My wife and I are starting to ponder our options when coping with our non-easy-care house on ten rural acres near Salem, Oregon gets to be too much of a chore for us.
Some days, I feel like that day already has arrived.
We've got a large early 1970's house; something regularly goes wrong. We've got a large yard in addition to the ten acres; something regularly needs attending to -- leaves, mowing, pruning, whatever.
But we're healthy (albeit with a few nagging problems).
And maintaining our house and property helps keep us that way. We just are looking ahead to the time when it seems right to reluctantly say "goodbye" to the pleasures and pains of our current lifestyle.
We like the Northwest, so were interested in Panorama. Lacey is adjacent to Olympia, Washington -- which strikes me as a much cooler state capital than Salem is.
Plus, Washington has two additional pluses: it has legalized marijuana and assisted suicide (if you have a terminal condition). Being baby boomers who came of age in the 1960's, and are now in our mid-60's, we aren't interested in living a golf course and bingo retirement.
Especially not in a right-wing state like Florida or Arizona. So the left coast likely is where we'll spend the rest of our days.
Watching the DVD made us realize that this won't be in a continuing care retirement community. At least, not until they pull my longboard/skateboard out of my land paddling senior citizen arms.
This is not a dig against Panorama.
It appears to be a great retirement community for those who are attracted to having assisted living and skilled nursing facilities available, allowing them to smoothly transition from being independent to needing regular health care and other help.
The people interviewed in the Panorama DVD are not like us. Again, not a criticism. Just reality. This was evident from their clothes, home decor, manner of speaking, interests, and what they liked about Panorama.
Laurel and I don't think ourselves as old, even though we're 64 and 65. We damn sure don't enjoy acting like we're old. We dress as youthfully as Social Security recipients can get away with. We enjoy the MTV Video Music Awards. In short, we're aging ex-hippies who still embrace the Flower Child dream.
I'm sure marketing genuises in the 55+ community industry must recognize this. However, a bunch of Googling hasn't revealed any "active adult" developments aimed at the Aging Hippie demographic.
I think there's an opportunity here. Give me a call, planned community developers. My wife and I would be happy to serve as consultants on what people like us are looking for when they decide to leave their current home and lifestyle.
Dog-friendly/dog park. Not only allow skateboarding; encourage it. Multi-use paths in natural settings. Coffee house. Brew pub. Movie theatre that does not show On Golden Pond. Tai Chi, Yoga, and meditation classes. Intellectual stimulation.
And a community bus that looks a lot more like Ken Kesey's than a retirement home's.