Our November package on retirement
--we tracked 5 couples at 5 different economic levels--has drawn several letters suggesting that we set our financial sites too high and left "reality" behind. Here are two of those letters. Before you decide who's right, look at the story and also the subsequent comments on Golfdigest.com, which suggest that even within the retirement areas chosen there are more options than highlighted in the story. As Aquidneck, one of those commenters said about the Villages, one of the places we reported on: "They used the most expensive home they could find. The average home here in The Villages is more like $175,000 and not $600,000." Among our five, it should be noted, was a $250,000 townhouse.
I read Peter Finch's article on the cost of golf in retirement in your November, 2010 issue and was disappointed that he didn't include less expensive options. Maybe that's another article. I am not sure of your magazine's demographics, but the illustrations Peter Finch provided seem to represent something outside the reach of most of us. For example, my wife and I are retired and play over a 100 rounds of golf a year. We belong to semi-private golf club (Edelweiss Chalet Country Club in New Glarus, WI). There is no initiation fee and annual cost for two is about $2,000 for unlimited golf,cart rental, and food minimum. In addition, we have agreements with about 9 other area courses where we get free play and only pay for cart rental. It is like belonging to 10 country clubs. You can own a nice house nearby for about $220,000. The property taxes would be near $4,000. The sales tax is 5.5%. The state sales tax is competitive if not slightly above average, but you get great public services and education for your buck. You are also about 30 minutes from a great college town and cultural center. We can play golf in New Glarus on average 8 months a year. We then take some of the money we saved by living and playing here and rent a condo in Scottsdale for two months. The cost of our condo rental is $4,000 and we spend another $2,000 on Arizona golf.
Brian Hanke, Wisconsin
I have read your book for years and I do enjoy read the golf tips and personel articles and the equip. reviews but this last article you wrote about golf retirement hit a sore spot. I wonder how many real retired people in your reading audience can afford a 2.6 million dollar home in Scottsdale. After reading that article I told my wife I was ready throw that book in the trash and cancel my subscription. How about writing an article that 90% of retires could really use? Places where a husband and wife can golf and afford it. Idaho sucks when it comes to golf communities and private affordable golf clubs. I like your magazine and will keep reading it because I can't get to mad over one article but it does hit a sore spot concerning how much money we have all lost because of the weathly greed in this country and our current government.
Dennnis Holste, Nampa, ID
I have been a long time subscriber to Golf Digest. I have been reading about retirement communities in your current magazine. Please write another with more affordable places to retire. Many can't afford $500,000 homes. I just want a nice place to live and a good place to play golf. It doesn't have to be an expensive resort.
David Dorn, Burlington, IA