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Old 03-30-2009, 09:22 AM
 
1,569 posts, read 3,087,059 times
Reputation: 924

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The weekend was nothing like I thought it would be. I took a vacation day Friday to attend a How to Start a Small Business Workshop at the college and it was canceled because of 2" of snow. Good for the garden and the daffodils survived--it all melted by Saturday. Instead I slept in and then a friend and I did errands. Friday afternoon three of us drove down to Bosque Farms and spent the night at friends who were having a party Saturday night. I was really disappointed when the driver decided he didn't want to stay for the party and left at 1 pm. I hitched a ride home with someone else but she didn't want to stay either so I watched the horse people prep and warm up their horses for the riding demonstration and then left before the fun started. Dang. Learned something new about these new friends--drive down myself if it's a party. I was hoping to meet some new people who I connect with since I really like the people giving the party and expected to like their friends. Very warm, family oriented people.

When I got home Saturday afternoon I went to the studio and my friend there volunteered to come over on Sunday and help me move my wheel and wedging table into the spare bedroom. I should have done that last fall. I now have a studio in the house and the garage is almost cleaned up so I can find things again. No more renting that room out! So although nothing turned out like I planned - it was all fine.

Wisteria - did you get the painting done you wanted to?
Attached Thumbnails
Men and Women retiring alone to a new city/state -- where will you go and why?-user69143_pic27528_1238340076.jpg   Men and Women retiring alone to a new city/state -- where will you go and why?-user69143_pic27527_1238340076.jpg  

 
Old 03-30-2009, 10:27 AM
 
Location: Monterey Bay, California -- watching the sea lions, whales and otters! :D
1,918 posts, read 6,244,061 times
Reputation: 2646
Hi Everyone,

Just checking in. City-Data was down again a few times, so I couldn't post. They must be making big changes here!

I am still painting. My daughter helped me choose a very light color for the porch...but once I put it on, it had a pink tone and I have a dark green house! So, it wouldn't work -- plus, it was so light, I just knew dirt would show up too fast, and because the paint on there now is light green, it would've taken TWO coats to cover it. So, in essence of saving time, I had a half gallon of the green I had and dumped in half of the light stuff -- mixed it up and now it's a light green again. The problem is that I probably could've gotten away without painting because the tone is very similar, but I guess a clean paint job is better anyway. So, I got half the porch done last night, and I'll finish the rest this morning -- lots of nooks and crannies. Then I have to paint the doors and window sills. It's like it's never-ending! My poor aching back! And with carpal tunnel, which I developed the last couple of years, I now notice that even using a paint roller and twisting the roller really hurts. It is definitely time for me to retire and not do this for someone else!

I'm also hoping to get a dump run in today. It's just too much stuff. And then I need to get the yard done -- not today, of course, but I still need to get this done. My goal is to have the majority down by April 18th, since I start teaching my art class April 16th. I know I'll be more pressured with teaching and working full-time, so I need to try to get it done. But there's just so much to do, and doing the majority alone is hard. I realize my body is just aging -- which is depressing in itself.

And then I have to get my daughter to get her stuff out. My guess is that she will keep it at her boyfriend's parents' house....since I don't know where I'll be. I'm not sure I can realistically get an apartment here -- I'll try first, but if I can't then I really do have to move -- less money, but that's the tradeoff.

Does anyone think this is a bad or good time to sell? I'm so confused about everything and now I'm hearing rumors that the economy is turning around, but what about housing? Do I stay here another year, and enjoy all my hard work, or do I sell now and gamble that there will be more foreclosures and get out now?

What's so interesting to me, is that I used to adore living alone, and now I really miss having my daughter around to bounce things off of and to just hang out with. I fluctuate between wanting to have a housemate at some point and having my own space. What do you think of this? I know we tend to get settled in our own ways when we are older, but at the same time, we would probably be better off with other people around. Again, coming back to the community theme.

