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8 Themed Retirement Communities We’d Like to See

Margaritaville sounds fun, but how about these song-inspired alternatives?

By Heidi Raschke

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Retirement Communities
Margaritaville Holdings | Miami Herald

1. Margaritaville

Jimmy Buffett sure knows how to make the most of a catchy tune and a party vibe. Somehow the 70-year-old singer-songwriter has turned “wasting away again in Margaritaville” into an aspirational goal.

True, “nibblin’ on sponge cake, watchin’ the sun bake” does sound pretty nice (especially on a cold gray day in March). That laid-back sensibility is what attracts visitors to his sprawling collection of Margaritaville restaurants, casinos, hotels and resorts around the globe.

And now there’s another option for folks who can’t get enough of the “Margaritaville state of mind"  he peddles. Buffett has announced that he’s opening a string of Margaritaville retirement communities in 2017.

Which got us thinking: Which other songs could be spun into successful themed retirement communities? Quite a few, it turns out. | VriendenKindindeknel

2. Xanadu

What is this place? Who knows?! And who cares?! Olivia Newton John is singing and everything is purply and sparkly and people are roller skating past and it’s mesmerizing. “A million lights are dancing. … And there you are, a shooting star.” Make that a shooting star living in a truly dreamy retirement home.

3. Y.M.C.A.

No, not the actual YMCA, silly. The Y.M.C.A. you spell out with your arms while on the dance floor. At this all-inclusive haven for cowboys, cops, construction workers and other retired men in uniform, “you can,” as the Village People promise, “get yourself clean. You can have a good meal. You can do whatever you feel.”

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4. Yellow Submarine

Bright-yellow exterior paint (a la B-Dubs) and a tendency to break into song (either sea shanties or Beatles tunes sung by Ringo preferred) are the hallmarks of this happy, close-knit community. As the slogan says: “Our friends are all aboard. Many more of them live next door. … We all live in a yellow submarine.” (Warning: Not recommended for those who suffer from claustrophobia.)

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5. Funkytown

Do you feel that you gotta make a move to a town that's right for you? Are you looking for a town to keep you movin', keep you groovin' with some energy.” Then Lipps, Inc., is calling you to this fun, funky urban oasis. Just pick up the phone and inquire, “Won’t you take me to Funkytown?” A bus will be dispatched immediately to pick you up.

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6. Paradise City

Here’s the deal: The grass is green. Really green. Paradise green. And while there aren’t any girls living at this Guns ‘N Roses-inspired retirement village, living in paradise surrounded by all that green, green grass makes everyone feel pretty. Unlike at Hotel California down the street, residents are welcome to leave at any time, but when they do they immediately regret it. Thus the slogan: “Won’t you please take me home.”

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7. Glory Days

Bruce Springsteen’s song Glory Days is about a guy who peaked as a high school baseball player, so this one is a little tricky. That said, if Jimmy Buffett can theme a retirement community on a song containing the lyric “searching for my lost shaker of salt,” we’re confident The Boss can turn the frown that is “Glory days, well, they’ll pass you by” upside-down. Broooce!



Heidi Raschke is a longtime journalist and editor who previously was the Executive Editor of Mpls-St. Paul Magazine and Living and Learning Editor at Next Avenue. Currently, she runs her own content strategy and development consultancy. Read More
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