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Old 02-26-2012, 05:25 PM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
10,833 posts, read 8,286,691 times
Reputation: 3873

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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoButCounty View Post
We'll be moving in another 18-24 months from Pittsburgh to Durango, CO.

We've both lived in PA all of our lives but love the west. Love the dryness, love the 300+ sunny days a year compared to PA. We settled on Durango a few years ago as our destination to establish our retired life & enjoy traveling the western US for a while.

We own 5 acres of land w/ well & utilities and gorgeous mountain views. We plan to build a home having never done so before so it will be a truly new experience for us. We also have numerous relatives throughout Colorado who have all moved there over the past 15 years. Our turn.
I hope you have a *VERY* strong marriage. Building a house - even when things are going reasonably well in general - can be very stressful at times (my husband and I have been there - done that).

We actually retired (when we were relatively young) and stayed put for almost a decade (in Miami). At some point - I wanted a new place (a house - I had never lived in a house as an adult). And my husband absolutely refused to do a house in Miami (in part because of the crime). We compromised on moving to NE Florida - and building a house here.

I like where I am now more than I did when I first moved here - and dislike Miami a lot more than when I left. Is either place ideal - no?* But - overall - this place has probably been a better fit for us in the last 5 years or so. It will also be better for us in the future as we age - except for our land maintenance. House is easy maintenance - almost an acre of land isn't. The land maintenance isn't anything that can't be handled by other people - but it isn't cheap. OTOH - our property offers us a lot of privacy - and it's very pretty.

Although these decisions are very personal - I have a few suggestions for people reading this thread. First - if you like to travel - do it as much as possible when you're young (my husband and I started in our 20's). Don't put it off. Because you never know when it may become hard or impossible for you to do so

If you're thinking of a retirement move to an area that is totally different than where you live now - whether in terms of geography - climate - culture - density (e.g., suburbs vs. rural) - etc. - think long and hard about the move. And try to rent first before you buy. To give it a "test drive". Just to contrast 2 active posters here - Escort Rider was happy staying in the greater Los Angeles area - and Curmudgeon was happy leaving that area for the Ozarks. It is very much a one size doesn't fit all situation.

Think about your current age - where you will be 10-15 years down the road - and how your abilities/needs might change - keeping your own personal situation(s) - especially when it comes to health - in mind. Also take into account your ability to pay for things you can do yourself now - but may not be able to do for yourself down the road. My husband kind of hit a wall at a somewhat early age (mid-60's) as a result of his MS. But we've lived here for 15 years already. And can also afford to pay people to do our yard work as we become less able to do so (we never were very handy when it came to household stuff to start with - always had to pay people to do a lot of it). I am a big fan of winding up in a living situation where it is possible to "age in place" until the sh** hits the fan.

This idea also applies to the kind of place you wind up in. I don't care what anyone says. As one ages - a single story place (whether it's a house or a townhouse or a condo) is easier/safer than a multi-story place. Also - personally - I like to be within a 15 minute drive of the places we go to on a regular basis - from Publix (local grocery chain) to the Mayo Clinic. I know it is fashionable to talk about places where you can use public transportation - but waiting at a bus stop for 20 minutes when I'm 75 - and it's 95 degrees in Florida - isn't my idea of a good time. Not to mention that my ice cream would melt! The same would be true in cold climates if there's a foot of snow on the ground - although the ice cream wouldn't melt .

Finally - there is nothing that says you have to move the day you retire. It is certainly possible to think about things post-retirement in your current place - and make decisions about changes later.. Robyn

* - We stayed in Florida in large part because - when we moved - we had 4 elderly parents in the southeast. And knew - as eldest children - we would probably wind up taking care of 1 or more than 1 of them as they got older. Which turned out to be true. We didn't want to deal with this stuff living 2000 miles away. Only parent still alive now is my father - who lives in his own place near us.

Last edited by Robyn55; 02-26-2012 at 06:46 PM..
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Old 02-26-2012, 06:05 PM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
10,833 posts, read 8,286,691 times
Reputation: 3873
Quote:
Originally Posted by fay111 View Post
...After much searching, we settled in a community in western NJ, about an hour away from where we previously lived. In some ways, it's like a different world - more rural and beautiful scenery. We were careful to pick an area that was not that rural - didn't want to live in the middle of nowhere. We're 10 minutes away from a fairly large town, a community hospital, a theatre group, doctors, shopping, etc.

