Why Communes May Be the New Retirement Home

As the housing needs of boomers shift, watch for a return of a popular living arrangement from the 1960s — the venerable commune, where like-minded souls shared chores and expenses, found companionship and took care of one another — at least in theory. Author and aging sociologist Bella DePaulo notes in her new book, How We Live Now: Redefining Home and Family in the 21st Century, that communes are already making a comeback. In fact, living with people with whom you are not related is five times as likely to happen now as it was in the 1950s, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. What’s more, DePaulo said, contemporary home-splitters are sharing a place with other people not because that’s what they’re stuck with, and not even (just) because it’s what they can afford. Boomers are getting creative when it comes to retirement housing arrangements, DePaulo said. They watched their own parents end up in institutions and have vowed to avoid the same fate. Some are coming up with their own ad hoc solutions, such as finding a duplex to share with a friend, so each person has a home of her own as well as a close friend just a few feet away. They are moving in together with friends, renting out rooms to friends, creating their own senior co-housing communities, or staying in their own homes and becoming part of the national “Village to Village” movement, said DePaulo. The Village to Village movement is a peer-to-peer grassroots network run by volunteers and paid staff to coordinate services such as transportation, home repairs, shopping trips, and social opportunities among seniors who live independently in their own homes.

Source/more: New York Times

David Wingate is an elder law attorney at the Elder Law Office of David Wingate, LLC. The elder law office services clients with powers of attorneys, living wills, Wills, Trusts, Medicaid and asset protection. The Elder Law office has locations in Frederick and Montgomery Counties, Maryland.

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