For a long time now, 55+ people have been living in affinity communities and many didn’t realize it. Anyone living next to a golf course with little carts running around on the streets is living in an Affinity Community. What does that mean? A setting where people who share similar interests, religions, professional backgrounds or lifestyles living in the same locale. In the example above, golf.

There are now niche communities for Jimmy Buffet Fans, LGBTQ’s (I can’t ever seem to get all those initials in order: I just say BLT’s, hope no one takes offense, and that everyone knows what I mean), Asian, Indian, co-housing—you name it it’s probably out there; and if it isn’t, there are plans in the making. Andrew Carle, founding director of the Program in Senior Housing Administration at George
Mason University, estimates there are about 100 niche communities currently in operation. “They are the future of housing and will explode in the next 10 to 15 years, when baby boomers hit 70,” he says.
(The first boomers are already 72.)

Sometimes Affinity Communities just naturally occur—organic is what they call it. (Some words just get so trendy. Only strained politically correct talk bothers me as much as ‘trendy’ words. I’d like to find the person who first said, “Reach Out”, as in, “I’ll reach out to them to see if they are interested.” What ever happened to words like ‘contact’, ‘get in touch’, ‘e-mail them’, or ‘give them a call’. Am I the only one who thinks ‘reach out’ sounds a little dramatic—like someone is drowning?)

Anyway, about organically occurring affinity (niche) communities:
There has been a theory around (since the 1950’s) saying there is a great deal of importance attached with life satisfaction and looking like the people around you. A study from the University of Colorado-Bolder verifies this.

Other studies have shown that thin people in a neighborhood surrounded by the more rotund, tend to move to a neighborhood with more active, thinner neighbors . . . and vice versa. This is how broad-based affinity communities begin. It would seem that happiness, being fit, being kind, interested in current events, etc. is contagious. A set of positive behaviors engenders like behaviors in those living in
close proximity.

Rincon del Rio is only a partly organic-occurring affinity neighborhood. When people move here they know exactly what to expect: Farm-grown food; great restaurants with healthy, whole foods; open space with many walking opportunities; nature all around; wildlife; strong change of seasons with no
snow or fog; beautiful sunrises; etc.

It will be interesting to see if people visiting our community members (not fully aware of the Rincon del Rio vision) display feelings of well-being, health, and happiness that they ‘soak’ up from just being around those who live here. I know that is often the case with people who have spent a week or two at a spa. They feel reborn.

We are really lucky to have the option of living at Rincon del Rio—an affinity community about feeling healthy, happy, and grateful.