We need to start with a caveat…we DON’T think our neighbors are old fogies. We just needed a catchy title for this post! 🙂
We retired this year and moved into a 55+ community in Arizona. Now, you’re asking “so what???” Well, we were only 45 and 50 years old when we made the move. And, we haven’t looked back.
We sold our home and moved into a 700 square foot park model. What is a park model? It’s what we all used to call a trailer or mobile home. Ick, right??? We said the same thing when we first stumbled upon this culture. But, within three days, we had purchased our park model for $25,000. Yep, that’s right. We sold our big home for nearly $1 million and moved into a tiny home with neighbors less than 5 feet away for less than most cars cost these days.
Snowbirds have figured life out. Our neighbors are all in their 60s, 70s, and 80s. They still play softball, tennis, pickle ball, golf, cards, darts, and hundreds of other activities every day. They live in tiny homes with little upkeep and play all day long. It’s not uncommon to see our neighbors leave at 7AM for a tennis match, come home to change into their softball uniform, play two softball games, and come home to change into swimwear (hot tub time is required after playing for 4-5 hours). They might take a short break, but then they head to a concert, dinner party, or any number of evening events. They’re more active than we ever were in our youth!
Living in the Valley of the Sun feels like cheating. And, we are cheating…winter. The Southwest desert is warm and toasty almost all winter long. We sit by the pool even in January. Our low temperatures are higher than most highs throughout the US. One of our more ridiculous goals is to never wear long pants again. So far, we’ve achieved that goal with the exception of weddings, funerals, and a few chilly mornings. We’ve weeded out almost all of our dress clothes, winter coats, and shoes. But, we’ve each kept just enough to get us by in case we travel or have a family obligation.
But, you know what the best part is??? It’s being called “the kids”. We love it! And, we love that our neighbors have welcomed us with open arms. Most of our friends in our community are at least our parents’ age. We wondered what we’d have in common with our neighbors. The truth is we have everything in common. We all love sports, travel, family, hobbies, humor…the list could go on an on. Yes, there are times when we’d like to talk a little bit less about aches and pains, but those conversations are just part of growing older. 🙂
We realize this life isn’t for everyone. But, if you’ve ever considered retiring early, go check out 55+ communities. They’re full of life!