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Old 08-16-2012, 02:48 PM
 
5,090 posts, read 13,569,580 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by artangel View Post
Greetings to all! I haven't posted on this thread for quite a while, but do try to get back to read it every now and then, as I enjoy hearing your stories and catching up with some of you who have been posting for a while.

I moved from NW IL to Az a little over 2 yrs ago. I had searched on-line and in person for roughly 2-3 yrs prior to my move.

It's been a real struggle. When I first got here I was delighted with the sunshine and especially the lessening of pain due to the arrid climate (fibromyalgis, arthritis, back injuries). For the most part, that still applies. The unrelenting heat in the summer is starting to get to me, even though I am "retired" and don't have to be out every day. That's part of the problem....I actually miss being able to be outside. The majority of the year it's lovely weather, however, and every place has it's drawbacks.......

making friends have been very difficult. I am a friendly, outgoing person....I figured, "no problem", right? Wrong. Everyone seems so involved in their own lives (rightfully so, of course) and while pleasant and willing to accept my invitations to come for lunch or games or whatever, seldom reciprocate. I also drastically underestimated the difficulty of getting around out here for myself. Good roads, of course, straightforward design etc., but I've never liked to drive and the "city traffic" is nerve-wracking for me. I spend far too much time at home with my dog! Plus so many things require quite a drive, as they are 30-60 miles away.

I've also found that I miss the feel of a "town"....I live in a subdivision, one of many endless ones ....there isn't a town here, really, with the amenities I was used to for most of my life. I really miss that. There's a few towns/cities here with a sort-of "downtown". but in reality they are swallowed up by the urban sprawl, and it takes a lot of determination to get there! That was something that never even crossed my mind when I was looking.

This area abounds with many medical facilities.....but I can't use those closest to me because of insurance........and my health insurance was just raised again to over $850 a month. I really don't know what I am going to do, as I am 61 yrs old, so have a while to go before medicare kicks in. And, no, I can't work...and can't get disability......

I have often thought about moving back to IL. For the most part, I hated the weather....mainly because it caused me so much pain. Why on earth would I subject myself to that again???? because I'm so lonely, and the lure of the "familiar" is comforting in some way. I lived there 35 years, know where everything is, can get around easily, have friends there......but so far I'm resisting.The costs in moving would be great, plus taxes are much higher there....not sure I could even afford it at this point. Plus I'm really uncertain as to just how many moves I have left in this body before it totally rebels....this last one was so difficult I thought I wouldn't recover.......

My ideal? I'd like a place with a town with small shops, especially one with artists/craftspersons etc as I'm one. A community where I would feel like I belonged, as I do not in any way feel like that here. I'm a liberal in a state dominated by conservative thinking....never realized just how profoundly out of place I'd feel. I seldom say anything for fear of drawing someone's wrath. ( don't have a problem with folks thinking any way they want, just wish there were someone I could talk to). I want to move so badly.....,but I haven't the faintest idea of a place to go. Weather, unfortunately, is a huge factor for me. Arrid climate, sunshine. I wish I could live near my sons, but one is in Co and the other in Ia. The one in Co keeps telling me it's really arrid, but each time I visit, I hurt like crazy......! Not to mention that I can't afford it.

I never thought I'd miss the seasons changing, either, but if I'm truly honest with myself, I do. the nip in the air, the autumn foilage, the excitement of bundling up to go Xmas shopping while the snow falls softly and the shops are dressed so festively. I wish I knew where to go. I've been trying to do some more research....but just am at a loss.

Anyway, that's where I'm at right now. Hanging on by my fingernails......but still alive and kicking, at this point!
I know your problems as I have severe health problems that are exacerbated by cold. Here in Colorado, we just went through the hottest summer of record, that made me realize that too hot is too hot; and made me feel more uncomfortable.

