The truth of the matter is Mom and Dad really could have afforded to buy a condo in a much nicer development than Harbor View. And they did consider other places – there were Villa Lakes, Harbor Cove, Tuscany Atlantic, and Spanish Waters, which, if you go by the names of them, all sound like dream retirement spots. Of course while most of these developments are somewhat more luxurious than Harbor View, they aren’t the exclusive enclaves that they sound like. That’s the funny thing about the retirement complexes in Florida; most of them sound very lavish. I’ve noticed that nearly all of the developments have either a body of water or a Spanish word in their names, neither of which, necessarily, has anything to do with the complexes they label. Apparently the builders add a Spanish word or a body of water to the title and voila, their community suddenly sounds very prestigious. Most of these communities, however, are just regular developments of condos, townhouses, or single-family homes. Although admittedly, most are a bit nicer than Harbor View.
It’s not that Harbor View isn’t nice; it has all of the amenities one could want at a retirement community. It’s just that it is basic and not too picturesque. And I really do think that Mom and Dad deserved something prettier and more luxurious. Dad worked hard at his job his whole life, while Mom worked equally hard taking care of the house and our family. They did not live extravagantly, and while they gave us kids everything we needed and probably more, they still managed to save well for their retirement. However, Mom rationalizes living at Harbor View because she says she really didn’t want to spend a fortune on a condo she uses just three to four months a year. “Besides, there’s so much to do here,” she tells me. “They have more activities than any other condo development around.”
Dad, on the other hand, justifies choosing Harbor View by pointing out all of the wealthy people who chose it as their winter home over other condo developments in Florida. “You know Bernard,” he says, “he is a hot shot orthodontist back home and he comes here. Don in our building has another vacation home on Nantucket. And our friends, Susan and Stan are both attorneys with a lot of money. If this place is good enough for all of them, then it’s good enough for me. ”
“Yeah, I suppose so” I say. Then I just have to add, “but I bet all of them have two bedrooms.”