the best plan i’ve ever had

27 May

So I was down in Florida visiting my parents last month, and halfway through my visit my mom’s best friend came to visit as well. She’s been thinking about buying some property down there, so within approximately 22 minutes and 47 seconds of her arrival, she and mom were on my parent’s community website to see if there were any properties available nearby. There were, in fact. Quite a few. Some in the same building as my parents, some in a building a half-block away. I found this kind of quaint and amusing at first, as you do with your parents, but slowly I began to realize that this? This was actually brilliance in action.

Think about it. Let’s envision the future for a minute. You’ve saved up every penny and you’ve kissed your job goodbye and are on the yellow brick road to retirement. Your plan from now until the end is to basically hang out. Maybe you spend your days going to the library. Or catching up on Netflix. Or taking up a new sport, like Frisbee golf. You go out to dinner a lot, because for the love of all that is holy, you’ve probably spent the past 40 years making dinner at least four nights a week, and all you want is someone else to clean up after you, and you’re willing to pay them to do that.

This sounds like a pretty awesome way to live life, right? Retirement can be fantastic.

But wouldn’t it be more fantastic if you lived within five minutes of your best friends? It would be like college all over again. Except you’re older and you have more money. And better bedding.

It turns out I’m not the only one to think of such a plan. Soon after I returned from Florida and was pondering where my friends and I should retire, one of my DC family girls sent me a link to this: Bestie Row.

These peeps have the right idea. Though while I appreciate their nod toward being eco-friendly, I’m not sure Swede and I can live in a 400-square-foot abode. As it is we have trouble living in our current bootbox of a condo that is 800-square-feet. Granted, by the time we retire we probably wouldn’t have the cats, but….

Wait. Let’s be honest. Those fuckers are going to outlive us all just to spite me.

The point is, I think there is something to this, but I think steps need to be put in place now to foster a seamless transition when we retire.

  • Decide now where you and your friends want to retire, and buy the properties as soon as humanly possible. If you can, predict the future and buy someplace that is super cheap now, but by the time you retire your property will be worth millions, with people chomping at the bit to buy your place from you. Not that you’ll want to sell (that would defeat the purpose), but I’m all for building one’s equity and/or monetary worth. If you’re not psychic, visit your nearest reputable medium ASAP.
  • If the group you want to live near when you’re retired is split on destinations, that’s okay. Half of you go one place, and half of you go the other. That way, when you visit each other you can still see so many people at once. And don’t try and tell me you can’t go for a visit. You’ll be retired. You’ll have all the time in the world. Netflix and Frisbee golf can be put on hold for a week. The restaurants don’t have to stop, because a person’s got to eat, you know?
  • Put to rest now any grudges/arguments/unhappy feelings you may have within your group. The last thing you want is a Mary/Rhoda feud to dampen the fun of your best friend retirement community. Besides, you’re ALL the Marys. And don’t you forget it.

It’s the perfect recipe for retirement, I know, right?

You’re welcome.

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