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This is a re-post of a Diary from late last night, EDT, for those geezers that may have missed it. It essentially entertains the idea of forming co-ops or "communes" for Kossacks entering geezerdom on the income from Social Security, or maybe better titled, "How We All Made it to 85 on $850 a Month."  Without further adieu...

Like Keith, I've been googling countries to live in once the S.S. checks begin to kick in becuz we know it won't be nearly enough to live on here in the U.S. of A.
He mentioned a few I've been looking at... here's his Diary I reference... Peru, Ecuador, and I'm leaning toward Belize (although one in the comments mentioned Belize ain't as cheap to live as the google gods suggest), so...

So, then jbou in the comments mentioned the possibility of "Social Security Communes" and some other Kossacks chimed in on the subject.
For myself and many seniors staring Geezerdom in the face living only on S.S. checks (and maybe a part time job), living "traditionally" (alone) here in the U.S. is not an option. S.S. barely pays the rent and maybe 2, 3 weeks of groceries. The problem is that leaves a week or more without food or without a roof. Geezerdom on S.S. simply is not an sustainable option. Unless, that is, we opt for jbou's "Social Security Communes."
Which is a damn fine idea unless you prefer living under a rock. (I've looked at that, too).
I would revise the idea some and form an LLC (or some other legal entity) to form an "investment group" for the purpose of purchasing our own apartment building (but that's mere details). jbou's idea is sound. Well, sound if there's enough interest.

So, this post is to check interest. And, i know most orange geezers have popped a ZzzQuil or two and already dreaming about the KochBros forcing them out of their homes, but I pretty much live on Left Kos Time (even though I live on the east coast), so...
So, if you're an orange geezer interested in "alternative" group living as an option to, say, Costa Rica, join this Group and we can figure out how to negotiate the next 25, 30 years on S.S. checks.
I hope many orange geezers on here are interested in joining us.

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Comment Preferences

  •  great idea (12+ / 0-)

    i am going to sign up.

    i will have more than ss, but still not enough.

  •  Scrimpin' ain't easy. (13+ / 0-)

    'Cause your eyes are tired & your feet are too & you wish the world was as tired as you." - Lowell George

    by rasbobbo on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 08:06:34 AM PDT

  •  what about those of us who are not geezers (yet) (14+ / 0-)

    but disabled and poor?

    And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

    by Mortifyd on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 08:18:23 AM PDT

  •  Communal Living (15+ / 0-)

    for seniors maybe making a come-back.  I can't help but think with more singletons out there at all ages, that shared living experiences might become more popular.  

  •  I have our radio show to do Noon-1pm EDT, (5+ / 0-)

    but I will be back at 1pm EDT to follow up and invite anyone that wishes to participate in this Group.
    Thanks!

    See you sonsabitches at NN13! Look for our Banner and stop by and say hello!

    by winkk on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 08:30:56 AM PDT

  •  As a a veteran GI Bill Student... (10+ / 0-)

    I'd happily chip in my 1800 a month for some help with child care.  Hell, maybe then I could get to work.  Course I can't do it in the summer... but... hey, you know, child care is my big expense, so then maybe I could get back to work.

    aaaand I'm only 36.    Is there an age limit on being more than willing to fully embrace this?  

    I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

    by detroitmechworks on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 08:43:17 AM PDT

  •  I have been trying to get friends to do this (10+ / 0-)

    for years.  Commune it - buy an apartment building.  

    They all say it is a great idea - but then the idea dies.

    Most people don't want to think of the time when they are living on limited $$ and/or trying to do it alone.  

    Put me on the list - I would be interested to see where the conversation goes - if something comes of it, I'd like to be part of it - I think it's a great idea.

    Retiring as soon as we get the Kos-mmunity established.

  •  Please add me to the group as well (11+ / 0-)

    I am interested in a rural agrarian group, making an income from the land.

