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Old 12-28-2014, 08:21 AM
2,679 posts, read 2,201,152 times
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The retirement community to which I deliver mail (which I could never afford or even want to live in) always posts the daily menu . I could imagine how much extra the place would charge for special cases like me lol.
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Old 12-28-2014, 10:55 AM
Location: land of ahhhs
277 posts, read 298,471 times
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Originally Posted by luv4horses View Post
This article recently appeared http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/27/yo...nded.html?_r=0 presenting the idea of boutique style retirement communities based on certain characteristics or histories of their clients. What do you think? Are they sustainable? Financially reliable?

One question I have is what happens to the huge up front fees that are paid. Where do they go and who babysits them? They do sound rather enticing if you could find one with your sort of like-minded elders. Big money, though.
Fantastic post! I always said if I won the lottery I'd start lifestyle communities of various persuasions (equestrians, pilots, preppers, etc). This article is about, mainly, CCRCs which operate on more-or-less the same business principle whether or not they are "boutique". My mom lives in one in Palo Alto, and while I wouldn't want to live in that particular one myself (no dogs), I certainly love visiting with the vital engaged people who live there. Her "buy in" in 2002 wasn't nearly as high as those quoted, and monthly fees are a bit over 3K, not bad for housing, pretty darn good meals, medical care and assisted to skilled nursing as time takes it's toll. Residents there have no equity--nothing returned should they want to move (there is a period to take care of buyer's remorse, but not very long), or die. So it's quite a hit to the estate if you're only there a few years. But after 13 years it averages out to another $1000/month +/- (considering increases over time). Not cheap by any means, but not bad given the neighborhood. And you can't run out of money--well, you can, but they've got you covered should that happen.

So yes, sustainable, reliable communities do exist, and what happens to the upfront money varies by community. Now to decide: who are MY like-minded elders?
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Old 12-28-2014, 01:01 PM
14,262 posts, read 24,004,620 times
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Originally Posted by katie45 View Post
Interesting question about the 6 figures paid upfront required to move in, and then the high monthly rent on top of that. Yesterday I talked with a lady who managers a senior complex and we discussed communities that require the buy-in fee. She informed me to be very, very careful about those communities because the majority are the same as a time-share and the only way you'd ever get your money returned (without interest of course), or for your survivors to get a refund, is when a new resident purchases your 'share'.

Plus, she said there was a buy-in complex in her town but it went bankrupt and everyone lost their buy-in money.

I am very familiar with several of these high-end properties in a Midwestern city. The buy-in is about $180k and the rent is about $3500 a month the last time I looked, For that, you get an active lifestyle community with a assisted-living and a fully licensed nursing facility in the same facility. I might add that the accommodations are about the equivalent of a luxury hotel.

One of my chef friends was world-renowned and worked at one of these places. The food was 1st class as was every part of the experience.

As for all the warnings, when you can drop that type of money, you generally have an attorney or two involved who will warn you of any "gotcha" in the contracts. Also, when mama has that type of money, there are generally children involved who are keeping a close eye on the funds.

For the record, the same organization offers a moderately priced facility for those of more modest means.
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Old 12-29-2014, 12:33 AM
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Default We are many!

There are lots of us baby boomers and I think this idea of boutique or niche retirement communities based on interests is very viable, and savvy business types with the funds should follow the advice from the old movie: "If you build it, they will come."

Of course you will have to choose which interests to associate yourself with, which area of the country, that is all happening now anyway. But why not have the largest generation ever in America reinvent retirement communities? Obviously this forum among others can provide lots of ideas about what interests are appealing to many, etc.
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Old 12-29-2014, 04:45 AM
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Originally Posted by momzdrm View Post

I'm thinking along the same lines as Escort Rider here and again emphasizing the "tend to be" part of the statement. I really would love to travel, go to symphonies, take university classes and maybe learn a new language with my friends and neighbors. Going to fashion shows and discussing the woes of our children (and my own) is not how I want to spend these precious years left.

I'd love a "boutique community" but after the up front cost, who could afford the symphony ticket?
With 55+ communities, I'm seeing that once they reach a level of housing units in the thousands (possibly hundreds, but the ones I have in mind are in the thousands so I'm not sure), you start to get enough people to support all kinds of niche groups (classical music, jazz, choral groups and other performance groups, as well as all manner of other specialized interest groups/activities). Some of them even have theaters onsite and bring low-cost entertainment to the community as well as performances by residents.

