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New book helps change perceptions of retirement communities

April 25, 2013

There's no denying that the popular image of retirement communities is rapidly changing. The idea that they are solely places for older adults to spend their golden years in peace is gone and has been replaced by a picture of a thriving community that offers seniors the chance to enjoy active pursuits. This growing perception has been reflected in a number of different ways, including in fiction. Most recently, the book "Life After Life" has author Jill McCorkle painting the picture of what a modern retirement community is really like, The New York Times reports.

The book takes place at the fictional Pine Haven Retirement Community and features characters from all walks of life, including an 85-year-old retired teacher, an active yoga enthusiast and a 12-year-old who visits Pine Haven's residents. McCorkle's diverse cast sheds light on the changing expectations people have when entering retirement communities and suggests that in this case, reality may not be much different than fiction.

"All the literature and research so far has pointed to boomers wanting to stay engaged and purposeful in life during retirement; we want to potentially work on our own terms as long as something is inspiring," industry expert Sheri Peifer told Fox Business.

It should not come as much of a surprise that the most recent group of retirees is changing how people view such communities - they're rewriting much of what everyone thinks about life after leaving the workforce, according to the news source. Experts say baby boomers - who are turning 65 at a rate of 10,000 each day - have big expectations for retirement, with everything from continuing education to staying up on the latest tech trends playing a crucial role.