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Old 05-31-2014, 11:05 PM
 
Location: Edina, MN, USA
6,956 posts, read 7,402,814 times
Reputation: 16299

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Quote:
Originally Posted by irootoo View Post
I felt my world shrinking as you said. I'm 60 and until the beginning of this month, my husband and I lived in Minneapolis. I found that as the population grew and the traffic got worse, and then with the most recent horrible winter, I felt more and more that I was trapped in the house, not wanting to go anywhere or do new things, because to go just about anywhere I wanted to go meant getting on a freeway. The freeway traffic has become so crazy, it felt like we were taking our lives in our hands (or maybe more to the point, putting them in the hands of others, many of whom were distracted by their phones) just to go do something like see a play or an art exhibit. We lived behind locked doors and the police advised everyone not to keep the garage door open for more than a few minutes at a time due to theft.


We wanted more, and we decided last year to move from the city to Door County, Wisconsin, a place we have vacationed in and loved for years. We now live a few minutes outside Sturgeon Bay, which I think has a population just under 10,000. We officially moved in 22 days ago. In that time, I have spoken with more neighbors, more times and for longer, than I had in 17 years living in the same neighborhood in Minneapolis.

I miss nothing about living in the city. Traffic is calm, it is easy to get around, and the people are so friendly I can't believe it. Just today we were at the hardware store, and the nice young man behind the counter engaged us in a conversation and quickly determined that we had moved into the house belonging to his uncle, a home he had visited many times. The receptionist at the veterinary clinic said, "Welcome to town and if you need anything, just give me a call." This type of thing happens all the time.

In the past two weeks, I have attended a book club and my husband and I have gone to an art fair, tomorrow we're going on a naturalist lead wildflower hike, Tuesday is a different book club, and Thursday is movie day at the library, which is more than we usually would do in three months' time in Minneapolis.

My world is now expanding and I love it. But we had to uproot ourselves in order to get away from the shrinkage. So I encourage you to get out of that place that is making you feel like your world has gotten so small and find a place where you can more easily do the things you want to do. It will be enlivening and you will feel like you are a part of the world again!
Oh how I understand everything you said. I have never had neighbors like the ones I have here - everyone lives in their own little world. I have lived in other neighborhoods in Mpls where it wasn't like this. I lived in Denver for 2 years and had neighbors from Seattle, TX,NY ND MT China and people spoke to each other.

I sometimes blame the aloofness to the online "thing" we have going on but I moved here 20 years ago and the online thing was there yet.

I too am moving away and can't wait. Glad it worked out for you.

I recently visited several mostly retirement type communities in NC and the first thing I noticed was there were no people out. Beautiful weather- no people. It was almost eery.

I tend to think that people stay indoors and sit on CD all day() - CD definitely can expand your world - we interact with people from all over - love that. But we miss that face to face contact.

Last edited by Umbria; 05-31-2014 at 11:16 PM..
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Old 06-01-2014, 02:04 AM
 
Location: Tucson for awhile longer
8,872 posts, read 13,569,320 times
Reputation: 29034
There is a definite trend in the U.S. for retirees who move to choose urban areas. Many people find in their retirement that they are isolated in suburbs ... surrounded by families with children and stuck in a place where the public concerns are schools and roads and activities for the kids, not people their age.

Selling a suburban dwelling and moving into a city condo or apartment suits many seniors better than an isolated "active adult" community centered on golf and the country-club life. Especially if they are looking to drive less. Very few suburbs and rural areas have adequate public transportation and walk scores are terrible in many. Medical care is more widely available in cities, especially for specialized care. Shopping and cultural events are closer to residences (the one exception to that in some cities is the supermarket). It's a very definite trend in New York City where people who moved from the city to Long Island, NJ, or CT after they had children are returning to Manhattan to condominiums that can be virtual cities.

