ACTIVE RETIREMENT LIVING – MADELINE HILL & FRIENDS– By Galen- In my first two posts I looked at some things Mary Margaret and I learned about social atmosphere, design, and medical factors. Other crucial questions for us were “Who owns the community?” and “Who makes the decisions that will affect our lives here?”

Keep in mind the golden rule: He who has the gold, makes the rules. If you’re looking for someone to take care of you, then choose to rent from a reputable corporate entity with a good track record–and trust your future to the management. Mary Margaret and I preferred to remain captains of our ship and opted for equity-ownership at Mountain Meadows (MM). A community like this allows you to sell and move anytime you choose, taking your nest egg with you – and to pass your entire estate along to your heirs.

Of course this kind of independence also requires a certain amount of citizen-participation on Boards, Committees, and Task Forces–or just voting–to make the community work. Mary Margaret’s now on the Board of Directors and I serve on a Committee. MM’s 250 units include houses, cottages and condos, so there are also Neighborhood Associations and, for the condominium buildings, Boards for those as well. This is perhaps similar to any condominium community except that our decisions and issues include additional aging-in-place amenities and needs such as our community garden, dining room, and transportation options.

Participation in leadership and even voting here are optional, of course – but if you are considering an owner-equity senior community, look for one where the residents are actively engaged in the life of the community

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