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Old 02-18-2012, 01:51 AM
Location: Los Angeles area
14,022 posts, read 16,484,744 times
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There are so many threads about finding a good retirement location; the discussions center around climate, cost of living, taxes, proximity to family, and so on. That is very understandable, but one can get the impression here that no one stays put after retiring and I know that isn't true. Therefore, I am curious if this question will draw any response. There must be a few of us who participate in the C-D Retirement Forum who stayed put. If so, are you glad you did? Or did you stay put and you're now seeking to relocate? Or perhaps you know of friends/relatives who stayed put and how that worked for them.

I'll start with my own case (and brevity is my goal). I really enjoy Los Angeles and the life and activities I have created for myself here. I have long-standing friends here, and even two cousins and their children. I never even remotely considered going somewhere else after retirement, so when the sale of my small apartment building unit forced me to move three and a half years before my projected retirement (the buyer wanted to live in my unit and made that a condition of escrow), I bought a townhouse with the specific idea in mind that it would be my retirement home. Now, six and a half years into retirement, I am very pleased with that choice; things have worked out well. To fill in the context, I am divorced with no children.

Second (and final) case: A female cousin in another state lives in the same town with her three children and her grandchildren and her siblings. It is the town where she and her husband grew up. She is joined at the hip with the children and the grands and the idea of moving somewhere else would be totally out of the question for her. She and her husband still live in the same house they bought when they were in their early 20's and they are now 69 and 70. For them, it has not only worked out, but staying put is the only conceivable plan.
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Old 02-18-2012, 06:29 AM
Location: Maryland
1,534 posts, read 3,612,228 times
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Kudos ER, I think folks will find this a very useful topic. Tried to Rep you but I got the "spread it around" notice.

Like many, we seriously considered relocating. Our interest in the possibility was partly driven by a longstanding interest on my part to build an intelligent house. Building in our local area was not really practical financially as land costs were (still are rather pricey) astronomical, in 2006 - $400K was asked for a 1.5 acre lot with well up the road from us. If we were to build, it wasn't going to happen in our neighborhood.

We purchased an RV just before our retirement date in Jan. 2007 to facilitate the relocation exploration. We traveled the US extensively over the next two years investigating various locations (as well as taking a few international tours).

I won't bore you with the details but we had developed a rather extensive location assessment matrix that included all the usual stuff (weather, familial ties impact, cultural stuff) as well as some less common ones (soil types (I'm a fan of earth sheltered housing), earthquake probabilities, projected water stress issues, population projections), etc., etc..

The RVing was a blast and also provided us an opportunity to really think through the pros/cons of relocating and define what we really wanted to do post retirement. We decided to stay put and concentrate on traveling the world while we were still physically capable and had some funds to support that choice. At the conclusion of the 2nd year, we basically laid out a general 10 year plan of what we wanted to do if the gods continue to be kind and the travel kitty holds up.

Neither my relatively new spouse (remarried in 2006), nor I had any international travel exposure (and not much in the US for that matter) pre-retirement. Prior to retiring, my only foreign experience was with the Marines in Viet Nam.

We discovered a serious interest/delight in rambling the world (as much as the budget allows) and have happily settled into our current pattern. We take several big international trips per year, road tripping north in the summer months and snow birding in Costa Rica during the worst of Maryland's winter season.

I'm posting this as I have my coffee watching the parrots cavort outside the deck at our rental in Costa Rica. Unless I hit the lottery, I've bagged the urge to build a house. Its just not worth the hassle and would very seriously crimp the fun money kitty.

My advice for anyone is that really exploring the US is a blast! Our nation is HUGE and filled with an incredible number of interesting people and places to see and experience. After that, if one is so inclined - international travel is endlessly interesting.

Whether one relocates or stays put is a uniquely personal decision. We found the decision process entirely enjoyable. Happy trails .

