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Sun City Seniors

In the United States in 1960, the average life expectancy (average for all races and sexes) was 69.7 years. In 2010, that number had increased to 78.7 years. How prescient it was for entrepreneur Del Webb, in 1959, to build Sun City, Arizona - the first active retirement community for the over-55? Webb predicted that retirees would flock to a community where they were given more than just a house with a rocking chair in which to sit and wait to die. Today's residents keep their minds and bodies active by socializing at over 120 clubs with activities such as square dancing, ceramics, roller-skating, computers, cheerleading, racquetball and yoga. There are 38,500 residents in the community with an average age 72.4 years. [27 photos total]


A sign marks the boundary of Sun City, Arizona, Jan. 6, 2013. Sun City was built in 1959 by entrepreneur Del Webb as America's first active retirement community for the over-55's. Today's residents keep their minds and bodies active by socializing at over 120 clubs with activities such as square dancing, ceramics, roller skating, computers, cheerleading, racquetball and yoga. (Lucy Nicholson/Reuters) #

Sun City Sheriff's Posse member Elizabeth Neubauer, 90, sits at the reception desk in Sun City, Jan. 7, 2013. There are 38,500 residents in the community with an average age 72.4 years. (Lucy Nicholson/Reuters) #

Pat Weber, 81, leads the Sun City Poms cheerleader dancers as they rehearse, Jan. 7, 2013. Sun City was built in 1959 by entrepreneur Del Webb as Americaís first active retirement community for the over-55's. (Lucy Nicholson/Reuters) #

Elaina Scott, 68, rehearses with the Sun City Poms cheerleader dancers, Jan. 7, 2013. (Lucy Nicholson/Reuters) #

The Sun City Poms cheerleader dancers rehearse in Sun City, Arizona, Jan. 7, 2013. (Lucy Nicholson/Reuters) #

Teodora Spanjers, 80, with Ginny Bravos, 86, in a swimming pool locker room in Sun City, Jan. 7, 2013. Sun City residents keep their minds and bodies active by socializing at over 120 clubs with activities such as square dancing, ceramics, roller skating, computers, cheerleading, racquetball and yoga. (Lucy Nicholson/Reuters) #

Inge Natoli, 90, who emigrated to Michigan from Germany and has lived in Sun City for 29 years practices synchronized swimming with Barbara Miller, 77, Jan. 9, 2013. (Lucy Nicholson/Reuters) #

John Longo, 88, swims his daily mile training for the Masters national championship in Sun City, Jan. 5, 2013. (Lucy Nicholson/Reuters) #

John Longo, 88, swims his daily mile training for the Masters national championship in Sun City, Arizona, January 5, 2013. Sun City was built in 1959 by entrepreneur Del Webb as America's first active retirement community for the over-55's. (Lucy Nicholson/Reuters) #

Retirees participate in a yoga class, Jan. 7, 2013. Sun City was built in 1959 by entrepreneur Del Webb when life expectancy was around 68 years. (Lucy Nicholson/Reuters) #

Dario Rossini, 90, works out at a recreation center, Jan. 5, 2013. Rossini said he does at least 100 sit-ups a day, and works out at the gym 4-5 days a week to maintain healthy muscles and bones. (Lucy Nicholson/Reuters) #

Retirees bowl in Sun City, Arizona, Jan. 6, 2013. There are 38,500 residents in the community with an average age 72.4 years. (Lucy Nicholson/Reuters) #

Retirees play poker at a singles club in Sun City, Arizona, Jan. 4, 2013. In 2012, life expectancy stood at 78.7 years in America, but continues to lag behind many, many other countries, including Japan and Switzerland that top the list. (Lucy Nicholson/Reuters) #

Whitey Sauer, 84, shares his homemade wine at a singles club in Sun City, Jan. 4, 2013. (Lucy Nicholson/Reuters) #

Curtis Hay, 82, who worked for Boeing for 30 years, plays pool, Jan. 5, 2013. Active Sun City residents keep their minds and bodies active by socializing at over 120 clubs. (Lucy Nicholson/Reuters) #

Earl Gilbert, 97, plays chess at Royal Oaks retirement community in Sun City, Arizona, Jan. 8, 2013. (Lucy Nicholson/Reuters) #

Barb Wald, 66, plays pickleball, Jan. 5, 2013. Pickleball is a racquet sport that combines elements of badminton, tennis, and table tennis. (Lucy Nicholson/Reuters) #

Carol McGregor, 59, of Smithers, BC, Canada, watches lawn bowling, Jan. 5, 2013. (Lucy Nicholson/Reuters) #

Robert Harker, 73, and his wife Nancy, 70, square dance, Jan. 8, 2013. Sun City residents keep their minds young and their bodies active. (Lucy Nicholson/Reuters) #

Donald Smitherman, 98, kisses his wife, Marlene, at the end of a dance, Jan. 5, 2013. There are 38,500 residents - couples and singles - in the community with an average age 72.4 years. Picture taken January 5, 2013. (Lucy Nicholson/Reuters) #

A sign asking for help looking for a lost pair of bifocals, Sun City, Arizona, Jan. 5, 2013. (Lucy Nicholson/Reuters) #

Jimmy Trollen, 80, rides in a boat he converted into a vehicle, Jan. 5, 2013. (Lucy Nicholson/Reuters) #
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