Author Topic: My retirement community life  (Read 2561 times)

quilter

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My retirement community life
« on: February 25, 2014, 10:05:41 AM »
Thought I would put another view for people to consider as they reach FI

We were mid fifties when we could both retire, living in the snow/ice belt, and our kids had moved away. We looked at all our options, and visited retirement communities, our hometowns, and many small towns to take a look. DH had gone through three bouts with cancer, three back and two shoulder operations from various mishaps so our criteria for a house was different than most others

We moved to a 55+ community in Florida.

There are many swimming pools, and DH is in a masters swim group. He competes around the state and it has done wonders for his physical and mental health. As an artist I have access to pottery, glass and painting studios. We can walk, bike and swim year round, but you have to watch the heat in the summer. Our large flower beds are gone, and we have a small lot with a nice house, one story. We also have some nice features, like no threshold to access the house from the garage and a Roman shower, very easy access with a built in seat. I play pickle all, water volleyball all kinds of dance and exercise, and use the car once a month at most. Within three flat miles there are two grocery stores, two farmers markets on different days, a library, two drug stores, pools, rec centers with ping pong and billiard tables and my primary md office. DH drives the car more because he loves riding in his dream convertible.  There are always fundraiser for the local schools and veterans, animal rescues, and soldiers abroad. Habitat for humanity is very active here as well.  Our covenants are very restrictive , but we don't mind. I lived in a planned community up north and we had no problems. Our house value held up well when it was time to sell, not like some of the local towns.

Although we have an amenities fee of $135 per month, we have no state income tax, and our utility bill is about $75 less per month. We have no YMCA fee, which we paid $70 per month to keep DH in the water for his health. Our taxes are 1/4 of what they were back home. I am glad to pay my school tax, much lower here because of more taxpayers per kid, I believe in investing in the local community youth.

So although a majority of people who post here would think no way, I just wanted to give another point of view.

By the way, this weekend we were at a swim meet. A 99 year old guy dove In The pool, swam the crawl four lengths and claimed out on the ladder unassisted. An 87 yo woman started from the blocks and did the butterfly. It was amazing to see such vibrant alive people.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2014, 10:08:47 AM by quilter »

greenmimama

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Re: My retirement community life
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2014, 12:00:02 PM »
I think that sounds lovely! Minus the really bad heat of the summer, but you could probably visit up north for a bit during that if it really bothered you :)

quilter

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Re: My retirement community life
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2014, 12:32:44 PM »
We considered moving near the kids, but they could be transferred at any time. Besides we are young enough to make a new life here. I am not really interested in city life. We have lived many places and small town life is for me.  Our kids live to come visit and are happy we are so healthy and alive. We have told the parents of our grandkids we would come to help them out at any time. We bought a more modest home than we could afford so we could fly or drive up. We go for a long weekend every six weeks.  With skype, letters and little packages we are in the minds of the kids.

About the weather, our original plan was to get a national parks job and summer there, they have dorms for senior workers but we love to stay here.  It is often hotter in the Midwest and northeast.  Maybe in a year or two.

I will tell you looking closely at taxes, weather, utility bills, closeness to services we need and getting a house we did not have to modify was big in our decision. We were going to have to add onto our house for a first floor bed and bath, move there or move elsewhere.  And I was done with snowblowing.

dragoncar

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Re: My retirement community life
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2014, 01:04:21 PM »
Retirement communities are a great deal if you are at or below the age cutoff (eg one spouse is over and the other is younger).  The property is usually cheaper because of the restrictions/less competition.  The amenities are often underutilized by the aging population.  I would definitely consider it!

meadow lark

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Re: My retirement community life
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2014, 09:35:32 PM »
I could definitely imagine living in a community like you describe!  Hmm, wonder if I could convince my wife...

nicknageli

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Re: My retirement community life
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2014, 10:07:52 AM »
You paint a nice picture of things there.  Sounds great!