Last edited by Pilgrim21784; 02-18-2012 at 06:38 AM..
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Old 02-18-2012, 06:34 AM
Location: Near a river
16,045 posts, read 17,855,343 times
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Well, you know, after searching somewhat extensively outside of New England for greener pastures, I've found out who I really am: a New Englander. Sure I'd like a better winter climate, no doubt about it. And I'd like lower property taxes. However, the logistics of moving away from family and friends at my age just doesn't make sense though moving away was a good fantasy while it lasted.

In making the decision to stay in my region, I must give some credit to LiveContent with his down to earth observations, he has often illustrated his viewpoint about familiarity, family, friends (and two more F's I'm forgetting at the moment). He has also emphasized mobility/transportation factor, which is A-#1 on a senior list of must-haves, imo.

You have your townhouse, your friends, your routine, and you seem to be able to well afford your lifestyle. I would see no reason to change, in fact, for such people changing could prove to be a real mistake. The best way to satisfy wanderlust is to travel, or at least take day trips.

It's funny how fast the years pass. A few short years ago I was traveling the upper South, enchanted with many areas and seeing myself living there. Now, a few short years later, though I still love my explorations and am glad I did this, I'm feeling less mental energy to move anywhere but within New England - I think it's the familiarity + family that I'm not willing to let go of.
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Old 02-18-2012, 07:06 AM
Location: SW MO
23,609 posts, read 29,690,855 times
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While we made a move of 2,000 miles in retirement, purchased a house and settled-in, I can see the benefits and perhaps wisdom of staying put. You're already familiar with the area, have friends and acquaintances, perhaps other family members, stores and restaurants you're used to patronizing and in which you're known, etc.

Still, that didn't hold us back and we're happy and content where we are yet there are decidedly trade-offs to such a decision and "adventure." We both (didn't marry until 1996) left considerable family back in our former home state. The closest family to us now is over 700 miles away and some of the ones left behind were not happy with our decision and are still somewhat resentful.

We traded city living in a very diverse location to rural living in a far more homogeneous area. Not only are the amenities fewer but so are such things as dining options, some of which we miss. We had to start from scratch making friends, finding stores we wished to patronize and doing almost anything requires driving anywhere from 10 to over 20 miles whereas at our former location an easy walk was often sufficient. Now shopping and such activities requires some degree of planning to make the most of each foray both for convenience, completeness and to save both time and gas.

Despite the "down-sides" of our move, we're still glad we made it. In doing so we left behind a state with a governance we'd found odious, both having retired from it, maximized our retirement dollars and ended up in a region - geologically, climatically and societally - we had both loved from prior experience many decades before. It's been a grand adventure.

My wife's parents stayed put in retirement. Mine made two moves but each within about 100 miles and within the same region of the same state - the last bringing them full circle ending up near (30 miles) where they started.

As Pilgrim stated, it's a very personal decision. As I hope I've shown, it's also a very serious one and there's a lot that should be considered. Whatever your decision, I hope you make the one that's right for you.
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Old 02-18-2012, 08:26 AM
Location: Olympia, WA
363 posts, read 394,645 times
Reputation: 699
Default Staying put

This is a great thread, because I think that many of us have, in the back of our minds, always thought about staying put rather than moving to a new location. It certainly is an individual decision, but it has been rather helpful, at least to me, to go through the process of considering things we may have not thought about, reading about and writing about it here on this forum.

As former truck drivers who went into almost every state, we had an opportunity to see many different areas as potential places we wanted to end up. When we knew we wanted to leave Prescott, AZ (5,000' elevation) and move to a lower elevation to hopefully help with my husband's breathing problems, we had already been to many areas of the U.S. We saw many places that had quaint towns, big cities, you name it. I remember many times going through an area saying, "Oh boy, I could live here!"

We took a trip one year in our camper to Branson and fished on Bull Shoals. What glorious scenery!! We thought we might like that area. I could still live there. I think that area of Missouri is one of God's masterpieces!

The next year, after weighing many considerations and knowing we wanted to move back to the South (DH from Jackson, MS), we narrowed our choices down to middle TN. We wanted an area to be able to fish in. On that trip, we ended up at Tim's Ford Lake (Winchester area) and fell in love. We had arranged to meet with a realtor during that trip who took us around to see the area. I had already done extensive research on the internet about the cost of living (TN vs. AZ) and there was a considerable difference. After that trip, we went home and put our house on the market and moved here....that was 6 years ago.