Highrise condos or apartment buildings in many cities, where elevators make stairs a non-issue, have social centers, exercise facilities, wi-fi enabled office centers, dry cleaners, and sometimes even restaurants, a small grab-and-go markets, and even a concierge right in the building. I used to live in Pittsburgh and I know that quite a few condominium complexes have been developed downtown and they're very popular. Who's filling them? Retirees, who can walk to the baseball stadium, the symphony hall, theaters, and a plethora of downtown waterfront events, or take the small subway system to the other end of the town for the hockey stadium or activities at the convention center. Pittsburgh has many colleges and universities and some allow senior to audit classes that aren't filled at no cost. And in Pittsburgh public transportation metro-wide is free for people over 65. In many other cities discount ride cards are available for seniors.

I have some newly retired friends who just sold their lovely home in suburban Iowa and moved into a condo in downtown Des Moines. They can walk to their volunteer jobs, restaurants, movies, and shopping. The ride bikes in the city parks. Most of all they're happy to be in a much more carefree living arrangement where they are not spending all their time with home management chores and having to jump in the car and drive miles for every small errand. And when they want to lock up and travel, which they do very often, they don't have to worry about getting a house sitter. I have relatives in a highly rated Chicago suburb who have selling their time-consuming and expensive-to-keep-up home as the first to-do on their retirement list. They, too, are headed for a closer-in condo complex with access to public transportation.

Some seniors get more bang from their buck by RENTING an apartment than buying one. In many cities a 2 bed/2 bath apartment can be had for $1,000 a month, less than some homeowners pay for taxes and upkeep on large or aging homes.

Their worlds don't seem "shrunk" at all. In fact, they appear to have far more prospects for ways to spend their days than they had before.

Why Millions of Seniors Are Moving Back to Cities | The Fiscal Times

Retirement Living: Top metro areas for retirees

10 Affordable Places to Rent an Apartment in Retirement - US News
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Old 06-01-2014, 02:19 AM
 
13,135 posts, read 6,260,085 times
Reputation: 10887
Jukesgrrl ---You hit the nail on the head! Everything you wrote in your post is the reason that I long for city life and will do everything I can to once again obtain it. I want my world to expand.
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Old 06-01-2014, 08:15 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,759,876 times
Reputation: 32309
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jukesgrrl View Post
There is a definite trend in the U.S. for retirees who move to choose urban areas. Many people find in their retirement that they are isolated in suburbs ... surrounded by families with children and stuck in a place where the public concerns are schools and roads and activities for the kids, not people their age.

Selling a suburban dwelling and moving into a city condo or apartment suits many seniors better than an isolated "active adult" community centered on golf and the country-club life. Especially if they are looking to drive less. Very few suburbs and rural areas have adequate public transportation and walk scores are terrible in many. Medical care is more widely available in cities, especially for specialized care. Shopping and cultural events are closer to residences (the one exception to that in some cities is the supermarket). It's a very definite trend in New York City where people who moved from the city to Long Island, NJ, or CT after they had children are returning to Manhattan to condominiums that can be virtual cities.

Highrise condos or apartment buildings in many cities, where elevators make stairs a non-issue, have social centers, exercise facilities, wi-fi enabled office centers, dry cleaners, and sometimes even restaurants, a small grab-and-go markets, and even a concierge right in the building. I used to live in Pittsburgh and I know that quite a few condominium complexes have been developed downtown and they're very popular. Who's filling them? Retirees, who can walk to the baseball stadium, the symphony hall, theaters, and a plethora of downtown waterfront events, or take the small subway system to the other end of the town for the hockey stadium or activities at the convention center. Pittsburgh has many colleges and universities and some allow senior to audit classes that aren't filled at no cost. And in Pittsburgh public transportation metro-wide is free for people over 65. In many other cities discount ride cards are available for seniors.

I have some newly retired friends who just sold their lovely home in suburban Iowa and moved into a condo in downtown Des Moines. They can walk to their volunteer jobs, restaurants, movies, and shopping. The ride bikes in the city parks. Most of all they're happy to be in a much more carefree living arrangement where they are not spending all their time with home management chores and having to jump in the car and drive miles for every small errand. And when they want to lock up and travel, which they do very often, they don't have to worry about getting a house sitter. I have relatives in a highly rated Chicago suburb who have selling their time-consuming and expensive-to-keep-up home as the first to-do on their retirement list. They, too, are headed for a closer-in condo complex with access to public transportation.