I feel like we have the best of both worlds - an hour's drive and we can visit old friends, favorite restaurants, etc. But we love our new location and have made a new life here, getting involved in local activities, theatre, classes, etc. Life is good and we're very happy with our choice.
Is that an hour each way? Don't mean to pick on you. Will simply observe that the older you get - well your days seem to pass more quickly - but the drives seem to get longer .

Also - I think everyone has to evaluate one's own medical situation. IMO - I think community hospitals are quite worthless when it comes to serious medical issues. We had this problem with my late MIL (who lived in the Pinehurst area of NC). She had a somewhat major operation in her local community hospital (older people won't travel to major medical centers in the first instance because their spouses don't want to drive there). Her surgery got totally screwed up. So she wound up spending maybe 3 months or so in a major medical center in Raleigh/Durham (90 minute drive from home). My husband spent a lot of time up in NC then - driving my late FIL back and forth from the hospital to his house on a daily basis. Also - the SNFs in the Pinehurst area - at least back then - were truly awful. Which is why we moved my late FIL here near us after he had a stroke (after my late MIL died).

Although I have my complaints about where I live (restaurants are mediocre at best) - I have been surprised at the availability and growth of excellent medical facilities (everything from hospitals to SNFs). My father is 93 - and my husband and I are in our mid-60's - and I think there would be few situations where we might consider leaving the metro JAX area for health care (perhaps MD Anderson for some exotic cancer treatment or something like that).

I can make up for the lack of great restaurants here by traveling and going to great restaurants and cooking (after I moved here - I learned how to cook - self defense). But as you start to get to that time when your body starts to fall apart - it's nice to be near excellent health care facilities (UF Shands in Gainesville is a great place - but it's a 2 hour drive for us).

And just FWIW - we didn't plan this when we moved here 15 years ago. Back then - Mayo JAX had just opened - and it was a nothing medical facility with about 25 doctors. When my husband had a complicated heart problem maybe a decade ago - we went to Mayo Rochester. Today - Mayo JAX is really world class - with a brand new hospital. Luck of the draw.

I can grill a wonderful steak just about anywhere in the US. Health care is more difficult - because it isn't DIY. Robyn
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Old 02-26-2012, 06:14 PM
 
Location: Minneapolis / St Paul
283 posts, read 182,518 times
Reputation: 103
What's an SNF, please?
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Old 02-26-2012, 06:29 PM
 
Location: SW MO Aux Arcs
19,227 posts, read 16,585,451 times
Reputation: 17350
Quote:
Originally Posted by yakimono View Post
What's an SNF, please?
Skilled Nursing Facility.
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Old 02-26-2012, 11:04 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
9,324 posts, read 7,278,055 times
Reputation: 16496
Quote:
Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
Skilled Nursing Facility.
Yes, we live in an age of euphemisms. I am old-fashioned enough to call them nursing homes, as I have for a lifetime. I say "mentally retarded" instead of "developmentally disabled", I say "American Indians" instead of "Native Americans", and I say "doctor" instead of "health care provider" (it is preposterous to think that nurses provide health care). I rarely see the point of changing a term when the meaning of that term has not changed at all.
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Old 02-27-2012, 07:47 AM
 
Location: SW MO Aux Arcs
19,227 posts, read 16,585,451 times
Reputation: 17350
Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
Yes, we live in an age of euphemisms. I am old-fashioned enough to call them nursing homes, as I have for a lifetime. I say "mentally retarded" instead of "developmentally disabled", I say "American Indians" instead of "Native Americans", and I say "doctor" instead of "health care provider" (it is preposterous to think that nurses provide health care). I rarely see the point of changing a term when the meaning of that term has not changed at all.
Ah, a fellow dinosaur. And let's not forget "differently-abled" and "special needs." As a political analyst my worst call was over 20 years ago when I predicted that political correctness would never last because it was so absurd. As to the matter at hand, it was like a breath of fresh air to move from the left coast (sorry, ER) back to America.
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Old 02-27-2012, 01:16 PM
 
313 posts, read 359,612 times
Reputation: 483
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robyn55 View Post
Is that an hour each way? Don't mean to pick on you. Will simply observe that the older you get - well your days seem to pass more quickly - but the drives seem to get longer .

