(Note: This is part two of two on affinity communities. Part one can be found here.)

In truth, affinity 55+ communities have existed for about 100 years led by faith-based interests. The military also sponsors successful communities (Air Force Village and AF Village West) that are exclusively for retired military officers. Because going on a cruise is often less expensive than Assisted Living, some retirees look at a floating solution. Ocean-going vessels like the Utopia offer condo-style, year-round living, while Princess Cruise Lines offers rooms onboard at about the same price as a high-end Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC). If this sounds interesting to you, while certainly not for everyone, explore the retirement of Beatrice Muller.

Vavatch Orbital cruise ship

While there are no cruise ships that specifically offer Assisted Living, there is help readily available for many ADL’s (Activities of Daily Living).

If you are seriously thinking about retiring on a ship, research the downsides as well (including illnesses that can sweep across a ship).

The possibilities for Niche Communities are endless—nudists, equestrian enthusiasts, artists, and so on. As with most things, the key to success and happiness lies in moderation. Any community with interests that are very narrow runs the risk of alienating many seniors who want to have a variety of people to interact with, to make friends with, and to explore new curiosities.

When planning for Rincon del Rio, we had to ask ourselves how much fun it would be, really, if you were on vacation all the time. It was troubling to consider every function of daily life being taken care of by someone. That just doesn’t seem to promote individual growth and personal responsibility—two key ingredients of independent living.

In the end, we decided it was best to design a campus where people can retire their own way, learn and grow with support and encouragement, to find and build on their own strengths and interests.

Here’s the plan: Rincon del Rio will provide services for the things you really don’t want to do (or shouldn’t be attempting), leaving you the time and energy to figure out what you do want to accomplish. We will make easy the opportunities for friendships and learning.

In other words, Rincon del Rio is a niche/affinity community: We are looking for residents who want us to supply the high-quality canvas, oil, and brushes and then let them paint their own picture. Does that sound like a good niche for you?