Aging Options: Skylar Skikos on Intergenerational and Regenerative Communities

Episode Summary

Debbie Weil talks to Skylar Skikos about options beyond retirement communities for those who can't stand the idea of living only with old people.

Episode Notes

One of the things Debbie is starting to think about is where and how she and her husband Sam might want to live as they get older - a lot older than their current 70. Like many Boomers, they are repelled by the idea of a retirement community.

This week on the podcast she turns to Skylar Skikos to learn about new options. Skylar, 40, is a philosopher at heart and a financier by trade. He’s a real estate developer and investor who specializes in hospitality and senior care and he’s Chief Development Officer of Modern Elder Academy in Baja, MX. 

You've heard Debbie talk before about MEA, the world's first midlife wisdom school. Skylar is fascinated with how to create places that help people flourish, particularly as they age. He thinks there’s something missing from age-segregated communities and Debbie couldn’t agree more. She wants to run screaming when she sees glossy ads for age 55+ retirement communities like The Villages in Florida because... who wants to live only with old people where the focus is solely on recreation and having fun?

This episode is her first attempt to start unpacking the topic of where and how older people can live where they can be part of a mixed-age community, still contributing and living productively, and avoid the loneliness and isolation that many of us associate with retirement communities. 

Debbie and Skylar talk about several alternatives. One is intergenerational housing that mixes age groups. A number of intergenerational developments are underway right now in different parts of the U.S. They also talk about something called Regenerative Communities, a concept being pioneered by MEA. 

Skylar joined MEA to help them develop a collection of Regenerative Communities, each of which will include mixed-age residents, a midlife wisdom school where you explore how to grow and thrive in the latter stages of life, and a surrounding regenerative farm. 

The first Regenerative Community being developed in the U.S. is outside Sante Fe, NM. Debbie and Sam are so intrigued with this concept and are hoping that MEA will turn its sights towards the East Coast, which is closer to home and family for them.




Skylar Skikos on LinkedIn

Navigating the Youth-Midlife Divide: Musings Approaching a 40th Birthday by Skylar Skikos (Wisdom Well, Nov. 2, 2021)

Modern Elder Academy

MEA | Regenerative Communities

Don't Mind the Gap in Intergenerational Housing by Karrie Jacobs (New York Times, Sept. 2, 2021)

New Model of Active  Adult Senior Living Is Coming to the Austin Area  (Cantina)

Cantina Community

Right Place, Right Time: The Ultimate Guide to Choosing a Home for the Second Half of Life by Ryan Frederick (‎Johns Hopkins University Press 2021)

The Villages (Your Retirement Adventure Starts Here)

Public philosopher Tom Morris

Serenbe (a wellness community near Atlanta)



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