If you are tired of caring for a lawn and being responsible for all the maintenance of a house, then moving to a condominium or apartment probably sounds like a good idea for retirement. But a problem then is having to make new friends and re-build a social group in your new setting. I think co-housing is therefore a great option. I live in a co-housing group, Daybreak Co-housing, in Portland, Oregon. It is very much like living in a condo -- I have my own apartment, and a small yard out in back, but it is better. When I joined the co-housing group, I openly stated my wish to be part of a community. I met my neighbors before I moved in, we have multiple community events (meals twice a week; go to concerts, and have had an annual picnic). I know there is always someone nearby in case I need help. Our group spans the ages -- we have a 1 year old member as well as a 72 year old member, and most of the adult members are/were professionals. I get free computer advice from one neighbor, while my other lawyer neighbor gives me good advice based on legal knowledge. We have a wonderful new building that encourages interaction, but when I want, I can shut my door and just read a book, if I want. I think co-housing is an option that retirees-to-be should seriously consider. If you want to know about our particular group, we have a webpage: www.daybreakcohousing.org.
I am still working, but I think co-housing will be even better for me when I am retired. We are having about two dinners a week now. I can come home from work and just go over to the common house and have a dinner with a bunch of friends. All I have to do is sign up ahead of time. People take turns cooking, but really there is only the need to participate in cooking one meal a month for everyone, then I can enjoy 7other meals that other people cook. Keeps the costs down a lot too. Right now we are paying $5.00 a meal. Great deal when compared to a restaurant meal that would be at least $10.00 or more.
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