Dancingearth, that is too bad about the party. That's kind of what I'm talking about -- it's like we're always depending on ourselves. I feel that way here, too. There are people, but people are reluctant to either compromise or take turns with each other's needs. What's housing like up in Santa Fe now? Still going up? I know you're a bit on the outskirts of town (I think that's what you said), and the less expensive homes are out there, so as long as I'm looking at New Mexico, which areas would I look at? Is there a "bad" area in Santa Fe? I would guess out near the airport would be cheaper, but have no idea. When I was there, I was all turned around and wouldn't know if I was east/west/north or south. I noticed that the town center was pretty expensive (restaurants, and such), but outside of there, is it pretty normally priced (for food, etc.) or is it still a high-cost of living? I'm just curious. Now that I'm planning on leaving here, and I will still have to carry a mortgage, I am widening my scope. I figure if I can get it worked out, I might carry a mortgage of about $500 and then taxes and insurance. It's a lot, but cheaper than here, of course, and I will never be in a position to not have a mortgage or rent. So, if rent is the same or higher than owning, it seems to make more sense to own.

Well, I'm going to go get something to eat and put on my painting clothes again. I can't wait until this is over and I'm onto something new -- and a chance to relax.

Hope everyone is doing well. The weather here is cool -- in the 60s, although it was 78 the other day. I've got so much work to do that it's hard to even get started. But my kitchen is cheery now!

Have a good day!
 
Old 03-30-2009, 10:41 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,649 posts, read 40,020,325 times
Reputation: 23806
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wisteria View Post
Hi Everyone,

...
Does anyone think this is a bad or good time to sell? I'm so confused about everything and now I'm hearing rumors that the economy is turning around, but what about housing? Do I stay here another year, and enjoy all my hard work, or do I sell now and gamble that there will be more foreclosures and get out now?

...
I'd say keep momentum up and put it up for sale and hope you get a decent offer. I would consider the lowest reasonable price you are willing to take, and hold your ground if you don't HAVE to sell. There are a lot of bargain hunters out there, so don't give the place away, but... realistically the market will not bring much of a premium at this time.

I miss having someone to bounce ideas off of too, but it is difficult to find 'mature' mentors as we get OLDer
 
Old 03-30-2009, 12:05 PM
 
Location: Sacramento, CA, USA
84 posts, read 191,492 times
Reputation: 52
Default Yea or Neigh?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wisteria View Post
Does anyone think this is a bad or good time to sell? I'm so confused about everything and now I'm hearing rumors that the economy is turning around, but what about housing? Do I stay here another year, and enjoy all my hard work, or do I sell now and gamble that there will be more foreclosures and get out now?

What's so interesting to me, is that I used to adore living alone, and now I really miss having my daughter around to bounce things off of and to just hang out with. I fluctuate between wanting to have a housemate at some point and having my own space. What do you think of this? I know we tend to get settled in our own ways when we are older, but at the same time, we would probably be better off with other people around. Again, coming back to the community theme.

Dancingearth, that is too bad about the party. That's kind of what I'm talking about -- it's like we're always depending on ourselves. I feel that way here, too. There are people, but people are reluctant to either compromise or take turns with each other's needs. What's housing like up in Santa Fe now? Still going up? I know you're a bit on the outskirts of town (I think that's what you said), and the less expensive homes are out there, so as long as I'm looking at New Mexico, which areas would I look at? Is there a "bad" area in Santa Fe? I would guess out near the airport would be cheaper, but have no idea. When I was there, I was all turned around and wouldn't know if I was east/west/north or south. I noticed that the town center was pretty expensive (restaurants, and such), but outside of there, is it pretty normally priced (for food, etc.) or is it still a high-cost of living? I'm just curious. Now that I'm planning on leaving here, and I will still have to carry a mortgage, I am widening my scope. I figure if I can get it worked out, I might carry a mortgage of about $500 and then taxes and insurance. It's a lot, but cheaper than here, of course, and I will never be in a position to not have a mortgage or rent. So, if rent is the same or higher than owning, it seems to make more sense to own.
There might be a difference between where you live and the real estate market in California (more than the raw price). Here, prices continue to drop. If I owned something here right now, I'd hold onto it for at least another year, especially if I could save a little money by having a housemate for a year. Rents here have dropped like crazy and the vacancy rates are up. With a roommate, could you live cheaper where you are now than in a comfortable rental? Sometimes it helps me to look up the prices of homes nearby to see the market price in my neighborhood.

