There’s a new trend in retirement living, and it doesn’t involve moving. The village concept, born in a Boston neighborhood in 2001, is now morphing into “the notion of virtual retirement communities,” says a recent FoxBusiness.com article.
Primarily based in urban areas, a virtual retirement community is supported by annual membership fees that offer benefits to its participants: among them, group dinners, cultural outings, and transportation services — activities and perks characteristic of live-in retirement communities, except members remain in their own homes, where they want to be.
Across the country, membership fees range from $125 to $600, depending on location, the number of household members and whether the “village” services are provided by volunteers or paid individuals. A small price to pay when compared with the high monthly costs of assisted living, as the article states.
Most of these organizations are near a major city, like Philadelphia, Boston, and Seattle, and with more public transportation options and cultural offerings than rural and suburban areas, it is likely that the city connection contributes to its success. That being said, seniors living in rural and suburban areas could certainly benefit from access to village services. Perhaps as the virtual retirement trend grows, it will spill out into non-urban regions.
If you don’t live in a metropolitan area, or if your hometown doesn’t have a virtual retirement community yet, the article suggests — appropriately — a virtual visit to the Village to Village Network website for resources and advice on getting started.