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Old 04-23-2013, 09:37 AM
 
Location: Prescott AZ
6,119 posts, read 9,068,748 times
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I would like to start this thread, now that alot of us have been on here posting and dreaming of our new places. I am interested in those of you who actually did move alone to a new place and want to know how it went, if you are happy with your move, if it was hard to make friends, if you went back to your previous "home" or if you are sticking it out.

It seems like some of us just "disappear" and the stress of not knowing what happened to you is mind boggling. People like "Knoxgarden" and "Nancy the Reader" and a couple others keeps me wondering what challenges you met and what you decided about moving alone to a new place. I hope and pray for the best and that all who have made the move are doing well and enjoying their new places.
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Old 04-23-2013, 11:25 AM
 
Location: Edina, MN, USA
6,954 posts, read 7,387,939 times
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Great idea I think Nancy went full circle back to LI - but what a journey. Nancy - would love to hear about it all. Absolutely nothing wrong with checking other places out and deciding "home" was the best place for you.
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Old 04-23-2013, 12:18 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
34,667 posts, read 33,667,394 times
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I moved alone to a new state (MD to TN) in retirement but it wasn't the first move I made out of state by myself. In 1995, I moved from NY to MD for a job promotion by myself. Only a few weeks ago, I was going to move again but changed my mind.

I moved a few weeks after I retired at age 55 in 2007. I'm telling you how old I was because that's important. Basically I am somewhat of a loner and I had no house to sell. I was moving from one apartment to a brand new upscale apartment complex that had just been built. The moving date was timed to when the new place was ready. My friends were all still in the workforce. I chose my location based on a visit to a place that wasn't right for me and made me see what was important to me. I came home from the wrong place, did some research, found the new place and went to visit that place, too. Both trips were one day drives...about 10 to 10.5 hours including stops and I did them about 5 months apart. I like to drive.

As far as moving itself, because I had moved by myself before, I knew the drill as far as what had to be done in the old place and then in the new place. I researched things like car registration and license, voter registration, class registration, cable, doctor, supermarkets, post office, etc., online. I kept a spiral notebook of the things that had to be done. I registered for my TN retiree program classes before I left Maryland so I could hit the ground running when I got here and not have to wait a semester to start. I knew what to take with me in the car because the moving van was not going to arrive until 3 days after I did. I've mentioned before that Got Junk was a real life saver and worth every penny. Would never move again without them or a company like them.

I did not move to a 55+ retirement community but as luck would have it, I couldn't have picked a better apartment complex, location-wise. I am within 3 miles of just about everything I do regularly and my town is 85 sq miles in area. I probably gas up the car every 3 - 4 weeks.

I don't want to make this an epic tale so these are the 3 cons I discovered:

1. People don't retire at 55, normally. If you are moving to a non-55+ place by yourself and you are younger than 65, it's hard to meet people your age. Remember, it's in the daytime during the week, not the weekends, where a retiree will be doing most of their activities to fill their free time. I meet a lot of lovely, intelligent, very active and interesting retirees in my classes, my bookgroup and in one of my camera clubs and the retirees are all from the generation before mine and most are in their 70s, some even older. Outside of the classroom, book group and camera club, they have different interests than I do. They have different communications preferences, they like different TV shows, movies and books and they have different generational shared experiences. The classes and book group meet in the daytime so they are all retirees. One camera club meets in the daytime so they are all retirees. One camera club meets in the evening. Again, the retirees are all older than I am and the younger non-retirees aren't home in the daytime.

2. Married retired people are attached at the hip. I don't just see this in my new place. I see it with retired friends I visit in other states who are my age or younger. Women who would do things without their spouse when they were working now don't make a move without their husbands having to go along, too. If the husband doesn't go, they don't go. I find it annoying. It's like they are no longer individuals. If you are a single retired female, tell me you don't see this with your married retired friends.

3. Health can be tricky. My health went south a lot faster than I anticipated. Nothing big, just every time I turned around something else was wrong with me that needed fixing. This made me think I needed to live closer to long-time friends for some kind of support and why I was recently contemplating a move to be near to them.

But I backed out and the reason was, I really didn't want to move. I really like it here. I like my activities here. I like my town. I like my state. I like the sprawl and the ease of doing things and getting around. I like my doctors and the people. I like it that I can live really well here on my pension. I felt overwhelmed by the things I would have to do if I bought a house. I'm going to get older not younger. When I realized I was more excited about crossing over the state line back into Tennessee than I was about moving to a new location and a house, I backed out of moving. While some activities could have been duplicated in the new place, they wouldn't be of the quality I was accustomed to having here.

I'm now 61. I'm thinking the closer I get to 65, the more likely I will start to see retirees that are my age and meet people I might hang out with outside of my really great activities.

But, retiring at a young age (under 65), married retirees, your health should be 3 things single women should consider before relocating to a new state and a non-55 plus community.