I think you have not given Colorado a chance. The weather is indeed mostly arid and it cause me much less pain when it is wet, damp and cold. I grew up near the Great Lakes, which would be similar to Illinois. I also detest driving. So, the Denver area is ideal is that it has a very good public transit with aggressive growth of new rail lines.

I disagree that Colorado is too expensive. The front range is expansive and there are more expensive areas and less expensive areas. If you want to live near a high priced over hyped arts and craft area, then it could be expensive. However, there are many other small town areas, in the suburbs of Denver or the varied neighborhoods of Denver that can satisfy your desires and you will still have the advantages of arts and crafts.

I always say that you do not have to find an actual small town in a large metro area because you can make your own small town out of an existing neighborhood. You need walkable stores and public transit and a sense of place in a local neighborhood. The Denver area abounds with extensive parks, trails and open space so all that is nearby. Denver is not so dense to make it feel overwhelming and there are all these great neighborhoods.

As some of age and do not drive or do not want to drive and rely more on Public Transit; our world shrinks to a smaller area--so that can be "our town". I lived in NYC and I keep telling people that people form an attachment to their neighborhoods that develops more of small town feel than many suburban or rural areas. I have met people who mostly stayed around their smaller neighborhood and people who rarely, and sometimes never, left their borough. You get that feel when you watch the TV show Seinfeld with them walking to their local stores and patronizing their favorite restaurant.

I live in Arvada and large suburbs of Denver. It is expansive from an older area in the east to much newer developments to the West. The eastern part offers an authentic olde town that is reminiscent of something out of an Andy Hardy movie and has a growing number of eclectic shops. Downtown Denver is accessible by good bus service but a rail line is now being built with a station in olde town. It makes it perfect as you have the quiet calming features of that which is old and you can get quickly to the new and exciting. Arvada is not the only area that has these features in the Denver area.

Is it easy to meet people? It is more difficult as we age and I have found that younger folks and their fast transitory lifestyle with their ego battling competition have no time for me, nor do I have an interest in them. It is much better for me to associate with people in the older, more established areas with more natives and long term residents that have established a sense of identity and a feeling of place. I have been here for 34 yrs. I am a long term resident and I like the patina of age with old characteristics mixed with the new that reflects me, and makes me feel I belong. I have found my home and I have no intentions of leaving.

Worry not so much about affordable health care as we have the Affordable Health Care Act that will develop the healthcare exchanges that you will be able to enroll with affordable rates in the State in January 2014. Colorado has started the work and the enrollment will begin in October of 2013. It would be better if we continue with a democratic presidency but even if the republicans gain the white house, it will be difficult to impossible to repeal this Act of Law.

Livecontent

Last edited by livecontent; 08-16-2012 at 03:07 PM..

 
Old 08-18-2012, 12:24 AM
 
Location: Florida Gulf Coast
4,414 posts, read 5,947,309 times
Reputation: 7149
I agree that, as a single woman, it's difficult to become a part of a social circle that's mostly couples. In my Mom's over-55 FL community, most of the social groups consist of 3-5 couples who do everything together. After my Mom died and I was at her condo for a few months this past winter, I was lucky enough to be "adopted" by one of these groups. But only because a single lady I had befriended last year had been adopted, so I guess they figured I'd round out the group. So it's five couples plus me and the other single. They were so wonderful and welcoming to me, inviting me to their "happy hours" and dinners -- I never felt like the odd-man-out at all. Also, in the local restaurants down there, it is customary for everyone to ask for separate checks, which makes it ever so much easier when the bill comes (otherwise, it's awkward trying to split the bill up between couples and singles). So far I like all of them, even though it's an unusual mix of ages (50's to 70's), backgrounds (Midwest, NYC, FL native, etc.), religions and politics. Plus I've made friends with some other couples at the pool and met up with them for drinks or socializing, so I'm not just locked into the one group. I consider myself lucky to have been welcomed into these groups, as I remember my Mom saying the women weren't particularly thrilled when she came into the community as a newly-widowed attractive lady.
 
