Saturday, March 10, 2012

Working to Retire

Is that the stage where I am in my life? Working to retire?! I didn't think so until

Hubby and I came on vacation to Florida and started driving around to check out retirement communities. I have been VERY resistant to spend my vacation time thinking about my golden years. But he is very persuasive and today we drove to see The Villages, north of Orlando.

On our way there I kept saying I want to "live by the beach", "The Villages are too far from Disney", "it's probably not nearly as nice as the website makes it looks", and "there's nothing to do". I had this feeling that we were driving to our "grave". You know, the whole "heaven's waiting room" feeling of moving into a retirement community. Ahhh! The sweet smell of Viagra in the air..........Okay Okay, I'll stop.

Well, I was really surprised. First of all everyone we met was super nice. The guy took us on a tour even though we made it clear we aren't buying right now, just looking. He totally respected that and spent an hour taking us around, showing us the rec centers, pools, town squares, neighborhoods and even some model homes in our price range! He didn't push us to sign today and he was more than gracious to tell us all the goings-on instead of hard selling us. And no wonder!

They sold about 2400 new homes last year and 1400 used homes! No housing problems there!!!

And things to do - OMG! 39 golf course and 60 heated pools! Music in the town squares every night with dancing and singing. Then Rec centers with pool tables, kitchens, card rooms, bocci ball, shuffleboard, horseshoes, all kinds of clubs. There are over 100 restaurants, shopping of all kinds, movie theaters and everything is accessible by golf carts. Yes a golf cart! Electric! Won't have to take the car out all the time to go to the store or run errands. Plus there is a health care center including hospital, specialists and so on. I have to say I was impressed.

I tried to find something wrong - but that was really hard because the place was perfect, clean, beautifully manicured. And it seemed fun and safe (next to no crime). OMG! A retirement community that sits on 30,000 acres, has its own government and is self- sustaining. The ONLY thing it doesn't have is the beach.  Although, the beach does attract riff-raff and these days, I am liking the calm life. I'll just have to drive to visit the beach when I want. I have a good friend in St Pete, I can go visit her whenever I want.

For now we are sold on the idea. The Villages, ranked #1 retirement community in the US for years now. And we can afford it! Shocking!!!  Our next steps is to pull together our plan to save, buy and pay off our retirement home.

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