The costs are often no higher than living in other housing. (Of course, these are 55+ communities of active adults in condos and/or single family homes, not communities providing any type of care, meals, etc.)

Not saying communities focused on a particular interest aren't an interesting idea, but these larger 55+ communities are another way people have found to find/form groups that revolve around similar interests and desire for shared activities that is also worth looking into (especially if someone has not yet reached the age where they need assisted living and if cost is a factor).
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Old 12-29-2014, 08:31 AM
Location: Loudon, TN
5,790 posts, read 4,843,885 times
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There are numerous IL, AL, and memory care type places that are not technically CCRC's. They are just stand alone facilities, some of which have units at higher levels of care under the same management and they don't require a buy-in. Just a non-refundable "community fee" of 1500-2500 dollars and monthly rent (which includes all meals, transportation, activities, etc). I don't know of any yet that are affinity-based, but I would be willing to bet that this is a model that will be far more popular than one that requires you to hand over your life savings. I would not even be able to afford a place with a big upfront fee, because my retirement is financed by a monthly pension (and SS when I am eligible) I will never have enough money at one time for that huge buy-in fee! I would never be able to see myself handing over my life savings to a company that might just "lose" it through poor management or malfeasance.
I like the idea of affinity based communities, can't say I know whether that would work for me though. I have plenty of time to see if more are created, what, and where they will be (big factor for me).
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Old 12-29-2014, 11:52 AM
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,985,208 times
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Originally Posted by jazzcat22 View Post
I love classical music, Escort Rider, but I'm not sure that would be me the niche I would go for since I also love jazz and rock....and I learned the hard way with my father-in-law (also a classical music lover) that just this mutual interest doesn't make for a good relationship. He was not a nice person in many ways.

One of my most important interests/lifestyle preferences is eating a whole foods plant-based diet. There are very few retirement communities that could cater to this diet. Seventh Day Adventist communities/facilities would be an option....but I'm definitely not a SDA! There are a few Indian facilities that offer vegetarian diets, but I'm not Indian.

For a niche retirement community, I would probably do best in one that caters to Buddhist liberal vegans who like to do yoga and tai chi, as well as other forms of exercise and who enjoy foreign and independent films, jazz/classical/rock music, and reading. Somehow I don't think one is going to materialize anytime soon---so I think it's best for me to try to stay in place as long as possible. Contrary to the song "Somewhere" in West Side Story, I am not sure that "somewhere there is a place for us"...or more specifically, me.

And then there is the issue of how well I would even do in a community. I am a gregarious introvert, so while I long to connect with others in a meaningful way, I also quickly get my energy depleted by too much social interaction.
Thank you for writing my post for me! I agree with you on everything including your tastes/preferences.

As for classical music, I've been the executive director and/or marketing director of several well-known chamber music schools/festivals and one classical music organization, and I can tell you I've never clashed with personalities more than in those settings. Nearly everyone I encountered was a prima donna par excellence, whether musician or board member, and often nasty. Part of the joy of retiring was to get away from them, lol.

My favorite jobs have been solo, as in book editing. Just satisfied clients, get the job done well and get paid. Or teaching a creative class.

I too would like the same kind of community you would, but I've found over the years that too much of a good thing can get old. And some practitioners of alternative lifestyles can be overly uptight and self-conscious, always wanting to be too good and too pure, some better-than-thou. Definitely not me, as my artistic temperament would sooner or later rebel against uniformity of values or too-good intentions around anything.

Nor would a loosy-goosy lifestyle in a community fit me; I'm more formal and reserved. So....looks like me and the old man will stick together for another third of a century. At least we have come to a live-and-let live style with each other, there for support and to balance each others' unusual values. At least we're both quiet, and that speaks well for us.
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Old 01-09-2015, 02:14 PM
Location: Schererville, IN
171 posts, read 181,136 times
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I'm back! Thanks for the mention
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Old 01-09-2015, 02:34 PM
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Reputation: 2524
So don't leave us hanging . . . how goes Rock Till You Drop? Still a work in progress?
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