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22 Way Gay Retirement Communities + Tips for Your Gold Years

  February 13, 2020  |    #Live Fabulously

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Best gay retirement communities

Gone are the days when a gay man’s best hope for a fabulous retirement was finding a “Roommate Wanted” notice on a grocery store message board. This is your new directory now. While you’re here, get your free copy of the  5 Building Blocks of a Happy Gay Life.

What you will find here:

  1. Best Gay communities by state
    1. Arizona
    2. California
    3. District of Columbia
    4. Florida
    5. Illinois
    6. Massachusetts
    7. Minnesota
    8. North Carolina
    9. New Mexico
    10. New York 
    11. Ohio
    12. Oregon
    13. Pennsylvania
    14. Washington
  2. Best lesbian retirement communities
  3. How to plan for a fabulously gay retirement
  4. The top concerns for LGBTQ retirees

Best gay retirement communities by state

Best gay retirement communities in AZ

The Pueblo

A women’s only mobile home and RV park in Apache Junction AZ is a private community located in the Greater Phoenix Metropolitan area for residents 55+. The group is close and supportive, has fun events for residents and offers beautiful scenery on the property.

Best gay retirement communities in CA

Fountaingrove Lodge

Ideal for residents who seek a combo of independence and fun, Fountaingrove Lodge is the first LGBT senior community in the nation to offer 5-star living, with personalized care as needed. What’s 5-start living?

From gourmet dining and concierge services to spa treatments and housekeeping, the attentive staff caters to residences’ every need. That’s 5-star living.

From chocolate parties to wine nights to golfing to Pride events, every LGBT person will find something to love about Fountaingrove. That’s 5-star living.

Alzheimer’s and Dementia-care are provided at Fountaingrove.

Stonewall Gardens Assisted Living

If you love Palm Springs – and what gay man doesn’t? – you’ll love Stonewall Gardens Assisted Living. With a diverse group of LGBT seniors and friends and a wide range of services including assisted living, Stonewall Gardens’ assisted living program residents enjoy the benefits of community and good quality of life.

Stonewall Gardens Assisted Living is ideal for residents who need some help for daily activities and those looking for a quieter, home-like vibe.

Gay & Lesbian Elder Housing

The Gay & Lesbian Elder Housing’s (GLEH) mission is to improve the life experience of LGBT seniors and HIV/AIDS communities by developing affordable housing, providing comprehensive care and ensuring a brighter future for the LGBT elder community.

If GLEH’s first development, Triangle Square – Hollywood, is any indication, the LGBT community has a lot of hope. The $20.3 million, 104 apartment facility is located in the heart of Hollywood’s most vibrant redevelopment district and serves residents of the building and the entire LGBT community with social services, classes and cultural events.

North Park Senior Apartments

With 76 apartments for senior residents 55 years+, North Park Senior Apartments is conveniently located near the Rapid Bus Line, the Regional Bike Corridor, and shopping, restaurants and job centers. North Park Senior Apartments is 100% ADA accessible with lots of community spaces, including a Community Center and lounge, courtyard and rooftop terrace with skyline views of San Diego.

Best of all, on-site resident services are provided by The San Diego LGBT Community Center.

Best gay retirement communities in DC

Mary’s House for Older Adults

Located at 401 Anacostia Road, S.E., Mary’s House for Older Adults bills itself as “a model for housing celebrating the ‘whole person’ as they age” for everyone. The 15-unit, LGBT-friendly facility’s goal is to meet the emotional, recreational, social and other similar needs of older adults through health and wellness programming, hydrotherapy coordination and social-based services.

Best gay retirement communities in FL

The Resort on Carefree Boulevard

A lesbian housing community, The Resort encompasses 50 acres and features 278 home and RV lots to house over 500 women. Many lots overlook tropical freshwater lakes and preserves. All sites are specially designed to accommodate manufactured homes or RVs in natural settings.