    'A scarlet tanager broke the silence with his song. She thought of the bird hidden in the leaves somewhere, unseen but nevertheless brilliant red. Nevertheless beautiful.' Barbara Kingsolver/ Prodigal Summer

    by flowerfarmer on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 09:04:35 AM PDT

  •  I took the lodging out of the equation (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    winkk, MNDem999, Karl Rover, greengemini

    by paying off my house with a lot of luck, a 2nd (part-time) job, and the help of a relative - as long as I can manage the property tax and insurance and can hold out until full retirement (4 more years), I'll be OK on my Social Security.  I would definitely have been interested in this otherwise - and if I have to retire early or the tax and insurance combination gets over $150 a month, I still will be interested in this.

  •  Count me in, too. (7+ / 0-)

    Something like this has been a dream of mine for the last 5+ years. Currently on SSI, caring for an elderly woman in exchange for room and board in CA. I definitely can't make ends meet on my SS as rent is sky high in CA and I have assets that disqualify me from consideration for supplemental programs. ~sigh~

    Would love to be part of a larger community where sharing is the order of the day. I have a car that sits in a garage all but a couple of hours a week. Someone next to me might have a lawnmower I can use a couple of hours a week, etc. Internet is expensive, but, if shared, not so much. I could go on and on..........

    Related books currently on my nightstand: "Pocket Neighborhoods", "Little House on a Small Planet". I've also read a book on co-housing and get regular newsletters from the co-housing organization. I recommend these books for anyone interested in community. This is definitely an idea whose time has come!!!

    “The genius of our ruling class is that it has kept a majority of the people from ever questioning the inequity of a system where most people drudge along paying heavy taxes for which they get nothing in return.” - Gore Vidal

    by Hanging Up My Tusks on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 10:11:20 AM PDT

  •  I tried to get my family to do something like (6+ / 0-)

    this years ago- you, know like  have a family compound...
    There are some cultures, many Asian cultures that do live this way- I think the Italian mafia use to do that also.

    I've looked into Yurt Living but don't have the land.
    I have recently moved into a 55 and over apt complex which was ONLY due to the fact that they had a few apts that they rent for 'poorer' seniors. Found it by luck-rent includes utilities, but am scaping by when it comes to food etc., Thank goodness I don't eat much, other than that I feel grateful so far. If they raise the rent I'm up shit's creek without a paddle so am still keeping my eyes open to other options and a commune sounds like fun, though probably not as much fun as they were back in the 60s ;)

    "Time is for careful people, not passionate ones." "Life without emotions is like an engine without fuel."

    by roseeriter on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 10:21:54 AM PDT

    •  I have built yurts before (0+ / 0-)

      They aren't hard movable or permanent and they are wonderful living spaces.  I understand the math to make them work - not just look like they should.

      And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

      by Mortifyd on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 03:41:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Depends on where you want to put it, but... yeah (5+ / 0-)

    I can be part of the entertainment division.  I can offer solid musical entertainment, both from me and my collection of wildly eclectic CDs, and my movie collection puts most other geeks to shame.  Lots of books, lots of games.

    -----
    Tom Smith Online
    I want a leader who shoots for the moon. The last time we had one, we got to the moon.

    by filkertom on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 10:23:41 AM PDT

    •  Love games - give me a deck of cards and (5+ / 0-)

      3 other bridge nuts and I'll be entertained forever. I also have been known to while away the time playing: cribbage, gin rummy, hearts, spades, spite and malice, casino, Russian bank, Scrabble, etc. I imagine in a shared living situation you'd be able to find others who love the same games you do.

      “The genius of our ruling class is that it has kept a majority of the people from ever questioning the inequity of a system where most people drudge along paying heavy taxes for which they get nothing in return.” - Gore Vidal

      by Hanging Up My Tusks on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 10:49:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  :) No, no, no -- D&D, Munchkin, Zombie Dice.... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mortifyd, nchristine

        ... Geek Dice, RuneQuest, Call of Cthulhu, Unexploded Cow...

        ... chess, Monopoly, Scrabble, Boggle....

        And I have a couple of card decks, but they're Cthulhu-themed.  (;,;)

        -----
        Tom Smith Online
        I want a leader who shoots for the moon. The last time we had one, we got to the moon.

        by filkertom on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 02:15:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  this is more my speed (0+ / 0-)

          I do Rook, but not bridge.  And I'd rather a good D&D campaign any day.

