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Case Study: Home and Community Planning

Can her dream house become a reality?

Marta Miranda

— Photo: Dave Lauridsen/Illustration by Jon Valk

En español | Single for the past five years, Marta Miranda, 57, says her retirement dream is to find a house to share with her closest long-term male and female friends, perhaps near a beach in Florida, in southern Italy or even in affordable Cuba — her family's homeland — if that becomes politically feasible.

See also: Mary Ann Kellam's profile on legal planning.

"Three to five people would be ideal, people I love and want to celebrate life with," says Miranda, president/CEO of the nonprofit Center for Women and Families in Louisville, Kentucky. She imagines a common living room and kitchen with separate bathrooms, bedrooms and perhaps porches. Maybe individual cabanas and a common single-story house.

"I love my private space, but ultimately we're going to need each other," she says. "I want a tropical area because snow will be hard on our bones!"

Miranda is close to her family and friends, so the dream house will need to have a guest room. Eventually, they'll need a room for live-in help.

"If you end up in a retirement community, you are going to end up with strangers," she says. "That's not my idea of fun."

She's a planner and wonders what to do to make the dream a reality. A few of her good friends are already interested, and they have a wealth of ideas. But where do they start?

You may also like: 10 affordable cities for retirement.

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