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Old 12-09-2010, 08:08 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
9,189 posts, read 7,042,483 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
There is no place as bad as a place with no friends (or substitute: family you like). You can withstand cold, damp, whatever if you have a warm circle (even a small one) of people who love and accept you, and you can be involved in something, esp in older years. I have lived in a place or two you could call "Paradise" too out of the way for family and friends to visit, and was quite lonely and because of it unhappy.

I think older folks need to balance ALL factors of where we live, and there are going to be some serious tradeoffs. The only way we can know which ones we can accept and which ones we can't is to do some heavy thinking and visualization. I made a spreadsheet and compared (here, and the South, and going with daughter to Maine). In the context of 10 or 20 years from now, on the spreadsheet I created #1 was proximity to major necessities (supermarket, medical), followed by senior transportation, followed by nearness to either family or good friends, followed by safety (for others, this would be #1, but I happen to think it's not to "safe" anywhere), followed by cultural amenities, and last (which would have been first in younger years) "loveliness of surroundings." Although I dreamed of a cottage at the ocean, or a little bungalow in a Southern town with warmer winters, these choices were compelling but totally impractical for my personal situation regarding getting close to at "10" on all of these factors. Oh what age does to us!
Of all the reading I have done on this forum about choosing a location in retirement, I don't think I have seen the issues and priorities summed up so exceptionally well as in the above post.
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Old 12-09-2010, 09:23 PM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
10,833 posts, read 8,053,617 times
Reputation: 3866
Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
Of all the reading I have done on this forum about choosing a location in retirement, I don't think I have seen the issues and priorities summed up so exceptionally well as in the above post.
It's all touchy feely to be sure. But it doesn't matter what you have if you can't get to it. Have you seen what's been going on in Cleveland in terms of weather the last couple of days? We're bitching and moaning here in NE Florida because we're cold (by our standards). But we're not dealing with tons of snow - or anything like that. Unless you're a farmer here - your biggest problem is some of your petunias will die

Weather like that in Cleveland means - hard/impossible to drive or use public transportation. Higher risk of accidents walking on slippery/icy streets. High utility bills - or an apartment where you can't even turn up the heat! Hard/impossible to get out and shop for necessities. Or keep necessary appointments. Not feeling so swell if you have arthritis or similar joint/activity/mobility problems.

Can you compensate for this stuff? Sure. With money. I have a 90 year old aunt who lives in Queens NYC. She lives modestly - but uses money to hire cars/cabs to drive her everywhere (all year round). When you're 90 - with 2 artificial knees - running around on the subway is not a good option. My father still drives. He couldn't do that in Cleveland. Nor could he use a bus or subway. Public transportation for the elderly? Try dealing with stairs on subways (many aren't handicap friendly- even in a big city like NYC). Or hanging around a bus stop when it's 90 in the summer or 20 in the winter. Especially if you're lugging home a shopping cart full of groceries. Doesn't sound like a fun time to me.

When you look at some of these places - you have to look at weather - and figure out how many months of the year you'll basically be a prisoner in your house. It's easy to think - no problem. But I don't see many old people here (my husband is 65 - and not too many of you are older than he is). So raise your hands. Are any of you here even 70 - much less 80? If you're 58 and planning your dream place for when you're 70+ - you have to be realistic about what it's like to be older. Robyn
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Old 12-09-2010, 09:24 PM
 
Location: California
2,915 posts, read 2,159,485 times
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Did you see this article in Saveur magazine about NE Ohio food?
http://www.saveur.com/gallery/Where-to-Eat-in-Northeast-Ohio
They have the best pierogi! Also don't forget about the W. 25th St Market, a favorite for my Grandma when she was still with us.
I can't say enough good about the treatment some of my family had at the Cleveland Clinic due to hemophillia and cancer.
I ran a comparision cost of living at Bankrate for Portland/Cleveland and only found a 10.53% decrease for Cleveland:

Read more: Cost of Living comparison calculator Cost of Living comparison calculator Equivalent income in the city you are moving to: $44733.39. You may take a 10.53% decrease and still maintain your standard of living.

Best wishes for your retirement and health and always follow your heart. Keep us posted.
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Old 12-09-2010, 10:12 PM
 
Location: New England
12,244 posts, read 8,376,960 times
Reputation: 8720
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robyn55 View Post
It's all touchy feely to be sure. But it doesn't matter what you have if you can't get to it. Have you seen what's been going on in Cleveland in terms of weather the last couple of days? We're bitching and moaning here in NE Florida because we're cold (by our standards). But we're not dealing with tons of snow - or anything like that. Unless you're a farmer here - your biggest problem is some of your petunias will die

Weather like that in Cleveland means - hard/impossible to drive or use public transportation. Higher risk of accidents walking on slippery/icy streets. High utility bills - or an apartment where you can't even turn up the heat! Hard/impossible to get out and shop for necessities. Or keep necessary appointments. Not feeling so swell if you have arthritis or similar joint/activity/mobility problems.

