A neat idea that is sort of senior living and kinda not.

By Steve Moran

A couple of weeks ago I got an email that was titled “Start Your Good Life.” How could anyone resist the opportunity to start their good life? I opened it. It turns out that Rita Wilkins, the founder of “The Good Life” has a neat idea that is sort of senior living and kinda not.  

A Big Chunk of Life

Western society is in the midst of trying to figure out what to do with retirement. It used to be that folks worked and worked hard until they were around age 65. By the time they retired, they were mostly physically more worn out and used up than not. They had a few more years where they mostly wanted to sit under the shade tree and watch the world go by, knowing they were not long for this world.  

This is far from true anymore . . .

When people turn age 50 or 60 they can mostly look forward to another 20, 30 or even more years of living productive active lives. Sitting under a shade tree for that long is not very appealing. Today this growing population has really three choices:

  1. Stay in their own home, which is what most will do as long as they can

  2. Move into an active living 55+ senior community, something that particularly attracts the golfing crowd

  3. Commit to a Lifeplan Community (CCRC)

These are all good choice for maybe, even, most of the population, but likely not everyone.  

The Good Life

The Good Life is a new concept for the younger active retirees or mostly retirees who put a high value on having new experiences and living in community. It is in some sense like a mashup of an upscale youth hostel with a four star hotel for restless engaged youthful seniors.

The Details

So . . . Rita is still pretty cautious about getting specifically into exactly what it will look like but here is what she was willing to share at this point in their journey:

  • The Good Life will be a rental-based village concept for seniors. There will be adequate private space merged with public space that allows for interpersonal engagement.   

  • Seniors would typically stay for one to a few months (think a snowbird kind of life with more options).

  • There will be a high level of service.

  • Each campus will be relatively small with around 50 units.

  • The cost will be about 40% less than quality hotels with more room and high levels of service.

  • Their first community will be in Charleston but their plan calls for maybe 50 sites across the country.

  • They are finalizing the design elements and working on funding.

  • They expect some seniors will make this a full-time living option and others will use it for part of the year while maintaining a more traditional homebase.  

They know this is not an option for everyone, but they believe there are a significant number of seniors where this would be the perfect thing.

You can check out their website HERE