A year from now, the market might be better for selling. If the market gets worse, you just stay longer and maybe get two roommates? Would say it would be in your favor if there are more foreclosures in your area, but you sound like you think it would be to your detriment. Not sure how that works.

It's a bad time to sell, I think, because you can't get the money you put into the property out of the property in this market. If you don't have to move and want to get a better price, wait a year and reevaluate.

Staying put also gives you more time to document your expenses so you can compare the cost of living somewhere else. The tax benefits of owning a home many times outweigh what you pay in rent. But then theres property taxes, etc. Write it all out so you can look at the figures. Would the rent be higher than it would be to own? How much higher/lower?

Would it cost you more to rent in the next three years or would you save more money if you enjoyed your hard work and got a roommate for one to three years? This is the sort of stuff I'd be asking myself if I was in your position. Good luck, take a deep breath, and punt!

It's bright and sunny here, but we have high winds. It was 80 degrees before the wind blew in. Everything is blooming, including the wisteria on the stairs to my apartment. :-)
 
Old 03-30-2009, 01:11 PM
 
1,569 posts, read 3,087,059 times
Reputation: 924
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wisteria View Post
Does anyone think this is a bad or good time to sell? I'm so confused about everything and now I'm hearing rumors that the economy is turning around, but what about housing? Do I stay here another year, and enjoy all my hard work, or do I sell now and gamble that there will be more foreclosures and get out now?

What's so interesting to me, is that I used to adore living alone, and now I really miss having my daughter around to bounce things off of and to just hang out with. I fluctuate between wanting to have a housemate at some point and having my own space. What do you think of this? I know we tend to get settled in our own ways when we are older, but at the same time, we would probably be better off with other people around. Again, coming back to the community theme.

Dancingearth, that is too bad about the party. That's kind of what I'm talking about -- it's like we're always depending on ourselves. I feel that way here, too. There are people, but people are reluctant to either compromise or take turns with each other's needs. What's housing like up in Santa Fe now? Still going up? I know you're a bit on the outskirts of town (I think that's what you said), and the less expensive homes are out there, so as long as I'm looking at New Mexico, which areas would I look at? Is there a "bad" area in Santa Fe? I would guess out near the airport would be cheaper, but have no idea. When I was there, I was all turned around and wouldn't know if I was east/west/north or south. I noticed that the town center was pretty expensive (restaurants, and such), but outside of there, is it pretty normally priced (for food, etc.) or is it still a high-cost of living? I'm just curious. Now that I'm planning on leaving here, and I will still have to carry a mortgage, I am widening my scope. I figure if I can get it worked out, I might carry a mortgage of about $500 and then taxes and insurance. It's a lot, but cheaper than here, of course, and I will never be in a position to not have a mortgage or rent. So, if rent is the same or higher than owning, it seems to make more sense to own.
I miss having my son around too. I talk to people with roommates all the time and no one would choose it if they had a choice. It's much better to live somewhere with friends close by BUT having said that if I could find someone mature and like minded I'd try it because of the financial. My idealist side thinks with the right person it could be better than living alone but the difficulty is finding that right person. I think the right attitude makes a big difference--you have to be willing to compromise and communicate.

I got myself in "trouble" at the studio last week with someone (I will call her Anna.) Anna has two roommates and when I talked about how aggravated I get with people unwilling to inquire before assuming blame and leaving nasty unsigned notes for everyone she got defensive and said sometimes that is the only way to get the point across. Someone from Friday morning had left a note on the studio whiteboard about the Thursday class leaving the room a mess. The assumption was that because we were the last one in the studio it was us. In fact, we came into a mess but we didn't clean up the mess left to us. My guess it was a combination of all the classes and no one wants to do all the cleaning. I suggested to Anna a better way would have been to talk to the people involved and not leave anonymous sarcastic notes. By her defensive reaction I thought she has probably left those kind of notes or maybe it was her that left the note! Oops. She got huffy and left the studio for awhile. My son lived with two young woman that would do that -- shotgun approach and a wimpy way to handle conflict. He eventually moved out because in spite of talking to the young woman doing it, she persisted in leaving the notes instead of talking to the one person who was the cause of the problem. FYI--everyone is making more effort to keep the studio cleaner now so in some ways Anna is right but at the cost of bad feelings. It wasn't necessarily the note that resolved it since we erased it and instead I talked to the ones involved.

