By Erich Schuttauf, Esq.
Retirement affords us the time to try new things, take on new adventures, and check off bucket list items. Yet one of the biggest challenges of retirement can be how to spend quality time, be “one with nature,” and among like-minded friends and neighbors, without spending a lot of money.
This is where the American Association for Nude Recreation (AANR), an organization 90 years young, comes into play. They recommend you don’t retire from life just because you’ve retired from work. Rather, reconnect with that free spirit you embodied back in the day.
It's a common misconception that everyone who retires to a clothing-optional resort community is a long-time nudist. Not so. For instance, Cypress Cove Nudist Resort in Kissimmee, Florida, often sees retirees who are fairly new try out the nudist way of life by taking a “nakation vacation” on property. (Cypress Cove, as with many other nudist communities, require prior visitation before becoming a homeowner.) if you’re new to nudism, don’t let that prevent you from considering this kind of fun-in-the-sun retirement, living life au natural.
After sampling the camaraderie fostered at clothes-free and clothing-optional resort and campground communities, you may just consider retiring to a budget-friendly nudist environment, either seasonally or full time. Most such communities are tied to nudist resorts, which offer residents access to the resort’s recreational amenities such as pools, lakes, watercraft, gyms/fitness classes and more, resulting in savings that help keep your out-of-pocket entertainment costs down.
Another cost-saving pro is a large percentage of nudist community residences feature modular or manufactured homes, which may be less expensive than traditional construction. They also tend to be located in warmer climate zones resulting in lower home heating costs, as well as low electricity bills for laundry, because living as a nudist drastically cuts wardrobe expenses and clothes hamper fill ups.
Other ways to enjoy living au natural include housekeeping, gardening, or exercising in the nude. By doing so you sweat less, don’t dirty clothes, and shrink your clothes washing loads too. Did you know that in the Sunbelt (or elsewhere in the summer), by turning up your central air conditioning thermostat one degree, fuel consumption can be cut by as much as 10%. For the eco-conscious, all these clothes-free activities help in lowering one’s carbon footprint.
When moving someplace new, retirees often seek areas known for fostering a strong sense of community, which aids in preventing isolation loneliness in the golden years and promotes emotional well-being. In nudist communities being neighborly is the norm. Before retirement one was white collar or blue collar. Now, wearing no collar, class distinctions evaporate. And, if neighbors have a skill, they’ll pitch in with handyman and other help, saving you on expenses charged by tradesmen.
There are also definite health benefits to nude recreation and clothes-free living. As cited in Health Digest, “Skinny dipping allows the sun's rays to hit every part of our body. As a result, our skin is soaking in a hefty helping of vitamin D. Even just a quick 15-minute dip can boost immunity far more than any supplement can (via Volonte Science and Medical Advisory Board). Not to mention, vitamin D also does wonders for brain and bone function while enhancing quality of sleep (via Brooklinen). Additionally, sweat is completely released without the hindrance of tight clothing, allowing toxins to be fully flushed from the body. In addition to physical benefits, the wellness benefits of skinny dipping also extend into one's mental and emotional health. A 2017 review published in the Journal of Happiness Studies found that engaging in nude recreational activities had a positive impact on self-confidence, body image, and quality of life.”
With all these “pros” the only significant emotional or financial “con” is that some friends and family may not visit you in your nudist community, which means you will have to incur travel expenses to go visit them in their comfort zone. Or, you may need to leave your nudist environment if you require assisted living or nursing home care down the road.
When you’re ready to investigate retiring in a nudist community, it’s important, as with any real estate purchase, to do your homework. There are wholesome family-friendly, nurturing nudist communities, such as those affiliated with AANR. There are also other types. So, scrutinize your options to avoid venues that may not be the right fit for you.
When it comes down to purchasing a home in a nudist community you should know that, as with many subdivisions, there may be a homeowner’s association with fees, monthly lot lease assessments, and rules and regulations that apply. You’ll want to be mindful of those restrictions and covenants to determine if a particular neighborhood is right for you.
Also, if you need to finance, be sure to build additional time into your mortgage acquisition process. Your first lender may be unable to accommodate a loan on the type of housing available or has additional questions prior to your securing the loan. The difference in this time lag typically averages between 35 and 45 days. But don’t be surprised if there’s no delay, either!
A good source for information about a prospective community is, of course, their website, which should provide information on property listings, general amenities, regulations governing demeanor, and more. Property listings found on the website are usually provided by the homeowner or their real estate agent, and negotiations would be between the interested party and the individual homeowner, not the resort community management. That said, a residential manager at the resort/community may be a resource for answering general questions and providing insights.
As we are currently in a hot real estate market, with mortgage rates at record lows and a lack of available inventory fueled by a rise in housing demand, properties are selling quickly. Especially in those Sunbelt regions so popular with retirees.
Cypress Cove resident manager Armando Colon notes, “As a potential homebuyer make sure you’re ahead of the game. If serious about retiring in a nudist community, you will need to get pre-approved for residency. Your first step would be to establish history with that particular club by nakationing there over multiple times to interact and foster relationships with other guests, residents, and staff. There will definitely be a vetting process so the interested buyer can determine if the community is a good fit for them and the community finds them a good fit as well. This includes a full criminal background check being taken, and then a credit check. Even if the buyer does not require a home loan, the community owns the lot on which it sits and which is leased monthly, ergo the rationale for the credit check. Once completed, an orientation then takes place on the community’s “dos and don’ts.” After these steps have been accomplished, a prospective buyer can then reach out to a seller. All in all, the entire application process typically occurs in about a two-week timeframe.”
It’s recommended that you complete the application process well in advance so when a property does come on the market, you’re poised to act. Oh, and don’t be surprised if you find yourself in a bit of a bidding war. The freedom the nudist homeowner enjoys has lasting appeal for a broad spectrum of the retiring population seeking homes in communities with like-minded people, and neighbors who share the same values and interests.
About the author: Erich Schuttauf, Esq.
AANR Executive Director, was originally from Massachusetts, took his undergraduate degree in history at Purdue University, and received his J.D. from Duke University. He is licensed to practice law in the state of Florida and has served as AANR counsel for over twenty years. Based in the greater Orlando area, Erich is a devoted husband and father of four, a devout Christian, and a member of Phi Beta Kappa.
About AANR: For 90 years AANR has been the preeminent authority and voice in North America, staunchly protecting the freedoms and rights of those who participate in wholesome, family-style nude recreation.
Socially, AANR encourages Nakation℠ vacations as healthy, eco-friendly, transformational travel experiences while AANR’s membership demonstrates conclusively that life is enhanced by the naturalness of social nudity. From exercise to relaxation, a person’s physical, spiritual, and mental well-being is enriched through nude recreation and slumber.
AANR supports over 180 chartered clubs, resorts, and campgrounds (and is growing), and serves more than 30,000 members and 52 million skinny dipping enthusiasts throughout the U.S., Canada, and internationally. For more information about AANR, a complete listing of member clubs, and for facts related to nude recreation, visit www.aanr.com or call 1-800-TRY-NUDE (879-6833). You can dip your toe into skinny-dip living with a 1-year membership in the AANR for about $64 per person. This entitles you to accessibility and discounts for Nakation℠ vacations at over 180 affiliated nudist resorts/RV parks/campgrounds throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and internationally to determine if you would like to retire in a residential nudist community.