When we picture life’s next phase, we often imagine ourselves on a beautiful beach with a drink in hand, basking in paradise. While an exotic escape has timeless allure, destination living may not be all that we dreamed. As the average age of the population increases, more and more people are opting to stay local in their later years. They are interested in finding a home that fits this stage of their lives and relishing a myriad of benefits.

We’ve broken down some commonly overlooked realities in destination living vs living locally to help you determine what makes the most sense for you.

Destination Living

Managing the Masses

Tourist towns are great for vacationing, but living in a city that’s wrought with tourists can be overwhelming. These locations can be busy, noisy, and won’t necessarily provide you with the sense of relaxation you envisioned. With overcrowded restaurants and shopping centers, long waits are to be expected. Also, something as simple as grocery shopping or grabbing a quick bite can turn into an ordeal in a town tailored to tourists.


Living in a hot spot for travelers comes with unpredictably high prices. Things cost more because out-of-town guests are ‘vacation spending’ and not following strict budgets and are a captive audience. Inflated prices are the norm in the tourism industry–think about the price of a bottle of water in the airport. In addition to the anticipated higher prices for things like dining and shopping, gas prices tend to be higher, along with utility costs. Seeing a doctor or buying prescription medicine also exceeds the average cost in areas where people generally come as visitors vs stay as residents.


When you’re far from friends and family, things can get lonely. Tourist destinations are bustling with people who aren’t there permanently. As a result, it can be hard to discover a sense of community when the majority of people come and go. Moving to a new city can be lonely in general, but finding the place where you fit in can be even harder in a destination location.

Living Local


Staying close to your current home can be cheaper when it comes to moving costs, and managing expenses don’t come with the surprises and unknowns that destination living does. You know what to expect cost-wise when you go out for dinner or do the shopping for your favorite annual event, and there won’t be tourist markups when you shop at your local grocery store or mall.

Friends & Family 

Studies show that the #1 indicator of long-term health is maintaining the presence of loved ones—having friends. Stepping into the next phase doesn’t have to mean starting over and leaving friends and family behind. When you right-size in your current area, you stay close to the social network you have developed over the years and to family members you enjoy visiting. You’re able to take in family dinners, grandkids’ performances or sporting events, and spontaneous get-togethers that are a rarity for destination dwellers.

A Sense of Community 

When you decide to downsize in the place you already call home, there’s a built-in sense of community. You’ve likely lived there for years, and you can continue to go to your same place of worship, wave to familiar neighbors on walks, stay involved in the clubs/groups you’re associated with, and see the people you’ve laughed with through the years. You won’t have to find a new doctor or a new favorite movie theater, and you already know what’s in store for you. With a familiar foundation and support network, the ability to say ‘yes’ to new adventures becomes easier. The direction of your dreams is closer than you may think!

Choosing where and how to craft your next phase is a major decision. It can be tempting to fall in love with a faraway city when you’re only there for a visit. Living local can be a less stressful scenario, and that’s where Gatherings® comes into play. Unlike any other national, 55+ active-adult homebuilder, Gatherings is committed to providing the unique opportunity to live locally and live more. A core benefit of each Gatherings location is proximity to top spots within vibrant communities. Gatherings brings more to your front door. Take time to really think about the things that matter most and the kind of environment that best meets your needs, and regardless of your choice, look forward to making life’s next phase the best phase.



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