5 Building Blocks of a Happy Gay Life

The Resort hosts talent shows, kayaking, biking, potluck dinners, dances and art shows. The Resort’s premier events are the Rainbow Olympics for two weeks every other year and The Lily, its version of the Oscars where videos are submitted for judging and with a subsequent gala awards night.

The Palms of Manasota

This 21-unit senior community is located in the Tampa Bay areas of Florida between St. Petersburg and Sarasota, both with thriving LGBT communities themselves, and is a gay retirement community with both stand-alone and condominium housing.

Organized and impromptu dinners, holiday celebrations, in-home musical recitals and informal gatherings are the social fabric of The Palms of Manasota, as well as a “we care” committee during times of need.

Wilton Manors

Designated the ‘Second Gayest City in the United States’ in 2010 because of its large LGBT population, Wilton Manors has been a progressive place to live, work and play for years.

There’s been a strong gay presence on the City Commission since the late 80s when the City of Wilton Manors elected Broward County’s first out gay official in 1988, and since having a gay mayor, vice mayor and councilman and in 2018 having an all-LGBT+ City Commission – second only to Palm Springs, CA.

From yard sales to book drives to tree give-a-ways and 146 assisted living facilities, if needed, Wilton Manors will quickly become a home.

Best gay retirement communities in IL

Townhall Apartments

Chicago’s first LGBT-friendly $23.7 million-senior, 55 and older, housing complex features 79 units with mix of affordable one-bedroom and studio apartments in Chicago’s gay district, better known as Boystown.

Townhall Apartments is the success of a joint project between Heartland Alliance, the anti-poverty group that developed and manages the property, and Center on Halsted, Chicago’s LGBT resources and cultural center that provides case management and programming services.

Best gay retirement communities in MA

The Residences at Seashore Point

A 55+ community that welcomes residences from all walks of life, the Residences at Seashore Point is comprised mainly of singles and married couples, gay and straight, working and retired.

Located two blocks from Commercial Street and a quick drive to the beach, The Residences at Seashore Point offers maintenance-free living to better enjoy Provincetown’s restaurants, arts, cultural events and festivities.

Provincetown, more lovingly known as PV, has long been a safe haven for LGBT people.

Best gay retirement communities in MN

Spirit on Lake Apartments

This 46-unit, one- and two-bedroom affordable housing complex is located on the vibrant corner of Lake Street & 13th Avenue South and between the Midtown Phillips and Powderhorn neighborhoods of south Minneapolis. Spirit on Lake Apartments offers a community room and lobby, fitness center, outdoor patio area and lovely green space.

Best gay retirement communities in NC

Carefree Cove

Carefree Cove is a private and upscale gay and lesbian residential community in a mountain setting perfect for vacations and year-round living. Located deep in the forest, Carefree Cove offers long-rage mountain views, brilliant wildlife and foliage with a temperate climate that ranges between 33 and 69 degrees.

Village Hearth Cohousing

The 15 acres of wooded land just 20 minutes from downtown Durham NC known as the Village Hearth Cohousing bills itself as the first 55+ cohousing community in the US created by and for LGBTQ people, friends and allies. Cohousing means that each actively participates in the design and operation of the neighborhood.

Its proximity to high education, the arts, sports, medicine and natural attractions make Village Hearth a draw.

Best gay retirement communities in NM

Birds of a Feather

Birds of a Feather is an LGBT-friendly community located in sunny Northern New Mexico, the “Land of Enchantment,” just outside of the Village of Pecos and 30 minutes east of Santa Fe. Tucked into the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Birds of a Feather offers hiking on its 140-acre property, game, golfing and community in 300 days of sunshine a year.

Drive to Santa Fe to enjoy its Pueblo-style architecture and world-famous art scene, including the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, or pamper yourself at Ten Thousand Waves, Santa Fe’s Japanese-inspired hot springs and spa.

Best gay retirement communities in NY

Crotona Senior Residences

Crotona Senior Residences is a 65,000 square foot, mixed-use, 7-story, 82-unit residence for LGBT elders backed by SAGE in Crotona Park North (CPN) in the Bronx. The building combines low-income senior housing with an innovative ground-floor, LGBT Senior Center to serve building residents and all New York City seniors.

