Retirement looks even better with Serenbe, the community of the future

The golden years of your life have never looked quite this good. Bid adieu to the retirement complexes of yore and say “bon jour” to Serenbe. It’s described as a “visionary New Urbanist community” just outside Atlanta, Georgia, and it’s being heralded as the retirement village of the future.

Co-founded and developed by Steve Nygren, Serenbe is currently comprised of two villages, with a third one in the making. Mado, the latest hamlet to join the crew, is slated to include a cluster of more than 55 homes, all of which boast the latest tech to enable residents “to age in place.”

There will be a wellness center, aimed at integrating all medical and health needs of geriatric community members, and the goal is to “eliminate the ‘retirement community.'” a Serenbe spokesperson told Digital Trends. After all, she continued, “New trends suggest baby boomers want to age in multi-generational communities,” and Serenbe attracts residents in all stages of life.

Nygren, who is 70 years old himself, became a developer somewhat by accident. After spending two decades in charge of an Atlanta-based restaurant group, he switched gears, selling his interest and opening a bed and breakfast.  “I saw how the connection to nature changed [my wife and me] and our kids,” he told Fast Company. “It changed my value judgments about what’s important.”

So Nygren managed to obtain over 1,000 acres of land south of Atlanta, and set out to “build something more sustainable and soulful.” And he ended up with Serenbe.

The villages of this community are all centered around art, food, wellness, and education. Think of it as intentional living for the 21st century. Downtown centers boast art galleries, frequent performances, as well as farmer’s markets and farm-to-table restaurants. Shared public spaces are key to both Selborne and Grange, the first two hamlets in Serenbe, and Mado will abide by the same philosophy.

Rather than keeping grandparents quarantined in areas where their only company are folks of the same age, Mado aims to be multigenerational. “It’s like old towns used to be,” said Nygren. “There’s every size house, which allows for age and economic diversity.”

But there will be specific accommodations meant for older residents. For example, a number of cottages will be made exclusively for 55-and-older residents, with step-less entries, multiple-height kitchen work surfaces, and wider doors, staircases, and hallways. Moreover, houses will feature integrated electronics so that residents’ health and wellness stats can be monitored by way of wearables, GPS, and sensors. And these cottages will all be centered about a medicinal garden, a private clubhouse, and quarters for visitors. These aspects of Mado, Nygren said, will allow for easier “aging in place.”

So if you’re looking for a new place to call home in the later stages of your life, Serenbe in Atlanta may be something to check out.

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