Staying Active and Striking a Balance
During the past few years, I became part of the fastest growing demographic group in North America, the 50+ crowd. This turning of “age” has led me to contemplate questions like, “what do I really want to do with my life now that the kids are gone?” I sought that elusive BALANCE, where spending quality time with my husband, family, and friends can’t be replaced. This would be the time in life to play, indulge in new hobbies, and make the most of my leisure time.
As with many in this demographic, I have lived in the city my entire life and for the most part always loved it, but I began to think about exploring some alternatives.
The most fascinating possibility was my discovery of adult active-living communities, designed with one guiding principle: to provide an older, active-oriented community, outside the city, but connected to it. In essence, to provide the best of both worlds — a mix of rural and urban amenities. Before I go on, I want to stress that these places aren’t retirement communities. People move to these places to retire, and enjoy a well-earned rest.
So, what should we be looking for in one of these communities? I would describe the idea in one simple but very important word: balance. These enclaves have been designed to find the balance between living in a non-urban environment, while retaining the significant offerings of precisely that kind of environment.
One specific community I discovered and am currently involved with is called the Bridges of Seaforth, situated about a half hour west of Stratford, Ontario —home of the Festival — and half an hour east of Goderich at Lake Huron. The Bridges of Seaforth community was planned and built by a group called MacPherson Master Builders, who’ve won a number of awards for their innovative design and construction of small- town communities. There are 248 luxurious freehold bungalows in the Bridges of Seaforth enclave, with a starting price of around $230,990. Some of the bungalows allow for a loft, overlooking a spectacular vaulted Great Room on the main floor. Many of the bungalows back right onto the Seaforth Golf Club, and this renowned course is a real selling point of the community.
Everything one needs can be found in Seaforth. From the Seaforth Golf Club, to a library, curling rink, lawn bowling, walking trails, parkland and churches. From banks and lawyers, to accountants and financial advisors. From full-service hospital and medical facilities, including doctors, dentists, optometrists, chiropractic, and veterinary services, to a vibrant main street shopping district — complete with restaurants and a range of charming places to stay.
Not only does the Bridges offer starting prices that are reasonable, but also the daily cost of living in such a community becomes attractive. Residents drive their golf carts right into town for shopping, luncheons, or appointments. User fees for city services, growing property tax bills, rising public transit fees are all things of the past. For example, I found access to the golf course and the 16,000 square foot recreation centre, which will start construction this year, easy from virtually anywhere in the community. The recreation centre will allow me to indulge my interests in swimming, playing billiards and cards, arts and crafts, tennis and ongoing exercise.
The central idea is to find a balance between the amenities of major urban life and actually living without its problems. For our active and social age group, what more could one ask?
If you would like additional information about The Bridges of Seaforth, call 1-866-522-2743, click on www.bridgesofseaforth.ca, or come by and visit me in Seaforth. You’ll be glad you did!