Home rentals and sales in retirement communities shot up 21 percent last year. So, many developers are now rushing to cash in. And the newest senior communities are cutting-edge and downright cool!

For example, today’s retirement homes offer entertainment areas, with private theaters, computers, and videogames. Plus state-of-the-art fitness centers, where seniors can take Zumba classes that have been specially modified for older people. Also, some new senior homes have indoor swimming pools, access to golf carts to drive around, and dog parks – for seniors with pets.

And instead of cafeteria-style dining halls, some new retirement communities offer restaurant quality meals, whipped up by chefs who are on call almost any hour of the day!

Donna Herbst is an executive with Atria Senior Living – a chain of nearly 130 senior communities. She says today’s retirees don’t want to be stuck in a place where they’ll just sit around all day, forgotten by their family. Instead, they want to be free to enjoy themselves – and be social – while still having access to nursing home style medical services.

As you might expect, living in a modern retirement community isn’t cheap. In fact, at one new community in Newport Beach, California, rents start around $4,000 a month for a small apartment! But in exchange, the community offers a home where seniors never have to worry about home maintenance, meals, or medical care for as long as they’re alive. It’s why one man we read about says moving into a new retirement community with his wife last year feels like they decided to go live at Club Med for the rest of their lives!