Old 08-20-2012, 11:38 AM
 
4,577 posts, read 7,079,434 times
Reputation: 4233
Avalon, just curious, which area do you prefer now....Philadelphia or Florida?
 
Old 08-20-2012, 10:59 PM
 
Location: Florida Gulf Coast
4,414 posts, read 5,947,309 times
Reputation: 7149
Quote:
Originally Posted by loveautumn View Post
Avalon, just curious, which area do you prefer now....Philadelphia or Florida?
Ahhhh, that is a tough one. I haven't spent an extended amount of time (including a summer) in FL, but physically, I think the climate there will be better for me long-term. I also just love being around the beaches and ocean -- the Gulf sunsets never get old. I'll have to make a decision soon....we'll see.
 
Old 08-29-2012, 09:46 AM
 
4,577 posts, read 7,079,434 times
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well, as a woman looking to retire alone to a new city, I had a rough day yesterday. I was planning a trip to Charlottesville, VA, as this is/was a place I thought would be a good fit for me to retire...I don't know what happened but yesterday I really got cold feet. Don't know if it is fear or just a slap in the head of good old fashioned common sense. I had talked myself into thinking I could live in a very small city (town really) with a huge university that basically rules the place, a crime index that is very high for a place that small, and the lack of apartments in my price range that would seem livable to me (not dumps, lots of kids, college kids partying, etc.) This apt thing could be a deal breaker, as my "home" is very important to me. I was told by people many times on C-D that it is an expensive area (although not like SoCal) and basically the "haves" and "have nots"...I'm kind of in the middle I guess so I don't know where I would fit economically. I was going to visit in October but now I'm not sure if it's worth it...I can't afford to waste $2,500. I was going at a very popular time (college football games, fall foliage, etc.) and every hotel is sold out (I do have reservations at a hotel that's OK, but not that great).

My friend told me maybe I should just wait and research some more and maybe go another time when it won't be so crowded. But I know there's only so much one can research and then I have to go see (wherever it is) with my own eyes.

I feel really messed up, kind of down about it, because I was pretty sure this was "the place" and now I am having such serious doubts. I mean, I'm sure I would love the quaintness of the area, there seems to be lots to do, but my doubts about crime, college area and housing are major areas, at least to me, in considering such a major move....I know no place is perfect but I really can't afford to make a mistake. This is wearing me out....
 
Old 08-29-2012, 10:23 AM
 
Location: Edina, MN, USA
6,956 posts, read 7,411,410 times
Reputation: 16299
loveautumn

Join the crowd - I think many of us can relate to your feelings. We get so set on a place and then~~~~

I always try to figure out what is bothering me - is it just general anxiety of moving to the unknown or is it specifically this place.

Years ago I had determined that Naples, FL was "the place". I had gone with my then husband for an office thingy and loved it. So a while ago I drove there to check it out. This was at the height of the housing boom, which crashed shortly afterwards, and the places the realtor was showing me were - how can we stuff a townhome into the smallest spot possible and charge a fortune. The attitudes of the people I met there were - well, let's just say I had to go back to my room and wash the ick off me.

I am so glad I followed my gut and forgot about that move.

So, no advice except determine if it's just jitters or if there really is something that is telling you not to make this move. You've pointed out several issues that could be deal breakers. Sometimes we want a change so badly we talk ourselves into a place that really wouldn't be a good move. Trust your inner voice.

Of couse, you could move despite your feelings and it could turn out to be the best thing.

So glad I could help
 
Old 08-29-2012, 11:08 AM
 
Location: not where you are
8,149 posts, read 7,666,307 times
Reputation: 6939
loveautumn, sorry you has such a bad day, but it's problably for the best if those issues you mentioned exist, they are major IMO. Go with your gut instint, it generally serves us well.
 
