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Old 08-30-2007, 08:13 AM   #21
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Billy and I moved into an Active Adult Community when we were not yet 40. Our community was not yet age qualified when we first moved there. Sure, we will be 55 next month but I don't consider myself to be 'old'. That being said, even when we were in our early 40's we could barely keep up with all the 'old folks' who wanted to party and have something going on all the time.

OTOH, B and I are both very private. I'm an artist, I like to read and to write, and we both like the sounds of nature. I do not feel either the pressure to join in on activities or that I am missing something if I don't do them. However, if I am needing some company, there is always someone friendly close by and friendships have developed over the years.

There are many singletons in our community for various reasons. I have not heard from any of them that they feel left out or isolated by the 'couple mentality' - much too much to join in on and not just in our community. We have museums, restaurants, pro and college sports arenas available, lots of different churches with their volunteer activities, fairs, music and theater, nature hiking, biking, golf, tennis, and so on.

Our 'Lifestyle Fees' are all we pay (they cover maintenance and all the amenities) and they have not reached $300 a month (we have lived there since the early '90's). Our taxes for our place is approximately $200 per year.

I know some of you have already read our 'Worry Free' Housing piece, but for those of you who haven't, take a look: Worry Free Housing

and be sure to take a look at the 2nd page where we list a Resource page: A A Com Lists

For us, this lifestyle works because we do a lot of international travel. We are able to have a home in the States, and this setup allows us to afford comfortable lodging while on the road without much worry about the safety of our place back home.

In the end, I suppose it depends on what you need and want. Our community is pet friendly, grandchildren are allowed to visit, we have plenty of singles in the community, and we are surrounded by nature, great restaurants and libraries are close by.

I can have my peace and quiet or become as involved as I like.

Be well,
Akaisha
Author, The Adventurer's Guide to Early Retirement
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Old 08-30-2007, 10:12 AM   #22
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A CC community is not an assisted living facility. If you are in the mid-west look at Twin Towers in Cincinnati for an urban example. There are duplexes and apartments as well as care resources. There is an Olympic sized swimming pool and a performing arts theater. When I visited my aunt who lives there a tour bus pulled out and disgorged a bunch of very active residents. The library had computers, there were yoga and exercise programs.

I think most residents are in their 60s, but these folks are busy living... no sign of to-bed-by-8 there.

Warning... it isn't cheap.
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Old 08-30-2007, 10:46 AM   #23
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We wanted to try a 55+ community, so we found one that had leasing. Next year we will be staying in a cottage in an active community with various ammenities (pool, clubhouse, exercise room,etc.) From what we could see when visiting - each person could participate or not as desired. The people that we met seemed very nice and we have the option of having younger friends visit (although the length of visit is restricted).

We are looking forward to the experience and will report back as we gain experience.
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Old 08-30-2007, 11:04 AM   #24
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We wanted to try a 55+ community, so we found one that had leasing. Next year we will be staying in a cottage in an active community with various ammenities (pool, clubhouse, exercise room,etc.) From what we could see when visiting - each person could participate or not as desired. The people that we met seemed very nice and we have the option of having younger friends visit (although the length of visit is restricted).

We are looking forward to the experience and will report back as we gain experience.
It sounds great to be able to try it out before committing.
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Old 09-01-2009, 04:23 PM   #25
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My friends just moved to The Villages and love it. Yes, it is a bit artificial. But it's large enough to have many different kinds of people and, if you want to, there is something to do every minute. There is no pressure, though. And they enjoy the feeling of safety and convenience of riding around in a golf cart everywhere.

There are houses of all prices and the monthly fee is $136. Golf is free for residents on the 9 hole courses, of which there are 9 or more.
We're thinking of moving there next year...if our house in Chicago sells. My only "but" is if I can deal with Florida's weather. Hot. Hot. Hot.
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Old 09-01-2009, 04:46 PM   #26
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I have a conundrum concerning housing.

I don't know how long I'll be able to live alone, but I really like being alone. Can one live in senior housing (of whatever sort) without constantly being told you have to socialize (it's for your own good)?

I have a vision of myself throwing something at the fifth or so person to tell me I shouldn't sit by myself.

