Living Among Friends

Housing Options for Boomers

Non-Fiction - Retirement
150 Pages
Reviewed on 01/31/2015
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Patricia Day for Readers' Favorite

Living Among Friends – Housing Options for Boomers by Christian Lambrecht could be the only book needed to help you determine which option is right for you as you decide to downsize. Packed with practical information regarding location, types of housing and cost, it covers many issues of affordability, as well as experiences of those who have down-sized. Whether your choice is going it alone or buying property with one friend or many, you will find helpful advice among its pages. Christian Lambrecht is a certified Management Consultant specializing in B2B Marketing and Strategy. He knows by personal experience the pros and cons of down-sizing and sharing with friends.

The examples he gives are specifically forged from the available markets in the U.S., but with careful consideration and by studying the information contained in the many website links he provides, this book can only make your final decision easier because you will have a firm foundation of reliable, proven information which can be transferred to any market around the world. It gives valuable and credible advice with a good deal of data that you can download and refer to as you take steps into a new part of life: location, affordability, house rules and much, much more.

Initially, I thought the book was location specific. Christian Lambrecht covers the Atlanta region in-depth at the outset of his writing, but as you continue to read, he leads you into other markets and the local regulations. He backs everything up with many links to helpful websites and surveys that you can study to your heart’s delight. I consider this publication to be a valuable tool if you are considering a change of lifestyle where cost is an important factor. Secondly, the testimonies he shares give you a clearer idea of other people’s experiences when they have taken a different housing route. The pitfalls and successes give further credence to the value of the contents of this book to help your decision-making.

Paul Johnson

Christian Lambrecht, the author of Living Among Friends: Housing Options for Boomers, asks the following questions: What do you do when it’s time to retire and the kids have moved away? What do you do now? Should you move closer to your grown children? Should you stay where you are? Should you rent vs. own? Move to the mountains, or perhaps the beach? How about moving to a smaller town? The good news is that Boomers will most likely live longer than their parents. The bad news is that most have not prepared to live that long. So, what are they to do?

Since I’m in the target audience, my decision to read this book was two-fold. While I found it interesting, I also hoped to find something beneficial to my particular situation. Mr. Lambrecht has broken down his writing into three sections. Section I is the author’s personal experience in selecting different places to live. Many “Baby Boomers” have made these choices, as have I. In section II, Mr. Lambrecht goes into some detail about the numerous housing options available, from downsizing, to apartment living, to shared housing (to include roommates). Section III is dedicated to a discussion of “Baby Boomer” trends, likes and dislikes, happiness and loneliness and social issues as well as the needs of an aging populace.

As you start reading this book, you will see that the author has drawn on personal experience and has done considerable and very thorough research. While much of this information didn’t apply to my situation, I found it quite informative. If you are a “Boomer” or are nearing retirement age, this is a good book for you.

Patricia Reding

Incredibly timely is Living Among Friends: Housing Options for Boomers by Christian Lambrecht. After setting out a bit of his own story and experiences with various living arrangements, Lambrecht presents information for the millions of Americans born between 1946 and 1964—the Baby Boomers—as they enter into their retirement years. For this group, aging presents unique issues, ranging from what and how to save, to where and how to spend. Lambrecht contends that an often-overlooked issue is one of housing. He provides the means for readers to think outside of the norm, to consider living arrangements that are new to the American experience. These include downsizing to smaller homes (an option which presents issues such as identifying the features one might want in a “new” home that will allow him to stay and age), to taking on a roommate or group of them (as in the "Golden Girls" style), to joining a housing collaborative, and more. The savings that come with some of the options are intended to provide seniors with more choices for pursuing other dreams and interests (such as traveling), while simultaneously providing retirees with a social network which may be key to their happiness.

As one ages, the idea of moving on seems to become more attractive, even as the difficulties in doing so multiply. Perhaps it is the phenomena of knowing that young children no longer depend upon them or that their parents are no longer in need of care from them, but in any case, looking to the future can be both exhilarating and frightening. Lambrecht presents issues for Boomers’ careful consideration in Living Among Friends. For example, living outside a major metropolitan area may be less expensive, but may also present its own difficulties. For example, with this option, needed medical facilities may not be as convenient. For any Baby Boomer, these are matters worthy of attention sooner rather than later. While Living Among Friends examines in particular the geographical area around Atlanta, GA, the concepts and options are worthy of the review of readers around the country.