5 Health Benefits of Living in a Green Retirement Community

When you think of retiring, Mahjong games, social clubs, movie nights and cruises likely come to mind. However, many people also want a serene environment to spend their golden years. Many forward-thinking retirement communities have adopted sustainability, integrating green living features for their residents’ optimal comfort, savings and well-being.

There are numerous benefits of a green retirement community, which delivers a holistic approach to aging safely and comfortably. Here’s everything you need to know about sustainable retirement life and the health advantages you can look forward to.

What Is a Green Retirement Community?

Like other industries and sectors, retirement communities and assisted and independent living facilities are revamping facilities with the environment in mind. In pursuit of environmental friendliness and green lifestyles, these designated complexes for older adults feature the following amenities:

  • Renewable energy: Energy efficiency to power units and low utility costs.
  • Green construction: Recycled and repurposed building materials to construct retirement complexes.
  • Water-saving fixtures: Water conservation in private and public bathrooms, such as low-pressure toilets and faucets.
  • Green spaces: Outdoor environments with recreational activities for older adults to immerse themselves in nature and remain active.


Among all the benefits of a green retirement community, prospective residents are often attracted to more affordable living costs and a lower carbon footprint. These types of green facilities also foster greater health outcomes.

An example of a green retirement community is Hilltop Reserve Senior Living Center in Colorado — the country’s first to receive LEED Gold certification. Hilltop attained its status because of its green building design, energy efficiency, waste reduction, water conservation and indoor environmental quality. The facility is a great achievement for Colorado and sets the stage for other retirement communities to follow suit.

5 Health Benefits of a Green Retirement Community

Who wants to blow through their retirement savings or end up somewhere unpleasant in their golden years? Aging in a green retirement community makes the most sense for physical, mental and financial health. Here are five ways sustainable retirement promotes healthy aging.

1.   Reduced Environmental Impacts

According to a 2024 SmartAsset study, retirees are packing their belongings and moving to Florida. In 2022, 171,343 people over 60 made the Sunshine State their home — three times more retirees than anywhere else in the U.S. Arizona, Texas and the Carolinas were close behind.

However, southern states — especially Florida — are also at the highest risk of climate change impacts, facing extreme weather, heat waves, coastal flooding and wildfires.

With 14% and 47% of adults over 65 willing to make major or minor green lifestyle changes, respectively, an eco-friendly retirement community can help lower their impacts on the planet.

2.   Lower Utility Costs

The cost of living is higher than ever, especially as the U.S. economy balances itself following COVID-19. Unfortunately, only 36% of people have enough money saved for retirement. Another 33% believe they’ll need more financial security to retire with their current saving habits.

This aligns with other trends regarding older adults in the workplace. About 20% of working adults plan to continue their careers after reaching the retirement age of 65. However, their staying has more to do with having too few savings to survive than being passionate about their work.

Financial health is one of the top benefits of a green retirement community. For one thing, downsizing to an apartment, condo or small single-family home can save older adults money. Yet, there is also an emphasis on utility cost reductions. For instance, solar panel systems have $1,530 annual electricity savings, especially in sunny states where retirees venture.

Other energy-conserving technologies and features at sustainable retirement communities might include the following:

  • Programmable or smart thermostats
  • LED light bulbs
  • Energy-efficient appliances
  • Upgraded insulation
  • New water heater models
  • Energy-efficient windows


3.   Improved Mood

There’s a reason experts recommend spending at least 120 minutes in nature — immersing yourself in the outdoors fosters positive mental health.

Although many older adults are satisfied with their lives, significant life changes and age-related health problems could cause anxiety and depression. Symptoms may include feeling sad or hopeless, having trouble sleeping, altered eating patterns, irritability or isolation.

Because green retirement communities incorporate natural design elements — gardens, courtyards, walking paths and benches — residents will likely get more natural light exposure. This enhanced connection with nature can regulate circadian rhythms, promote better sleeping habits and reduce stress.

4.   Recreational Opportunities

Green spaces help older adults achieve mental wellness and encourage physical activity through age-friendly fitness classes, sports and outdoor leisure. Active adults have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, respiratory conditions and diabetes.

Exercise also keeps them limber and may prevent them from falling. Nearly 3 million older adults visit the emergency room annually because of falls — 88% come in with hip fractures, while one in 10 die from their injuries.

Bodily weakness, balance issues and vitamin D deficiencies often contribute to such falls. Fortunately, residents can boost their vitamin D levels with sunshine and prevent osteoporosis and other musculoskeletal conditions.

5.   Enhanced Social Connection

Socializing is among the most important health factors in older adults and one of the primary benefits of a green retirement community. Social isolation is common in retired individuals, especially as many grapple with chronic health problems, memory loss and frailty. It also increases your dementia risk by 50% and your chance of all-cause mortality.

Retirement communities always have social activities and gatherings for residents to participate in. You might join a luncheon group, art classes or games, allowing you to meet others and form friendships in the next chapter of your life.

Likewise, you are bound to find like-minded individuals who have moved to a green retirement community for similar reasons, whether to save money or adopt a sustainable lifestyle.

Embrace a Healthier Future in a Green Retirement Community

The benefits of a green retirement community are difficult to overlook. Indeed, these facilities take care of maintenance and deliver fun offerings to boost your happiness. However, they also offer unique opportunities for older adults to immerse themselves in nature, protect their savings, and achieve optimal health and well-being. If you want to settle down in a tranquil environment supportive of your physical, emotional and social health, a sustainable retirement community could be for you.

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