Retire in style

These continuing-care retirement communities garner four- or five-star Medicare nursing home ratings and accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities.

2 of 9
The Terraces - Phoenix, Ariz.
Entrance fee: $279,900 to $389,900 (90% refundable).

Monthly fee: $3,040 to $3,880 for independent living; $3,450 to $4,142 for assisted living; $6,240 to $8,130 for nursing care ($750 monthly discount on assisted living or nursing care for up to three years).

Highlights: The Terraces has been under the same ownership since it opened 45 years ago. That doesn't mean it's musty. Five years ago, the community tore down and rebuilt 90% of its buildings, so its infrastructure is largely fresh and new. One thing the construction plans did preserve: The Terraces' lovely mature gardens, which are scattered throughout its 22-acre campus. To help new residents having trouble getting out of their homes due to the real estate bust, The Terraces will defer the entrance fee for up to 15 months.

NEXT: Beacon Hill - Lombard, Ill.
Last updated February 19 2009: 1:12 PM ET
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