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Old 02-18-2011, 08:18 PM
 
Location: home...finally, home .
8,178 posts, read 18,060,861 times
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Thank you all for your great advice. I really appreciate it.
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Old 02-20-2011, 09:40 PM
 
Location: Springfield, Massachusetts
113 posts, read 305,969 times
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Originally Posted by nancy thereader View Post
How is Boston & its suburbs for people who are retired? Are there condo complexes for people who are over 55 (the way there are in many states) ?
Are there senior citizens groups there?

I know it's cold in winter, but how are the springs and autumns?

How is the shopping?

Thanks for any help.
Hi Nancy! Maybe my Mother's story will be able to help you in some way. My Mom recently went through this exact same process. After years of living next to the beach, she decided that she wanted to find a place that offered her a lot culturally, and in terms of meeting new people.

She zeroed in on Massachusetts--and in particular, the Boston area. Many of the best colleges, universities, and intellectual organizations in Massachusetts run lifelong learning institutes. (My mom has met a lot of people that way--by taking courses that interest her. Through them, she's met other friends. It's cool to see how her friend network has developed since moving.)

The shopping is, of course, world-class in Boston. It holds its own in that regard with all of the US's great cities (except maybe NYC and LA.)

After considering Cambridge, Brookline, and Somerville, she decided that she enjoyed a less frenetic pace, and also that she prized her safety higher than she thought. (This is not to say that Boston and its environs are unsafe--honestly, I would be surprised if Boston wasn't the safest large metro region in the country.)

After looking in the city's immediate environs, she looked at Concord, Lexington, and Northampton (the latter is located in the Five College region of Western Massachusetts.)

She liked both Concord and Lexington more, in many ways, than Cambridge and Somerville. Both were safe, and featured lovely Main Streets. However, she considered them to be more along the lines of bedroom communities. My mom was looking for something with more vibrancy. (Honestly, i'm not sure I know what she meant by "vibrancy.").

At the time, I remember her telling me, “ if only there were a mix of all of these towns!”

It turned out that there was... Northampton is a bohemian college town (home of Smith College) in western Massachusetts. It's an hour and a half drive from Boston. It's less than 10 minutes from Amherst Massachusetts, (another college town about 15 miles to Springfield and 40 miles to Hartford.

In Northampton, my mom found dozens of unique boutiques, one-of-a-kind shops, and a very vibrant downtown--there's continual activity: lots of shows, (theatre, music, and art exhibits.) Beautiful nature surrounds the place--rivers and mountains.

She found it easy to become part of the Northampton community. (Her friends are professors, businesspeople, and activists.) Also, it's safe. She can walk down the street at midnight--from the cafe two blocks from her condo--and not feel at all uncomfortable.

The springs and autumns are, in my opinion, the best parts of living in this region. I missed the seasons in California.
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Old 09-16-2012, 04:13 PM
 
Location: home...finally, home .
8,178 posts, read 18,060,861 times
Reputation: 17580
I just found this on Google and I'm sorry I did not see your response before, ju ju. It was so thoughtful and reasoned and you took a lot of time telling me about your Mom. I hope everything is still well with both of you. Thanks for the advice.
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People may not recall what you said to them, but they will always remember how you made them feel .
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