Active Adult Communities

florida retirement communityMy former wife, Dee Todd, who sadly succumbed to colon cancer a few years ago, was the Sales and Marketing Director for Freedom Plaza, like John Knox Village, a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) located in Sun City Center, Florida.

Nearly 20 percent of Freedom Plaza’s new residents came from Sun City Center, which is a 55+ Retirement Community just south of Tampa. There are Sun City Centers located in a number of locations around the country. The Sun City Center in Florida began development in 1961. It is spread over 13 square miles and currently has 19,000 residents.

These types of communities are also known as Active Adult Retirement Communities. You purchase the unit you live in. What makes Sun City Center unique is it is enormous.

In addition to purchasing your home, you also make monthly owners association payments. At Sun City Center, the owners association offers numerous different amenities, including grounds maintenance and social features with multiple recreational centers, clubhouses and swimming pools. It is a fun place to live until you have health issues. Then the cookie crumbles.

Residents of Sun City Center would come to Freedom Plaza for help for care that isn’t available at the community. Sadly, in most situations, it was too late. At Freedom Plaza, and John Knox Village, prospects are purchasing a long-term care insurance policy, not real estate..

A CCRC that features life care protection, like John Knox Village and Freedom Plaza, requires you to be in overall good health to qualify as a resident. If you wait until you need help, it’s too late.

As a result, Freedom Plaza directed much of their marketing to residents of Sun City Center, hoping to get their attention before they needed the care. They did such a good job that, as stated above, nearly 20 percent of their new residents sold their home in Sun City Center and purchased a life care contract in Freedom Plaza.

The Life Care Counselors, led by my wife at the time, did a remarkable job explaining the features and advantages of a life care contract in a CCRC versus the limited benefits of a 55+ Retirement Community.

John Knox Village marketing collateral attempts to explain these differences to seniors who live in our market. Unfortunately, for most, the differences do not become apparent until it’s too late.

For more information, please visit our Website ( to review a grid that explains the shortcomings of an Active Adult Community versus a Life Care Community.