U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Retirement
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 1.5 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
Jump to a detailed profile or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Business Search - 14 Million verified businesses
Search for:  near: 
 
Old 08-11-2009, 08:15 PM
Status: "Carolina Dreamin" (set 21 days ago)
 
Location: Edina, MN
5,201 posts, read 3,472,275 times
Reputation: 11657
Excellent! Obviously - you are in the drivers seat!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 08-13-2009, 05:04 PM
 
Location: Monterey Bay, California -- watching the sea lions, whales and otters! :D
1,905 posts, read 4,363,593 times
Reputation: 2439
I am still busy with unpacking and getting settled, but stopped in to say 'HI!"

Here is an article about Santa Cruz and it is a good synopsis of it. For those of you still looking for a perfect place to retire, keep in mind that if I can find an affordable place here, anyone can. Miss Cheapo here would not be living three blocks from the beach if it weren't possible!!!

Surf town Santa Cruz combines best elements of California

Nancy thereader may be out to visit soon. A little birdie (actually, I think it was a pelican!) told me that she is going to investigate this area!

The more the merrier!! Remember, if Wisteria can do it, basically, anyone can do it -- you just need to know where to look. I am the Santa Cruz Retirement Guide!!

I'll check in later once I figure out where the heck my clothes and dishes and everything else is! I'm still living out of boxes!!

See you later!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-13-2009, 10:21 PM
 
197 posts, read 284,481 times
Reputation: 425
Hello Everyone

Wisteria

I enjoy reading your posts and hearing how things are falling into place for you. Your excitement with your new life is contagious. It makes me want to do something with my life. Of course, it doesn't take long for the "fear factor" to take over and I fall back into the same old rut. Where you are sounds so nice. I'm having a hard time making any change. I can't imagine getting up the nerve to move from the complete opposite of locations - Pennsylvania to California.

I never considered California as a possibility. You will laugh at my idea of what California is like. I think of it as a place with all these young people running around with perfect bodies tanned to perfection. Then there is the Hollywood movie star section with rich people everywhere with more money then they know what to do with. I sure don't fit into either of those groups! I see it as being very hot all the time, very expensive to live and I can't forget about the reports every now and then about earthquakes. Funny how we come up with these impressions. It would probably be just as funny asking someone from California what they think Pennsylvania is like.

I read the website you listed and it gave a nice description of the area.

I like to read about everyone's adventures. Even if I don't post a lot I am wishing good thoughts to all of you who are trying to find your "happy place".
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-14-2009, 12:18 AM
 
Location: Alaska
369 posts, read 559,288 times
Reputation: 158
Anomoly - Last I checked - only one had sent in a writing piece. My computer was broke for a while, and I was traveling ... and right now the windows live site is temporarily down. But... my sense is not many are responding to the writing project. Maybe when a seperate web site gets set up, it will pick up.

My retirement is delayed a year or three - got an offer that was hard to refuse. I feel like it will give me time to do some planning. Still intersted in the RV option and plan to continue learning about and watching that market.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-14-2009, 07:03 AM
 
Location: Winter Park FL
200 posts, read 223,490 times
Reputation: 333
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wisteria View Post
I am still busy with unpacking and getting settled, but stopped in to say 'HI!"

I'll check in later once I figure out where the heck my clothes and dishes and everything else is! I'm still living out of boxes!!

See you later!
Know the feeling! I'm still wondering where I packed things. I can vision them in the old place. Been here almost two months now. Still feels strange. I will drive up to the house, pull in my driveway and just stand and look saying, "this is really mine!" Wow. I am so very happy for you and know how proud you must be that YOU DID IT!!! You made the decision, followed through and are now starting a whole new chapter.

Still reading about the fires in the Santa Cruz area. Guess it's like you reading about hurricanes in this area. I trust all is well.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-14-2009, 04:45 PM
 
Location: Monterey Bay, California -- watching the sea lions, whales and otters! :D
1,905 posts, read 4,363,593 times
Reputation: 2439
Quote:
DJ10:

Wisteria

I enjoy reading your posts and hearing how things are falling into place for you. Your excitement with your new life is contagious. It makes me want to do something with my life. Of course, it doesn't take long for the "fear factor" to take over and I fall back into the same old rut. Where you are sounds so nice. I'm having a hard time making any change. I can't imagine getting up the nerve to move from the complete opposite of locations - Pennsylvania to California.