Solitude and quiet are the greatest boons of retirement.
I have come to appreciate living alone, too. My dog is an excellent companion, always happy to see me. I am surrounded by yakking people all day and listen to mostly complaints and problems in the office. I have friends nearby and belong to a gym where I can take a class if I desire company. I bought a new house five years ago so I have had no repairs to date and I can hire out any tasks I don't want to do myself. There are a few older kids who live nearby and they don't bother me at all. I don't think I would like living in an age-restricted community.
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Old 09-01-2009, 05:41 PM   #27
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I think there are definite dangers growing old (especially alone) in a SFH. It can be very isolating, especially here in the northeast, where there's no place to walk and meet neighbors.
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Old 09-01-2009, 06:16 PM   #28
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As I see it, the fear of death underlies all the planning and messing around with our "presents" in favor of our "futures".

Ha
So many people are afraid to "die alone." I have heard some women say that as a reason to get married again. What does that really mean? Everyone dies alone! Do people think that they are going to be awake and chatting with all the friends and family surrounding their death bed? Do they think that they will be really "lonely" if they died without a spouse?

Every old person I know who has died has died alone, either in the hospital or in their home and they were asleep when they died!

After being at my mother's death bed I now know that when close to death people are not really "here". They have one foot already in the grave. They literally have already passed on to that other place, whatever that is.

And in reference to the topic-- the idea of living in a planned retirement community makes me shudder with dread.
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Old 09-01-2009, 06:19 PM   #29
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And they enjoy the feeling of safety and convenience of riding around in a golf cart everywhere.
LOL! To each his own!
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Old 09-01-2009, 06:24 PM   #30
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The clubhouse was extremely large and well appointed---indoor pool and jacuzzi, yoga/exercise room, card rooms, arts and crafts, etc. Lots of activities. But I'm just not sure we would really take advantage of all the amenities. We don't play tennis. Don't play cards. Don't like the arts and crafts they do (like painting premade ceramics). I think I would use the indoor pool during the winter, but I'm not really sure.
Does anyone live in one of these communities? How often do you participate in activities and use the amenities?
We live in a bedroom community of thousands of homes with seven recreational centers, including at least three pools. One of the better centers/pools is a 15-minute walk from our driveway. We used the centers the first couple years we were here, and then the novelty wore off. Haven't been there in years. (Anyway I don't swim in a pool if I can swim in the ocean.) I'm glad that when we moved here we didn't design our lives around the rec center concept.

OTOH my parents-in-law moved to an over-55 community a couple years ago, and they rave about it. They're not very social but they enjoy having everything available if they want it, and within walking distance.

The construction of their over-55 neighborhood is impressive-- lots of modular design, great access (of course), good layout. Much insulation in the walls and windows so that it's extremely quiet. Between geriatric hearing loss and the construction, I doubt any noise gets very far in that building.

Spouse and I keep going back & forth on our current home. Every time I scamper up & down the slope with a weedwhacker, or swing through the mango trees with a chainsaw, I wonder whether I'm going to want to do this when I'm 82 years old. But we'd give up way too much if we moved just to get rid of the yardwork. I guess we'll revisit the question when our putative grandkids are old enough to want to attend their mother's high school... perhaps residency in exchange for a little yardwork.
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Old 09-01-2009, 06:26 PM   #31
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So many people are afraid to "die alone." I have heard some women say that as a reason to get married again. What does that really mean? Everyone dies alone! Do people think that they are going to be awake and chatting with all the friends and family surrounding their death bed? Do they think that they will be really "lonely" if they died without a spouse?

Every old person I know who has died has died alone, either in the hospital or in their home and they were asleep when they died!

After being at my mother's death bed I now know that when close to death people are not really "here". They have one foot already in the grave. They literally have already passed on to that other place, whatever that is.

And in reference to the topic-- the idea of living in a planned retirement community makes me shudder with dread.
I think people are worried about being sick and vulnerable and alone.
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Old 09-01-2009, 07:34 PM   #32
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I think people are worried about being sick and vulnerable and alone.
Well, there you go. The exact definition of very old age. But why does it presume that an over-55 community will alleviate this condition? Better to have friends in the same condition? Sorry for the cynicism. I think I better go check my attitude.
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Old 09-01-2009, 08:28 PM   #33
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Well, there you go. The exact definition of very old age. But why does it presume that an over-55 community will alleviate this condition? Better to have friends in the same condition?
You mean as in "misery loves company"? Who said anything about alleviating it?

