May 6, 2013
Another Retirement Option: Spiritually Based Communities
If I say, "Sun City," you probably have a definite image: a planned community in the sunbelt somewhere. Your mental picture includes golf courses, golf carts, an activity center, a pool, and streets lined with small homes.
Such retirement communities are still the first choice for many for their satisfying retirement. They are safe and secure, have plenty of planned activities, and are usually located near first class medical facilities. Living in Phoenix I am quite familiar with the various Sun Cities - after all Dale Webb invented the concept and opened the first one on the west side of Phoenix on January 1, 1960. Over 50 years later the original Sun City has nearly 39,000 folks calling it home.
In the last several years other organized retirement options have become available. A year ago I wrote about some different retirement options that included living on a cruise ship full time, relocating to another country, or living in an RV and serving as a park ranger. A follow up post detailed the growing interest in cohousing, either for those 55+ or for mixed generations. The Cohousing Organization is an excellent place to look for more information.
Multi-generational housing is also increasing in popularity. Grandparents, mom and dad, and children share the same house. Sometimes this is due to economic need. But, in many cultures, having everyone together is a tremendous way for an extended family to care for each other in a very tangible way.
Another growing option is to stay in one's own home as long as possible. Aging in place is a valid choice for many. Better overall health, better home health care services, and home modifications make staying in a home you love a reasonable answer for many. Continuing care communities, with independent, assisted, and nursing care living are the first choice for many.
A fellow sent me an e-mail recently about yet another choice that I had not heard of before: a spiritually based retirement community. I know there are retirement homes sponsored by various religious denominations. But, this idea is different. Those who are looking to deepen their spiritual growth and development live with other like-minded retirees.
Located in Hawaii, Polestar Gardens is for seniors interested in spending their golden years in the company of like-minded souls, deepening their spiritual life--not just in entertainment and amusements, but in meditation, chanting, and creative service. their web site states they follow the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda but welcome those from other paths who feel attuned to these universal teachings of meditation and service to others. They are not affiliated with any other organization.
While Polestar Gardens is not my spiritual cup of tea, I find it so encouraging that the number of options we have continues to expand. Where Betty and I will choose to move when the time comes we continue to discuss. Who knows what options will exist when we are faced with that decision.