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Best Gay Retirement Communities and Cities in the US

Retire fabulously in these non-discriminating LGBT retirement communities. Trans and gay retirement communities aren’t always easy to find, but we have made it much easier to find the best gay retirement places to live.

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force estimates that there are over 3 million LGBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender) elders in the U.S. with that number doubling by 2030. The senior LGBT community faces a variety of challenges, such as Social Security benefits, hospital visitation, and social isolation even within the LGBT community.

Fortunately, the number of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender elder living options is growing. And as the demand rises—and it should—even more LGBT communities will be built.

LGBT Senior Challenges

  • Government social programs such as Social Security and Medicaid do not recognize or support LGBT families.
  •  Social Security does not pay survivor benefits to same-sex partners.
  • Unlike married heterosexual spouses, unmarried partners in lifelong relationships cannot receive Social Security benefits.
  •  Medicaid does not protect same-sex partners’ assets and homes when a spouse enters a long-term care facility.
  • Many same-sex partners are denied visitation rights in hospitals and long-term care facilities.
  • Laws from state to state vary widely concerning LGBT people. For example, in Alabama there are no laws to protect discrimination based on sexual orientation when it comes to housing, insurance, and employment.
  • In some senior living communities, LGBT people are openly discriminated against and/or ostracized.
  • About 80% of senior care is provided by family members. However, most LGBT people are single, childless or estranged from their family making them reliant on friends and the community.
  • Tax laws, pensions and 401k regulations discriminate against same-sex partners.
  • A UCLA study showed that senior gay and lesbian couples have higher rates of poverty than married heterosexual couples do.
  • In one survey, 42% of all LGBT seniors said “financial problems” are a big concern. One-third said “they are poorly prepared for retirement.” Another 30% “are concerned about meeting their housing and shelter needs.”

Hurdling the Challenges

Changes are happening for the LGBT community, albeit in small increments. According to an article in Aging Today:

  • “The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued a letter informing states of options to more equitably apply rules governing Medicaid liens, transfer of assets and estate recovery for same-sex spouses and domestic partners.”
  • New HUD guidelines state that “staff members must ‘treat gender identity discrimination … as gender discrimination under the Fair Housing Act, and instructs HUD staff to inform individuals filing complaints about state and local agencies that have LGBT-inclusive discrimination laws.’ This means people who face gender identity discrimination can now file complaints directly with HUD.”

LGBT Senior Living Options

Baby boomers in the United States who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) want to live in areas that can provide their needs and comfort. As of today, not all cities in the US are LGBT-friendly and only a few selected places provide a safe and welcoming community for LGBT residents to live out their golden years.

According to a study done by the institute for Multigenerational Health at the University of Washington, there are likely 1.5 million older LGBT seniors in the United States and the number is expected to double by year 2030 as baby boomers reach their retirement age. The study also highlighted the rapid growth of the LGBT seniors that are needed to be prioritized as they transition into the stage of retirement.

As the population of baby boomers continues to grow, more and more unique types of communities are created to accommodate their needs. For lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender retirees who are looking for a new living options, there are broad of choices in today’s market that are beginning to develop for the LGBT seniors to live freely without fear of discrimination. You can now find LGBT senior housing, gay senior living communities, gay nursing homes and much more.

Retirement Communities & Villages

One of the best ways to enjoy retirement is to buy a home or apartment in a retirement community or village. These locations are generally designed for those over the age of 55 (and in some cases, designated for those who are a part of the LGBT community or friendly with it). There are many outstanding options available here for seniors. For example, you can enjoy community amenities such as swimming pools, golf courses, clubhouses, and a variety of other onsite activities and features. It tends to be a friendly, upscale community where you can be yourself.

Assisted Living Communities

Those who live in assisted living communities typically need a bit of help from day to day. They may need help such as support for getting around, handling hygiene, and medication management. Though assisted living communities for those who are gay are available, you will find that many are not designated just for this need. Many are designed to welcome all people regardless of their sexual orientation. Still, some assisted living communities for gay seniors are available and can help you to feel comfortable and right at home.

