One of the largest demographics downsizing into small homes is the 60+ age bracket. Why? Because the tiny house movement is ideal for empty-nesters and folks looking to retire! Here are the top five reasons why.
If you’re excited about living in a tiny house of your own, consider visiting our village, with more than a dozen tiny houses located within walking distance of each other. You’ll spend two weeks learning about the tiny house lifestyle, environmental sustainability, and so much more, along with lots of chances to participate in related projects hands on. Spots fill up quickly, so contact us immediately if you know you want to visit – click here to get in touch.
Top 5 Benefits Retirees Get from Living in Our Eco-Village
5. We have a high quality of life, along with a low cost of living
It goes without saying that the folks in our village have varying expenses, depending on their lifestyle choices. Even so, comparing apples to apples, we enjoy modes of living comparable to what is available in conventional culture, but at a fraction of the cost. For me, I spend around $800-900 a month for everything – from property taxes right on through to an occasional pint of my favorite ice cream – that’s about 60% of what I was spending to live in a medium-sized town in West Texas. For someone living on a fixed income, this kind of advantage can be incalculably valuable.
A lower cost of living doesn’t mean a lower standard of living. In fact, my quality of life is much better since moving to my village in northeast Missouri. I have 280 acres of prairie and woodland to explore, which includes four different ponds, (one of which is used by the community in the summer months as a swimming spot, or in the winter for ice skating). I know all of my neighbors, and routinely bump into them for a friendly chat on the path. My commute is 45-second walk from my front door to the nonprofit’s office. I can even see our village eco-inn/tavern/general store from my window. You could enjoy all of these things too, if you have the courage to downsize like I did.
4. Owner financing is available
Folks over the age of 65 often have to spend more than 50% of their income for housing, especially if their sole source of income is social security – that’s a recipe for poverty. Quality rental accommodations are available for between $250 and $400ish a month, and new construction can be commissioned for as little as $100/square foot – two-thirds of the national average. This means that even if you don’t have a family home to sell or some other nest egg, living in a tiny home is still amply accessible.
3. Countless opportunities for interpersonal connection
Elders are among the loneliest people in our society, and the older the get, the worse the symptoms. In my community, folks are never far away from a neighbor, and there’s usually some form of event happening in the village most any day of the week. On Mondays, for instance, I play board games with the folks that live next door to me – a single mom and her son. On Tuesdays I share a potluck dinner with dozens of people from my village and the surrounding area. On Wednesdays I go to song circle, where resident vocalist will sometimes entertain my obscure song requests. On Thursdays, our local eco bed and breakfast, the Milkweed Mercantile, serves the best pizza and organic beer for hundreds of miles in any direction. On Fridays everyone brings their own dinner to chat over a casual meal. On Saturdays, we play Ultimate Frisbee on our awesome sports field. On Sundays, we come together to share news, make announcements and discuss all the exciting things that are coming up over the next week.
Additionally, there are groups that come together to do yoga, meditate, discuss matters related to spirituality, offer counseling, or just hang out and dance to some music. Whatever your interests are, chances are there will be plenty of folks in our community who share them.
2. Our community strives to value the wisdom and life experience of elders
Governing a village is no simple task, especially when you have dozens of people vying to have their point of view included in a decision. Our processes are by no means perfect, but if you ask me, our system of community administration is a good sight better than the sort of thing most people have to deal with. We operate much like a homeowners association, and in one way or another, everyone’s voice is taken into account. By the way, there are lots of kids around that love to hear stories.
1. You can become part of a movement that is making the world a better place to live in
Retirees are more likely to volunteer their time to charitable causes than any other group, according to a 2010 study by the Pew Research Center. Our community formed on the basis of shared values related to environmental sustainability, and a desire to empower more people to live in harmony with other living things on our planet. Every year, we host hundreds of visitors to show off our wide array of sustainable living skills, along with student groups of all ages from area schools, and various topical workshops. We have an annual open house tour attended by hundreds of people, and our weekly newsletter is read by thousands of people from all over the world. If this sort of thing resonates with you, we’d love for you to visit us and spend some time in our village. Learn more about how you can visit our community here.