How Social Stressors (and Pickleball) Affect Retirement
Here’s a slap compliments of the retirement belt, California style.
This is a story about a place called Oakmont Village. It has been a middle-class retirement community in the wine country since the 1960s that has been discovered by affluent baby boomer retirees coming out of Silicon Valley and the Bay Area.
The difference in incomes between the longtime residents and the incoming wealthier boomers have created big problems, the biggest of which is over – I hope you’re sitting down – pickleball.
That’s old people tennis.
The richer newbies want to build a $300,000 pickleball court complex. The older, less well-funded folks can’t afford the increase in their homeowner association (HOA) fees to build it.
And we’re off to the races.
The town hall meetings have gotten so out of hand over the issue that one resident called the police. There is now a full-time security guard at all meetings.
The acting head of the community association, who was opposed to spending the $300,000 on pickleball, found a bag on his front porch with the head of a dead rat in it. “You’re next!” was written on the bag.
Really? Pickleball is popular, but the police really have to be called to stop the fighting over something this stupid? A rat’s head?
The former head of the community association said she was driven out of office by the pro-pickleball people.
This is not an isolated incident. The popularity of these senior communities is booming. And with that boom, tensions between the well-funded and not-so-well-funded are boiling over on all kinds of spending issues.
It’s all about those who have been there a while and want to fix only what is broken versus those who want things the way they want them and have the cash to do it.
Some of the newbies freely admit that they are spoiled and have the money to do just about anything they want. They want theiro make a statement about who they are – or were.
The argument has gotten so out of hand that the “haves” have suggested to the “have-nots” that they look into reverse mortgages to pay for the improvements the “moneyed of Oakmont” want.
When Eileen and I moved to the retirement belt six years ago, we knew we didn’t play well with others in the sandbox. We didn’t want to have anything to do with a gated or retirement community.
One HOA Nazi on the board is all it takes to create the kind of stupidity we’re seeing play out in Oakmont. The assessments for improvements in these communities can be huge.
So if you’re southward- or westward-looking for your retirement nirvana, make sure you know for sure how well you get along with others who may be directing how you spend your money in your golden years.
A rat’s head… unbelievable.