This high-performance building is designed and equipped to support “aging in place” and features a laundry room, community room and terrace with gardening plots for landscaping for shade and connection to the park local park. Its Great Room hosts daily meals and recreation. A library/classroom and a cyber-center complete the senior program spaces.

Ingersoll Senior Residences

The 16-story, 145-unit Ingersoll Senior Residences (ISR) on Brooklyn’s Myrtle Avenue is New York City’s first affordable LGBT-friendly senior housing development. Also created in partnership with SAGE, ISR was intentionally built as an intersectional community.

Best gay retirement communities in OH

A Place for Us

A Place for Us Housing is an LGBT-friendly senior housing community located at the border of Cleveland and Lakewood. It offers one- and two-bedroom apartments to those 55+. Conveniently situated near the West 117th RTA Rapid station, it offers shopping and parks among its many amenities.

Other amenities include a fitness room, library, meditation room, laundry, a health and wellness suite, lush gardens and more.

Best gay retirement communities in OR

Rainbow Vista

An LGBT-senior (55+) community with studio and one-bedroom options located in Gresham OR, 15 miles from downtown Portland. Rainbow Vista’s amenities include a large event space, a community room, a theater with a large screen TV and surround sound, an exercise room, a game room with a pool table and a music room.

To add to the entertainment and community feel, Rainbow Vista hosts regular activities, including BBQs on the deck, movies in an on-property theater, birthday and holiday gatherings and occasional outings to local restaurants.

Rainbow Vista is not equipped for assisted living needs.

Best gay retirement communities in PA

John C. Anderson Apartments

John C. Anderson Apartments is a pet-friendly, LGBT-friendly senior (62+) community located in the heart of center city Philadelphia and just minutes from Philly’s official Gayborhood, including the “Avenue of the Arts”, William Way Community Center, an LGBT community center, and Mazonni Health & Legal Clinics, along with LGBT-friendly owned restaurants and businesses.

All one-bedroom apartments have access to an inviting community room, outdoor community patio, library, and a variety of resident events and services.

Best gay retirement communities in WA

Discovery Bay Resort

This 115-lot RV-community created for women by women is located on Washington’s scenic Olympic peninsula (midway between Sequim and Port Townsend) for temporary visitors, seasonal snowbirds and year-round residents.

With amenities such as an office and lounge with a full kitchen, television, computer and printer, WiFi and mailboxes, a small heated swimming pool, low-cost laundry, exercise room, community garden, shared maintenance shed and shop, front gated entrance and meeting facility, plus free RV and boat storage, this place has everything.

The Discovery Bay Resort grounds also feature apple trees and blackberry bushes, a pet run and a large off-leash meadow and open areas with evergreen trees.

Best lesbian retirement communities

The small number of LGBTQ retirement communities, unfortunately, suggests that there are even fewer women or lesbian retirement communities. As of this writing, there are currently three exclusively lesbian retirement communities. They are:

  1. The Pueblo in AZ
  2. The Resort on Carefree Boulevard in FL
  3. Discovery Bay Resort in WA

Other retirement options

SAGECare certification

There are simply not enough gay retirement communities to meet demand, but gay- and LGBT-friendly facilities can help make up the difference. Thankfully, SAGE (Services & Advocacy for LGBT Elders in America), offers SAGECare. The SAGECare program trains care providers on how to better understand the unique needs of the LGBT community.

SAGECare works to ensure there are skilled nursing facilities, health care organizations, assisted living communities, hospice care, long-term care and more.

If one of the gay retirement communities above isn’t accessible to you, look for an LGBT-friendly facility with a SAGECare certification.

LGBT assisted living

It may be that you need or will eventually need more customized care. Then, it may be appropriate to consider assisted living.

LGBT assisted living typically offers 24/7 concierge service and may use outside vendors to deliver medical care and other needs.

