Active Adult Communities
Active Adult Communities are for those over 55 who are still active and living independently. These communities will usually have a mix of housing ranging from single family homes to condos & townhouses to apartments. They will often have a clubhouse that can be used by members of the community for a variety of things. There are usually many activities and clubs for all kinds of hobbies.
An example of this type of community is The Villages in South San Jose. Many people who live in the community own their home, but some also rent. If you want to get out of the Bay Area, but still stay close enough to come to "town" once in a while, there are communities in the Central Valley (Manteca, Stockton, Tracy, Elk Grove, Sacramento, etc.), and also down towards Gilroy and Morgan Hill. If you want to go further afield, there are clusters of communities in Las Vegas, Phoenix, Tucson, and Florida.
If you are still active and independent, and looking for a place to retire where there are lots of things to do, you will likely enjoy living in an active adult community. There are lots of opportunities to make new friends and participate in activities you enjoy.
If this is an option you are thinking about, find a couple of communities in the area you want to live and go visit them. Tour the clubhouses and facilities, talk with some people who live there - find out what they like and dislike about the community. Different communities have different "personalities". Many of these communities also have CC&R's - rules that residents must follow, so ask to see those, and make sure you are comfortable with them. Some of these communities are very picky, especially about anything that is visible outside, while others are more laid back. Again, talk with residents to find out.
Even within a community, if it's large enough, there can be neighborhoods with different personalities. If you are moving a distance away, it might even be wise to rent a home in a community for a couple months (maybe during the winter) to see if you like it.