We spend our lives socializing — and often living among — people who share our interests. So when it comes to retirement, why not flock together with birds of a similar feather? A recent New York Times article ("Finding Communities That Connect and Nurture the Like-Minded," December 2014) spotlights retirement homes that cater to people with similar interests or a shared identity.
These include an L.G.B.T. community in California and Lasell Village, a university-based community that requires its residents to participate in 450 hours of education per year. There are communities for a diverse range of cultures and interests, from ShantiNiketan (for retirees of Indian heritage) to the NoHo Senior Artists Colony.
Special-interest communities aren't a new phenomenon: For example, the Lillian Booth Actors Home for showbiz professionals has been around since 1902. However, the popularity of niche retirement communities has increased in the past 10 years or so.
AARP also reported on the rise of "affinity communities" ("Finding Your Niche Housing in Retirement—or Before!") The article mentions a wide range of retirement communities that accommodate different lifestyles, such as Rocinante in Tennessee, where nature-loving residents get to live in cabins.
Part of the appeal of niche communities is that residents find themselves in the majority after a lifetime of being a minority; being around people with a shared vision or identity provides them with a sense of belonging.
If you like the sound of retiring among people with similar interests, make sure you do your research. An Internet search is an easy way to get started and to find out about communities that match your artistic, cultural or religious preferences—as well as your budget.
In what kind of community would you like to live in retirement? Tell us about it!