I never considered California as a possibility. You will laugh at my idea of what California is like. I think of it as a place with all these young people running around with perfect bodies tanned to perfection. Then there is the Hollywood movie star section with rich people everywhere with more money then they know what to do with. I sure don't fit into either of those groups! I see it as being very hot all the time, very expensive to live and I can't forget about the reports every now and then about earthquakes. Funny how we come up with these impressions. It would probably be just as funny asking someone from California what they think Pennsylvania is like.

I read the website you listed and it gave a nice description of the area.
DJ10, I think you would like it here -- well, actually, anyone would like it here. This is NOT Hollywood or Los Angeles, this is the "central coast," which is different. We are kind of in the middle of the state on the coast, and are not hot like southern California (or with the traffic and attitude...), and we are not real north, where it can be very rainy and chilly. We are 60 miles from San Francisco and 30 miles from San Jose. Only we are directly on the beaches of Monterey Bay, which is a national ocean sanctuary. Therefore, you frequently see sea lions, pelicans, sea otters and other various ocean creatures.

I know that people often have the image of California as picture perfect people, but that is not true at all. In fact, you'd be surprised to see FAT people here, OUT-OF-SHAPE people here, and people going to MacDonald's!! Haha. Seriously, it's true. There are young kids, teens, parents, single parents, old hippies, just old people, and, yes, there are those whom we marvel at -- the surfers and women on the beach not afraid of a skimpy bikini. But, basically, it's just normal people.

What is not "normal" is the attitude. This is California, so it is more laid-back. It takes some getting used to if you are used to a faster pace. I am from back east, too, so there was a period of adjustment for me. But now I like it. People will take time to chat, you can eat leisurely in restaurants without feeling rushed, and saying you're spending the day at the beach instead of cleaning your house is quite acceptable! And, there are people with whom I work, both male and female, who literally go surfing BEFORE work! I kid you not! It always amazes me to see people driving into work with a surfboard on the roof of their car or truck!!!

And, most people are more liberal and tolerant here -- I think a true, hardcore Conservative would find it more difficult. I am not a tree-hugger, or anything, and I consider myself quite a middle-of-the-roader, and I fit in. I think what it has is something for everyone, so that if you are into one thing, you will find others into that. Doesn't matter what it is -- it is varied here.

I take my car to a regular repair shop with regular down-to-earth mechanics. I shop at the local grocery store with regular people just making it as clerks and baggers. I stop at the local taqueria and grab a burrito in a paper bag to go. It's down-to-earth, yet, it is relaxed and the views are quite spectacular.

When I lived in the redwoods (last week! haha! ), it was beautiful and friendly there, too. Fortunately, the forest fires are north of there, although there was one just a few miles away and some people at work did have to evacuate -- but now that I'm only blocks from the ocean, I don't think wild fires will any longer be a concern to me!

I took the day off to unpack -- literally, I have been living out of boxes, and I am utterly exhausted from the months of work I did at the other place, and moving here, and still working full-time. But in this 55+ mobile home park, I can see out my kitchen window the various beautiful beach colors of each home in light pastels of blue, yellow, coral, turquoise and green. I see lots of colored flowers, a palm tree, and somethng that looks like a cholla or something. I saw a few people at the pool already today. It is a good life for a retiree here.

I haven't yet found the beach nearby, although a woman at the office where I had to schedule some repairs lives in the area (she is from OHIO, originally!), and she told me how to find the nearest beach access from my park -- about 2 blocks as the crow flies! Haha. But...I haven't walked down there yet -- I'm still tired and worn out, but as the weeks go by, I am sure I will be out and about more. I am finally done moving!

I guess the only criteria of living here is that one love nature, as you won't escape it here, and that you live and let live -- each person is different, so imposing your own views won't work. Most people here DO seem to spend a LOT of time hiking, walking along the beach, hanging out under umbrella tables, at the cafes, or walking on the wharf or downtown.

Although I don't have much money (never did), I have managed to keep good credit, live simply, and enjoy the free things that abound here. I know many others can afford much more than I can, however, I figure it's better to be poor in an extraordinary place, than have a bigger house in a boring or less attractive place. And you can't beat the weather here. Oh, we do have rain in the winter -- don't get me wrong -- this is not the desert. But it is not months of grey and wet and snow and ice and sleet and hail....well, you get the picture. At least here you know "bad" (being a relative term) weather here won't last. This is considered to be a climate like in Greece! Just go inland a few miles and it's much hotter, stay here, and your normal temperatures are in the 70s during the day and the 50s at night.

