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"I was just wondering if anyone has thoughts about living in a retirement community especially for single older adults, vs living in
a traditional neighborhood? Any ideas, pro and cons?"

My comments: Re a retirement community: For me, too many "old" (ha-ha) people and too structured an environment. I believe one (at any age) needs the vibrancy and unpredictability of young(er) folks when approaching "old" age. Also, retirement communities are ususlly "designed" around certain mind-numbing activities like golf (ugh) or card playing (double ugh) or quilting/craft parties which certain folks like me do not care a wit about. It's like buying a lifelong ticket to an event that, in your heart, you do not enjoy or you find not mind-expanding. Also, joining a retirement community usually means leaving your friends, church, doctor and dentist. Iococca said it the best: "Don't move so far away that you must leave behind your doctor, best friends, church activities." Then, what about culture and the arts. Retirement communities usually chase after crafts and leave the arts to a trip by plane or bus hours away.

So, we (65+) have chosen at our young age to design/build a new home in a "TRADITIONAL" neighborhood. Our church, filled with caring friends, is just "down the street." Close relatives are within 2 hours. There is an arts center and courses are offered by two local universities. A bonus (but not part of the plan) is a wide range of military facilities (I'm a retired military, on the Reserve side). By accident, I discovered that they allow me to eat in the mess at $3 a dinner. Art and artists comes to the area frequently and all kinds of performances are available big-time in Washington DC or Baltimore. Doctors could be better but, in a bind, we can (and have) draw on the first-class medical resources of Johns Hopkins in Baltimore.

We checked out university towns (Bloomington, IN; Charlottesville, VA; Asheville, N.C.) and one retirement community (PennEstates? near Waynnesboro, Pa.) but found them all lacking. And they were too far removed in life style from what we felt comfortable with. Too much crime, too noisy, too far away from our friends/relatives.

So, in the end, we picked the diversity, rolling beauty, no-crime, clean-air, community/family-centered neighbors, mind-challenging options, (peace, quiet & tranquility), and the spiritual energy of our church, all available in Middletown, MD, 1/2 way between Frederick and Hagerstown.
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