          And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

          by Mortifyd on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 03:41:51 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  So, when my son comes to visit me you (0+ / 0-)

          and mortifyd can engage him in a rousing game of D&D.  ;-)

          “The genius of our ruling class is that it has kept a majority of the people from ever questioning the inequity of a system where most people drudge along paying heavy taxes for which they get nothing in return.” - Gore Vidal

          by Hanging Up My Tusks on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 04:35:54 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I'm 61, looking to stay at work full-time (4+ / 0-)

    until 67 ~ unless something good like this should come up!  I don't know how I'll be able to afford my condo mortgage plus medicare supplemental, food, car payments, insurance, etc.  There just won't be enough to go around.

    I've been thinking that I'll need to find some sort of roommate situation, but I really enjoy my "down" time, as in being left alone to do whatever I want without demands for social interaction.  I can do social interaction, but it wears me out after a time, can't sustain it for hours/days.

    With all of that in mind, I'd still be interested in a co-housing/cooperative/commune type deal, with some agreements on each one's responsibilities and duties and individual styles of living.  For instance, I'd love to do childcare for someone younger who needed it.  Other tasks/chores negotiable.  

    Please send an invite to the group.  I would like to keep up with what you all are doing/planning!

    The man who dies rich dies disgraced. -Andrew Carnegie, industrialist (1835-1919)

    by Spirit of Life on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 12:05:36 PM PDT

    •  Well, you'll have your own apartment (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Spirit of Life, MNDem999

      or "living space" of some sort you can call your own. Close the door and leave the world behind. It's just that it might be in an apartment building or on 7 acres somewhere. But, "personal space" is important and no reason why we can't have that. Invite on the way...

      See you sonsabitches at NN13! Look for our Banner and stop by and say hello!

      by winkk on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 01:04:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I have been thinking about different (5+ / 0-)

    share opportunities also.  I'm not a "joiner" by nature, but pragmatic about my future.  Out of work for  3 years, trying not to take early SS while I live on 401K $.  The economic insecurity is wearing and I'd rather be in solution mode.

    Ideal for me would be cohousing arrangement with separate living units and community bldg, space for gardening.  I've toured a couple of different cohousing places in my area.  Like others have noted, being in CA = big $$$, but I love my area.  Larger community environs very important to me.

    Buying an apt building or condo sounds interesting.  Maybe enough extra units could be rented out to generate income to pay maintenance, taxes, insurance.

    I'd like this idea and would like to see if there is enough interest to develop further.

    •  "Buying an apt building or condo sounds (0+ / 0-)

      interesting.  Maybe enough extra units could be rented out to generate income to pay maintenance, taxes, insurance."
      You're reading my mind, my friend.  Exactly what I have in mind!  Invite on the way...

      See you sonsabitches at NN13! Look for our Banner and stop by and say hello!

      by winkk on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 01:37:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Sign me up (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    winkk, MNDem999

    My SS pays my rent, utilities and a large bag or two of cat food each month. It also pays for medicare and supplemental health. What is left (a few dollars) has to stretch until the next month. Sometimes it is more than 30 days (because I get paid the 2nd Wednesday of each month), so a couple of times I have visited the food bank.

    Thank goodness I was able to find a part-time job that will pay for food, gas and insurance for the car I was finally able to purchase (a 20 year old car).

    I think a commune that would allow space to grow veggies and have animals for food (chickens and cows) would be perfect.

    I reject your reality and substitute my own - Adam Savage

    by woolibaar on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 01:40:08 PM PDT

  •  thanks for this diary, winkk (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    winkk, MNDem999

    It speaks to a looming issue.  The idea of SS communes is actually sort of alluring.  As always, the devil is in the details, but it is a sound concept.

    Cause he gets up in the morning, And he goes to work at nine, And he comes back home at five-thirty, Gets the same train every time.

    by Keith930 on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 01:59:17 PM PDT

    •  Well, it's an idea that many of us (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Keith930, MNDem999, Odysseus

      have been thinking about - separately - for years.
      Your Diary came along and I instantly "got" the frustration.
      Here we may have an opportunity to do something about it and actually live here in the U.S. of A. on $850 a month S.S. checks, while thumbing our collective noses at the KochBros et. al. They want us off the continent. Or at least out of the country. We don't think the right way and vote the wrong way. They don't like that much. I'd like to hang around just to piss them off. And maybe get our country back.

