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5 yr CD
1.5%
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0.8%
1 yr CD
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MMA $10K+
0.3%
MMA $50K+
0.4%

National averages from Bankrate.com

You Don’t Need Another Credit Card, You Need A Better One.
Avg. APR Last Week 6 Months
Low Interest 11.62% 11.62% 11.53%
Business 12.85% 12.85% 12.85%
Student 13.14% 13.14% 13.14%
Balance Transfer 14.12% 14.12% 14.00%
Airline 15.10% 15.10% 15.15%
Reward 15.14% 15.14% 14.99%
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Encore
A blog about living in and planning for retirement

Hippie Retirement: High-End ‘Communes’

Silver Sage Village

After spending nearly three decades in St. Louis, Kathyrn McKay says she was ready to relocate to a “more progressive” city.  On a visit to Boulder, the then-57-year-old retiree found just that, though the living arrangement wasn’t what she had expected: a so-called co-housing complex for adults called Silver Sage. “I loved the sense of community I felt there,” she says.

Co-housing projects for older Americans, communities of homes on shared land that residents build and operate themselves, are on the rise. The first such development, Glacier Circle in Davis, Calif., opened in 2006. Since then, at least three more have been built — including ElderSpirit in Abingdon, Virginia and ElderGrace in Santa Fe, N.M — and roughly another eight will be under construction by the end of this year, says Charles Durrett, a co-founder of co-housing development company McCamant & Durrett Architects and author of “Creating Cohousing: Building Sustainable Communities.”

What’s driving the new trend? Part of it may be boomers’ hippie mentality, says Andrew Carle, director of the senior housing administration program at George Mason University. “These things are kind of like communes” — only with nicer houses, he says. And unlike in a typical retirement community, residents participate in nearly all the decision-making – from designing homes and landscaping to planning meals and social events. These constant interactions, residents say, can build a stronger sense of community and friendship than one might not get in a run-of-the-mill retirement complex.

Of course, that extra responsibility isn’t for every senior. “This is a real estate development, it’s a business,” Carle says. “This is hard work.” On top of that, the constant interaction with neighbors can be a pro or a con, says Sandra Timmerman, the director of the MetLife Mature Market Institute. “Sometimes people can annoy you.”

Still, residents claim these arrangements are better than typical retirement communities. Joani Blank, 74, who lives in a co-housing community in California, says she likes working together with her neighbors on projects, and enjoys living with the smaller group of people typical of a co-housing community. Most complexes have about 20 to 40 households, according to The CoHousing Association of the United States, while retirement communities often have 100 or more homes. Residents in co-housing complexes have their own homes – and privacy – but are still part of what feels like a “little village,” says Timmerman.

For retirees interested in creating a co-housing community, Durrett says start-up costs typically range from $150,000 to $1.2 million per person, depending on the location, and the size, quality and number of homes. Monthly dues and maintenance fees often run another $100 to $300 a month.  To learn more about co-housing, check out the CoHousing Association of the United States. .

Comments

We welcome thoughtful comments from readers. Please comply with our guidelines. Our blogs do not require the use of your real name.

Comments (5 of 16)

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    • Ask five economists and you will get five different answers – six if an individual visited Harvard.

    • Government within the U.S. today can be a senior partner in most business in the nation.
      I’ve found it rather easy to portray a businessman. Being bland, rather cruel and incompetent comes naturally in my opinion.

    • I’ve contacted the editor in hope of clarifying some misused terminology, but I have yet to receive a response.

      I live in a cohousing community in Nevada City, California with 57 cohousers, one being a 55 year-old ex-hippie. She is now an emergency room nurse. We are neither hippies, nor a commune, and those terms don’t define cohousing at all. Cohousing has no shared beliefs and invites diversity of philosophies and ideas in many regards. It provides a comfortable, efficient private home in a socially and physically supportive neighborhood, which is attractive to various types of people.

      I have noted similar errors by The Wall Street Journal, who promptly wrote a follow-up article clarifying their errors.

    • Folks who are considering a co-housing community may also consider an intimately-scaled community clustered around garden courtyards. Homeowners share in the ownership of common areas and amenities while owning their own home and private yard garden. Homes cluster and share a Commons building. See our most recent waterfront ‘pocket neighborhood’ Chico Beach Cottages at http://www.cottagecompany.com.

