While the predominantly seniors community of Paradise, California may have recently been scorched off the map due to wildfires, older adults are lining up in Florida to stake their claim to a piece of Margaritaville, a 55-plus community planned for Daytona Beach, Florida.
Retirement is becoming an ever-expanding stage of life as older adults live longer and in better health, thanks to advances in medicine and more knowledge about how lifestyle can affect health and wellness. The number of Americans over the age of 65 is expected to double from 46 million today to more than 98 million by 2060, and comprise nearly 24 percent of the total population, according to the Population Reference Bureau. The question on everyone’s minds is, “Where will all these seniors live and who will take care of them?”.
The New York Times Magazine recently reported on Latitude Margaritaville, a housing concept for older adults that want to keep the fun in their lives while staying socially and physically active in an atmosphere that feels more like a vacation than a retirement community. Judging by the droves of seniors waiting to pony up a $10,000 deposit, the franchise might be on to something.
Although a large majority of older adults say they want to age in place at home, that option can lead to social isolation, loneliness and sometimes depression. Seniors who live in rural areas, or even in the suburbs where homes are spread apart and neighbors are working all day, risk becoming detached from their community. But older adults living in close proximity can see their neighbors regularly and look out for one another. And if the deal comes with cocktails, dancing, a resort-style pool, and numerous dining choices, it’s no wonder why so many over-55 adults would embrace a “no worries” attitude and relaxed vibe of a resort-style community.
The Margaritaville philosophy is to create a community with a small-town, even an island feel, where neighbors can enjoy one another’s company with minor adjustments that accommodate older adults without making them feel they have been put out to pasture. And with a focus on fun, adult children and grandchildren will hopefully be eager to visit their elders.
The average American adult in relatively good health who retires at 65 can expect to live for another 20 years, often longer. With a growing variety of options to choose from, many older adults will be able to enjoy the luxury of living in a community designed with their interests in mind. Stay tuned, there’s lots more to explore in the world of retirement living.