Teen accidentally moves into retirement community, finds herself loving life in the senior lane

Theresa Braine, New York Daily News
·3 min read

Judging from her social media posts, Madison Kohout has had quite the interesting, and sometimes rocky, life.

And at the still-tender age of 19, she is already living in retirement.

It came about completely by accident, when Kohout moved to Arkansas from Oklahoma into an apartment she had rented online, sight unseen.

She fell in love with the affordable two-bedroom when she arrived, but in her excitement she didn’t notice the sign outside the apartment complex until she had been living there for about a week.

“When I went out to my car, I started meeting some of my neighbors,” she told Insider. “To my surprise, they were all over the age of 65.”

Still, it took a little longer to get fully clued in, she said.

“The first week of moving here was crazy!” Kahout told Newsweek. “I was busy with finding a job and setting up my apartment, I didn’t even notice! I thought it was a bit weird that all of my neighbors were significantly older than me. After my first week I saw a sign in front of the apartments, and it had clicked!”

The sign read, “Senior Citizen Apartments.”

“I realized I accidentally moved into a retirement village,” Kohout told Insider.

It was true. The gobsmacked girl had inadvertently rented senior housing — designed for older people in mind but not relegated to those ages, as she told Newsweek. Nonetheless, in the 10-apartment complex, she is the only teenager.

Her April 17 retelling of her story on TikTok garnered more than 3.4 million views and 600,000 likes in a video she captioned, “this is not even a joke LMAO,” and drew at least one call for it to be turned into a sitcom. Kohout herself has labeled it a Hallmark movie. Can the producers be far behind?

Now the young woman whose TikTok videos detail growing up in a “toxic household” with “absent parents” and being “adopted as an adult” by an Arkansas family who taught her all about being loved (she met her new mom on TikTok) is thriving amid the 60-plus crowd, her new neighbors.

And yes, she’s documenting all her elder adventures on TikTok, regaling her 83,500 followers with video clips, most set to snatches of pop songs, that talk about life in the senior lane.

“How is life at the old folks’ home, you might ask? Let me show you,” she recounted in one recent video, quipping almost conspiratorially. “When I get home it’s usually always super quiet. Because most of my neighbors are asleep by the time I get home. But one major perk is that I can play music whenever I want to, because some of them can’t hear.”

But that’s not nearly all. She gets first dibs on the juiciest town gossip, and everyone asks her about her day — while feeding her home-cooked meals.

“Another fun thing is, whenever I get to come home after a long day, everyone asks me how I’m doing,” she said. “Anyway that’s how my life is going here at the old folks’ home. And just remember, if you’re struggling with rent, start your early retirement.”