How to plan for a fabulously gay retirement

The best time to start saving and investing for retirement is always now. Too often, especially for LGBT people, we’re emotionally or physically ready to retire before we’re financially ready to retire.

If you’re in your 20s, 30s, 40s or even early 50s, you have time on your side. If you’re older, it’s time to get serious.

Below is a good start whether you’re 20 or 65 years old.

1. Calculate your net worth (assets minus liabilities)

The first step in preparing for retirement, your goal, is knowing where you are today. To do that, you must know exactly how much money minus debt you have today.

The second step is estimating how much money, including housing, healthcare and other living expenses, you’ll need in retirement.

First, total all your assets, including money saved for emergencies, money in individual retirement accounts (likely a Traditional or Roth IRA), company-sponsored retirement accounts (likely a 401(k) or 403(b)) and Health Savings Account or HSA and any other money and investments you have anywhere else.

Write your total assets down on a piece of paper.

Second, total all your liabilities and other debts, including money you owe friends and family, car loans, mortgage, home equity lines of credit on which you’ve drawn and own, student loans and any other money you owe anyone, including Uncle Sam.

Write your total debts or liabilities on the same piece of paper.

Then, subtract your total debts and liabilities from your total assets. If this number’s negative or very low, meaning less than 25 times your projected annual expenses in retirement, you have some savings and investing to do before you can reasonably and comfortably retire by age 65.

2. Calculate how much you’ll be able to spend each year in retirement

Even today, but especially in retirement, you’ll want to be super-meticulous with knowing where every penny comes from and where every penny goes so you have enough money to last throughout retirement. Most experts recommend that you plan on spending between 70-80% of your current pay. So, if you’re spending $50,000 a year, you’ll likely need between $35-40,000 a year.

3. Generate part-time work or a side hustle income

Contrary to popular belief – or hope – you can work in retirement if your retirement income doesn’t meet or exceed your retirement expenses.

4. Plan for Social Security Benefits or a lack thereof

A good rule of thumb for Social Security Benefits is to not rely on Social Security Benefits if you don’t need it.

That said, to estimate what value Social Security might give you, use the Social Security Calculator before claiming Social Security benefits to calculate the optimal age to start taking your benefits. It’s not always when you think.

Social Security Spousal and Survivor Benefits are two of the thousands of reasons why the LGBT community pushed for marriage equality.

5. Buy life insurance

We often only think of life insurance when we start growing our families. So, many same-sex couples not planning on having children don’t give life insurance much thought. But today’s life insurance does more than help partners and family members when we pass away. It:

  • Protects against creditors: Debts don’t disappear when you die. Depending on the type of debt you have and your financial situation, your loved ones may have to repay your loans. Consider getting life insurance to help pay off your debts after you pass away.
  • Leaves an Inheritance: If there are one or more people you’d like to leave an inheritance to, life insurance can help. You can leave an inheritance to family members, friends, former partners, and foster children.
  • Gives to charities: With life insurance, you can leave donations to charities to ensure your favorite organizations continue long after you do.
  • Helps pay for medical care: Healthcare can take as much as 30% of one’s retirement savings. Life insurance can include provisions, such as an accelerated death benefit rider, that allow for tax-free payments to cover medical care in certain “critical” circumstances.

6. Buy long-term care insurance

While we’re on the topic of insurance, it’s important for LGBT people to consider purchasing long-term care insurance (LTCI). LTCI is one of the more complex parts of medical care because it often requires the physical labor of others.

The benefit to you, though, is that LTCI can help at home with basic needs, such as cooking, eating, and cleaning and can help with assisted living needs, such as your day-to-day physical well-being, like bathing and going to the bathroom.

With insufficient finances or insurance, decisions on how you’re cared for may be left to the state or a guardian assigned to you. You want to live out your remaining years on your terms, not someone else’s.

7. Buy adequate health Insurance

If you’re currently employed and have company-sponsored health insurance, buying health insurance isn’t an issue – for now.