      See you sonsabitches at NN13! Look for our Banner and stop by and say hello!

      by winkk on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 02:58:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I've lived in a commune. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    yoduuuh do or do not, MNDem999

    In the early 70's, when I had small children, I lived in a commune for a while, after getting to know people in several other communes and also reading a lot of history of attempts at communal living, mostly in the 19th century.  it sounds wonderful, for all the reasons that people here are giving, and I would be interested again if I didn't have older dogs and cats I want to live out their lives where I am.  I have created a wooded and mostly natural garden in my rural Wisconsin yard, and I can walk my dogs to a lake where my retriever swims.  But it's a right wing area, and the house belongs to my daughter, which is not a comfortable arrangement; she doesn't charge rent, and I am grateful for the help which enables my survival, but I am totally isolated here from people with similar interests and from every kind of service or shopping.  So if I am still healthy when my pets are gone, which I hope is a long way off, I will be looking for some other place and way to live.

    From my own experience, I would recommend to you that you do a lot of reading about why most attempts at communal living, at least in this country, have not lasted very long.  Reba Place, in suburban Chicago, is the most enduring modern one I know about, and that was not for people who are poor.  The Transcendentalists in 19th century New England gave it a good try and are perhaps the most comparable to people in this community, but in the end they just couldn't get along well enough.  Religious groups lasted longer, but they shared dogma and acceptance of authority.  The communes I personally experienced from outside and inside were more like marriages gone bad in terms of personal friction that developed, and intellectually started friendly but little by little deteriorated into something not very different from what's going on in the Snowden and Obama diaries here.  Sharing lives is hard, and even here, at this beginning stage, I see major differences in goals and tastes that may be irreconcilable.  People who want to share so that they can afford shelter and food are looking for something different from people who can consider buying property and apartment buildings.

    Yet, with all my qualifications and caveats, and experiences that were not really very good, I will still someday probably be looking for shared housing, for economic reasons and for company.  So I am not giving up, and will follow the progress of this group with great interest.  But I think I will look at it more as having roommates or even just one roommate, something that could be temporary or long lasting, but I would not burn all bridges to other arrangements or make an investment, because communes have not in the past been easy to keep going, with all parties remaining happy.  People leave, or they don't agree on how things will work or who will take care of what, and then those who remain are left with expenses and all the obligations. I hope that yours will work, if you can agree enough to get something going.  For myself, when I am ready for a move, I will keep it simple and have a plan for how I will manage alone if things fall through.

  •  It sounds perfect. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    winkk, Mortifyd

    Depending on location.  We should be in decent financial shape, if we can look at anything over social security as a bonus.  (I've never seen a realistic on-line financial retirement planner).  Living with Kossacks would make for an interesting retirement - considering those who have shared specialized interests and knowledge - and those who are working hard to do whatever is possible to make a political difference.

    A really nice fantasy would be to have more than one location - or at least visiting privileges in Peru, Ecuador, or Belize.  

    But realistically it seems like there are multiple people with different very good ideas - and this may be a one project at a time sort of thing.  I'd like think that one of those projects might work for us - in a way where we might actually fit in and be a net positive for the group.

  •  I want to write a diary on this. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greengemini, MNDem999

    It is called forming intentional communities.  I have lots of research and experience trying it.

    I would need help as I am technologically impaired.

    •  what help do you need? I'm not exactly Bill Gates (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MNDem999

      but if you tell me what you need help with, i'll tell you if I can help.

      This is an important subject....Let's push it forward.

      Cause he gets up in the morning, And he goes to work at nine, And he comes back home at five-thirty, Gets the same train every time.

      by Keith930 on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 05:04:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm really interested in small space living (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    winkk, MNDem999

    private cabins or yurts or small!homes devoted to down time and privacy and public spaces for meals and community.

    Being able to support each other in the give and take of time is important to me - sometimes I want to be alone, others I really want to be around people and there aren't any.