I'd go for trying to sell the house now without going below what you need to get. The interest rates are really low right now and with the first time homebuyer's credit I would think it would be a good time to sell. Are you going to retire soon? I thought you were working a couple more years so you'd have to stay in the area.

It's difficult to say if Santa Fe is more expensive than your area. It's cheaper than Olympia, WA. I live fairly frugal--rarely go to movies or eat out. It would be difficult to find a mortgage or a rental for $500 unless you have a lot to put down. If I rented my room it would be for $500--going rate around here and maybe a little cheaper because it included utilities and a private bath. I've been paying $1.90/gallon for gas. I know the houses I bought are still the same price as I paid last year. It's a deal for Santa Fe. I've heard the community college is a deal for seniors - $15 for a credit/audit class.

Bad areas - it depends on the block you're in--nothing compared to a large city. If you come out, I'll show you around. My area is considered not the best area but we are a small community keeping an eye out for each other and I have not had any problems. I don't feel unsafe. I walk to my friend's home at night a block away without any problems. If they would finish the development it would look a lot better and cut down on some of the trash people throw out of their cars driving by the empty lots--not so much where the homes are built. The builder told me he is starting three more homes--building stopped last fall so that's a good sign.
 
Old 03-30-2009, 01:52 PM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,994,426 times
Reputation: 15649
Default NEG returns, scratching her head for a better solution

Hi everyone,
I'm back from a 5-day whirlwind drive thru Virginia and North Carolina. Checked out the western part of VA, then Charlottesville (C-ville), and down into the more well known areas of the northern part of North Carolina, all except Asheville. My overall impression, after being exhausted but happy to have done this research, is that everywhere America is burgeoning with strip malls, strip condos over many acres, incredibly high volumes of traffic in and around major cities and even the towns, and a much higher population out there than I knew existed! C-ville a beautiful college town, but isolated. The triangle area of N.C. incredibly congested w traffic. Many towns that I had heard were "up and coming" seemed depressingly isolated and not all that much in great shape economically (boarded storefronts in some small towns, etc)...or, the town was SO "up and coming" (Carborro, etc) that you'd have to be fairly well off to live there.

The only one of my criteria for moving that got met was the gorgeous weather! Breezy and warm with trees blooming flowers, so refreshing after 5 solid months of northern winter. I got home and felt relieved to get here. However, I am no closer to a decision about where to move than I was beofre. I see how where I live has so many amenities that did not show up on my tour of the middle South. On the other hand, I cannot stand the fact of the rising taxes, half-year of house heating, cold depressing winters, and general isolation (I'm in a college area, but in the burbs) as I grow older. I realized, after trekking all those miles, that what I really truly want is to live with or close to others in a strong sense of some kind of community that has some meaning. My trip demonstrated to me how incredibly isolated people live from one another, with strip malls the only destination other than work. I'm not religious and so I don't seek that kind of community, but heavens! there MUST be some other way to live that has some kind of meaning in the final quarter of my life!!! A community centered around making things, growing things, being together as we age. The bottom line is that, altho there were some nice areas where I could probably settle in, the move would not meet these needs. Wherever we live, we have to construct the kind of community we want and need. It would be so much easier if like-minded people lived in very close proximity to one another, rather than scattered largely over a city. Anyone have any similar needs/ideas???

PS: My personal wish list:
- lowest possible prop taxes and other annual costs
- pleasant surroundings/landscape
- a small city or town that you can walk around or take a bus easily (where you could conceivable give up a car as you age)
- low crime (increasingly hard to find)
- away from industrialized areas/nuke plants
- good drinking water (not polluted w chemicals, fluoride, etc)
- access to farmers markets and/or community gardens
- strong women's community; strong arts environment
- bonus (but not as necessary as the above): nicer winter weather out of the path of hurricanes and tornados

Am I asking for too much~~does it exist out there?

