Actually, it just means different variables. You could land in a really nice 55+ community--here's hoping. But you could also wind up in one that looks really good online, but then doesn't have the vibe you're looking for when you get there. There could be faulty construction that's not immediately obvious, there could be fewer (or lame) social activities, upkeep might not be what you expect, fees and expense may spiral. It's really easy to put on a good face online or for a short visit. In your situation, I would spend a lot of time driving around a particular community, and especially talk to people who already live there about the good and the bad.