considered a group activity, you’ll be sure to find it in one of the neighborhoods. Whether you’re looking for ballroom dancing or you just want to join a fantastic book club, Sun City’s various social groups will help you to keep active in both mind and body. This really is a community that can keep you active.
The Surrounding Area of Sun City
While it is unlikely that you will grow tired of your leisure and recreation options inside the retirement community of Sun City, having outside options is always nice for a change of scenery. Sister communities in Peoria or Surprise are within a 30 minute drive, and there are always new hiking trails to explore near the community.
Most importantly, Sun City is just 16 miles northwest of downtown Phoenix, which makes it easy to pop-over to the big city for shopping, entertainment, restaurants or concerts. Some other fun attractions near Sun City include the Arrowhead Mall, the Wildlife World Zoo, or Lake Pleasant.
Sun City Real Estate
Homes in Sun City average at around just over $235,000, but the prices are steadily rising. Last year values rose by about 16%, and this year they’re expected to rise at least another 5%. The rising prices can be attributed to a number of factors, including the low crime rate (Sun City is in the top 83% in Arizona) and the strict age limits. At least one person residing in the home must be at least 55 years old, with all other residents in the home being no younger than 19. It is through these age limits that Sun City manages to keep its designation of being an active 55+ community.
For sports enthusiasts, there are multiple universities and pro teams playing year-round. Ticket packages are always available to Sun City Groups, and make a great way to spend the afternoon.
Arizona retirement has an abundance of leisure activities ranging from fine arts to food, nature, sports and everything in between! The retirement communities in Sun City, AZ are perfectly located for you to easily get in on the action, while still being able to return home to a quiet neighborhood.
Sun City Residents
Sun City is for everyone – it’s the original fun city, as they say! The community has dedicated its development and culture to leisure and recreation for the active lifestyle, and the focus is on who you are as a retired person, not who you were in your past life.
This outlook is very refreshing for the entire spectrum of Sun City residents. There are residents on a fixed income, as well as lower-middle class who have worked hard their whole life to make it to Sun City and realize their dream of an Arizona retirement. Similarly, there are people with money who pride themselves on not being identified by their means, and economic stature does not predicate the friends’ groups in the community.
Instead, the passion for activities such as hiking or golf will bring people together, or perhaps it could be a love of literature or movies. In Sun City and Sun City West, there are over 100 chartered hobby clubs, and residents of either community are welcome to join any of them!
Sun City Demographics
- The majority of people who live in the community are over the age of sixty-five, with a significant population of those between fifty-five and sixty-five making up the rest of the community.
- About half of the residents retiring in Sun City Arizona are married, and women outnumber men about ten to seven.
- The average income in the city is about $33,000 per year, with just four percent of those living in the region falling below the poverty line.
Another distinction that separates Sun City from other retirement homes across the nation is the sheer magnitude of it. With over 23,000 households (and still growing) within a 15-mile radius, the land is spacious and does not feel cramped. This is juxtaposed by the warm neighborhood feel, and the easy access to local amenities such as healthcare, recreational facilities, and dining.
It is hard to find a dissatisfied resident who has retired to Sun City. There’s something about the Arizona weather and culture that keeps the community growing and thriving.
Cost of living in Sun City Arizona
Median home cost: $235,000
Property taxes: Between $300 – $1,300 per year (Source: suncityaz.org)
Sales tax: 6.3%
It’s important to note that Sun City does not have a school district to support in its community, so taxes are considerably lower compared to the cities that surround it. Healthcare and utility costs are on par with the national average.
Sun City, Arizona vs. Sarasota, Florida
Sarasota, Florida is one of the most popular retirement destinations in the country. It is located along the gulf coast, after all. However, residents are susceptible to hurricanes and there is that constant humidity to bear. Costs for the two destinations vary slightly depending on the measure. For instance, Florida has no income tax although the state sales tax is one of the highest in the country. Healthcare costs are slightly lower in Florida, but housing costs are lower in Sun City by 40% (Source: bestplaces.net)
Sun City, Arizona vs. San Diego, California
Let’s face it. When it comes to comparing cost of living, Arizona beats California in almost every measure there is except for healthcare. In Sun City, housing costs are 240% less than San Diego. Overall, it is 73% less expensive to live in Sun City than it is in San Diego. That’s quite a big difference.
