Ever since I enjoyed living in a 55 plus active adult community in Florida and moved back to Baltimore, I've been on a search to learn about more flexible living options. I owned my home in Florida for 10 years but gave up home ownership to rent back here in Baltimore. All of this was my choice. Before moving to Florida, I could have purchased a condo in Baltimore, but chose the adventure of moving to Florida with my parents.
I've never regretted all the good things that came out of that adventure, including owning my own home (a beautiful, bright rancher) for the first time, entertaining my parents during the winters there, becoming closer to both of them as a result, and learning many more lessons about living.
But I am nearing 60 now and am looking for a way to live a healthier life, not a more frenetic one. I could get caught up in keeping up with the Jones' here in Baltimore - in fact at one point I did try that, bagging the 'big job' - however circumstances led to that not sticking and I decided to return to self employment, both out of a sense of what I love AND out of a sense of what type of work can I thrive in at this time.
It may be that my best earning years have passed. Who knows. But, in the meantime, as I like to say as I play pickleball, I am doing my best to play within myself, meaning, live to my highest potentials at this moment, given my current strengths, talents and abilities.
Since moving back to Baltimore, I've discovered something called co-housing. I was even a part - in it's early beginnings - of a group of Baltimore retirees and soon-to-be-retirees looking to build the first co-housing community for seniors in Baltimore. At first we struggled to get more than a handful interested in the idea. Being first is always tough. Co-housing is growing in popularity across America, however, here in Baltimore, we are slower to catch on.
As things went, the group did grow and they are moving along nicely now. You can learn more about them here.
I, on the other hand, seem to have moved on to 'tinier but mightier' ideas! I'd love to have the flexibility and freedom as I age to cut down on my expenses, and tiny home communities are starting to spring up to respond to that need for retirees. I don't know if this is the answer for me but I am open to exploring all my options.
While co-housing comes in lots of forms, many of them are becoming another oasis for those who have quite a bit of disposable income. But what about those of us who don't have endless streams of income?
Tiny home communities seem to be rising up to fill in that gap. It's not a panacea, however. There are lots of challenges in setting these up, including finding land that the powers-that-be will allow them to grow up on.
As time goes on, you will hear me report more on these trends. In the meantime, here are two examples of communities coming to life in Florida I just came across while writing this post. There are no doubt many more:
These are just two examples or Americans trying to stretch their resources further in these high cost housing times. And improving their quality of living to boot!
Wondering what the differences are between pocket neighborhoods and co-housing? Click here.