Lynn Mercer sports a bumper sticker on her vehicle that reads "Living in the Cove and Loving It." That's how much the 67-year-old likes her retirement community, Colony Cove, in Ellenton, Florida. "Unfortunately, people ... think of rocking chairs out on the front porch," says Jean Gallios, 88, who has lived at Emerald Heights, a retirement community in Washington state, for more than 22 years. Like Mercer, Gallios says her experience has exceeded expectations, and her retirement community is a far cry from the stereotype of a dreary institution where seniors have tiny apartments or gather in bland communal rooms. f your current home has become a burden, but you dread the idea of moving to a retirement home, you may be surprised by the amenities and atmosphere offered at many senior communities.