Once the mantra was “Don’t trust anyone over 30.”
But then the first baby boomer turned 65 in January of 2011, and suddenly age isn’t turning out to be as miserable as it was made out to be.
At least not for those embracing the opportunities age brings, such as living in what were once known as “retirement villages.”
Ross Cortese built two of them in Orange County, Calif., in the early 1960s, dubbing them both “Leisure World,” communities designed for people to “enjoy their golden years.”
Although the average age is 75, almost 6,000 of Laguna Woods Village residents today are boomers, says Heather Rasmussen, spokeswoman for PMC, the management company. Fitness center hours have been extended to accommodate a generation that still works after the so-called retirement date. And Zumba classes have been added to programs that focused on more traditional exercise efforts.
“It’s the best retirement community on the West Coast,” said Marshall Yagan, 62, who moved in with his wife two years ago to be closer to their children, and both continue to work part time.
The good time is dominated by the Baby Boomer Club, which has drawn 450 members in less than four years. The club sponsors a social event monthly, usually a dance.
An evening with the Baby Boomers becomes a major social event, as described by Carol St. Hilaire. Before going to the dance, she and her husband, Leon, usually dine with friends.
Then there are the other 200-some clubs and activities in the community.
Cortese planned California’s largest 55-plus community for active adults.
The community has seven clubhouses, 38 holes of golf, five swimming pools and an equestrian center.