Have we been happy with our decision? Yes, but we didn't know that all our dreams would fade as our plans to fish and camp lasted only one year. DH's breathing got worse and he was diagnosed with severe emphysema and COPD. We are coping with that and take one day at a time.

Still, we have established some great friendships, our home is paid for, our taxes are $450/year, and if we never move again, we are content here. We have had the pleasure of traveling while working (I called it our "paid vacation") and seeing this great land of ours. All those years of trucking make us appreciate HOME more everyday. Yes, I still hate the humidity in summer.

If my husband passes before me, I have the assurance of knowing that I am secure here. I have a niece in Kamiah, ID that I would consider living near, but it doesn't cost anything to dream.

For those of you who have followed my husband's ordeals in and out of the hospital, I am happy to report that he is doing great! He will never get any better, but he feels good and is in great spirits!! For the first time in a LONG time. He's even talking about going for a ride just to do a little sightseeing! Spring is right around the corner here and I can see it now....and our 2 little dogs love those rides in the car :
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Old 02-18-2012, 09:28 AM
Location: Prescott AZ
5,699 posts, read 8,088,611 times
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This is a GREAT post. Thanks to the OP.
I got to AZ 10 years ago, got a job, thinking this would be my retirement place when I retired and would not have to move again. I was really impressed when I got here. Everything was terrific.
Now that I have lived here through 10 summers, and now retired, I can honestly say this is not where I want to be in my final years. The heat really really bothers me in summer and I still want to leave. At this age, not sure it will happen but I still am dreaming about NC.
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Old 02-18-2012, 09:37 AM
48,522 posts, read 79,343,372 times
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I moved but not that far away really. I was always satisfied with general location; just wanted to move to more rural area . My neighbors have stables and horses ;in fact.Just wanted more of a countyry fell and quiet really as I have always liked my region having lived and traveled alot.As was common for boomers my parents made the big move years ago.
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Old 02-18-2012, 11:18 AM
Location: Hockley, TX
758 posts, read 2,376,126 times
Reputation: 630
I am struggling with the same issue. When I retire, I won't really have much to hold me where I am (Houston, Tx) because most of my family is in the UK, and my stepdaughter, whom I am close to is in Austin. So what to do. I want very badly to have my own place - I am in a rented apartment now - but does it make sense to buy now if in a few short years I can retire and move somewhere else. I don't have a spouse to share the decision and the life that would follow, so buying and leaving both seem very scary to me.
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Old 02-18-2012, 12:37 PM
Location: SW MO
23,609 posts, read 29,690,855 times
Reputation: 28893
Originally Posted by CaroleF View Post
I am struggling with the same issue. When I retire, I won't really have much to hold me where I am (Houston, Tx) because most of my family is in the UK, and my stepdaughter, whom I am close to is in Austin. So what to do. I want very badly to have my own place - I am in a rented apartment now - but does it make sense to buy now if in a few short years I can retire and move somewhere else. I don't have a spouse to share the decision and the life that would follow, so buying and leaving both seem very scary to me.
Would your moving be to leave Houston and Texas or to move someplace else you like better. I think that would make a big difference - moving from vs. moving to.

If you do decide to leave, make sure you really know where you wish to end up. Then look upon the move as a grand adventure Purchasing a home can be a bit crazy-making and stressful but in the end you have a home that's yours instead of someone else's.

Since you said "a few short years," I think I'd hold off on purchasing until then when you land at your chosen retirement location. Just buying is a lot less nerve-wracking than selling and buying and the former could be both difficult and a money-losing experience. Just continue saving for the right spot.
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Old 02-18-2012, 01:16 PM
Location: Eureka CA
7,197 posts, read 9,996,619 times
Reputation: 10584
Everytime I go on a trip I check out real estate with an eye to possible retirement/relocation. I always conclude I'm better off where I am.
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