In the same edition of TIME as the article on living alone as “the new norm,” there’s another one that got me thinking about childfree applications. This one is on “niche aging.” Fast forward to your retirement (ok, that might seem far away but from On-the-Ground question responses, many think way ahead about this!) with this idea…

…Developers call it “affinity housing.” They’re also called “niche communities.”  It’s a special kind of retirement community where you can “opt to grow old alongside others who share a specific interest.” There’s already about 100 communities like this, and they’re predicted to grow.

If you are an avid country music lover, there might just be a place for you in the country music niche community in Franklin, Tennessee.

There’s another for “Asian Americans who yearn for cultural immersion” called Aegis Gardens in Fremont, California and “was designed under the watch of feng shui consultants and offers tai chi classes.”

“Then there’s Fountaingrove Lodge, the U.S.’s first facility to offer long-term continuing care for gay and lesbian retirees. It broke ground last year in Santa Rosa, Calif., and is already 50% reserved.”

They all offer “everything from standard housing to continuing care, which provides assisted living or skilled nursing to residents as required.” So you get to live around folks with shared interests, likely like minds and the support of traditionally designed retirement communities.

Of the many kind of niche communities, what if there were ones for retirees who never had children by choice? What would they be like?

Well, first there would not be grand-kids showing up to visit! There would be family and friends, however, who would come to visit with kids. So maybe they would have “visiting hours” for these kind of visitors?

My parents have lived in a retirement community so I have seen how they work. There are clubhouses where folks gather for classes and activities. There’s a restaurant. There’s a pool (s).  So if it were of the childfree niche, I envision there would be rules about when kids could show up in these areas.

What else? Imagine you are retired and live in a childfree niche community. What would it be like?

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