Liz White had no clue when she visited her parents in Naples, Florida, last year that she would wind up with her own flat in the same complex full of seniors.
White was living in downtown Philadelphia in 2021 when her position as a marketing account director became completely remote owing to the COVID-19 outbreak. The 31-year-old was at a crossroads: her lease on her apartment was about to come to an end, and she was going through a breakup.
White moved in with her retired parents and lived in a facility with other older people while she figured out what to do next. “I adore the sense of belonging. Everyone is extremely nice to one another and always assists one another,” “White explained to CNBC Make It.
When a flat in the building became available, White inquired about renting it, and the owner agreed. Each senior living facility has its own qualifying standards, but residents must be at least 55 years old. Except for White, all of the inhabitants in White’s parents’ building are of legal drinking age.
She claims that two other residents are still working, but the major has retired. “I believe it helped because I knew the proprietors and they knew who I was. When I inquired about renting their flat, they understood exactly what they were getting, as White stated.
“It’s just a sweet, giving community.”
For rent on her two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment, White pays around $2000 a month, which is “pretty much equivalent” to what she was paying in Philadelphia for a smaller apartment.
White’s daily routine differs from that of the retirees because she works a traditional 9-to-5 job. But when getting dinner at 3:30 with her neighbors or her parents doesn’t always work out, she makes sure to watch the sunset every night with a big group of her neighbors.
And of the camaraderie she feels with her neighbors, who are over the age of 65, White said, “If someone’s going through something medically, others are always willing to get you groceries or take you to a doctor’s appointment.” People always knock on the door with leftovers, so it’s just a sweet, giving community.”
For White, living in a retirement community means she has to follow the rules, just like every other tenant in the building. Some include reporting overnight guests, no glass in the pool area, and specific hours to use the laundry room.
Despite the rules, White says the perks are worth it.
“I know the rules can be a lot, but I just love the slower pace of life here,” she said. “Being able to park and not fight for street parking is awesome.” And some of the perks include easy access to a pool, the beach across the street, and a handy tool closet with everything you’d need to fix something around your apartment.
White’s rent includes access to a storage room she uses for beach equipment and whatever else she doesn’t have space for in her apartment. “I lucked out and am planning on staying here for as long as possible. Who knows what life will bring, but I’m living the dream right now,” she says.
“I feel like everyone waits to get to a point where they retire by the beach, and I’m doing that while still working a full-time job, so it’s like I have the best of both worlds.”