Last edited by LauraC; 04-23-2013 at 12:29 PM..
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Old 04-24-2013, 07:45 AM
 
1,576 posts, read 2,198,274 times
Reputation: 2746
Laura: I've always enjoyed reading your posts about Tennessee and your retirement there. I'm curious if you found the sales tax on food there to make a big difference on your budget as compared to where you were previously (no tax on food, I believe, in Maryland). I realize you come from a more expensive state, but have you seen a big difference in your food budget in TN? Thanks.
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Old 04-25-2013, 06:57 AM
 
Location: Central Massachusetts
4,800 posts, read 4,842,106 times
Reputation: 6377
Honestly I hope my wife does not have to worry about that. I am doing my best to set her up for success no matter what happens. She at the same time is trying to add to our nest egg too on her end. We are kind of a special couple that I know. I love her dearly and want to make sure that if anything happens to me she has no worries. I know that on my end if something would happen to her I would be okay financially unless I come across a gold digger with great legs.
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Old 04-25-2013, 08:16 AM
 
Location: Floyd Co, VA
3,415 posts, read 5,129,911 times
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I was fortunate enough to be able to retire at 55, back in Dec 2004. I then took about a year to figure out where I would ultimately go, knowing that I wanted out of big city life and off to the country.

My first choice had been to head for the Sierra foothills southwest of Yosemite since I'd spent plenty of time in the area camping with the 3 great dogs I had then. I simply could not find what I wanted at a price that I could afford and began looking east of the Mississippi for land with year round surface water so the pooches could have a creek or a pond to enjoy in good weather.

It took a bit to find a community where I would be comfortable since I'm a non church going liberal and many smaller rural areas are rather more conservative than I wanted. Floyd fit the bill. I've been here for 7+ years and am still pretty happy with the choice that I made, although this past winter that lingered on and on and on had me thinking that perhaps I should have considered someplace a bit further south.

Having joined the humane society early on the people I met have become my core group of friends and much of my social life revolves around such things as taking my foster dogs to adoption events. I don't have the stamina to do any where near as much gardening/landscaping as I'd dreamed of when I had a small city lot to maintain even though I now have plenty of land to do so.

At 63 my health continues to be reasonably good with no major chronic ailments, just the typical aches and pains of aging. Basic medical care is available locally and more complex care can be found in the burgs or Roanoke. There is room to land a life flight helicopter in my yard if need be.

Although meth is a problem here as it is in many places there is relatively little crime here, especially compared to Oakland which had 131 murders last year. There are the usual assortment of big box stores about 45 minutes away and I tend to head up to The Burgs (Christiansburg/Blacksburg) about once a month or so and make a day of it, ending with a meal in one of the many restaurants there.

I'm fortunate have a very good pension and last year began collecting SS and that increased by income by about 25% so I am comfortably well off financially and I know that that is a big factor for most people when they reach their retirement years.

There may come a time when I should no longer drive or even live by myself and the house I chose has a large upstairs (about 800 sq. ft) with a big bedroom, full bath and a large family room that could accommodate live in help with ease.

I'm often content with the company of my dogs and my books and have birdsong to start my mornings and the croaking of critters down by the creek for evensong. Cows, horses and sheep dot the landscape around here and are fun to watch from my windows or driving in to town. Spring and fall in the Blue Ridge mountains are beautiful, winter snows are generally short lived and summer heat is not too bad most days. The house has a large covered back porch that faces east and with a ceiling fan it is a pleasant place to hang out, read and enjoy a glass of something cool during the afternoon heat.

A traffic jam here means that some cows have decided that the grass really is greener on the other side of the fence and have busted out and are in the road. Everyone stops, gets out of their vehicles and helps the farmer round them up and get them back in. Then we get back in our cars and continue on our way. Or a farmer is on his tractor going from one field to another and one must slow down while behind him for a short distance.

When driving, especially on the back roads, to not wave at anyone who is out near the road, getting their mail, mowing the lawn or fixing a fence would be considered rude and unfriendly even if you don't know them at all.

The biggest downside to rural life is that after 30 years in a big city with lots of restaurant choices I find that lack of Chinese and Indian food is something I still miss since I've never been much of a cook and like eating out.

OK, time to go feed the dogs before they starve to death since they haven't eaten since last night.
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Old 04-26-2013, 07:47 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
34,667 posts, read 33,667,394 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zugor View Post

The biggest downside to rural life is that after 30 years in a big city with lots of restaurant choices I find that lack of Chinese and Indian food is something I still miss since I've never been much of a cook and like eating out.
I always say the immigration reform that I am for is people who come here from other countries and who want to open restaurants should go to the front of the line.
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Old 04-26-2013, 08:33 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
34,667 posts, read 33,667,394 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iagal View Post
Laura: I've always enjoyed reading your posts about Tennessee and your retirement there. I'm curious if you found the sales tax on food there to make a big difference on your budget as compared to where you were previously (no tax on food, I believe, in Maryland). I realize you come from a more expensive state, but have you seen a big difference in your food budget in TN? Thanks.
I wish I could tell you I have a food budget. When I was in the workforce in MD, we used to go out to lunch or eat in the cafeteria every other day and that added up. You can pretty much go out to lunch anywhere here and it will be under $10 but in retirement I go out to lunch maybe 3x a month. Yes, there is a tax on food here but the food costs less here so I don't feel it. I just did a city compare to compare the average cost of groceries in both places. With 100 being the score for the national average, my former town scored 111 (higher than the national average) and my current town scored an 88 (much lower than the national average).