I think one advantage of an over-55 community is that if the newspapers begin to pile up outside your door, no one assumes you spent the night at your SO's house or went skiing for the weekend. People are a lot less bashful about knocking on doors and checking up on each other.
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Old 09-02-2009, 11:28 AM   #34
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After watching my and my parents aging it became evident that isolation from peers is a major issue. If they had moved to a 55+ community their friends in that community would have been accessible notwithstanding their inability to drive. Kids and grand-kids can't fill the empty hours unless they are in the same household.
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Old 09-03-2009, 09:13 PM   #35
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I live in a 55+ community, like it and have a few questions for all the attorney types out there. As I understand the concept, a 55+ community only means that a certain percentage of the residents must be 55 or older. For example, I must be 55 or more but my wife could be younger. Same for other households. This keeps the kids out. We have some younger residents that may have gained residency due to some circumstance (like inheriting a property) but overall in the community, a certain percentage of the population must be over 55. One of the salespeople mentioned some time ago that the drivers licenses of all the residents have to be checked every three or four years to show proof that this percentage is being maintained.
This may be for advertising purposes but there may be other things involved such as taxes. Anyone out there know the requirements? I know it will vary by state.
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Old 09-03-2009, 11:04 PM   #36
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You really need to look at the CC&Rs of your development first.
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Old 09-04-2009, 09:43 AM   #37
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I suppose it depends on what you want. My mother moved to an efficiency apartment in a continuous care facility for the last 11 years of her life, and except for the last six months (declining health) she loved it. It usually took two or three days to reach her on the phone because she was always running around doing stuff.

She cried when the house she'd lived in for 30 years sold, but six months later she said "I wish I had done this ten years ago".

DW and I are still trying to talk her father into doing the same. He's very sociable but for some reason insists that he wants to stay in the house by himself that he cannot afford or maintain. Does he own the house or does the house own him? I think the latter, and I'm not going that route.

We have already decided that when I can't mow the lawn any more we're out of here and into a cc facility. All that mundane stuff of roofing, dishwasher repair and sidewalk sweeping is done for you. The housing runs the gamut from single family homes to apartments to, assisted living and if necessary, a nursing home. We wouldn't use many of the much-touted amenities so we see no reason to choose one that has a lot of stuff we wouldn't use.
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Old 09-04-2009, 10:29 AM   #38
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The decimation of our IRAs has led us to considering a condo convenient to our kids in the "old neighborhood". We had planned on moving to a ccc in the area but the one we like is now beyond our budget.
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Old 09-04-2009, 09:12 PM   #39
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I live in a 55+ community, like it and have a few questions for all the attorney types out there. As I understand the concept, a 55+ community only means that a certain percentage of the residents must be 55 or older. For example, I must be 55 or more but my wife could be younger. Same for other households. This keeps the kids out. We have some younger residents that may have gained residency due to some circumstance (like inheriting a property) but overall in the community, a certain percentage of the population must be over 55. One of the salespeople mentioned some time ago that the drivers licenses of all the residents have to be checked every three or four years to show proof that this percentage is being maintained.
This may be for advertising purposes but there may be other things involved such as taxes. Anyone out there know the requirements? I know it will vary by state.
Johnnie,

I am not an attorney but I researched this recently. The requirement is from HUD. In order to remain a 55 and over community at least 80 percent of the homes must have one resident who is at least 55 years of age. The lower age limit for the other residents of the community is set by the community's governing documents. For example, here in our 55 or older community the CCR's limit anyone under 19 years of age to a maximum of 60 days of residence in a year. This allows for college kids to visit their folks during semester breaks but not to be full time residents. Our developer sold some homes to couples in their early 50's but stayed above the 80% level required by HUD.

Every two years the HOA requires owners to certify that one resident is at least 55 years of age. The HUD regulation requires the community to maintain records that document that we meet the age requirements.

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Old 09-05-2009, 07:38 AM   #40
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Whether it is activity or safety or companions or convenience we intend to look serioiusly at over 55 communities when we make a move. Both sets of our parents are well into their 80's and still in their own homes and each day that passes becoming more isolated. Isolated if they can't get to church for some reason. Isolated in the fact their mixed neighborhoods don't have more their age moving in but rather moving out. In both cases semi rural and a bit isolated from basic grocery shopping needs, etc. We appreciate being alone as well as being involved but the lack of respect shown in many cases by the younger generations toward people attempting to stay in their homes into their 80's and 90's that we've observed seems to be growing. I often wonder if my 88 year old father fell in his yard or drive if any younger neighbors would even notice? My bet is that it would be the 80 year old widow down the street that would notice and lend a hand? Sorry for the negative thoughts and generalizations regarding those in their 20's, 30's, and 40's but the "neighborhood" doesn't seem to have much a heart. That's why we've resolved not to become the only "old ones" left on our block but rather seek a community of active and older neighbors if possible.
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