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Old 07-12-2011, 05:20 AM
 
Location: Metro DC
35 posts, read 62,203 times
Reputation: 51

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Yes, thank you all. I subscribe to the Maine forum and have met forest beekeeper and others that are very generous with their time and wisdom. I'm still a couple of years away from making a move but am beginning to panic that I do not have a more defined plan on where to go or how to live. My fear is that will result in me staying in the DC area which is very expensive and not much to my liking because of congestion, traffic, weather and any number of other things. It is helpful to read of what others have done or are thinking as they consider options. Thanks for sharing.

 
Old 07-12-2011, 07:38 AM
 
434 posts, read 993,526 times
Reputation: 389
Hi, NE Gal coming home. There are lots of things to consider when you're deciding where to move: weather, housing costs, culture and politics, and much more, but two years should be enough time to make a good decision.

If you grew up in New England and have been living in DC for a while, I suggest you visit Maine or Vermont for several days in the winter before deciding to move there, just to make sure you're OK with the cold. (I grew up in the upper midwest, lived in California for decades, moved back to the midwest after retirement and was shocked at how much more I felt the cold than when I was young. People warned me that it would be a shock, but in my overly optimistic way I scoffed at them.)
 
Old 07-12-2011, 09:07 AM
 
Location: Metro DC
35 posts, read 62,203 times
Reputation: 51
Good thought Riverbird. I actually enjoy winter having grown up in Mass and I lived in Minnesota for 6 yrs but you are right I should check it out from a more aged perspective!

So, if winter and snow do turn out to be a "con", where else have folks considerd that offer 4 four seasons, convenient access to services/activities and reasonable COL? I prefer the northeast but at this point am open to other ideas. I have no close family or friends that would cause me to consider one direction vs another so can entertain other possibilities. Of great concern to me would be the ease of making connections to others in the community. I'm not eager to live out my twilight years in isolation.

What other considerations do folks think are important?
 
Old 07-12-2011, 11:05 AM
 
Location: SW US
2,228 posts, read 2,044,826 times
Reputation: 3839
Quote:
Originally Posted by NE Gal coming home View Post
Of great concern to me would be the ease of making connections to others in the community. I'm not eager to live out my twilight years in isolation.

What other considerations do folks think are important?
Consider choosing an area where the "culture" will be compatible with your likes and dislikes. That would make it easier to fit in and make friends.

See what kind of senior services are offered.
 
Old 07-12-2011, 04:39 PM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 19,017,552 times
Reputation: 15649
Quote:
Originally Posted by littledove08 View Post
To Danskkvinde,
I am originally from New England, born and raised in MA and have only been out of the area (living in the west) for the past 19 years. If you don't mind cold and would like a small town, then I would recommend a lovely picturesque New England town called Granville, MA. It is 10-15 minutes into the two closest cities for shopping and 30 minutes to major cities of Springfield, MA or Enfield, Ct. Living in a small hill town is very connecting compared to the smaller cities that surround it. I raised my family here and loved it. I would move back to that area except the property taxes in MA are high, something to consider when living on a limited retirement income. There are several hilltowns at the foothills of the Berkshire Mts,(such as this) which offer an entirely different lifestyle than the small city or suburban living of MA. When I lived there, people helped each other, everyone knew everyone and it was a great community spirit. My two children have stayed and raised their families there. You will need to go out of town for what you need as there is only a library, church, school and country store in the center of town. It offers good living! Closest hospital is 15 minutes down the road in Westfield. I don't think most people can live solely on their retirement income but this is what I am trying to do as well...which is why I am looking at TN. Good luck!
I live not terribly far from Granville, which is lovely but isolated compared with other small towns around here that have a lot of amenities in-town and in towns close by. The taxes in MA are not as bad in some towns, even from one town to the next they vary quite a bit. The towns that have more businesses in them have less tax. Also if you have town water and sewer as opposed to septic, your taxes will be higher. In some communities the schools sop up a lot of the tax base. So I wouldn't write of MA altogether based on taxes. Where I am, the taxes are high but the use of the car is minimal as everything I need is right here. More rural towns, you're driving much more. I do hate the taxes in general, however, and they are only going up all the time.

Something else to consider is that you may well save money on property taxes by living far away from "home," but with the cost to travel back there to visit 2 to 4 times a year, there goes that savings!

Why would you be moving to TN from where you are now? I considered that, but the summer heat and humidity is way worse there than in New England, and NE is bad enough!
 
Old 07-12-2011, 04:53 PM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 19,017,552 times
Reputation: 15649
Quote:
Originally Posted by NE Gal coming home View Post
Good thought Riverbird. I actually enjoy winter having grown up in Mass and I lived in Minnesota for 6 yrs but you are right I should check it out from a more aged perspective!

So, if winter and snow do turn out to be a "con", where else have folks considerd that offer 4 four seasons, convenient access to services/activities and reasonable COL? I prefer the northeast but at this point am open to other ideas. I have no close family or friends that would cause me to consider one direction vs another so can entertain other possibilities. Of great concern to me would be the ease of making connections to others in the community. I'm not eager to live out my twilight years in isolation.

