What Do Retirees Want In a Community?

ideal-LIVING’s latest report helps communities better understand their target audience in order to create more valuable content.

As with any business, in order to successfully market a retirement home, you must first understand your target audience. Knowing what they want will allow you to more effectively reach them and, ideally, generate home sales within the community. For those seeking to better understand this demographic of affluent adults 50 years of age and older, there’s ideal-LIVING magazine, the expert source in retirement and second homes since 1989. This prominent publication recently released the findings from its lifestyle questionnaire in which 600 participants provided insight into what these buyers want and need to know before relocating to a retirement community. 

Where Are Retirees Searching For Information?

According to the results of the survey, ideal-LIVING.com and Zillow are the most popular search engines for those interested in moving to a retirement community, with 53 percent electing for ideal-LIVING.com and 52 percent choosing Zillow. Realtor.com received 31 percent of the vote, while Google had 23 percent and Trulia was selected by 18 percent. 

When it comes to social media usage, Facebook was a heavy favorite among participants at 36 percent, more than Instagram (7 percent), Pinterest (4 percent) and Houzz (2 percent) combined. This is an important statistic to note because it shows just where retirees are spending the most time, and where you’ll want to focus your content marketing strategy. Based on these results, your retirement community would benefit from a presence on Facebook and ideal-LIVING or Zillow. 

What Questions Are Retirees Asking?

Before someone makes the decision to settle into a retirement or second home, location preferences will certainly be top of the list. The survey from ideal-LIVING found that age restrictions are not particularly important to prospective residents. Only 19 percent of participants said it was very important to live in a community exclusively for those 55 years of age and older, while 47 percent said it was somewhat important and 34 percent said it was not important. A close proximity to an extended care facility for parents or other family members also rated low on the scale of importance. Nearly half of those responding to the survey rated it as not important, with 36 percent voting it as somewhat important and only 16 percent saying it was very important. 

According to the survey, the most important factor in determining a retirement destination is likely to be financial relief, as lower property tax and lower state income tax ranked first and second in the list of reasons for relocation or property purchase. Mild winter climate ranked third, followed by less traffic and congestion and a change in lifestyle. Moving closer to family or friends and investment were the least important reasons as ranked by participants. 

Retirees do a lot of research before choosing a community to settle into for retirement. Providing answers to these highly sought after questions such as tax exclusions, weather, quality of healthcare facilities nearby and other amenities will get you one step closer to turning a prospective resident into a permanent resident. 

What Are Retirees Looking For In A Home?

After closing in on the location of their liking, the next step for retirees is determining the type of home they want to live in. The ideal size for most survey responders was 2,000 square feet, followed by 2,000 to 3,000 square feet and 3,000 square feet. New/under construction/finished properties narrowly edged out existing homes as the type of property that adults 50 years of age and older are seeking. First-floor living, large open kitchen and a separate master suite were the most popular amenities. Energy efficiency, outdoor living, a nature view, pool, additional storage and golf view were some of the other things that retirees said they would be likely to look for in a new home.

The overwhelming majority of responses claimed to be in the market for a primary home, compared to just 13 percent seeking a vacation or second home and only 6 percent interested in a rental property. Activities are important, walking trails, wellness or fitness centers, social clubs, dining and swimming are the most popular. Other popular amenities include a town center, cycling, cultural arts and golf. 

So how do you differentiate your retirement community? Make sure you’re giving prospective residents an interactive experience once they land on your website, social media or blog, giving them a real sense of what your community offers. This might be in the form of a resident video showcasing all the opportunities for keeping active, or a gallery of images to highlight real estate and neighborhood amenities throughout your community. Immerse them in an experience that 1) answers their top questions and 2) engages them to dig deeper and learn more. 

Take the Time to Get to Know Your Audience

Better understanding this ideal-LIVING report and what consumers want can go a long way toward attracting potential residents. A knowledgeable understanding of what retirees are looking for will help establish what your retirement community should offer and the types of content you should use to effectively reach new residents. Use this information to better build a picture of your dream resident and then build a content marketing strategy to reach them! 

Showcasing on ideal-LIVING or Zillow will put your retirement community in front of thousands of prospective residents, while an active, engaging Facebook presence provides an opportunity to increase your brand awareness and a well kept blog allows you to let your current residents tell the stories of what makes your community great. So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and show why your neighborhood is the ideal place for retirees to settle down. 


Marketing / Communications

We help one of the world’s best brands increase sales and guest counts through reputation management and content marketing that successfully maximizes paid media efforts.

Find out how.


Request Your Guide to Ghidotti!

We’d love to start a conversation with you about how we can create results for you. First step? Request your very own Guide to Ghidotti to learn more about our public relations and content marketing firm. This is a look inside our agency and will give you a good feel for who we are, what we do and how we partner with our clients to move the needle.


Are You the Next Rock Star on the Ghidotti Team?

