By John Howells, author of Where to Retire.
When my wife and I began researching retirement communities, some 20 years ago, we were somewhat puzzled by the concept of age-restricted communities. Since we had always lived in mixed-generation neighborhoods, we quite frankly could not understand why retirees would voluntarily segregate themselves into neighborhoods of same-age neighbors.
Recalling our days of raising a family in a traditional suburban neighborhood, we fondly recalled how we enjoyed socializing with our mixed-generation neighbors. Summer block celebrations, backyard barbecues, bridge and poker parties. Also Christmas, New Years, Fourth of July, and a host of other social events were neighborhood celebrations. When new families with children moved in, we quickly made them welcome and have maintained friendships with some for decades afterward. Now, why in the world would retirees shun this pleasant lifestyle?