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Old 01-24-2011, 09:46 AM
 
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I admit it. This is a selfish thread. I posted the following in the "Who's Your City" thread, hoping to hear about some of your experiences on the road of retirement. Seems to me, it is one thing to think you know something and quite different to actually live it. So, here is my story. I'm sticking to it. And, will really appreciate your thoughts. Thanks.

Like so many approaching, almost there, pre-retirees, the wife and I have spent much time, thought and effort in deciding what's next. Having visited around 60 small towns, larger towns and a few small cities, in something like 8 states, we are getting closer to a decision. It is a daunting task.

We started out 11 years ago by moving away from the big city to a small town, 70 miles from the big city. From 5 million plus to under 30,000 in the entire county. The only town is 5,000 population. Built a nice home on a few acres. We were ahead of the curve, as this was to be the retirement destination. We realize now, that we went too small (community), and too large (house and acreage).

We 'think' what is meant for us is an in-between town / community of maybe 40,000 to 50,000, with college(s), for the youth factor, education and cultural influence. Not too far away from major airport(s), for travel. Grandkids within a couple of hours or so, but not so close that we are the default babysitters. And a grocery store that is not 13 miles away, an ENT that is 25 miles away, or major trauma center 25 miles away.

As the world turns, so the saying goes. Stay tuned.

Last edited by earthlyfather; 01-24-2011 at 09:47 AM.. Reason: spelling
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Old 01-24-2011, 11:56 AM
 
4,574 posts, read 7,059,483 times
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Mine is changing all the time...at times, since I love New England, I think I could handle the cold winters but lately I have doubts whether that would really be true, maybe I'm just kidding myself. Esp since I haven't lived in very cold weather for over 35 years.

I'm more of a suburban type, and I know I couldn't live way out in the country. But I do like some space around me, just not isolated. So that's a dilema as far as what's too big and what's too small for me. I live in a suburban area in a large city, with all the amenities that has to offer, and with all the pros and cons. And I am wondering now if I really could live somewhere that doesn't have all that...I'm thinking I really would still need to live near a fairly large city. But I know as I get older, traffic becomes a problem. The main reason I need to move in retirement is cost of living, and any really great places I would be interested in still seem to have fairly high COL.

I've done quite a bit of travelling, exploring potential places over the past 10 years (almost mostly NE locations) and just haven't found the place that speaks to me...wow, this is it (at least any place I could afford)! But I have eliminated a few places, so I guess that's some progress.
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Old 01-24-2011, 01:57 PM
 
Location: Branson Area
880 posts, read 2,585,224 times
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Smile Changes

Interesting question. I've been "retired" 7 years now.
My husband and I started out in Las Vegas as an "interim" step
while we looked for "ideal". Our ideal was no snow, low cost of living,
low taxes, small town within 25 miles of metro area, good fishing, golf, shopping/entertainment.

We bought an RV and searched for 5 years. Then due to family circumstances, ended up outside of Branson MO....one of the areas that
was a 'sort of ok" on our list of ideal. Didn't meet many of our ideals, but met several of the lower level needs (weather and taxes were #1).

Well, three years later.....my husband is gone. I've sold the RV. I don't fish anymore and never played golf. I've become used to a little snow (I'm a CA bay area native). I've made a few good friends, and I love my home. From time to time I think about moving.....but can't think of any place I would like better in reality. I truly believe that friends and familiarity make
a place "ideal".

So my advice.....just pick a place you like and get on with life. Once you meet people, make friends, develop a new routine, and settle in to your new life, the "where" is a lot less important than it is when your looking for it.
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Old 01-24-2011, 02:06 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas
13,888 posts, read 25,323,560 times
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I spent so much time in rural small towns. I liked it, has it's good points, but it was a hassle. I also got to see my parents problems ageing in rural small towns. No services, no public transportation, and nothing to do. Pretty much total isolation if you didn't drive. Next was weather. What if you can't shovel anymore snow...especially for 6 months out of the year? What if you have mobility issues complicated by cold, snow, and ice? There was a time when Winter was my favorite season but 15 years in Minnesota cured me of that disease and I hope I never see that kind of cold again. I didn't want to hibernate in front of the TV for half the year because outside was unfit for human habitation.

My experiences led me to pursue a totally different life than what I had known. I wanted to live in an urban area. I wanted to be able to walk to grocery stores, Starbucks, and most other places I needed to go. I wanted a library in walking distance. And a post office. I wanted to live in an area with entertainment available. Public transportation was important. I wanted reasonable taxes too. Urban, urban, urban. No more isolation for me. I wanted warm, comfortable weather. No more snow and ice. I didn't want excessive humidity and loads of bugs either.

