Established in 1994 as an education-based organization focused on retiree attraction as an economic development strategy, The American Association of Retirement Communities is a not-for-profit professional association. The AARC is one of the few non-profit, cooperative organizations in the industry that does research on and for retirement communities.

The AARC Seal of Approval program was established to recognize communities and master-planned developments that possess the resources and amenities to attract today’s relocating retiree, evaluating such areas as Quality of Life (healthcare, retiree-appropriate housing, Adult Education, Services, Recreational and Cultural Opportunities, Crime Rate and more) and formal commitment to retiree attraction and programs (governmental and other retiree-focused organizations). Seal of Approval recipients have submitted their community and its programs to scrutiny by the volunteer board of the AARC.

With the goal of providing an unbiased perspective on retirement communities for potential buyers, the AARC Seal of Approval has gained growing prominence in the retiree buying process. We encourage feedback on ways to make the AARC a greater resource in your decision process – send an email to

Columbus, MS

Type: City-Region

Columbus is a small town so filled with arts and culture and character (200 antebellum homes grace our streets) that it could have been the creation of a writer like Eudora Welty, who went to college here, or playwright Tennessee Williams, who was born here and whose birthplace is now our welcome center. Recreation options include boating and fishing along the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway and 7 great golf courses. There are four colleges in the area, superb healthcare and one of the nation’s top Air Force bases.


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