Many seniors who are in need of assisted living can still live on their own with a bit of help. Sharing your home with your loved one – no matter their sexual orientation – is welcome in these locations. Take a closer look at those communities designed to make life a bit easier.

Nursing Homes

Nursing homes typically provide individual care for individuals who need more advanced medical support. You can choose a nursing home that is accepting of anyone, but most locations do not designate their location as specifically for those who are LGBT. Still, some are available and can help you to get the care you need. Many times, it is possible for seniors to obtain a private room that they share with a loved one. However, some nursing homes are meant to provide care for a single person. They can still be LGBT friendly, but they may not allow for more than one person to share a space.

Best Places for Gay Retirement

Here’s a look at the LGBT retirement communities in the country that respects their gender preferences and their right to retire fabulously.

Best Gay Retirement Cities

Of course, it is possible to retire and enjoy a high quality of life just about anywhere. However, there are some cities that are more encouraging of LGBT seniors. Though it is possible to find top quality gay senior retirement communities in virtually any state, we encourage you to take a closer look at these locations in particular.

  1. Austin, Texas: This location is very diverse and liberal. The community has mild winters and very hot summers. It is a fantastic place to retire for music lovers and those who want the very best care in a modern community.
  2. Atlanta, Georgia: Another key community to consider is Atlanta. It has a strong cultural component including art and music. More so, this is the place to be for southern food, history, and fantastic entertainment.
  3. Phoenix, Arizona: With a number of senior living communities, including a handful of those that are over 55 plus areas, Phoenix is a warm-weather city for anyone looking to retire. It has lots of history, culture, and entertainment.
  4. Orlando, Florida: Everyone knows Orlando for its entertainment, but it is also a hot spot for retirement. The gay community is well established here and offers a wide range of entertainment options for seniors.
  5. Tampa, Florida: Yet another area to take a closer look at is Tampa. The warm weather and outdoor activities here are perfect. There are many amenities here, but also a strong presence of quality senior relaxation.

Many other locations exist that can meet your needs. This includes Salt Lake City, Utah, Columbus, Ohio, Aurora, Colorado, and Dallas, Texas. Keep in mind that just about any city can offer outstanding amenities here. Your goal, as a senior looking for an LGBT senior community, should be to look at the individual location carefully. Then, you can find a wide range of opportunities available to you in that city.

Best Gay Retirement Communities

Some retirement communities have taken a variety of steps to help ensure that people, no matter what their preferences are, are given access to the highest level of care possible. We took the time to pull together some of the best gay retirement communities available. Each one of these locations is dedicated to providing individuals with the type of care they deserve and want. This is only a handful of the locations available throughout the United States. We encourage you to explore numerous locations before making a decision.