Last edited by RiverBird; 03-30-2009 at 02:03 PM..
 
Old 03-30-2009, 02:37 PM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,994,426 times
Reputation: 15649
Default P.S. from NewEngGirl

P.S. Just wanted to add that I know there's no place that has it all, and that "wherever you go, you are there," and that we are responsible for helping to build a sense of community. In some ways, though, I'd like to come into a "community" that's already in progress, and contribute as it goes along.

NewEngGirl
 
Old 03-30-2009, 04:09 PM
 
4,575 posts, read 7,067,487 times
Reputation: 4227
It's so true that with the gentrification of America, most areas of the country do look alike in alot of ways...the same stores, clothing, etc. We are more alike than different, no matter what area we live in. Hard to find anything really authentic. I know that living in Texas is different than living in Pennsylvania, but other than the weather, how different is it really?
 
Old 03-30-2009, 05:17 PM
 
Location: home...finally, home .
8,236 posts, read 18,527,559 times
Reputation: 17765
lowest possible prop taxes and other annual costs
- pleasant surroundings/landscape
- a small city or town that you can walk around or take a bus easily (where you could conceivable give up a car as you age)
- low crime (increasingly hard to find)
- away from industrialized areas/nuke plants
- good drinking water (not polluted w chemicals, fluoride, etc)
- access to farmers markets and/or community gardens
- strong women's community; strong arts environment
- bonus (but not as necessary as the above): nicer winter weather out of the path of hurricanes and tornados




Every single one of these sounds like what I looking for , also. I need to sell my small townhouse here on Long Island and then I am free to move. I do not want to move AGAIN. So that's why I am so anxious not to make a mistake. Here are some more things that I would like :

1. Pretty cottage-like very small houses.
2. Trees and flowers.
3. Access to a life-long learning program in a college.
4. Nearby shopping and nice restaurants .
5. Walking paths and parks.
6. Good health care available.
7. No winter.

Are all these too much to hope for?

I'm not sure how different places are, but I am sure that living in Maine is nothing like living in Southen California.
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People may not recall what you said to them, but they will always remember how you made them feel .
 
Old 03-30-2009, 05:34 PM
 
2,627 posts, read 4,957,348 times
Reputation: 2225
Quote:
Originally Posted by nancy thereader View Post
lowest possible prop taxes and other annual costs
- pleasant surroundings/landscape
- a small city or town that you can walk around or take a bus easily (where you could conceivable give up a car as you age)
- low crime (increasingly hard to find)
- away from industrialized areas/nuke plants
- good drinking water (not polluted w chemicals, fluoride, etc)
- access to farmers markets and/or community gardens
- strong women's community; strong arts environment
- bonus (but not as necessary as the above): nicer winter weather out of the path of hurricanes and tornados




Every single one of these sounds like what I looking for , also. I need to sell my small townhouse here on Long Island and then I am free to move. I do not want to move AGAIN. So that's why I am so anxious not to make a mistake. Here are some more things that I would like :

1. Pretty cottage-like very small houses.
2. Trees and flowers.
3. Access to a life-long learning program in a college.
4. Nearby shopping and nice restaurants .
5. Walking paths and parks.
6. Good health care available.
7. No winter.

Are all these too much to hope for?

I'm not sure how different places are, but I am sure that living in Maine is nothing like living in Southen California.
Nancy, I agree with your list, except for one.....I could go for some winter, not too bad but I have missed having 4 seasons for the last 36 years. What about living in Hawaii? I know most of it must be super expensive, but there must be some smaller towns outside the major cities.

Ok, maybe that is unrealistic, but what about having two places, one for the winter and one for the rest of the year? What about southeastern Washington state, where it is drier? I'm leaning more towards the Tennessee area, really centrally located and a milder climate than the northern states. The Smoky Mountains are nearby and much of the U.S. is within a day or two's driving distance.

I'm only 58 and not ready to retire, but I sure feel like I need to start a new chapter in my life. I need a change! I am open to suggestions! I also need a place where gardening is possible.
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