Older Women Living Independently In a Community? Senior Cohousing Options You Need to Know About
One of the topics that endlessly fascinates me is how solo women of “a certain age’” are going to live healthy and happy lives in retirement.
Many single women prefer solitude and want to live alone. Others crave living with a crowd of like-minded people of all ages. They want dogs, cats, kids… the whole human experience!
Some women prefer to stay where they have always lived, in a big family house in the suburbs. Others are perfectly happy to pull up roots and settle in a small urban apartment.
Many women love the idea of retirement communities filled with lots of people and activities. Others can’t wait to rush home, shut the door behind them and snuggle up with their dog or cat. We are all unique!
A Crazy Vision or Practical Communal Living Scenario?
Right now, I am single and I live alone. Personally, I have always had a bit of a fantasy about living in a big house with a community of 10-12 like-minded women. Well to be precise, women with shared values. The vision that most resonates with me is not a Golden Girl “roommate” situation where everyone has a bedroom in a big house.
I envisage something bigger than that. I see a very tastefully converted apartment building where each woman has a tiny personal studio living space with a combined living/sleeping room, a small kitchen and ensuite bathroom. It would feature simple lines and a very minimalist design!
Then I visualize a huge kitchen with multiple stoves and fridges and freezers and a dining room with a huge table or two for shared meals. And, there would be a big cozy room with sofas you can sink into to watch movies and chat about things that matter.
This would have to be an affordable rental model because who is going to give a 65-year-old woman a mortgage?
Co-Working Space to Empower and Inspire
Since many women over 60 are out of work and looking for ways to support themselves over the next few decades, there would be a co-working space. Here, workshops could be held by outside or inside experts for women over 60. It could even be open to the wider community!
Topics might include how to launch a blog… or how to start an Etsy or Amazon shop. It could offer ways to start a consultancy business based on one’s areas of expertise. I don’t think this innovative rental model is going to be attractive to developers, but, there are innovators out there I am sure!
Tiny House Communities
There are not a lot of converted nunneries on the rental market these days so the other option in a community of Tiny Houses. They are popping up all over the world and a couple really look fascinating.
To start, here is a link to 15 different Tiny House Communities all around the United States. Some offer rentals, but most involve purchasing a piece of land or paying for the construction of your personal home.
You can expect a minimum of $100,000 investment. Check out these candy-colored tiny houses – and I promise some of you will want to have one tomorrow!
Another tiny house that caught my eye was The Boomer. It features, classic lines, elegant design and is only 24 x 8 feet in size. There are hundreds of other examples of tiny houses, you just must be willing to take downsizing to a whole new level and truly let go of 99% of your worldly possessions.
Liveable Communities for Older People Are a Growing Trend
Even AARP has got in on the discussion about tiny houses. They talk about how very small spaces can offer all kinds of opportunity for older people. They are cheaper for a growing demographic of people who are not working and the maintenance and upkeep are reduced.
You can also build or buy a tiny home with ecologically sound features and this should appeal to cities and towns looking for affordable and environmentally sustainable housing options.
In the UK, there is a community called OWCH (Older Women’s Co-Housing), formed by a group of women over 50, who created their own community by investing in a purpose-built block of flats in London. This video explains what they have accomplished, but, again this was a model that required a financial investment from each woman.
The world is shifting. Women over 60 are living longer, healthier and more independent lives. Many of us are perfectly happy being single but would love the friendship and security of living in community with other women.
What do you think? Can you imagine 12 Sixty and Me sisters living together?
Would you be interested in living in a community of like-minded women over 60s? What would that scenario look like? Would you like to live in a big house converted for a group of solo older women to live independently but together? Or would you prefer a tiny house in a community of like-minded women. Or, would you like to stay where you are?
This article was originally published on Sixty and Me.