Even though summers in Vail, where I lived, are gorgeous, after 30 years in the Colorado Rockies, I didn't want to see another flake of snow. Ever. I moved to Arizona when I retired last year at 63. I absolutely love the lifestyle and the cost of living.
Sun City West retirement community sounds awful. You picture people in walkers; people driving big Cadillacs and pulling right out into traffic. I hate to say it, but it's fabulous.
A lot of people are very active. There are facilities available -- swimming, tennis, fitness center -- for about nothing, like $250 a year. My previous life, I was pretty much a loner. I'd go home at night. Now, I'm making a lot of good friends. We play cards, swim and work out together.
My house cost $158,500 for 1,377 square feet on one level. It has two bedrooms and two baths, living room, family room and a huge patio. There are no school taxes. I pay about $700 in property taxes a year.
I have a small pension from working in Europe and a 401(K). I live very comfortably on that and a little bookkeeping I do at home. I also volunteer one afternoon a week at the public computer room of the local library.
NEXT: Brunswick, Maine, and an RV