Real Life Retirement:  what real people are doing after age 55 


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sunset in phoenix arizona
Saguaro cactus silhouetted against a February sky just outside of Phoenix.

 Retirement communities in Phoenix area

You will find over 250 retirement communities in the Phoenix area.  They range from gated, luxurious golf course neighborhoods to budget-minded manufactured housing villages to upscale condos to assisted living facilities.  Then, of course, there are the snow bird neighborhoods which are full of RVs and are occupied only seasonally.

Del Webb was the first major company to start building retiree homes in the Phoenix area.   They still are a dominant builder with their signature Sun City communities which now are home to over 80,000 retirees.  

Del Webb's Sun City, Sun City West, Sun City Grand, and Anthem have all the amenities found in upscale resort-style retirement communities.  

There are golf courses, pools, exercise facilities, bocce courts, craft rooms, dozens of clubs, medical facilities--we could go on and on.  You will find that most people living in these retirement villages are in their late '60s and older.

In recent years, other builders have begun creating retirement villages in the Phoenix area.   The ELS company specializes in manufactured housing developments and many have pools and other extras.  They are definitely a lower-cost option.  The Robson company builds very high end homes for retirees in more exclusive communities. 

If you plan to retire to Phoenix, on your first visit check out the full range of options and prices.  We have seen manufactured homes listed for as little as $70,000 and luxury estate-size homes at $900,000.  Take your time.  See as many communities as you can.  

And if your first visit is in winter and you are planning to live in Phoenix all year, be sure to spend a couple of weeks there during the summer before you buy.  Scorching summer heat means months and months spent living indoors with air conditioning going full blast. 

You may decide that it would be wiser to rent in the Phoenix area for a few months in winter and live elsewhere during summer.

A Real Life Retirement:

John, a retired doctor, and his wife Jo sold their home in Oregon and bought a home in Sun Lakes near Phoenix.  It is an older retirement community and the first year was a delight.  By the third summer, however, Jo demanded that they find a summer alternative.  Months and months of temperatures over 100F turned out to be too much for her.  Their solution was to buy a small, inexpensive cabin in the mountains in Northern Arizona where they now live during summer.

If you are considering retiring to Las Vegas, go here.

NOTE:  All names on this site have been changed to protect individual privacy. The stories are real, the names are not. 

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