Also - I think everyone has to evaluate one's own medical situation. IMO - I think community hospitals are quite worthless when it comes to serious medical issues. We had this problem with my late MIL (who lived in the Pinehurst area of NC). She had a somewhat major operation in her local community hospital (older people won't travel to major medical centers in the first instance because their spouses don't want to drive there). Her surgery got totally screwed up. So she wound up spending maybe 3 months or so in a major medical center in Raleigh/Durham (90 minute drive from home). My husband spent a lot of time up in NC then - driving my late FIL back and forth from the hospital to his house on a daily basis. Also - the SNFs in the Pinehurst area - at least back then - were truly awful. Which is why we moved my late FIL here near us after he had a stroke (after my late MIL died).

Although I have my complaints about where I live (restaurants are mediocre at best) - I have been surprised at the availability and growth of excellent medical facilities (everything from hospitals to SNFs). My father is 93 - and my husband and I are in our mid-60's - and I think there would be few situations where we might consider leaving the metro JAX area for health care (perhaps MD Anderson for some exotic cancer treatment or something like that).

I can make up for the lack of great restaurants here by traveling and going to great restaurants and cooking (after I moved here - I learned how to cook - self defense). But as you start to get to that time when your body starts to fall apart - it's nice to be near excellent health care facilities (UF Shands in Gainesville is a great place - but it's a 2 hour drive for us).

And just FWIW - we didn't plan this when we moved here 15 years ago. Back then - Mayo JAX had just opened - and it was a nothing medical facility with about 25 doctors. When my husband had a complicated heart problem maybe a decade ago - we went to Mayo Rochester. Today - Mayo JAX is really world class - with a brand new hospital. Luck of the draw.

I can grill a wonderful steak just about anywhere in the US. Health care is more difficult - because it isn't DIY. Robyn
We did think about medical care when we moved here - we're approximately an hour from some large, very good hospitals and a little more should we want NYC hospitals. Have found that while for some things NYC is necessary, they are fewer and fewer - many of the hospitals in Jersey have lured excellent doctors from the top NY hospitals. My MIL had major heart valve surgery several years ago in NJ with excellent results.

I do agree with you that a community hospital would not be great for some things, but if need be we have friends or family we could stay with, or luckily we have enough money that we could afford to stay close to a hospital if the need arose.

Interestingly, my husband will need surgery and in researching and getting opinions for the best place to have it done, we're probably going with a surgeon 20 - 25 minutes from our house - excellent reputation and state of the art facility for robotic surgery.

Overall, we think we'll manage just fine.
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Old 02-27-2012, 01:42 PM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
10,833 posts, read 8,286,691 times
Reputation: 3873
I don't think a great medical center has to be in a big city. After all - the Mayo Clinic mother ship is in Rochester Minnesota. OTOH - I don't think I'd want to live there. Robyn
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Old 02-27-2012, 02:31 PM
 
Location: Vermont
530 posts, read 654,950 times
Reputation: 508
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robyn55 View Post
I don't think a great medical center has to be in a big city. After all - the Mayo Clinic mother ship is in Rochester Minnesota. OTOH - I don't think I'd want to live there. Robyn
This is true. I live close to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, a top-notch facility, and it doesn't get much more rural than this! We also are fortunate to have a senior bus that provides free transportation for area seniors for shopping and doctor/hospital visits.
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Old 02-27-2012, 03:07 PM
 
Location: New England
12,387 posts, read 8,627,485 times
Reputation: 8955
Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
Yes, we live in an age of euphemisms. I am old-fashioned enough to call them nursing homes, as I have for a lifetime. I say "mentally retarded" instead of "developmentally disabled", I say "American Indians" instead of "Native Americans", and I say "doctor" instead of "health care provider" (it is preposterous to think that nurses provide health care). I rarely see the point of changing a term when the meaning of that term has not changed at all.
Careful where you say those things...in some parts of the country you can get tarred and feathered for it. Surprised you haven't been yet.
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