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What is a Granny Pod and Why Would You Want to Live in One?

By Margaret Manning June 22, 2016 Lifestyle

What pops into your mind when you hear the term granny pod? Do you imagine Apple creating a new consumer electronics device just for older women?

Do you picture a group of dynamic older women out for a day filled with adventure and intrigue? Or, do you imagine a cozy little house, close to the family, but, separate enough to provide privacy and independence?

If you picked the third option, you’re right! Over the last few years, small houses have become increasingly popular for older adults. After decades of accumulating “stuff,” many of us are ready to live simpler lives.

At the same time, many of us have discovered that just because a house is cozy, doesn’t make it a home. A house only becomes a home when it is filled with laughter and good memories. A home is a place where we pursue our passions and celebrate life with the people we love. This is exactly why granny pods are interesting for so many women our age.

What’s Different About a Granny Pod?

In some ways, granny pods are a part of the larger small house movement. They are typically cheap to produce, take up little space and are ecologically friendly. They are also designed for men and women who want to simplify their lives.

What is different about granny pods is that they are designed to bring families closer together. The original idea was inspired by adult children who wanted to look after their elderly parents. Building a small house seemed like a win-win. Their parents would receive the care they needed and everyone in the family would receive the privacy that they wanted.

That said, in my opinion, I can see the usefulness of granny pods going way beyond this scenario. For example, I hope that I don’t need to be “looked after” by my family for a long time. That said, there is something appealing about being closer to my granddaughter and my own adult children.

I’ve always resisted the idea of moving in with my adult kids in retirement because I know how difficult it can be to have everyone under the same roof. A granny pod sounds like a good solution.

What Are the Downsides of Granny Pods?

When I raised the topic of granny pods with the community before, several women said that they felt like grandmas were being pushed to the side. To these women, the idea of “putting grandma in a shed in the garden” sounded uncomfortable, at best, and downright disrespectful at worst.

Clearly granny pods won’t be for everyone. Many women would prefer to stay in their own house or apartment, even if they live far away from their kids and grandkids.

However, I can also see a large group of women for whom the idea of living in a granny pod would be appealing. Don’t like cleaning a big house? Granny pods are small and self-contained. Want to be closer to your family? Granny pods are right next door. Want to save money on your living expenses so that you can explore the world? Granny pods are one of the cheapest options out there.

A Little More Inspiration

Just for fun, I wanted to share a few more of the amazing designs that are popping up for small houses and granny pods. Let’s look at a few from Tumbleweed Houses. They offer plans to help you design your own custom trailer or small house.

Another company that offers a similar service is Sprout Tiny Homes.

Who knows, maybe one day, we’ll build a community for our Sixty and Me women to set up their own tiny home. Wouldn’t that be fun!

Do you think that you could be happy living in a 400-square-foot tiny home? What do you think of the idea of granny pods? Does the idea make you feel uncomfortable? Or, do you think that it is a viable option for many women?

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The Author

Margaret Manning is the founder of Sixty and Me. She is an entrepreneur, author and speaker. Margaret is passionate about building dynamic and engaged communities that improve lives and change perceptions. Margaret can be contacted at

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