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Intentional Community or Retirement Community – Could a Hippie Commune Be the Answer?

by Tina Boomerina (Christina Gregoire)

The Seattle area is too expensive for my retirement plans, so I’m researching offbeat small towns in America as potential places to retire. Personally, I like cities. I could live in Portland (Oregon), Seattle, Berkeley, or some other city on the West Coast, but my hubster (from the East Coast) is vehemently anti-city. Well, while I was googling around, I ran across Summertown, Tennessee on a list of interesting small towns in America.

retirement communities for hippies and artistsAnd, Summertown has a hippie commune.

The Farm: A Hippie Commune in Tennessee?

I was totally surprised to find out that Summertown is the site of a hippie commune called The Farm in Ten-ess-see of all places - I guess I'm out of the loop. Hey, I've heard of some hippie communes that still exist in the U.S. and I’ve always wanted to visit Christiania in Copenhagen, because I used to be a hippie in the late 60s and early 70s.

Well… people like me never called ourselves hippies back in the day.

We called ourselves freaks or heads. Or, we just used localized designations like, “She's from The Mojo Mansion,” or “He lives on The Farm in Ferndale." But, most of the time we just used the simple phrase, "He's cool," or, "She's cool," to explain that a guy or a chick was what we would now call a hippie.

I Was a Hippie

Okay, I guess I can look back and say that I was, indeed, a very young hippie.

I lived in communal houses with draft dodgers and musicians and their girlfriends. And, for a short while, I lived on a commune in Mount Shasta, where everyone seemed to be an escapee from the San Francisco scene.

Could I Live in an Alternative Intentional Community Today?

I think I could live on a hippie commune, but my husband (a corporate lifer) would never go for it.

However, I thought there might be a few Baby Boomers who are searching for an inexpensive alternative to the standard, cookie-cutter, 55-and-older “active adult” retirement communities that dot the country. I live in a retirement community, but it’s high end and expensive. Most of the people who live here seem to be transplants who moved to be near their Microsoft-employed children.

should you retire on a hippie commune?Over 55 Adult Communities

If you grew up in the suburbs and you think the suburbs are swell, you’ll love almost any retirement community. However... if you prefer dancing on a table to setting a table… well, you should do extensive research so that you end up in the RIGHT retirement community.

Note: One thing I discovered about my age-specific community is that I went from being the oldest person on my block (in Belltown/Downtown Seattle) to the youngest person on my block. And, this made me feel like a kid again… not that I ever really stopped.

What’s The Farm Commune Like?

Are you ready to tune in, turn on (organically and sustainably), and drop out… again? Unfortunately, I’ve never been to this commune, so I can only tell you my impressions and concerns based upon what I know from my experiences on other hippie communes and in communal housing situations. So if you want to find out what I think, please be so kind as to click here to continue to the next page.

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Tina Boomerina (AKA Christina Gregoire) is a Baby Boomer born at the end of 1952. Her mission is to make the internet a kinder and gentler place for Baby Boomer women around the world. Tina's specialty is fashion for women over 50.

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1 Comment

  1. Louis Mack


    As an experienced writer, I am interested in submitting a guest post piece regarding - Flower Power: The benefits of a low consumption retirement lifestyle for the Woodstock generation.

    Nearing my own retirement, I feel its especially important to consider the many different angles of planning a low key, relaxing, clutter free lifestyle during our golden years. Your blog stands out to me as an excellent opportunity to inform others like myself that while it may seem slightly overwhelming at first, a little research can go a long way when planning one’s retirement.

    Please let me know if you think this subject would be a good fit for your baby boomers & retirement blog page .

    I look forward to hearing back from you.


    Louis Mack