Communal Retirement Living… No Love Beads Required

Communal Retirement LivingFor many of us, communes conjure up images of the sixties… complete with fringed jackets and love beads. With the economic meltdown, many of us no longer have the cushion in our retirement savings we once accumulated. And as our life spans continue to lengthen, we’re looking for healthier ways to live… both by what we eat, how we spend our money, and who we surround ourselves. Communal retirement living has recently been a topic conversation amongst my friends, who also believe the foundation of retirement planning has irrevocably changed.


Who knew there were so many forms of communal living!  You can rent, buy, join an existing community or even form a new one in your area. The Fellowship for Intentional Community, a Missouri-based communal living clearing house, defines an intentional community as “a group of people who have chosen to live together with a common purpose, working cooperatively to create a lifestyle that reflects their shared core values. The people may live together on a piece of rural land, in a suburban home, or in an urban neighborhood, and they may share a single residence or live in a cluster of dwellings.”

FIC maintains an extensive worldwide directory that includes ecovillages, communes, co-ops, and cohousing. In California alone, there are 265 communities and growing in both in all types of settings. Some of the benefits of communal retirement living include:

  • Shared Housing Costs. Depending upon the type of community, the idea is to pool together resources to make living more affordable. As seniors try to make ends meet with fixed incomes, sharing costs will stretch limited dollars in retirement.
  • Sense of Community. Many seniors feel isolated, especially if their children live out of state or are busy professionals with little free time. Communal Retirement Living can add a sense of independence as well as access to activities that keep the brain and body healthy and engaged.
  • Sustainable Living. Many communities are focused on reducing individual carbon footprints, using land to grow local organic produce for members, and offer resources onsite. The saying “Think Globally, Buy Locally” seems particularly apt in creating lifestyles that are kind to our planet and our bodies.

As an optimist, I think there’s a silver lining caused by the economic downturn.  It’s brought us back to basics… to look at what’s truly important to us, to examine our needs beyond material possessions, and to create the quality of life we truly want. It’s also forced us to think creatively and open the door for cooperation and collaboration.
Need help in creating a workable and sustainable spending plan? Then schedule a free 30-minute consultation with Fiscally Fit, Inc. Email me at or call (650) 965-4090 for a no-cost, no-obligation appointment.

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2 Responses to Communal Retirement Living… No Love Beads Required

  1. Hope Van Hollander says:

    Would very much like to find those places on the east coast that are of the same mindset that you are using. Where do you suggest this research begin, besides your good example?

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