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Where to Retire reveals “The Short List: 50 Best Master-Planned Communities in the United States,” in the July/August issue, on newsstands June 11. The list is the only one of its kind, focusing on communities rather than locales and featuring first-person testimonials by current residents.

Fairfield Glade is one of two master-planned communities in Tennessee to be recognized this year. The year-round climate is pleasant at this all-ages development thanks to its location on the Cumberland Plateau, 2,000 feet above sea level. As if 90 holes of golf weren’t enough, the community also offers four pools, 10 tennis courts, 11 lakes for boating and fishing and an extensive trail system. “It’s easy on the eyes and great for your body,” one resident said. 

The selected 50 best master-planned communities showcase the variety of housing options and amenities that enrich the lives of relocating retirees. “Moving after retirement doesn’t mean just a new home; it means a new life,” Where to Retire editor Annette Fuller said. “Yes, each of our 50 communities builds attractive homes, but they also nurture new friendships. Most developments offer trails, sports courts, fitness equipment, restaurants, pools and more. The settings are gorgeous, near mountains, oceans, rivers, lakes and low-humidity deserts. Climates generally are mild, allowing daily communes with nature.”

Nearly a year ago, editors began gathering and evaluating information on hundreds of communities, but chose only established neighborhoods with enough acreage to build at least a year’s supply of homes. The communities come from 17 states. Florida has nine of the winning 50 communities, followed by North Carolina with eight, Arizona with seven and South Carolina with five. Home prices begin at $120,000 and go upward to $3 million; 35 communities on the list have homes that start at less than $300,000. Almost half of the neighborhoods are age-restricted or age-targeted while the rest are all-ages. The communities are not ranked, but they are listed alphabetically by state and then by development name. A two-page chart gives a snapshot of all 50 choices and a guide to their amenities.

As the authority on retirement relocation since 1992, Where to Retire has covered hundreds of the best retirement regions, towns and master-planned communities. The magazine is published six times a year and has a national circulation of 200,000.