Some seniors get more bang from their buck by RENTING an apartment than buying one. In many cities a 2 bed/2 bath apartment can be had for $1,000 a month, less than some homeowners pay for taxes and upkeep on large or aging homes.

Their worlds don't seem "shrunk" at all. In fact, they appear to have far more prospects for ways to spend their days than they had before.
Your thoughtful essay on urban living for seniors encapsulates the reasons why I stayed put in Los Angeles when I retired. The precise details vary, but I have written about them previously so there is no need to repeat.

One good take-away from what you wrote is that many cities have lower costs of living than places like NYC, Los Angeles, and Washington DC but still have cultural amenities such as symphony orchestras and major art museums. It is not an all-or-nothing situation. And for people who actually don't like to drive and look forward to not owning a car, the kind of living you describe so well is just the ticket.
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Old 06-01-2014, 10:03 AM
 
2,701 posts, read 2,211,772 times
Reputation: 3664
I wish I could live in my old place-surrounded by 10 acres of land with a bus stop a block away.

Unfortunately, other people wanted to live there too lol.
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Old 06-02-2014, 12:05 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
29,866 posts, read 54,568,102 times
Reputation: 31239
I'm two years older and I feel like it's the opposite. The kids have grown, married and live 25-40 miles away, and we go to see them often. Also, I work in Seattle and live in a woodsy suburb 23 miles away with great schools, where the neighborhood is starting to turn over. People are retiring and moving, then replaced by young families. I only drive 2.5 miles to the park & ride, then take the bus to work. We have plenty of hiking trails, 3 lakes, and other opportunities for recreation, but without the expense of kids we are able to travel more and enjoy exploring the state and trips to other states more than ever before.
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Old 06-02-2014, 01:06 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,651 posts, read 17,623,979 times
Reputation: 27754
I recently moved so my world has shrunk a bit. I'm in a bit of an odd place between knowing no one here and most of my friends from my previous home being scattered across the country.

I went back home this weekend and stopped to see my maternal grandmother. She's 77 and only 3/10 of her siblings are still alive. I remember all the neighbors on that block of the street, most of whom are now dead, and the two widows remaining are moving soon. There has been nearly complete turnover on that block in ten years.

I remember all but one of those siblings, who died when I was 2, and most have died over the last five years. More distant family members also used to be closer, but have now become distant because their personal lives are extremely hectic.

As we age, it does seem many of us do not have the vibrant social circles we once had.
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Old 06-02-2014, 04:53 PM
 
Location: VT; previously MD & NJ
2,214 posts, read 1,356,544 times
Reputation: 6402
Quote:
Originally Posted by irootoo View Post
I felt my world shrinking as you said. I'm 60 and until the beginning of this month, my husband and I lived in Minneapolis. I found that as the population grew and the traffic got worse, and then with the most recent horrible winter, I felt more and more that I was trapped in the house, not wanting to go anywhere or do new things, because to go just about anywhere I wanted to go meant getting on a freeway. The freeway traffic has become so crazy, it felt like we were taking our lives in our hands (or maybe more to the point, putting them in the hands of others, many of whom were distracted by their phones) just to go do something like see a play or an art exhibit. We lived behind locked doors and the police advised everyone not to keep the garage door open for more than a few minutes at a time due to theft.

I worked from home, so I wasn't getting any socialization during the day. And one of my closest friends had moved to a faraway state. I felt I was in a rut, doing fewer and fewer things and not finding anything new to do that was worth the effort.

We wanted more, and we decided last year to move from the city to Door County, Wisconsin, a place we have vacationed in and loved for years. We now live a few minutes outside Sturgeon Bay, which I think has a population just under 10,000. We officially moved in 22 days ago. In that time, I have spoken with more neighbors, more times and for longer, than I had in 17 years living in the same neighborhood in Minneapolis.

I miss nothing about living in the city. Traffic is calm, it is easy to get around, and the people are so friendly I can't believe it. Just today we were at the hardware store, and the nice young man behind the counter engaged us in a conversation and quickly determined that we had moved into the house belonging to his uncle, a home he had visited many times. The receptionist at the veterinary clinic said, "Welcome to town and if you need anything, just give me a call." This type of thing happens all the time.