It's about 3 p.m. right now and it is clear and sunny and there's a slight ocean breeze. I mean, really, how could one not take a risk of being in a place like this? I truly thought I would not stay here -- I did not think it possible, but lo and behold, here I am.

So, set aside the stereotypes that are generated by movies, mostly. This is a huge state and like any other place, there are all kinds of people. The only thing that is more expensive here is really the housing -- but even I managed to slide into "affordable housing." This is really a pretty park, and well-kempt, the people are quiet and nice. Last night, because I live across from the club house, I could see people playing pool (there are pool tables there). I saw a guy around my age with a ponytail walk by this morning (yes, the aging hippies are going to affordable housing! haha). The pool looks very inviting, but since I have gained weight, I really need to lose it and exercise before I'll feel comfortable swimming right now.

It has been a very stressful six months for me, and now I am finally unpacking and hope to not have to move again. It will take time to know the neighborhood, paint rooms, and all of that, but at least I'm not cleaning up and painting a house for someone else to live in! Now, it's just for me. Karcon, glad to hear I'm not the only one who will be unpacking for awhile!! I'm just plain tired, and I think my body is telling me to sit back and relax a little. I'm just anxious to get the place together so I feel comfortable having guests (one side effect of living in California is that people want to visit!!).

I'm glad people have enjoyed reading about my adventures, ups and downs, decisions and indecisions. I'm no different from anyone else seeking a place to retire. And it's not easy to pick up and move, but sometimes it can be the best thing you can do for yourself. Keep in mind that our lives are not endless -- sometimes our problems seem endless -- but we don't live forever. That is something I often think about and what helps me in making a decision that I may not know is a good one or not, or if I have fear of making that decision.

So, my advice is to look at your life and see if you want or need a change. If you do, then maybe, just maybe, there is a better and nicer place out there. Granted, I did not recently move that far from where I was, however, it is still a big difference in terrain, scenery, neighborhoods -- it's all very different from mountain living. However, I am not from California, originally, so I did have to move here on my own -- I did that at age 48. I was ready and willing to move to New Mexico this year, too, however, because of the housing crisis (ironically) and the little I got for my house, I could not quit my job.....thus, I was forced to find housing in Santa Cruz. And wouldn't you know it, here it was right at the beach!!

I've noticed that the women on this thread do not seem very materialistic, although they may have the means. That is good. Because objects don't give us that kind of life pleasure -- it is people, and our natural surroundings. Here, I am in the midst of one of the most beautiful places in the world -- seriously. Santa Cruz is almost one big beach -- there are beaches from one end of town to the other. And there are many vantage points to see it from and to enjoy it. Once you look out to the ocean, you don't have any buildings or ugly things looking back at you -- that is, I think, the main reason it can be expensive for housing here. You don't get many places like this, and people do sacrifice to live here. If one wants to live in a McMansion here, they had better have millions of dollars. But if one just wants a humble home, and live simply (not spending lots on material things), then everything else is right at your doorstep -- and for free.

Besides, most people here spend the bulk of their non-working hours outside -- with no snow, little rain, and a moderate climate, what's the point of staying indoors? So, a house is kind of incidental, as far as I'm concerned, because what you live here for is the easy access to the ocean, the redwoods, the numerous hiking and biking places, the beaches that are all free, the clear blue skies and an accepting population. That is what makes home, home.

Well, that's it for today! I have more unpacking to do, have to run to the store and stock up on some juice, and eventually I'll be unpacked enough to start cooking from scratch again. Besides, I think I need a nap!!

Just keep your eyes and mind open -- you never know what you will find!

Wisteria
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-14-2009, 04:59 PM
 
Location: yuma
494 posts, read 934,330 times
Reputation: 401
Quote:
Originally Posted by dj10 View Post
Hello Everyone

I never considered California as a possibility. You will laugh at my idea of what California is like. I think of it as a place with all these young people running around with perfect bodies tanned to perfection. Then there is the Hollywood movie star section with rich people everywhere with more money then they know what to do with. I sure don't fit into either of those groups! I see it as being very hot all the time, very expensive to live and I can't forget about the reports every now and then about earthquakes. Funny how we come up with these impressions. It would probably be just as funny asking someone from California what they think Pennsylvania is like.
DJ,
I grew up in and around So. California. I think you hit the nail on the head, everything except it's not hot all of the time. Just perfect. Yes, it's tough to live up to that lifestyle, where so much wealth, status, beautiful beaches and plastic surgery can leave you feeling endlessly inadequate. I wouldn't go back. Too much traffic, smog, and artificiality.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-14-2009, 07:05 PM
 
Location: DC Area, for now
3,517 posts, read 8,273,867 times
Reputation: 1984
Re Calif. - remember that California elected Ronald Reagan as gov twice. And they kicked out a democrat to elect Schwarzenegger. There are lots of conservatives, lots of liberals, lots of religious folks, lots of atheists, lots of druggies, lots of poeple who won't touch the stuff, lots of non-smokers, lots of smokers, etc. There's lots of just about any kind of people there you want and don't want. What they tend to have in common is they are most all weather wusses. Because the weather tends towards the benign most of the time.

