Rotating globe at entrance to Leisure World in Seal Beach, CA. Leisure World is a gated retirement community with 9000 households.
A Florida grandfather living in the age-restricted community of Vero Beach looked out his window one recent morning and saw that he and his wife’s two vehicles had been vandalized with yellow spray paint. The vandal’s message: “No Kids.”
Turns out, one of Bhaskar Barot’s neighbors wasn’t too pleased with how often Barot’s 4-year-old granddaughter had been visiting the home. Vero Beach, like many communities around the country catering to retirees, requires residents to be at least 55 years old. Overnight stays for the under 55 crowd are limited to 30 days per year, though there is no limit on daily visits.
Barot says the mystery vandal isn’t the first community member to have a problem with the toddler tourist. Several neighbors have filed complaints to the Homeowners’ Association about Barot’s granddaughter.
How common and strict are rules like these in retirement communities? How strongly do folks who choose to in these communities feel about kids stealing their peace and quiet? And how do rules like this impact intergenerational family dynamics?
Andrew Scharlach, Eugene and Rose Kleiner Professor of Aging, School of Social Welfare, University of California, Berkeley