    Has anyone else been to Talesin West?  Frank Lloyd Wright kind of had that idea - the individual sleeping areas were very small (a little TOO small really), but the communal living areas were interesting - dining hall, theater, music performances, various gardens - even now the students build their own shelters.

    Between all of us we seem to have so much potential knowledge - cooking, food perservation, gardening, music, entertainment - languages - it's not like I can't teach someone else to speak a language, I eat them like snacks -  but we should be able to allow for quirks and privacy and pets and the different speeds of life.

    Sounds like we need a kibbutz.  

    And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

    by Mortifyd on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 03:50:23 PM PDT

    •  a kibbutz is exactly what it would be. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MNDem999

      But everyone brings something to the collective.  

      If you give me 30 acres, I can support 60 people.  Maybe more. Not in Manhattan, mind you, but give me 30 acres in the Midwest, or Appalachia...and trust me...I could support more people than you can imagine.  I would take the task up as a challenge...and I would shock you out of your socks.

      Vegetables, chickens, a couple of goats.  Oh yeah....you would be surprised what I could do.  And you have know idea how much I'd love to try it.

      But a kibbutz requires that everyone bring something to the table.  And so would a Social Security Commune.  

      What would you bring to the table?  Look deep inside yourself, Mortifyd....I know there is something there.  Everyone has to contribute.  Else it doesn't work.

      It's a beautiful concept...rarely exemplified.  How do you set up a commune?

      Should there be a skills test?  A means test?  What kind of test?  Who would YOU want in your community?

      Cause he gets up in the morning, And he goes to work at nine, And he comes back home at five-thirty, Gets the same train every time.

      by Keith930 on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 05:21:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I guessed you missed the posts (0+ / 0-)

        where I am a chef, know how to build yurts, can teach languages, play musical instruments and can built things...?

        I've only been in the SCA most of my life - I do a mean primitive to luxury on a shoe string.  I can sail, built a boat, navigate by the stars... I can to more than you ever imagined.

        You build it one person at a time.  With a clearly stated common goal and identity that people must adapt to on a heart level for it to work.  A Household.  A Brotherhood.   You bring people in one at a time and have a period of "watch" where the people are considered, then offered membership, then on probation.  

        Then the group decides if their skills outweigh the quirks, if they are seeing the same big picture - if they are pulling their weight in some fashion or another that the whole is lesser without them.

        That's how you build it.

        And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

        by Mortifyd on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 05:56:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  What about rural USA? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    winkk, Keith930, MNDem999

    Housing is, to coin a phrase, dirt cheap in much of the rural USA.

    Buy a big house on a big lot in a small town, move in several friends, have a big garden. Walk downtown when you like. You could do worse.

    "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

    by HeyMikey on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 03:55:14 PM PDT

  •  Please sign me up. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    winkk, MNDem999

    I'm not likely to retire for a couple decades yet. (At least not voluntarily.) But I'm intrigued and would like to keep up with what's happening.

    "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

    by HeyMikey on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 04:00:55 PM PDT

  •  Nice town, CHEAP real estate (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    winkk, MNDem999

       We are probably going to retire in Pueblo, Colorado next year.  Good climate (in my opinion) Moderate size town, lots of things to do and unbelievably cheap real estate, Probably the cheapest real estate prices in a state not in the rust belt or bible belt. It's an old steel town believe it or not. Lots of Union members.
       A Democratic town in a swing state.  Just think what a community of of progressive codgers could do to counter the conservatives 35 miles North in Colorado Springs!!!
       Ive done a LOT of research and Pueblo Co. and Medford Or. are our final choices. We really like Medford, but we just can't beat the prices in Pueblo.
       Your community living idea is very interesting. Please keep me in the loop too.  

    •  Sweet! Thanks! Colorado apparently is (0+ / 0-)

      the shiznit. (or however s/he spells that). Might very well be a great spot to get this potty stotted (as they say in Boston).
      And, you can follow the action in this Group by clicking this link and then clicking the "Follow" button. Thanks!

      See you sonsabitches at NN13! Look for our Banner and stop by and say hello!

      by winkk on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 05:13:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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