Old 08-29-2012, 02:40 PM
 
2,629 posts, read 4,965,990 times
Reputation: 2228
Quote:
Originally Posted by loveautumn View Post
well, as a woman looking to retire alone to a new city, I had a rough day yesterday. I was planning a trip to Charlottesville, VA, as this is/was a place I thought would be a good fit for me to retire...I don't know what happened but yesterday I really got cold feet. Don't know if it is fear or just a slap in the head of good old fashioned common sense. I had talked myself into thinking I could live in a very small city (town really) with a huge university that basically rules the place, a crime index that is very high for a place that small, and the lack of apartments in my price range that would seem livable to me (not dumps, lots of kids, college kids partying, etc.) This apt thing could be a deal breaker, as my "home" is very important to me. I was told by people many times on C-D that it is an expensive area (although not like SoCal) and basically the "haves" and "have nots"...I'm kind of in the middle I guess so I don't know where I would fit economically. I was going to visit in October but now I'm not sure if it's worth it...I can't afford to waste $2,500. I was going at a very popular time (college football games, fall foliage, etc.) and every hotel is sold out (I do have reservations at a hotel that's OK, but not that great).

My friend told me maybe I should just wait and research some more and maybe go another time when it won't be so crowded. But I know there's only so much one can research and then I have to go see (wherever it is) with my own eyes.

I feel really messed up, kind of down about it, because I was pretty sure this was "the place" and now I am having such serious doubts. I mean, I'm sure I would love the quaintness of the area, there seems to be lots to do, but my doubts about crime, college area and housing are major areas, at least to me, in considering such a major move....I know no place is perfect but I really can't afford to make a mistake. This is wearing me out....

I grew up in the midwest and moved to south Florida when I got a job down here. I've been here for 39+ years. I miss the simple, real people of Indiana. I grew up in Lafayette, In and just might move back when I retire. It has Purdue University, a good mix of agriculture, industry and culture. Here is a link, which includes Lafayette....check it out: 10 Best U.S. Retirement Towns of 2011 - SecondAct.com
 
Old 08-29-2012, 05:20 PM
 
Location: Florida Gulf Coast
4,414 posts, read 5,947,309 times
Reputation: 7149
Hey LoveAutumn, sorry you're bummed-out. Just curious, what happened to Richmond (or are you considering that the same general vicinity)? Anyway, yes, a cross-country move can certainly be a scary prospect, especially trying to pick "the place" without having been there in person.

About the crime index -- what do people on the forum have to say about the crime there? Both my "hometowns" (Philly and Bradenton FL) get a bad rap on the crime thing, but it wouldn't stop me from moving to either place. However, I've seen potential residents get really scared of the crime stats because all they have is the raw data and they've never actually lived there.

Well, it's ashame to cancel your trip since I'm assuming the fall foliage is one of your priorities (based on your screen name, lol). Maybe it's just a case of buyer's remorse, before the actual "buy"....? Remember all the things that made you choose this city, and don't let the con's start outweighing the pro's before you've even been there...

Or, not. :-) Whatever you decide, we're here for you!
 
Old 08-30-2012, 08:14 AM
 
1,569 posts, read 3,090,016 times
Reputation: 924
Loveautumn--even small change can be nerve wracking much less a move to the unknown. If you don't go will you always wonder? Could you go at a less popular time and look at B&B's versus a hotel? You'd get more local input by staying at a B&B. Maybe look at house rentals instead of an apartment? The apartment could be short-term while you find the perfect place to live. Or you could put your stuff in storage and rent a short-term furnished place.

Try to view it as a vacation to explore a new place instead of needing it to be "the" place. It might turn into the right place but you won't have any idea until you visit. Can you also explore other towns in the area if you sense the town isn't right when you are there? I see Richmond isn't that far away. Hang in there! The angst is part of the solution - you might decide where you are is acceptable and commit to staying and making that work or you might work through it and go exploring. Good Luck!
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