Sun City, Arizona vs. Reno, Nevada
For our last comparison, we thought we would move away from the ocean and compare retiring in Sun City Arizona with a more inland retirement destination. After all, of course living in Florida or California is more expensive, it’s along the coast!
Fair enough, so let’s talk about Reno, Nevada. First, Nevada is another state without income tax which on first glance can be an attractive quality. However, when we’re talking about people in or near retirement, it has a little less impact that the average person.
Second, Nevada DOES have property taxes. The median property tax on Nevada’s median home value of $192,100 is $1,420. Compare that to the high end of Sun City’s property tax scale and it’s still $100 more! So you’re looking at a significant savings in property taxes by being a Sun City resident.
Meanwhile, housing costs are 111% less than Reno, while health related costs are 5.8% less. Overall, Sun City is 23% less expensive than Reno. And you probably won’t be tempted to gamble away your retirement (Although we do have some lovely casinos in the area for those responsible gamblers).
Sun City, Arizona Economy
Business opportunities, on the other hand, are significant. Though highly regulated, businesses in the community are very busy and almost always hiring. In fact, the employment potential for the region far outstrips that of the rest of the country by a significant margin. The population growth expected for the area also means that new businesses will be in constant demand, especially in the retail and healthcare sectors. This area is growing faster than you might expect, so there really are some great financial opportunities when retiring in Sun City Arizona, as well as the rest of the Phoenix area.
Other Communities and Sun City
As previously noted, Arizona has the fastest-growing retirement population in the United States, which is bound to create some competition between communities. It is important not to assume the best or worst among these 55+ gated communities based on what they say about each other — after all, residents take immense pride in where they have settled down.
For example, Westbrook Village, a neighboring active adult community in Peoria, AZ, is a competing option to any of the now 6 Sun-City locales. Westbrook residents are quick to say that Sun City features too many golf courses, not enough recreational diversity, and has too high of taxes for what the residents get in return.
Similarly, Sun City residents often find themselves calling Westbrook Village retirees a bit hoity-toity, and levy the same comments about the tax situation there. Ultimately, there is no right or wrong retirement community in Arizona; there are lovely homes in all these 55+ cities. Consulting with an experienced retirement real estate agent can help you find the perfect fit for you.
Sun City Sister Properties
Sun City and Sun City West were the original fun cities, but there have since been additions to the group of Sun City locations in the USA.
As of 2020, there is Sun City Grand, Courte Bella, Sun City Festival, and Sun City Anthem in addition to the first two. These six Sun Cities also have their own unique pros and cons, namely the locations and activity sets available.
Corte Bella is often confused for Sun City West, and though it is similar, the atmosphere there is a bit scaled-down. This gated luxury community has smaller lots, no recreation centers, and is very golf-centric.
For Ventana Lakes, though the mailing address will be in the actual Sun City, they are still exempt from some of the attractions such as Sun City’s rec centers. This is because of the rapid growth in the area, and a focus on making each retirement community in the Sun City family its own unique locale.
Once more, in addition to doing your own research, get the help of an experienced realtor to help you find the perfect community and property for you.
Find Your Perfect Home in Sun City’s Retirement Community
With fabulous weather, bountiful local amenities, and a can-do spirit from its massive retirement population, Sun City properties are a great place to retire. With Arizona’s pro-retirement tax laws, each of these 55+ active communities remains an affordable option for any income range retiree.
If you are considering making a move towards an Arizona Retirement, you can’t go wrong with a Sun City retirement. With so many friendly neighbors and things to do, your lifestyle will be one of custom-tailored relaxation. At Sun City, it is all clear skies and open fairways.
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