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Active Senior Co-op Living?
Old 12-27-2014, 08:01 AM   #1
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Active Senior Co-op Living?

At the age of 58 and single, I recently moved from a condo back to a single family home. I am regretting the decision as I think about the significant work and expense ahead to fix this 100-year old place up. I've done it before--successfully--but now wonder whether it is worth my time, energy, and money. At this point I can say that it was a bad decision.

This move has been a wake up call for me in a major way; perhaps that's the good that will come out of what has otherwise been a traumatic experience. I am now, for the first time, wanting to plan a move to some type of housing that will accomodate my senior years. In short, I just can't endure the thought of moving more than one more time.

To be honest, I realized with this current move that the main issue for me is the lack of community. Yes, I am in a great, walkable neighborhood with very nice neighbors, but typical in MN I won't see most of them for 6 months out of the year due to winter. Most, too, are young families. I still work and plan to do so until at least 65, so I have lots of colleagues and I have a handful of good friends. But no family and no one to care for me if and when I need care.

There's an active senior co-op in my area that is increasingly drawing my attention. I am planning to take a tour and try to figure out how it works. Evidently you buy your apartment (condo?) at a fairly low price but then there is a monthly, rather hefty, fee. However, the place gets rave reviews for being well run, attractive, and having many and diverse amenities and activities. It is very close to my current home and work, which is comforting as I love this area.

At 58 (or, say, under 60 by the time a space opens up) it looks like I'd be one of the very junior members. But being settled in a place for the long-term is so appealing to me right now, as is the idea of a "built in" community. I'm afraid that once I retire and my small group of friends dwindles (frankly, most of my friends are older than I am--just the "crowd" I fell in with when I moved here) I'll be even more isolated than I'm feeling now.

Is there a question in all this? I guess I'd love to hear from anyone who might have opted for a senior co-op. They do seem to be "hot" here in MN as opposed to elsewhere in the country. Not sure why!

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Old 12-27-2014, 10:19 AM   #2
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Location: Portland, Oregon
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I own shares in a co-op where a resident under 60 is considered young. It was designed for folks downsizing from very large homes in the early 60s. We are a community but not one where activities are sponsored or meal service provided.

One of the barriers to purchasing a co-op is that the purchase is a cash transaction except in areas of NY & NJ where banks will finance.

There are continuing care communities where the resident buys-in which provide a lot of social services. In Oregon they are almost all are not for profits, one is resident managed. Some provide for recovery of your entry fee at least in part. Here is where you should start your search:

The reason why the monthly nut is so high is the cost of providing services.
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