So I bought a house with a pool, and moved to Las Vegas. I love it. Good tax structure for retired folks and my pension is tax free too. No state income tax either. It was a great choice and there's always something to do. I'm very happy with it and it was right for me. The weather is great except for about 6 weeks in the Summer that are too hot, but no place is perfect, and I just spend a lot of time in the pool. The location meets all my requirements and there's a bus stop right down the street. And an international airport that can get me anywhere I want to go.

I also thought about the possibility of wanting to work. There are lots of part time low wage jobs here that are quite doable if you are looking to supplement your income...NOT make a living. At one point I thought seriously about living in another country and not being able to work was one of the main reasons I decided to stay in the US.

That was my thought process and where I ended up. I am glad I spent a lot of time thinking and looking before I jumped. What I thought I wanted 15 or 20 years ago would have been much different.
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Old 01-24-2011, 03:20 PM
 
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Perfect. Loveautumn, mrschilicook, yellowsnow - all great thoughts and perspectives. After two years I think we are both ready to be settled on and as Mrschili said get on with life. Pretty sure we found the place too. Have visited several times. Subscribing to local daily on line which is giving me a feel for the daily pulse of life, political and tax issues, and so forth.

Two years until we put the hacienda on the market. Then we'll see.

Last edited by earthlyfather; 01-24-2011 at 03:22 PM.. Reason: spelling grammar
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Old 01-24-2011, 04:03 PM
 
Location: Simmering in DFW
6,948 posts, read 19,464,844 times
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We are also a few years away and spend much time discussing and exploring ideas. We don't actually agree. DH doesn't like very hot, hot summers as we have here in Texas. I don't want snow and cold. We both want walkability, public transportation, hiking trails, university nearby, good airport, good library. We both lean more towards urban, or close to a city. We've been thinking about many places. DH likes Chicago. I like San Antonio and Fort Worth, TX. DH likes Berkeley, CA and Denver,CO. I'm thinking about Savannah, GA. LOL, we have a lot of talking to do, because we still like each other alot.
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Old 01-24-2011, 04:22 PM
 
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LOL...too funny. Isn't Ft. Worth really close to Irving, TX...was just curious how different that would be?
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Old 01-24-2011, 04:28 PM
 
Location: Simmering in DFW
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Irving and FtW are about 25 miles apart; but the area of FTW we like is historic homes near city center. We live presently in a sprawling, gated golf course community and have to drive everywhere.

Also looking at Chattanooga, TN......the list grows and shrinks daily!
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Old 01-24-2011, 05:07 PM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,975,704 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by earthlyfather View Post
We 'think' what is meant for us is an in-between town / community of maybe 40,000 to 50,000, with college(s), for the youth factor, education and cultural influence. Not too far away from major airport(s), for travel. Grandkids within a couple of hours or so, but not so close that we are the default babysitters. And a grocery store that is not 13 miles away, an ENT that is 25 miles away, or major trauma center 25 miles away.

As the world turns, so the saying goes. Stay tuned.
Did you want suggestions? What part of the country are you talking about--Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, West? Wherever the grandkids are is where you'll end up, right? Where is that?
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Old 01-24-2011, 05:11 PM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,975,704 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loveautumn View Post
Mine is changing all the time...at times, since I love New England, I think I could handle the cold winters but lately I have doubts whether that would really be true, maybe I'm just kidding myself. Esp since I haven't lived in very cold weather for over 35 years.

I'm more of a suburban type, and I know I couldn't live way out in the country. But I do like some space around me, just not isolated. So that's a dilema as far as what's too big and what's too small for me. I live in a suburban area in a large city, with all the amenities that has to offer, and with all the pros and cons. And I am wondering now if I really could live somewhere that doesn't have all that...I'm thinking I really would still need to live near a fairly large city. But I know as I get older, traffic becomes a problem. The main reason I need to move in retirement is cost of living, and any really great places I would be interested in still seem to have fairly high COL.

I've done quite a bit of travelling, exploring potential places over the past 10 years (almost mostly NE locations) and just haven't found the place that speaks to me...wow, this is it (at least any place I could afford)! But I have eliminated a few places, so I guess that's some progress.
LoveAutumn, why do you want to move? Sounds like you are in an ideal place. I've traveled extensively in and below New England and didn't find anything better than where i am. I'm feeling more and more I'm past the time when I really and truly can locate far away from certain family members and friends. It takes so much to move even a few towns over, I'm overwhelmed! Think seriously about the reasons for your move. I don't know how old you are or your physical condition, but for me it's all more than I was prepared for (and again, I'm moving locally!)
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