About Encore

  • Encore examines the changing nature of retirement, from new rules and guidelines for financial security to the shifting identities and priorities of today’s retirees. The blog also explores news that affects retirement, from the Wall Street Journal Digital Network and around the web. Lead bloggers are reporter Catey Hill and senior editor Jeremy Olshan. Other contributors include The Wall Street Journal’s retirement columnists Glenn Ruffenach and Anne Tergesen; the Director for the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, Alicia Munnell; and the Director of Research for Pinnacle Advisory Group, Michael Kitces, CFP.

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/conga/frontpage.html 353543

Markets »

171.98MDow Volume:
Avg Vol: 111.57M
Unchanged
150
Decliners
1105
Advancers
5358
Price Chg %Chg 1 Day
Range: 1 Day
  • 1 Day
  • 5 Days
  • 1 Month
  • 3 Months
  • 6 Months
  • 1 Year
  • 2 Years
Dow
/quotes/zigman/627449/realtime 16,655 +369 2.27%
Nasdaq
/quotes/zigman/12633936/realtime 4,813 +115 2.45%
S&P 500
/quotes/zigman/3870025/realtime 1,988 +47 2.43%
GlobalDow
/quotes/zigman/629063/realtime 2,368 +7 0.32%
Gold
/quotes/zigman/662444/delayed 1,124 +1 0.11%
Oil
/quotes/zigman/2331095/delayed 42.19 -0.37 0.87%
FTSE 100
/quotes/zigman/3173262/delayed 6,158 -34 0.55%
DAX
/quotes/zigman/2380246/delayed 10,242 -73 0.71%
CAC 40
/quotes/zigman/3173214/delayed 4,633 -25 0.53%
FTSE MIB
/quotes/zigman/1482176/delayed 21,894 -308 1.39%
IBEX 35
/quotes/zigman/2759620/delayed 10,264 -27 0.26%
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/quotes/zigman/1709939/delayed 2,956 +11 0.36%
Euro
/quotes/zigman/16008136/realtime/sampled 1.13 +0.00 0.17%
Yen
/quotes/zigman/16008150/realtime/sampled 120.83 -0.20 0.17%
Pound
/quotes/zigman/16008140/realtime/sampled 1.54 0.00 0.14%
Australia$
/quotes/zigman/16008115/realtime/sampled 0.71 0.00 0.43%
DXY Index
/quotes/zigman/1652083/delayed 95.61 -0.16 0.17%
WSJ $ Idx
/quotes/zigman/41508961/realtime 88.32 +0.05 0.05%
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/quotes/zigman/15866666/realtime 2.17 -0.02 0.81%
German 10y
/quotes/zigman/15866409/realtime 0.72 -0.03 3.51%
Italy 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866497/realtime 1.92 -0.01 0.33%
Spain 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866444/realtime 2.07 +0.01 0.46%
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/quotes/zigman/2331095/delayed 42 0 0.87%
Gold
/quotes/zigman/662444/delayed 1,124 +1 0.11%
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/quotes/zigman/7599553/delayed 377 +2 0.40%
DJIA F
/quotes/zigman/38649152/delayed 16,513 -137 0.82%
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/quotes/zigman/30356461/delayed 1,973 -16 0.81%
Silver
/quotes/zigman/3134148/delayed 14 0 0.29%

Quotes

Symbol Price Change % Change
FB /quotes/zigman/9962609/composite 89.73 2.54 2.91%
AAPL /quotes/zigman/68270/composite 112.92 3.23 2.94%
GOOG /quotes/zigman/30194416/composite 637.61 8.99 1.43%
BAC /quotes/zigman/190927/composite 16.44 0.38 2.37%
C /quotes/zigman/5065548/composite 53.44 1.16 2.22%
F /quotes/zigman/264304/composite 13.56 0.35 2.65%
T /quotes/zigman/398198/composite 33.44 0.75 2.29%
BP /quotes/zigman/247026/composite 33.03 1.93 6.21%
GE /quotes/zigman/227468/composite 25.01 1.00 4.16%
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Rates »

5 yr CD
1.5%
2 yr CD
0.8%
1 yr CD
0.6%
MMA $10K+
0.3%
MMA $50K+
0.4%

National averages from Bankrate.com

You Don’t Need Another Credit Card, You Need A Better One.
Avg. APR Last Week 6 Months
Low Interest 11.62% 11.62% 11.53%
Business 12.85% 12.85% 12.85%
Student 13.14% 13.14% 13.14%
Balance Transfer 14.12% 14.12% 14.00%
Airline 15.10% 15.10% 15.15%
Reward 15.14% 15.14% 14.99%
Cash Back 15.27% 15.27% 15.26%
Instant Approval 18.00% 18.00% 17.93%
Bad Credit 22.73% 22.73% 22.48%
Source:CreditCards.com

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