Communities Bring Together People of All Ages

Imagine sharing your land with a community of around 30 other families. You each have your own homes, but the land is cared for by all. Your neighbors range from young families with babies to single retirees, and everyone knows everyone else. You are regularly involved in planning activities with your neighbors, and you have regular dinners with everyone in a large community meeting space in the center of town. If you need a certain tool or even a lawnmower, you can grab it from the shared storage nearby. That’s what it’s like living in a co-housing community.

Co-housing is sometimes presented as an option for life after retirement. Living in a shared community can offer a sense of friendship and family to someone who may be searching for connection. The way that co-housing neighborhoods are designed encourages neighbors to interact and forge lifelong bonds. Many of these neighborhoods offer a central building with a kitchen for sharing meals, a shared garden, or other spaces for socialization and productivity.

This focus on interaction can lead to neighbors caring deeply for each other, including those passing through retirement age who might need some extra care. Some co-housing communities prefer residents to be of a certain age, which can be desirable for those with specific health needs or a more relaxed pace of life. Intergenerational communities, however, offer benefits of their own. Younger people who form relationships with older adults may become more empathetic, gain awareness of the aging process, and obtain wisdom from their neighbors. Older adults may find it energizing to be around new families and younger folks, like Danish co-housing resident, Jytte Helle: “I’m convinced that If I lived exclusively with elderly people, I would degenerate. So the fact that I’m living with younger people is a gift on a daily basis.”

Watch the PBS interview with Ms. Helle and learn more about co-housing by clicking here, and share what you think about co-housing communities, below.

If you have questions about post-retirement planning, click on our 14-Point Lifetime Care Plan link. Our goals for you include achieving peace of mind and making sure your plan works exactly how you intended. For Estate Planning, Special Needs Planning, Elder Law, Veterans Benefits, Real Estate, and Business Planning needs contact Glenn R. Matecun at this link or by calling 517-548-7400 in Livingston County and 586-751-0779 in Macomb County.

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