Wisteria, it is so nice to hear you so enthusiastic. Remember, you promised us some pictures even if they are only in your personal page. I suspect that you never really wanted to leave SC, you just needed out from under that house. You did it and that is great!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-14-2009, 07:33 PM
 
Location: SW US
742 posts, read 529,120 times
Reputation: 700
Wisteria's enthusiasm began to get to me too. But I looked briefly at Santa Cruz, and although there are many, many attractive features there, I can't imagine how I could afford to live there.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-14-2009, 08:34 PM
 
Location: Monterey Bay, California -- watching the sea lions, whales and otters! :D
1,905 posts, read 4,363,593 times
Reputation: 2439
Hi Folks,

Tesaje, you are right -- there is a little bit of everything in California! It's a huge state with so many diverse towns and terrain, that anyone could find a place to fit in. (Santa Cruz, though, really is a bit more left-leaning and alternative...)

You're right about the weather, too! Being from Buffalo, you can imagine how many raised eyebrows I had when people would tell me about how "bad" the weather was that week! I'm like "WIND," -- that hardly would be called a "breeze" back east. And people don't even know to slow down while driving in the rain! I say they (me now, included) are spoiled! Whenever I find myself starting to say, "Oh, it's cold out," or "It's getting windy," I stop myself and say, "You are from BUFFALO....get a grip! This is GOOD weather!" Even I have fallen into that weather trap.

As for photos -- well, a camera is on my list. My camera died.... So, I DO have to get a camera for my before and after photos. But today I was off and, basically, did nothing. I was just so tired, I just hung out. I had no energy left. Hopefully, tomorrow will be better.

It really IS nice here. I lived in the mountains for so long that I actually forgot what it was like to have a big, full, clear blue sky! So, although I am not far from the house I moved from, it definitely is a different vibe here. It really is an ocean beach town. So many houses have "To the Beach!" with an arrow on them, or surfboards, or even I put up a silly windchime with fish on it!! I got caught up in the beach town vibe.

I really was burdened by that high mortgage, my daughter leaving and no longer having help around that huge property, and just feeling like I had no time at all to myself because every weekend was consumed by chores, especially around that property. It really WAS a beautiful piece of property, but it definitely needed more than one lady in her 60s to take care of it!!

So, yeah, I guess I sound enthusiastic because I know that once I get things put away and paint the way I want, and get things fixed (I'm having a new roof put on in a few weeks....it's supposed to be an El Nino winter and this roof is quite old and worn), then I will have weekends to myself. I have been truly overwhelmed and tired out from the amount of work I have been doing the past 6 months.

Honestly, I never thought I'd live in town. I really DO love the mountain towns here -- there is something very special about them. But knowing I am aging (), and knowing that I could not keep up the heavy labor I was doing, and wanting to be out of the mountains by winter, well, I think this was a good choice. It's actually a nice size for one person, and I am so near the beach, it's almost unbelievable. And no yard -- that IS weird to me, coming from a place with a very lush yard with many tropical plants and flowers---but at the same time, there is no labor involved, and I will get potted plants to put around. That will free up my weekends, since I still have to work, and make it feel more like fun. I know that some people wouldn't like where I am in this park, but I enjoy seeing the clubhouse and pool across from me because it makes me feel like I'm in a resort!

As you probably saw from the article link I attached: Surf town Santa Cruz combines best elements of California
It's a quick walk or drive from one thing to another. There really IS a lot to explore.

I WAS sad about thinking I must leave here. I had grown used to so many beautiful sights, so many wonderful parks, so much to do, that I was kind of in mourning. But I knew I had to do what I had to do financially -- I just did not expect this. So I am grateful to the Powers that Be, that I am allowed to stay here. Yes, Tesjae, I am enthusiastic that I am being given a second chance, and I am more grateful this time around!