  1. Fountaingrove in Santa Rosa, California is one of the first community for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered seniors with its continuous class of services. It consist of spacious and well-designed apartments with an allotted patio and balcony for every unit owner. The kitchens are full-sized and equipped with high-end facilities and appliances. Fountaingrove lodge also have wide areas for fitness centers, a salon and day spa, gardens, swimming pools and as well as parking garage for residents. Its nearly perfect luxury living and environment is a bit expensive but it is truly good to be true.
  2. Seashore Point is located in the heart of Provincetown with its unique residential community for seniors from 55 years of age and over. It has a fresh and beautifully-designed houses with a convenient access to a full range of amenities and personal medical services. They offer a wide variety of floor plans. One-bedrooms and two-bedrooms can be chosen in every unit with a laundry room on the second floor. Seashore Point also features a classy restaurant-style with private dining rooms, a multipurpose function room with a large screen TV, a fully-equipped fitness center, a well-stocked library, a reserved parking for each resident and is a pet-friendly community.
  3. Carefree Cove known as the “High Country” is a lesbian and gay log home community in North Carolina where you can enjoy the beautiful view of Appalachian mountains. The community offers the natural assets with mountain views in a mature forest. Carefree cove also features a rural life with the relaxing sound of owls in the night along with the most beautiful night skies. Its amenities includes the clubhouse and trails for walking and biking.
  4. A Place For Us is a new LGBT housing community that recently opened after two decades of work located in the border of Cleveland and Lakewood. It consist of one and two-bedroom spacious apartments with an oriented and dedicated staffs that offers a 24-hour emergency maintenance. Amenities includes the business center, community room with kitchenette, controlled access buildings, fitness centers, a library, a provided laundry room on every floor, meditation rooms, spacious closets and fully-equipped kitchens with energy star appliances. A Place For Us is also a pet-friendly community which is perfect for retirees who loves to take care of pets.
  5. Spirit On Lake us an urban living located at the vibrant heart of Minneapolis, Minnesota that supports LGBT seniors. It is a 4-story frame building that consist of 46 units and an underground parking. Community amenities include laundry facilities, handicap units, fitness centers, indoor and outdoor pools, vintage buildings, playgrounds, clubhouse and car ports. Spirit On Lake also accepts housing vouchers from the government.
  6. Rainbow Vista is an LGBT-oriented retirement community located at the Gresham, Oregon with a community size of 100 to 999 units. They offer housing and many amenities at affordable prices such as theater rooms, guest rooms, billiard rooms, fitness centers, BBQ and grilling area, a library and a garden for the residents. The area is located in a scenic view with landscaped grounds and several patios along with the astonishing view of Mt. Hood. It also offers activities that include BBQs on the deck, lunches and monthly dinners at their local restaurants and a monthly movies in their very own theater rooms. They also allow the residents in taking care of pets inside the units as long as the responsibilities of the owners are met.
  7. Stonewall Gardens is an LGBT retirement community that supports the group of LGBT seniors. It is made up of 24 bungalow-style apartments with 3 different types which are the studio apartment, one-bedroom apartment and a shared deluxe studio apartment. Its class of services includes the 24-hour staffing to help the daily living activities of the residents, weekly housekeeping and linen service and the appartment ground maintenance. They also offers high-quality amenities such as cafe area, activity rooms with a large screen TV, serene courtyards, well-appointed seating areas, laundry rooms, guest dining options and common areas inside and out for different recreational activities and events.
  8. Discovery Bay Resort is a luxury hotel-style LGBT retirement community located in the downtown of Kelowna in British Columbia, Canada. It offers a stunning views of the city and the vibrant atmosphere of the Lake Okanagan. There are also miles of waterfront walkways and trails that offers a relaxing park-like setting. Community amenities include coffee shops, restaurants and as well as the live entertainment venues within the reach. Discovery Bay Resort also features an easy access to two pools and two hot tubs, sauna and fitness centers, clubhouses with pool tables, couches and a wide TV screen to relax and have fun.
  9. Stonewall Gardens in Palm Springs. California is the country’s first assisted living facility catering LGBT retirees. The community provides complete meals, on-site nurses, and a dedicated staff that works 24/7 to assists residents with daily living activities like dressing, feeding, managing medications, bathing and grooming.
  10. Birds of a Feather in New Mexico was founded in 2004 as a community for gays and lesbians. They dubbed this place the “Land of Enchantment” because they are just a few miles away from the beautiful Village of Pecos and art haven Santa Fe.  Most of the lot owners and residents in the community prefer aging in place, while some work online in their homes as the community offers high speed internet for all its residents.

Aging has its own difficulties for every seniors, but lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered men and women are often lonely. Many of them face rejection and ridicule from family and friends. By the continuous growth and development of LGBT-oriented communities in today’s generation, it would truly be much easier for them to settle in a community where they can live freely without a fear of discrimination throughout their golden years.

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