The Ghidotti Team is overflowing with full-fledged rock stars. Sure – we’re looking for the best, brightest, most creative, most organized. You get the picture. But what we REALLY want is someone who we can laugh with, depend on, learn from and do great work together. Learn more about who we’re looking for and what you can expect.

Ghidotti is currently hiring a Media Relations Specialist and Fall PR Intern! 

Media Relations Specialist

The media relations specialist should possess superb project management and organizational skills, as well as excellent communication and interpersonal skills with the ability to multitask in a fast-paced environment.

To ensure success, media relations specialists should demonstrate fantastic time management, great creativity with a keen interest in creating and implementing cost-efficient and effective media campaigns, as well as effectively analyze the impact of campaigns on the company’s bottom line.

By assisting the team in the execution of client activities and learning the basics of services offered across all areas of the agency, the media relations specialist will play a crucial role in supporting client service teams. 

Main Responsibilities

  • Write client and internal correspondence effectively and with limited supervision.
  • Develop content for broadcast, print and online distribution channels to include press releases, media advisories, blogs, e-newsletters and website content with limited supervision.
  • Negotiate with media channels to close competitive deals.
  • Serve as the agency’s media liaison and formal spokesperson, and effectively place client messages and spokespeople in target media outlets.
  • Scan the media marketplace to keep up-to-date on the latest media trends.
  • Successfully plan and execute client activities such as media tours, digital and social campaigns, business missions and/or other special events. 
  • Proactively identify story ideas and work with the supervisor to develop.
  • Successfully manage independently the execution of all client content calendars, which can include media relations pitch calendars, blogs, social content and paid media campaigns.
  • Exhibit competency and efficiency in drafting copy for client marketing materials and/or campaigns, such as website content, e-newsletters, collateral materials, paid media campaigns, etc. 
  • As it relates to social/digital media, regularly suggest ideas, manage the planning, and comfortably execute campaigns on behalf of clients. 
  • Assist in the management of interns, when applicable. 
  • Monitor all campaigns, and report on results.
  • Build long-term relationships with media houses.
  • Easily navigate agency platforms such as Cision, TVEyes, Sprout Social, Sprinklr.


Fall PR Intern

We’re looking for a resourceful go-getter who enjoys fast-paced work in an agency environment and is eager to learn the ins and outs of public relations, media relations, social media management and content marketing.Our team members are expected to complete high-quality work, juggle multiple tasks, keep projects on track, and be accountable for results. The right candidate will be a motivated problem-solver who will thrive in a deadline-driven environment.


  • Writing for social media
  • Posting to social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter)
  • Creating Canva graphics
  • Brainstorming/Researching Ideas
  • Logging media clips
  • Assisting with video production and Facebook lives for clients
  • Building media contact lists
  • Uploading content to content management sites for clients
  • Assist with client events
  • Media Relations outreach
  • Attend internal meetings and potentially take notes for client meetings
  • Assist with office errands and organization
  • Assist with general project management and scheduling

What We Want:

  • Experience with writing/posting to social media sites and using Canva is preferred.
  • Experience with photography and/or video creation or production is a plus.
  • Creative problem-solver
  • Organized and able to prioritize work under pressure
  • Strong organizational and time management skills
  • You are resourceful.
  • You are humble.
  • You know what needs to be done because it just comes naturally.
  • You are accurate with an attention to detail.
  • You follow instructions.
  • You have a life outside of work that you love and nurture.
  • You love learning new things.
  • You ask questions when appropriate and know how to Google the simple things like your life depends on it!
  • You treat our clients and your team members with respect.
  • You are funny.
  • You are caring.
  • You are a good friend and co-worker.
  • You are creative and think of brilliant ideas in your sleep.
  • You are resourceful. It’s so important that we’re mentioning it again!

Rock Star Environment

We strive to create a fun, engaging atmosphere where high fives, chicken minis, and celebrations are commonplace. We lift one another up, honor achievements and reward hard work.

  1. Professional Enrichment

    Whether instructor-led, web-based or sharing during Fireside Friday, we are always learning more!

  2. Community Engagement

    We love the state of Arkansas. Our team enjoys outings to locally-owned businesses and pride ourselves on community involvement. In addition, employees are often offered free tickets to community events to get out and enjoy life with friends and family.

  3. Team Building

    Quarterly adventures for the team!

  4. Winter Recess

    We shut this place down at the holidays so we can all rest, relax and reinvigorate for the new year.

  5. Summer Fridays

    We get an early jump on the weekend every Friday during the summer.

  6. Volunteer Time Off (VTO)

    Along with your PTO, you also get VTO to use to support your favorite charity or organization.

Does this describe you?

To apply, please submit the following via email to careers@ghidotti.com

  1. Cover letter and PDF of your resume 
  2. References: 2-3 minimum
  3. Tell us how you heard about this position