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Old 10-19-2011, 08:23 AM
 
Location: SW MO
23,605 posts, read 31,479,691 times
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I known that many of us have relocated since retiring and many are contemplating doing so with some truly longing to do so. Others have been forced or may be forced to relocate due to the economy.

I though it might be helpful for those thinking about or needing to move to hear from people who have made such a move and now regret it. What were your mistakes in selecting a new location? What problems have you had to confront? If any, what's your remedy?

Before anyone asks, we moved 2,000 miles and haven't regretted it for an instant.
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Old 10-19-2011, 09:02 AM
 
491 posts, read 598,039 times
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six years ago I moved 1000 miles and it has been a good move overal. I was able to pay cash for a house, where I had a house payment before. One of my brothers had just moved to this town and the other one moved here about 3.5 years ago.

It is nice to have family to get together with. I have a 9 mo niece I see almost every week. For years I spent most holidays by myself and now the house is packed with people. They have both been good about helping or at least advising me about house maintenance(both are very handy).

The town size is similar to the one I lived in before about 100k people. A nice size, with adequate medical, good library system with interlibrary loan, lotza free stuff to do. I have made, in some ways better friends than I had before. I joined a couple of clubs and thru them got invited to other things. Most of my friends here are also not working and so are free to go to things during the week. I have friends I meet at McD for coffee once a week. I have friends I play cards with 2x a month. Friends with a big screen TV that we get togther almost monthly and watch the latest DVD. My life feels very full.

I never knew my neighbor well before, as everyone was always at work. Here there are several couples home all the time and several that work part time or irregularly so I see them.

I quit work because of health issues that I have stated before, but other than those (and having spent the past 3 days with a migraine) life is good. The move was good
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Old 10-19-2011, 11:50 AM
 
8,195 posts, read 11,908,623 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
Before anyone asks, we moved 2,000 miles and haven't regretted it for an instant.

Well, we moved 2500 miles on the day I retired so we got you beat!

I walked out of the office at 1pm and was on a 4:30pm flight out of town. I don't regret one minute of the move. Being here in LV has been like being on a permanent vacation. And the cost of living is much, much lower.

Actually, there has been one minor downside: it adds a cross-country flight to an already long transatlantic flight when we go to Europe. For example, next Wednesday we have to get up at 4:00am to catch a 7am flight to Philadelphia in order to make our connecting flight to Barcelona. Then, after a weekend stay and two-week cruise from Barcelona to New Orleans (and a weekend stay in New Orleans before flying back to Las Vegas), we turn around the next week and fly all day from Las Vegas to Rome to board another cruiseship for a trip from Rome to Ft. Lauderdale.

However, on the bright side, it makes traveling to Hawaii, Asia, and the South Pacific much shorter, so I guess it will be a wash once we start traveling west instead of east.
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Old 10-19-2011, 12:14 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
34,682 posts, read 33,686,426 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
I known that many of us have relocated since retiring and many are contemplating doing so with some truly longing to do so. Others have been forced or may be forced to relocate due to the economy.

I though it might be helpful for those thinking about or needing to move to hear from people who have made such a move and now regret it. What were your mistakes in selecting a new location? What problems have you had to confront? If any, what's your remedy?

.
I can't offer an opinion on where to move but I can give suggestion on how to research your retirement destination so you lessen the chance for a mistake.

1. Know what it is you want to do in retirement (how you are going to fill up a 35 - 40 hour former work week with other activities) and then look for a place to live where you can do those things easily and with the variety and quality you are accustomed to having. Don't compromise because of cheap and pretty. That glow will only last for a few months and then you'll be asking yourself, is that all there is to retirement? Examples: If you like to go to plays and ethnic restaurants, don't move near the ocean or to the mountains just because it's pretty there or it's cheap, if you have to drive 30 miles to do the things you like to do. If you enjoy bowling, don't move to some place where the taxes are cheap, the trees are pretty and the sun always shines but there's no bowling alley for 50 miles. If you go to the movies a lot, will you be happy living in a place that doesn't have a multi-plex even if your property tax is cheap? If you are a trout fisherman and the place is loaded with ponds and rivers, make sure there's trout in them. If you belong to any clubs now, see if the new location has the same kind of clubs.


2. Do a "city compare" (plug in the words on Google to find the first site listed) and compare where you live now to the town you are considering to see if things are better or worse or there is more or less than where you live now. The scores will mean nothing to you but in a side by side comparison of air quality, for example, you'll find out if the air is much worse or much better than where you live now and you know what it feels like where you live now. You'll compare the utility rate scores to see if they are much higher or much lower than where you live now. You can compare crime rates (violent and non-violent), grocery cost scores, water quality, religion, snow and rainfall, days of sunshine per year, voting (Democrat/Republican) percentages, males versus females, age averages, race, doctors per capita, income levels, etc. Hover your cursor over the item to see how the site defines them. I'd give you a link but the site competes with City Data and it will be deleted by the moderator.

3. Read the local event stories and events calendars in the local online newspaper on a regular basis before you move. What do people in the town like to do? Does it sound like the things you like to do? Look at the calendar of events page if they have one. Read the local crime stories. And most of all, read the letters to the editor and the town council/planning board meeting stories to find out what's planned for the town and what the town issues are. You know, it would be nice to know before you shop for a new home whether a mall or new school baseball field is being planned for around the corner.

4. When shopping for a home, go back at night and see what it's like after people come home from work and kids are home from school.

