Recently retired, Pam Watkins wanted a new lifestyle.

The former school principal saw her Dana Point neighborhood “turning over,” increasingly populated with young families busy with kids or work. She wanted more people her own age to “play with,” but didn’t want to live in a “grave-yardish” retirement community.

So last year, Watkins and her husband moved into a $770,000 house just down the road in Rancho Mission Viejo, a new, large, master-planned community with neighborhoods for seniors as well as those of all ages.

There are community spaces for everyone, but also a seniors-only clubhouse with lounge, fitness center and a resort-style saltwater pool and spa.

“We like seeing kids,” the 63-year-old said. “I don’t necessarily want them in my pool jumping on me.”

Developers are increasingly building such multi-generational communities, lured by the massive baby boomer population aging into retirement. In doing so, they’re targeting people 55 and older, such as Watkins, who want to live near… read more at

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