ORLANDO, Fla. – Niche retirement communities are growing particularly popular as the 76 million baby boomers reach retirement age. The communities are aimed at people of specific ethnic backgrounds, hobbies or collegiate allegiances. Here are some niche retirement communities found across the United States.
ShantiNiketan in Tavares, Florida: This retirement community located about 30 miles northwest of Orlando is geared to residents from India. A clubhouse in the center of the 54 condos holds a dining room, kitchen, a worship room with an enormous shrine holding icons of Hindu gods Shiva and Ganesh and an exercise room. The dining room serves vegetarian meals and on weekends hosts karaoke. In their homes, residents get 20 Indian channels on cable TV. A second phase is under construction, and a similar community is being planned for New Jersey.
Fountaingrove Lodge in Santa Rosa, California: This luxury retirement community located in the heart of California wine country caters to gays and lesbians. The grounds have a fitness center, outdoor walking paths and residents take classes in yoga, water aerobics and tai chi.
University Commons in Ann Arbor, Michigan: The 92-condos in this retirement community border the north campus of the University of Michigan, and the development caters to residents who want to live in an academic environment. The community has classrooms for continuing education courses and a recital hall for lectures and concerts.
Aegis Gardens in Fremont, California: This assisted living community in the San Francisco Bay area caters to Chinese residents. Staff members speak Chinese and English, and the facility is designed according to Feng Shui principles. Tai chi and calligraphy classes also are offered to residents.
Nalcrest in Polk County, Florida: At more than five decades old, Nalcrest is one of the oldest niche retirement communities, catering to former postal carriers. It is operated by the foundation arm of the National Association of Letter Carriers. It has 500 garden-style apartments and is located midway between Tampa on the Gulf Coast and Vero Beach on the Atlantic Coast. No dogs are allowed.
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