The big difference I see in cost, besides rent which is a major difference, is gasoline. It's at least 20 cents cheaper per gallon here than it is in Maryland (I was just there 3 weeks ago) plus I picked such a good location here that is near to everything I do regularly, I only gas up the car every 2.5 - 3 weeks unless I'm doing some big road trip. When I was working I gassed up the car about every 3 days. I have the same car.

With 100 being the national average:

Overall cost of living (the total COL categories weighted subjectively as follows (housing (30%), food and groceries (15%), transportation (10%), utilities (6%), healthcare (7%), miscellaneous (32%))
Former town 129
Current town 86

Grocery
Former town 111
Current town 88

Health (includes doctor visit, dental check up, hospital room)
Former town 99
Current town 90

Housing (includes mortgage payments, apartment rent, property tax)
Former town 194
Current town 74

Utilities (avg cost of heating and cooling, gas and electric, typical residence)
Former town 112
Current town 101

Transportation (average cost of gasoline, car insurance, maintenance expenses, mass transit)
Former town 102
Current town 87 (note: we have no mass transit)

Miscellaneous (cost index of goods and services not included in other categories above including restaurants, clothing, repairs, entertainment and other categories
Former town 97
Current town 92

This is why I can live so well on less money in retirement. Everyone should do a "City Compare" search and compare current town to potential new town. I'd give the link but the moderators delete it because it is a competitor to C-D.
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Old 04-26-2013, 10:55 AM
 
1,912 posts, read 4,601,535 times
Reputation: 1340
Quote:
Originally Posted by LauraC View Post
I wish I could tell you I have a food budget. When I was in the workforce in MD, we used to go out to lunch or eat in the cafeteria every other day and that added up. You can pretty much go out to lunch anywhere here and it will be under $10 but in retirement I go out to lunch maybe 3x a month. Yes, there is a tax on food here but the food costs less here so I don't feel it. I just did a city compare to compare the average cost of groceries in both places. With 100 being the score for the national average, my former town scored 111 (higher than the national average) and my current town scored an 88 (much lower than the national average).

The big difference I see in cost, besides rent which is a major difference, is gasoline. It's at least 20 cents cheaper per gallon here than it is in Maryland (I was just there 3 weeks ago) plus I picked such a good location here that is near to everything I do regularly, I only gas up the car every 2.5 - 3 weeks unless I'm doing some big road trip. When I was working I gassed up the car about every 3 days. I have the same car.

With 100 being the national average:

Overall cost of living (the total COL categories weighted subjectively as follows (housing (30%), food and groceries (15%), transportation (10%), utilities (6%), healthcare (7%), miscellaneous (32%))
Former town 129
Current town 86

Grocery
Former town 111
Current town 88

Health (includes doctor visit, dental check up, hospital room)
Former town 99
Current town 90

Housing (includes mortgage payments, apartment rent, property tax)
Former town 194
Current town 74

Utilities (avg cost of heating and cooling, gas and electric, typical residence)
Former town 112
Current town 101

Transportation (average cost of gasoline, car insurance, maintenance expenses, mass transit)
Former town 102
Current town 87 (note: we have no mass transit)

Miscellaneous (cost index of goods and services not included in other categories above including restaurants, clothing, repairs, entertainment and other categories
Former town 97
Current town 92

This is why I can live so well on less money in retirement. Everyone should do a "City Compare" search and compare current town to potential new town. I'd give the link but the moderators delete it because it is a competitor to C-D.
This is really good info, but would be more helpful if the two towns being compared were identified. There is variation within states among cities. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 04-26-2013, 10:59 AM
 
1,912 posts, read 4,601,535 times
Reputation: 1340
Quote:
Originally Posted by zugor View Post

It took a bit to find a community where I would be comfortable since I'm a non church going liberal and many smaller rural areas are rather more conservative than I wanted. Floyd fit the bill. I've been here for 7+ years and am still pretty happy with the choice that I made, although this past winter that lingered on and on and on had me thinking that perhaps I should have considered someplace a bit further south.
Thanks so much for sharing your experiences. I'm surprised to hear that Floyd Co fit the bill for you, as a non church going liberal. I lived near Roanoke in the early 1980's for a few years, and found all of SW VA very conservative. Have things changed in the last 25 years in that part of the country? Glad you found your nirvana.
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