What other considerations do folks think are important?
At our age most people I think make close friendships and bonds through interest groups. My own interest groups are people into writing (creative), natural foods, organic gardening, and spiritual practices like meditation. These kinds of interests are usually concentrated in specific areas, rather than spread out in, say, rural areas. The concentrated areas for these particular interests seem to be in college/university communities. The problem for me is that these interests are also found in very pricey "lifestyle" communities and that is not for me. I like regular lower and middle class folks (who are educated to a degree), not necessarily high brow. Plus I cannot afford pricey, and see no practical reason to have that anyway at my stage in life.

So I would write down your five top interests and search out groups around those that you feel you could fit into on your next move. If you are into, say natural foods, and the area you are looking at requires you to travel 2 hours to get an organic peach, that's a clue. Others are seeking particular kinds of churches. You won't find certain kinds of churches (or other houses of worship) in certain kinds of areas.

To me, the people connection is much more important than weather paradise.
 
Old 07-13-2011, 10:03 AM
 
4,576 posts, read 7,076,737 times
Reputation: 4228
NEGal, have you thought about just moving to a different area of Virginia...Fredericksburg, Charlottesville, Williamsburg for examples. I think Virginia is a beautiful area, with 4 seasons but not so extreme, and has alot to offer outside the DC area in our retirement years. I am thinking of those areas myself so I'm interested in your views. I'm in a similar situation as you and I've explored all over NE but the cold, dreary weather might be a deal breaker for me...

I visited Maine, beautiful to visit, but I got a very "isolated feeling" when I was there, I guess I'm used to being around more people.
 
Old 07-13-2011, 11:58 AM
 
Location: delaware
688 posts, read 866,536 times
Reputation: 2367
Quote:
Originally Posted by NE Gal coming home View Post
Good thought Riverbird. I actually enjoy winter having grown up in Mass and I lived in Minnesota for 6 yrs but you are right I should check it out from a more aged perspective!

So, if winter and snow do turn out to be a "con", where else have folks considerd that offer 4 four seasons, convenient access to services/activities and reasonable COL? I prefer the northeast but at this point am open to other ideas. I have no close family or friends that would cause me to consider one direction vs another so can entertain other possibilities. Of great concern to me would be the ease of making connections to others in the community. I'm not eager to live out my twilight years in isolation.

What other considerations do folks think are important?

i grew up in baltimore and currently live in delaware, between dover and newark. this is an expedient choice for me rather than a soulful one, but it works, for many reasons, at this point in time.

my location is on the edge of the so-called brandywine valley and is really a tri-state area ( de. n.j. and pa. ). i have been in the chester county, pa. area , about 45 minutes away, quite a bit, and think that some of the towns there- west chester and chadds ford especially- are appealing. west chester is a college town, has a very attractive downtown with a variety of restaurants and shops, and also has the rolling hills one associates with new england, but usually without the new england winter.

i'm not familiar with the tax situation in pa. and i don't know about senior services there. it's just an area i've found appealing at least to visit, spend some time in, and it would seem to be a geographic compromise between new england and where you are currently located.

catsy girl
 
Old 07-13-2011, 12:11 PM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 19,017,552 times
Reputation: 15649
Quote:
Originally Posted by loveautumn View Post
NEGal, have you thought about just moving to a different area of Virginia...Fredericksburg, Charlottesville, Williamsburg for examples. I think Virginia is a beautiful area, with 4 seasons but not so extreme, and has alot to offer outside the DC area in our retirement years. I am thinking of those areas myself so I'm interested in your views. I'm in a similar situation as you and I've explored all over NE but the cold, dreary weather might be a deal breaker for me...

I visited Maine, beautiful to visit, but I got a very "isolated feeling" when I was there, I guess I'm used to being around more people.
I went down the "lefthand side" of VA two years ago visiting towns. I first responded to Roanoke (too big for me) and it's little "side town" Salem, which I did like a lot and could see myself living there. I also explored Harrisonburg (I really loved the James Madison University campus, absolutely lovely, with such fresh breezes on both visits). I discovered that the area is not that less expensive than where I live. I think where I liked the best was Staunton, great little town with lots going on downtown, great Main Street restaurants and the arts, and the look and feel of it. Charlottesville as a city seemed to be too dominated by the University, and driving in town there did not seem easy at all, too big. But their senior center and all its course offerings knocked my socks off, it's like a university in itself. I meant to spend time in Abingdon, which I hear is great (with the Barter Theater and all), but ran out of time. This was the trip that I explored Asheville NC and Raleigh area.

I chickened out on VA for two reasons--I know absolutely no one there, and I highly doubt any of my family including possible grandchildren some day would go that far to visit, and its a far piece from New England for me to come back to visit. Dang! I wish I were in my 40s as I would so have liked living in VA. Maybe, if I knew someone there, I'd be more inclined.

What are your favorite possibilities there? It may prove a good area for NEGal.
 
Old 07-13-2011, 02:43 PM
 
6,462 posts, read 3,376,199 times
Reputation: 6648
NEGirl,
I am interested in your impressions of Asheville compared to the nice VA towns you mentioned. How did it rate? I am interested in many of things in a community that you are, and I miss New England terribly, but can't handle to weather anymore nor the Lyme ticks (I am a serious gardener and outdoors person)
We just got back from checking out Boone and Blowing Rock areas (WAY less humidity!), but only had 2 days in Asheville (more humidity than BR area, also more culture) so want to go back for more investigating.

Lovesautumn: Would also like your impressions/comparisons of the two areas if you have been to the high country of western NC. Does it compare well to the nice areas in VA you recommended?
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