If you’re over 26 years old, not on your parent’s health insurance and unemployed, employed part-time, self-employed or retired, you need to buy health insurance. If you’re retired and under 65-years-old, you’re likely no longer eligible for company-sponsored health insurance (though some, very limited companies do offer this), you’ll need to buy private insurance.

Even if you’re retired, 65-years-old and on Medicare, you may want to consider buying private Medigap or Medicare Advantage to complement Medicare. Studies show that LGBT people typically have higher healthcare costs than our straight peers, and you don’t want to risk having inadequate health care.

That said, health care is never easy or cheap, which is why it’s so important for LGBT people to prepare more aggressively for retirement.

The top concerns for LGBTQ retirees

Healthcare costs

Healthcare and insurance in the United States, especially for LGBT people, is inadequate and always changing.

Living alone without family support

According to a SAGE study, LGBT people are more likely to not have children, be single and live alone during retirement.

This trifecta suggests that we need to plan more meticulously and prepare more aggressively for retirement and is why finding an LGBT-friendly or LGBT-retirement community is so important. We need a community to stay personally engaged and mentally stimulated.

Not being out to our financial network

People find it only slightly less challenging to come out of the closet about their personal finances as they do their sexual orientation or gender identity. Thus, many of us look like we’re living fabulously but we’re living fabulously broke.

This was totally us!

When we’re not honest about our financial situation, we can’t get the help we need, and we can’t adequately help others. Know that you have support, not least of which is here in the Queer Money Facebook Group.

Living in areas or place where they can’t be out anymore

An all-too-common occurrence and fear for many of us is having to go back into the closet as we age.

Most retirement and assisted living communities are properly trained or equipped to work with older, LGBT people. With the Equality Act still stuck in congress, many states don’t offer protections to LGBT seniors – that’s scary!

That’s, again, why the list above and the facilities with the SAGECare certification are so important. Use these resources to find a home and community where you can thrive as your whole self as you age. It’s your right.

5 Building Blocks of a Happy Gay Life

Click here to get more tools to help you retire fabulously:

7 responses to “22 Way Gay Retirement Communities + Tips for Your Gold Years

  1. I’m a 68 year old disabled LGBTQ on oxygen and diabetic. My income is low only 1629 a month which includes ssd medicare and Medicaid..can you point me in the right direction as to where I can afford to move to.? I am allowed an aide 40 hours a month in NJ but I want to live my final years with people like me..any assistance would be helpful. Thx Christopher 3

    1. Hi Christopher, We haven’t heard of any such facilities in New Jersey. Probably Crotona Senior Residences in Crotona Park North in the Bronx probably most closely meets your needs. It’s backed by SAGE, which may be able to help you find another residence that meets your needs if Crotona Senior Residences doesn’t have availability. If you’re not familiar, SAGE (Services & Advocacy for LGBT Elders) is a national organization that serves our community. You can find national and NJ contact information here:

  2. Greetings~. I am a 68 yo gay male and I’m living on $2500/monthly until I’m 72. I have been researching the past two years and MOST places that are affordable are for lesbians. I have a condo where I will have some profit to buy a small 1 bed/bath under $100,000. St. Petersburg,fl seems a likely place. I have no. family connections. should I get on a waiting list for a gov’t apt.? Native NYer, former dance professor/professional. I’m NOT looking for a place for golf. lol

  3. Single gay male, approaching 62. I currently live in a high tax state but hope to move towards a more friendly environment in the future. Ostracized by family and children does make things precariously interesting. I would prefer not to rent, but rather own my abode and I am considering living in a state south of here that is open to guns and all things male. Lesbians seem to have a leg up on us gay dudes, but I am in it to win it all the same. I have saved approx 1M dinero and my house is paid for. Now I wish I had a nice man to share it with, but life goes on.

  4. I just found this link.. Looks like I could use some help. I am 66 and married to a 71 year old man, We were married legaly as soon as Texas would let us and been living in the same house for 22 years. Looking to have fun in retirement and not loose all our money.

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