I guess the moral of my story is two-fold: "Where there's a will there's a way," and "Be grateful for what you have."

I do wish my camera worked, but it doesn't. I do, though, have to return a phone system I got (Unidan), because the accessory phones don't work. So, I will look at Cameras then. I have been just totally overwhelmed by this whole experience.

Now that I am in this 55+ mobile home park, I am glad I did it. I really had reservations about doing this. I think that when you don't have family nearby, your daughter is grown and on her own, that you need to have people around who understand the aging process. I'm not "old" yet, however, I (hopefully) will be some day. The people here are respectful, I've seen a lot in my age group (meaning they're not in their 80s and Baby Boomers are starting to buy up places), and it's very clean, well-managed, and pretty. I like that there is public transportation nearby, that most everything is a quick car drive from one thing to another (and I don't have to drive highways, which I hate), and that there is a Sheriff's sub-station a half block away, and a fire station nearby. All of these are very useful when aging. My medical clinic I go to is only about a mile away. So, everything is close by. Obviously, when I was younger, I never thought about such things, but now I do.

A friend of mine came by today with his mom (who is in her 80s and lived in a mobile home park nearby at one time), and he was saying that he really thinks it's one of the nicest ones he's seen (for a smaller version -- some mobile homes are TRIPLE size!). I understand that the woman who owned this place before bought it for about $250,000 (at the height) -- I got it for about $110,000 -- half price. I still have a lot to do to make it "mine," however, I am grateful for this opportunity. And I truly do believe that as Boomers age, and those who did not accumulate a lot of wealth will also be looking at places like this. It will be interesting to see the transition of generations here.

It is a very interesting and informative time for me. Never did I think of myself as aging (and I know that in our minds we tend to think of ourselves as in our 20s forever). But I am realistic, and I think this is a good choice. Yes, I had to give some pets away, but what if I died with loads of pets? They would most likely end up in a shelter -- at least this way I had some say in where they went to.

Ten years ago I never would have guessed I'd be looking at Seniors' communities. It's just interesting to observe my own path. Certainly, it is not for everyone, and definitely it will be different for couples.

But I think that considering all the alternatives, the money, my job, the location, the values, the weather and the scenery, that I did okay. I worked hard at searching places out. I knew the kind of life I both needed and wanted. This seems to fulfill both.

I am not trying to beat the drum and say, "You must come here!," however, I am pleased that such a place exists in such a beautiful location. It just never occurred to me to look at mobile homes. And now I live in one. It's plenty big enough for one person, although the rooms are a bit smaller than my house, but I have plenty for me. Once I get things painted and fixed up, it will be "me," and that will be nice.

"Enthusiastic," or "relieved." I think both. I have struggled for many years trying to figure this out. And this is the outcome.

Photos will be forthcoming -- I have written down on my "to do" list to get that camera! I really need to do that. Right now, it's a bunch of boxes all over the place. It will transform. I did so much to the other house that I guess I just need time to sit back and know I don't have to rush as much.

Tonight I think will be an early night. The smoke from the Santa Cruz Mountain wildfires snaked down to even my neighborhood, and I could smell the faint smell of wood burning (I'm glad I'm not in those mountains now!!). The skies still appear clear, but I do smell the smoke. I am glad I am near the ocean now.

And, Windwalker, as for affordability, that was a stumbling block to me, too. I just did not have my mind open enough. As soon as I allowed all options to flow through, there it was. I still have a mortgage, which I didn't want to have, however, there was no way around it. Had I been in New Mexico, I'd still have a similar mortgage....but no job. I need the job. So, here, I have the mortgage and the job to build my pension and Social Security. Either way, I'd have to pay -- better to do it in a place where I knew I could continue my job, than to be very, very financially stressed. And....the side bonus was that I had grown to love this area, but did not think I could stay. Once I found all the nooks and crannies around here, I realized it was a pearl. And now I can stay and enjoy it.

Sometimes I just "give" things up to "the Universe," and say, basically, "Let go, let God." That is really what I had to do here.

Let your heart guide you. I have often used my intuitive side to tell me which way to turn. I did that instinctively when I walked into this place. Of course, I had real information, too, and knew the costs of things around here. But I saw the potential, I saw the community and the location, and knew that it could work. So, follow your gut feelings. Often they are the best guide. We are our own best psychics.

Photos soon! Rest first!!

Wisteria

Last edited by Wisteria; 08-14-2009 at 09:03 PM.. Reason: typo
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $79,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Retirement

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2014, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 - Top