two years ago, where I had the option to choose my floor plan and numerous finish choices. I'm now 71. Surprisingly, about 2/3 of the homes that were built in here (mostly older folks, but not exclusively a 55+ community) people elected to build the upstairs bonus suite. I did not. Didn't need the space and didn't want the stairs.
By and large, I'm happy with my house. But the HOA situation is a real PITA. The developer made all kinds of promises--which aren't being honored--and doesn't intend to turn the HOA over to us until he finishes the second phase--which hasn't even started--which means it could be at least three years before we in this first phase are in control of our HOA Board.
Just a caveat. If you are looking at retirement communities, be careful if they are being built in "phases".