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7 Pros & Cons of Living in a Senior Cohousing Community

Pros & Cons of Living in a Senior Cohousing Community

What’s your ideal retirement lifestyle? Maybe you dream of growing old in the home where you’ve raised your children. Or, maybe you’d like to hop in an RV and travel the country with your partner. As you age, you’ll at least think about exploring different retirement lifestyles. And, whether you have your sights set on downsizing, leisure, or travel, there’s one senior housing option that you may not have considered yet (though it’s gained some major popularity in recent years!). What’s that option? Cohousing.


What is cohousing? It’s a type of communal living where residents live in clusters of homes or condos centered around shared space.

Let’s talk about all the pros and cons of living in a senior cohousing community!


What is a Senior Cohousing Community?

group of senior adult friends over 55 in a retirement community

A senior cohousing community is an intentional neighborhood where residents of similar ages and mindsets live. Although they live in private homes, residents come together to share in activities, cooking, and celebrations (among other things).

Community involvement is the lifestyle.

Senior Cohousing Community PROS

senior woman holding bowl of soup and giving thumbs up

1. Cost

Although houses within a community are usually no cheaper than anywhere else, there are other financial perks. When moving to a senior cohousing community, residents automatically have access to all common areas, recreation, and other amenities the community has to offer. Residents will save money on amenities as well as services and shared resources, equipment, and even food.

2. Sustainability

The environmentally conscious will find that most senior cohousing communities are self-sustaining in at least a few ways. For example, many communities grow their own fruits and vegetables. Some raise chickens. In addition to eating organic, growing and sharing food means saving energy.


3. Friendship

Nearly one-fourth of adults over the age of 65 are considered socially isolated. Solution? Maybe cohousing! One of the biggest lures of cohousing life is being close to (and with!) neighbors. Senior cohousing is choosing to age in place with friends.

4. Safety

Ever hear the phrase, “safety in numbers?” Well, it rings true in cohousing communities. Residents look out for one another and, help is always within arm’s reach.

Senior Cohousing Community CONS

1. Restrictive

Some may find living in a senior cohousing community more restrictive than they’d prefer. After all, living in a tight-knit setting means that each neighbor has to be considerate and agree with one another as much as possible. And, if you’re the type of person who doesn’t do rules, then, it simply might not be your thing.

2. Privacy

Houses or other living spaces are private. However, residents live close to one another and share a lot. The possibilities of gossip and visual privacy might be two deal breakers to consider.

3. Too Much Involvement

If you’re an introverted person who doesn’t enjoy too much involvement, then cohousing might not be the lifestyle for you. It’s also worth considering the fact that a senior cohousing community is self-managed. This means that residents make the rules and usually have frequent town hall meetings.


Is Cohousing Right For You?

Well, what’s your ideal retirement lifestyle? If you love the idea of being close to neighbors – gardening together, cooking, cleaning, and entertaining together – then, cohousing might be perfect for you! If you’re more introverted and enjoy doing things on your own terms – then, maybe it’s not.

More Senior Resources

friends on couch

If you’re looking for cohousing near you, then start here.

To get started with other types of senior housing, start here.

Popular Articles About Cohousing

Originally published October 27, 2023


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