Roxie raised some good questions about what my issue is with retirement communities. The big one we visited is full of beautiful homes, sculptured golf courses, clubhouses and flowers changed out 4 times annually. It is largely populated by people roughly my age (55-65) who retired early and have time to play and socialize to their hearts content. It isn't the "heaven's waiting room" that some of the Arizona retirement communities are.
It isn't the rules and fines or even the homeowners association checking for open garage doors that bothers me. What sets my teeth on edge is the lack of diversity in the population (read no one under 55). I live in a community that originally was advertised as a retirement destination. The people who migrated to Lake Havasu were of a different sort than those who reside in retirement communities. Our retirees wanted to live in a traditional town with children! They wanted to read in schools, help with programs for teenagers, work with young parents, provide their knowledge to new business owners etc. In short, they wanted to contribute to their community.
Retirement communities feel a little too homogenous for me to be comfortable in them. So there you have it.