Welcome to the Gen Plus Blog

It's a backstage pass to info on jobs and life at 50+. Gen Plus, headed by Janet Wendy Spiegel, is dedicated to baby boomers and the plus generation of age 50 and older. Read up and speak out on issues affecting your future: jobs, income, life and respect.

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Northridge, California, United States
Successful businesswoman, consultant, entrepreneur. I operate two businesses -- social media consulting, AND premium pet care services in the West San Fernando Valley. Love what I do, love life.

Gen Plus has relocated to www.GenPlusUSA.com

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

I always knew my Liberal Arts degree would come in handy...

Always looking for connections. Always keeping my eyes and ears open to themes in the world of 50 plus!

This one is about the "new lifestyle concept." Well, you heard it here first. Several months ago, Campus Continuum asked us to help them with a survey they were running on "campus" retirement living. My article sent a lot of interested readers over to the survey. And results are in. More on that in a minute.

On a similar theme, a NY Times article by Alan Finder (Feb. 7, 2007) talks about three other campus communities (among quite a few more) that are being planned to bring 50 plussers in close connection with the vibrancy of young life and exploration, the energy and available education that lies in a college or university environment. Most satisfying seem to be trending towards smaller communities surrounding liberal arts colleges. (Think The Bob Newhart Show, with a roaring fire in the stone fireplace while billowing snow gently settles on the windowsills outside.)

A few weeks earlier, I wrote an article on the increasing move toward multi-generational living, reminiscent of family live in the 1950's. And that connected with my interview with AARP and their survey on creating multi-generational livable communities.

All that to say, is that according to Campus Continuum's survey (the one you took part in),on resident living at Juniata College out of 700 Baby Boomers surveyed, 86% of those ‘Very Interested’ in living on a college campus are ages 51 – 70. In multi-generational, friendly, engaging, intellectually stimulating, connected environments.

Other interesting stats?
  • 17% (119) of the 700 respondents are “very interested” in residing at Campus Continuum at Juniata College; 37% (259) say they are “mildly interested.”

  • The project is equally attractive to alumni and non-alumni of the College.

  • Unlike typical retirement communities, which draw primarily from their immediate area, 60% of the “very interested” prospects for Campus Continuum at Juniata College live 100 – 500 miles from the College. 18% live more than 500 miles away.

  • 86% of the interested prospects are now 51 – 70 years old.

  • Looking at the differences between those who express interest in living at the community versus those who do not, the main factor is whether they value the lifestyle (for example, access to courses and facilities, volunteer opportunities) that affiliation with the College offers.

  • The planned community is attractive to a very diverse group in terms of education and income levels.

The survey is ongoing. To participate in the online survey if you still want your voice to be counted, www.campuscontinuum.com/juniata (for the Juniata college campus).

Campus Continuum is conducting a similar market assessment for a project at University of Massachusetts Dartmouth (Dartmouth, Mass.). To learn more about that community and to participate in that survey please visit


Walter Akana said...

Hi Wendy! Campus retirement living! Multi-generational living! I’m all for it. In fact, I have the good fortune to have something like that already. I live in the multi-generational- and diversity-friendly City of Decatur, Georgia, with proximity to Emory University, Agnes Scott College, and other local colleges and universities. It’s great!

Still, I think that campus and multi-generational living fit into the broader context of “quality of life” – not only for 50+ individuals but for others as well. I think it enriches life tremendously to have the opportunity to build relationships/friendships with a wide array of people, as well as have the opportunity to continually learn and partake of diverse cultural experiences. You can find a good case for making a life that includes these elements in Ralph Warner’s book, “Get A Life: You Don’t Need a Million to Retire Well.” (Best book on retirement planning I’ve ever read!)

Of course, not everyone will have the good fortune or inclination to live on, or near, a campus; however, I think there’s a lot to be said for taking the time to notice the opportunities that are around you and select the best to build a satisfying life.

Wendy, founder, Gen Plus said...

Hi Walter,

I'd like our readers to know more about you. Please give your website address to our readers so they can benefit from more Walter Wisdom!


Walter Akana said...

Hi Wendy! Thanks for the invitation!

I’m a life strategist specializing in career transition, personal branding, and retirement readiness for mid-life individuals.

I believe that by the time a person has reached mid-life he or she has acquired much of what’s needed to make sound choices about the next phase of her or his career and life, but may lack the perspective needed to confidently make those decisions.

I work with clients to help them envision and plan for a future in which they are masters of their own destines. My philosophy: It’s your life, own it. Here’s my website: http://www.threshold-consulting.com/

Anonymous said...

I live in a small village about 60 miles NW of Washington DC. The epicenter is a small college. The 2 criteria we had for moving out of the city was to be in a natural setting and near a college. We have a more active cultural life than when we lived in the suburbs!

Wendy, founder, Gen Plus said...

Dave, you are living proof of the wave of the future. The vibrancy of a university or college atmosphere, along with the resources and combined knowledge is a natural winner. You are on the cutting edge!