Can you compensate for this stuff? Sure. With money. I have a 90 year old aunt who lives in Queens NYC. She lives modestly - but uses money to hire cars/cabs to drive her everywhere (all year round). When you're 90 - with 2 artificial knees - running around on the subway is not a good option. My father still drives. He couldn't do that in Cleveland. Nor could he use a bus or subway. Public transportation for the elderly? Try dealing with stairs on subways (many aren't handicap friendly- even in a big city like NYC). Or hanging around a bus stop when it's 90 in the summer or 20 in the winter. Especially if you're lugging home a shopping cart full of groceries. Doesn't sound like a fun time to me.

When you look at some of these places - you have to look at weather - and figure out how many months of the year you'll basically be a prisoner in your house. It's easy to think - no problem. But I don't see many old people here (my husband is 65 - and not too many of you are older than he is). So raise your hands. Are any of you here even 70 - much less 80? If you're 58 and planning your dream place for when you're 70+ - you have to be realistic about what it's like to be older. Robyn
Yes, having friends and family is touchy feely, not a bad thing when you're over 60.

Weather is weather. I could have moved to Tenn., Ky, or Va. and gotten some pretty nasty winter weather on top of some really hot summers. I lived in St Louis (tornado alley) for 8 years and lived through a major one. All I did was run for cover.

When you're retired, you don't have to go out into anything you don't want to. With a freezer and a pile of good books and a quilt (and a friend to visit nearby), you can be happy.

And if you're elderly and doing stairs and running around on the subway, you probably won't need any artificial knees.

My late mother at 88 was walking to the grocery and back with two bags of food. She had a car and didn't use it. She also shoveled her own driveway and did her own yard work. As does my 91 year old neighbor. These ladies have backbone despite having age related health issues (my neighbor had cancer and arthritis but that doesn't stop her).

I contend that dream places are fine, if you have friends and/or family you like. I've come to understand that I'd live in the tundra if that were the only way I could have these close by (and a close-by market ).
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Old 12-09-2010, 10:38 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
9,189 posts, read 7,042,483 times
Reputation: 16033
Default Attitude makes all the difference.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robyn55 View Post
Weather like that in Cleveland means - hard/impossible to drive or use public transportation. Higher risk of accidents walking on slippery/icy streets. High utility bills - or an apartment where you can't even turn up the heat! Hard/impossible to get out and shop for necessities. Or keep necessary appointments. Not feeling so swell if you have arthritis or similar joint/activity/mobility problems.

When you look at some of these places - you have to look at weather - and figure out how many months of the year you'll basically be a prisoner in your house. It's easy to think - no problem. But I don't see many old people here (my husband is 65 - and not too many of you are older than he is). So raise your hands. Are any of you here even 70 - much less 80? If you're 58 and planning your dream place for when you're 70+ - you have to be realistic about what it's like to be older. Robyn
So, you may be snowed in or iced in a few days at a time. This is only a big deal if your attitude allows it to be. Those who know they just couldn't stand it will be smart enough to live in a climate where it doesn't happen. It's amazing the extent to which our attitude towards something makes all the difference in the world. The same thing can be, to different people, something horrible and traumatic, a minor annoyance, something which is neutral (if different from the norm), or something to be welcomed. This can be applied to so many things besides living in a snowy climate. My father loved the outdoors and loved camping, whereas my mother's definition of roughing it was living at home. She was miserable to the max the few times she went camping with us, and made sure all the rest of us were miserable too.
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Old 12-10-2010, 08:56 AM
 
Location: DC Area, for now
3,517 posts, read 8,675,167 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
So, you may be snowed in or iced in a few days at a time. This is only a big deal if your attitude allows it to be. Those who know they just couldn't stand it will be smart enough to live in a climate where it doesn't happen. It's amazing the extent to which our attitude towards something makes all the difference in the world.
Very true. Somehow, millions of people manage to live thru winters to a ripe old age. Minervah specifically stated she likes cloudy cold weather and hates it hot & sunny. nuff said.

I'm more inclined that way myself. FL is not on my short list.
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Old 12-10-2010, 12:46 PM
 
3,194 posts, read 3,565,397 times
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I thrive and feel energized in cooler/colder weather myself!

As far as "loveliness of surroundings", I find it interesting that would be last on your list. It is still very high on my list, but maybe I need to rethink that. I know there are just certain geography/landscapes that I couldn't live in, having that choice. I've lived in an area for a very long time(although beautiful) just didn't do it for me. I orefer trees, lakes, ponds...

