We’ve been in Arizona this week, visiting my in-laws. They’re from Wyoming, but for the past few years they’ve been spending the winter in AZ, in their motor home. They have a sweet motor home and a sweeter place to park it down here. They’re in a 55+ community of motor homes and trailers with every activity under the sun within a few minutes walk. 90% of the residents live somewhere else in the summer, when it’s 120 degrees here. But from December to April, this place is bustling. At any one time, there are about 5 activities going on. There are two pools, several hot tubs – one that holds about 30 people – a huge steam room, a gym, community rooms with all sorts of club meetings. There’s a wood shop and a stained glass workshop. There’s a lapidary and a whole row of shuffleboard courts. We’ve been having a blast.
I wouldn’t necessarily choose AZ as a place to retire – although it’s pretty nice here right now, after all the snow we’ve had at home this winter. But being here is a good reminder of why we save for retirement. The people who spend their winters here have all saved enough money to be able to maintain two homes and pay the $500/month lot fee here. They’re able to travel between their homes, pay their bills, and live comfortably – chances are they’re not doing it on social security alone.
For compulsive savers like myself, saving for retirement is a must. But I think a lot of people feel that it’s too far off, and that they might as well enjoy more of their money now. For all those people, visiting someone who planned well for retirement and is currently enjoying the payoff is a good motivator. Here’s to our IRAs!