5. Go to an online yellow pages website and find out what's (stores, restaurants, supermarkets, houses of worship, movie theaters, doctors, medical facilities, etc.) in the town and adjacent towns. Is there enough of what you like and is it the variety and quality you are accustomed to? You shouldn't have to drive more than one town away for these things you want/do a lot.

6. When you visit before you move, don't just do tourist things and home scouting. Visit the supermarkets and clothing stores. Do they have what you like (products, brands)? If you are religious, attend a service. If you are still going to work, get up in the morning and do the commute to see what it's like. If you like to fish, do it when you visit. If you like to golf, do it when you visit. If you like to read, check out the library. Does it have the latest books in the genre you like to read? When you are in your hotel/motel room, watch the local nightly news show. If you can attend a local event do it and take a look at the people. Do they look/act like your type of people? You know, if you are all duded up in designer fashions with sprayed hair, jewelry and make-up, hoping for wine and cheese, and you get there and there are a lot of plain people in jeans drinking beer and eating hot dogs (or vice versa) you might not be in the town that's right for you.

7. When you visit, buy a street map (usually can get one in the town's local gas station convenience store) and mark it up with your observations of what you saw where. This will be immensely helpful to you once you return home. Mark the same street map when you read the local online newspaper especially when they identify the locations of crimes. If the real estate office in the new location calls, you can check your map to see what you previously observed there or what the online newspaper revealed about the area. Bring a camera when you visit..


8. If you are moving to a town you vacation in every summer, visit in the winter. Does everything in the town close up after 6PM? Are all of the stores/restaurants open year 'round? If you usually vacation in the mountains, for example, what are the mountain roads like in the winter? If you go to a hot town in the winter every year, what's it like there in the summer?

9. Ask questions in the state forums that don't require a "feelings" response but instead give you the information to evaluate. For example, "Do you get a lot of snow?" is a bad question. A former Floridian might think three inches is too much and a former New Englander might think 12 inches is just fine. Instead ask something like, "In what month does it start to snow and in what month does it usually end?" Or, "Per snowfall about how many inches do you get?" This way, you can evaluate if they get a lot of snow or it snows too many months of the year, not get the responder's feelings about it. And don't forget to ask about rainfall.

10. If you are close to your family ask yourself, "If I move to be near my children, am I sure they are staying put?" If you plan to return "home" for frequent visits, where's the airport? How close are you to the Interstates? How long is the drive?

11. Don't be discouraged about retirement based on what you see in retirement destination magazines. They are trying to sell things to upper middle class people by their advertisers. Ask yourself when was the last time you read a retirement magazine that told you how great the hunting was in Town X or how many baseball diamonds there was in town, how the bass fishing is, or where you can see bluegrass and country bands play in the park? If you came from out of space and read retirement magazines you'd think the only things important to all retirees are museums, marinas, the theater, shopping and golf. There are plenty of both kind of places but the magazines only address one kind of retirement. Also, consider that a lot of retirement book authors live in big cities. What you consider to be a great retirement may never have even occured to them to address in their books.
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Old 10-19-2011, 12:30 PM
 
5,426 posts, read 3,446,805 times
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Acqua Blue, I'm wondering what clubs you joined, if you feel like saying. Sounds like the clubs were very productive choices!
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Old 10-19-2011, 03:08 PM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,973,893 times
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I made a great move this past year. This type of New England town suits me perfectly....that is, if I stay in New England for the rest of my life. There is only one downside for me, and that is rapidly rising property taxes (fine for actively working families). There may be one more move for me before Happy Acres, and that could possibly be Midwest, which I miss on many levels, or my beloved Maine (which is a fantasy).
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Old 10-19-2011, 03:24 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,732,288 times
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Whoa, Curmudgeon! So far, no one can respond properly to your question in the OP because no one regrets his or her move. That's good, of course, for the respondants, but I'm sure there must be some out there who realize they made a mistake. Like you, I will also be interested in hearing from them. (In my case, I knew I wanted to stay put and have not regretted that decision. I try to imagine having moved somewhere else and just cannot imagine it.)
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Old 10-19-2011, 03:31 PM
 
Location: SW MO
23,605 posts, read 31,479,691 times
Reputation: 29071
Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
Whoa, Curmudgeon! So far, no one can respond properly to your question in the OP because no one regrets his or her move. That's good, of course, for the respondants, but I'm sure there must be some out there who realize they made a mistake. Like you, I will also be interested in hearing from them. (In my case, I knew I wanted to stay put and have not regretted that decision. I try to imagine having moved somewhere else and just cannot imagine it.)
You noticed that too, huh? We're just all smarter than your average bear, I guess. Either that or REALLY lucky!
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Old 10-19-2011, 03:39 PM
 
Location: Sarasota Florida
1,236 posts, read 3,607,940 times
Reputation: 1230
Default I have regrets !

After retirement my gentleman friend and I relocated 3,000 miles from Florida to the west coast in late 2001. It was an adventure It was good I bought my Oregon dream home out in the country at the height of the real estate bubble

This year my gentleman friend passed away from pancreatic cancer ~ the real estate has devalued considerably ~ and I'm at the age where I need to downsize

So, as circumstances have changed, so have my lifestyle needs
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Old 10-19-2011, 03:44 PM
 
Location: Marshallton,Delaware
3 posts, read 8,298 times
Reputation: 15
LauraC-Thank you for the checklist. By far the best I have seen.....
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