April 11, 2024 ·  3 min read

Best Friends Build Their Own Tiny Town So They Can Retire and Grow Old Together

Best friendship at its truest! While my best friends and I are busy searching for the hottest shoes on a heavy sale, other best friends are planning their retirement in magical, little eco-towns.

These four environmentalist couples have known each other for over twenty years, and they recently decided to secure a future together. They chose a peaceful area facing the Llano River in Austin, Texas, to build a small settlement where they plan to spend their golden years. [1] They employed San Antonio-based architect Matt Garcia to design four tiny, sustainable cabins, a common area, a guest bedroom, and a communal kitchen.

In the settlement, which they named the Llano Exit Strategy, each of the cabins cost roughly around $40,000. The interiors were constructed with light-sanded plywood to keep costs at a minimum. The cabins were strategically placed side-by-side so everyone can have a lovely, unobstructed view of the scenery. During the heat of the summer, the cabins remain cool due to the reflective, corrugated steel walls and special insulated windows. There are several windows in each room to provide adequate lighting and ventilation.

Forever getaway spot

The Llano Exit Strategy is situated in a drought-affected region, so the roofs were slanted for maximum collection of rainwater. The butterfly-style roofs can capture about 50,000 gallons of rainwater in large barrels with underground pipes to keep the area irrigated.

This is a magical place, but it’s arid,” said future resident Fred Zipp. [2]We’re doing what we can to reserve as much water as possible for the native trees and grasses. Fortunately, they’re beautiful.” 

Each cabin spans an area of 400 square feet and is fitted with a queen-size bed, a couch, a reading table with a chair, a small bathroom, multiple bookshelves, and a porch with an incredible view of the mountains.

The settlement has a 1,500-square-foot common area where the couples can get together and relax. There’s also a small guest bedroom with bunk beds, a cute octagonal wooden table to accommodate each one of the eight residents, and a large pine porch.

Read: I turned 30 and moved into a retirement community for 2 years. Here’s what I learned

The idea of happy, communal living continues as they share a general kitchen area equipped with state-of-the-art appliances and kitchen furniture to make their lives as comfortable as possible. There’s a black granite countertop with fully-stocked wine racks and stools on either side. The countertop separates the kitchen from the common area. They have a large clear-glass refrigerator and a stainless steel commercial-style stove.

A fantasy come true

“It’s like a Disney movie out here… We have hares, bobcats, deer, and all kinds of birds,” said Jodi Zipp, Fred’s wife. “As we spend more and more time here, we find more and more.”

The eight friends have put in a lot of hard work to make their perfect little town come to life, but it still needs a bit more work before it’s ready to accommodate its inhabitants. However, by the time they are ready to retire, they’ll have all they ever need ready and waiting by the peaceful Llano river of Austin

This article originally appeared on Family Life Goals and has been republished here with permission.

Keep Reading: The Life Of The Man Who Lives In The Middle Of The Forest In An Abandoned Plane (+ Photos)


  1. Best Friends Build Their Own Tiny Town To Grow Old Together,” Bored Panda. 2015
  2. “An Energy Smart Retreat in Texas” Garden&Gun. February/March 2014