As I age, I certainly think about traffic congestion, population density, health care, proximity of shopping, is there a church close by, etc. Over Thanksgiving I visited a place where there wasn't much traffic, very quiet, would be easy to live and get around, but not as much "activity" as I'm used to. You know the old saying, ones strength is also one's weakness. I kind of apply that to places as well. Like, a place can be quiet but then again it's quiet, if you get my drift. At 66 I still might want some activity, but then at 70 I might not so much. Lots to consider...
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Old 12-10-2010, 02:00 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW / CO / SA TX / Thailand
11,162 posts, read 18,539,692 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loveautumn View Post
I thrive and feel energized in cooler/colder weather myself! Me Too, I don't do air conditioning, and love the heat (and smell) of my wood stove (like today)

As far as "loveliness of surroundings", I find it interesting that would be last on your list. It is still very high on my list, but maybe I need to rethink that. ... Well I do agree !! sitting at my desk enjoying the moving clouds (below me) in the Scenic Columbia Gorge. I think if I lose my eyesight my priorities could change, but maybe not, it is peaceful here. There are houses next door (my rental income) but no houses in front for many many miles. Just cliffs, mtns, forest, river, and clouds (usually... except for summer, then endless sky for sun by day and astronomy by night).


...At 66 I still might want some activity, but then at 70 I might not so much. Lots to consider...
Do stay flexible (Think Gumby)
http://williamthecoroner.files.wordp...01/gumby-1.jpg

Minervah has a well thought out plan for her 'stage in life'. It is nice to do that on occasion, but sometimes easier (not always smarter) to stay put.

I keep plans A through ZZ documented and ready to implement. (I'm a bit restless ).

I also use the 'spreadsheet planner'; tho that is not too 'warm and fuzzy', it does have some entries to mitigate that.

While I would prefer to be in a dinker rural prairie town (at the moment) It is not where I will likely 'plant myself' in my 80's. I've got a few places to go and things to do.
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Old 12-10-2010, 03:29 PM
 
Location: New England
12,244 posts, read 8,376,960 times
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The other thing to consider is just because you live in a certain place doesn't mean you ahve to live there 52 weeks out of the year. In my case, I will do whatever I can to get to Maine in the loveliest time of year for Maine (summer). I may be able to go to my son's in N.C. in its loveliest time, spring or fall. Family and friends living elsewhere will hopefully invite us to spend some time with them. Where you hang your hat most of the year should match up to your needs on your spreadsheet.
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Old 12-10-2010, 05:19 PM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
10,833 posts, read 8,053,617 times
Reputation: 3866
Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
Yes, having friends and family is touchy feely, not a bad thing when you're over 60.

Weather is weather. I could have moved to Tenn., Ky, or Va. and gotten some pretty nasty winter weather on top of some really hot summers. I lived in St Louis (tornado alley) for 8 years and lived through a major one. All I did was run for cover.

When you're retired, you don't have to go out into anything you don't want to. With a freezer and a pile of good books and a quilt (and a friend to visit nearby), you can be happy.

And if you're elderly and doing stairs and running around on the subway, you probably won't need any artificial knees.

My late mother at 88 was walking to the grocery and back with two bags of food. She had a car and didn't use it. She also shoveled her own driveway and did her own yard work. As does my 91 year old neighbor. These ladies have backbone despite having age related health issues (my neighbor had cancer and arthritis but that doesn't stop her).

I contend that dream places are fine, if you have friends and/or family you like. I've come to understand that I'd live in the tundra if that were the only way I could have these close by (and a close-by market ).
A lot is age-dependent IMO. Over 80 is different than 65. Our parents saw their friends/neighbors starting to drop like flies and/or move to be near their kids when they got over 80. So I think age makes a big difference. So do family situations. My husband and I don't have kids - so - even if we get really old - we're never going to move somewhere to be near our kids. OTOH - my FIL lived the last 3 years of his near us - and my father (last surviving parent) moved near us almost 5 years ago (hard to believe it's been that long - but it has).

<<And if you're elderly and doing stairs and running around on the subway, you probably won't need any artificial knees.>>

So you're an expert on this - right? My father's family has exceptional longevity - but a history of joint disease. And I don't think we can speculate about what it's really like to be 90+. We spent 3 weeks in Japan a few years ago. Lots of elderly people. And most hobbled up the subway stairs (or were carried by subway workers - it's not the most handicap friendly place in the world). Again - everyone's mileage varies.

Also - I think one key to increasing longevity is physical activity. Being a couch potato in front of the fireplace under a blanket for months on end may paint a pretty picture - but it doesn't do much to keep the blood flowing or the heart pumping or the joints loose. And - if you're in this position - your friends will probably be in similar positions. Hope you have web cams .

And I guess another issue for low income seniors is utilities. I'm not great with cold - but my father at age 92 gets really cold really fast. He can't keep his place at less than 73 without his fingers getting all numb (although he can easily stand 80 in the house). All of our parents were much the same after they hit 80. Heating places in cold climates in the winter can get very expensive. OTOH - seniors can't tolerate very high temps very well either (which you're more likely to find in dwellings in northern places that don't have A/C). Every year - quite a few seniors (especially those with low incomes) die in their homes during extreme cold - and extreme heat.

Anyway - this is clearly not a case of one size fits all. But people should think long and hard about the advantages/disadvantages of various places. And - for many people - one place may be right if they're 60-80 - and then they may have to come up with a new game plan when they're 80+. Robyn
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