In the past two weeks, I have attended a book club and my husband and I have gone to an art fair, tomorrow we're going on a naturalist lead wildflower hike, Tuesday is a different book club, and Thursday is movie day at the library, which is more than we usually would do in three months' time in Minneapolis.

My world is now expanding and I love it. But we had to uproot ourselves in order to get away from the shrinkage. So I encourage you to get out of that place that is making you feel like your world has gotten so small and find a place where you can more easily do the things you want to do. It will be enlivening and you will feel like you are a part of the world again!
Your story could have been written by me. My move will hopefully happen soon (just put my house on the market last week). My son recently got a new job in NH and he absolutely loves it there. His family will be there as soon as school ends. I was on a house hunting trip there last week and also had the experience of friendly, happy people everywhere I went. Must be something about the small town atmosphere and lack of stress because they don't have the congestion and traffic. I also found lists of activities there that will interest me -- from college-sponsored programs to local parks and recreation activities. Yes, I know about the cold and snow, but being retired, I don't have to drive anywhere when the weather gets really bad... but can still take the dog for a walk in the winter white. I am so looking forward to this move.
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Old 06-02-2014, 06:04 PM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 19,001,270 times
Reputation: 15649
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jukesgrrl View Post
There is a definite trend in the U.S. for retirees who move to choose urban areas. Many people find in their retirement that they are isolated in suburbs ... surrounded by families with children and stuck in a place where the public concerns are schools and roads and activities for the kids, not people their age.

Selling a suburban dwelling and moving into a city condo or apartment suits many seniors better than an isolated "active adult" community centered on golf and the country-club life. Especially if they are looking to drive less. Very few suburbs and rural areas have adequate public transportation and walk scores are terrible in many. Medical care is more widely available in cities, especially for specialized care. Shopping and cultural events are closer to residences (the one exception to that in some cities is the supermarket). It's a very definite trend in New York City where people who moved from the city to Long Island, NJ, or CT after they had children are returning to Manhattan to condominiums that can be virtual cities.

Highrise condos or apartment buildings in many cities, where elevators make stairs a non-issue, have social centers, exercise facilities, wi-fi enabled office centers, dry cleaners, and sometimes even restaurants, a small grab-and-go markets, and even a concierge right in the building. I used to live in Pittsburgh and I know that quite a few condominium complexes have been developed downtown and they're very popular. Who's filling them? Retirees, who can walk to the baseball stadium, the symphony hall, theaters, and a plethora of downtown waterfront events, or take the small subway system to the other end of the town for the hockey stadium or activities at the convention center. Pittsburgh has many colleges and universities and some allow senior to audit classes that aren't filled at no cost. And in Pittsburgh public transportation metro-wide is free for people over 65. In many other cities discount ride cards are available for seniors.

I have some newly retired friends who just sold their lovely home in suburban Iowa and moved into a condo in downtown Des Moines. They can walk to their volunteer jobs, restaurants, movies, and shopping. The ride bikes in the city parks. Most of all they're happy to be in a much more carefree living arrangement where they are not spending all their time with home management chores and having to jump in the car and drive miles for every small errand. And when they want to lock up and travel, which they do very often, they don't have to worry about getting a house sitter. I have relatives in a highly rated Chicago suburb who have selling their time-consuming and expensive-to-keep-up home as the first to-do on their retirement list. They, too, are headed for a closer-in condo complex with access to public transportation.

Some seniors get more bang from their buck by RENTING an apartment than buying one. In many cities a 2 bed/2 bath apartment can be had for $1,000 a month, less than some homeowners pay for taxes and upkeep on large or aging homes.

Their worlds don't seem "shrunk" at all. In fact, they appear to have far more prospects for ways to spend their days than they had before.

Why Millions of Seniors Are Moving Back to Cities | The Fiscal Times

Retirement Living: Top metro areas for retirees

10 Affordable Places to Rent an Apartment in Retirement - US News
I HATED living in the suburbs for almost 14 years. It was too far to commute to any evening activities. It was boring on weekends. I couldn;t wait to leave. I don't live in a city now, but in-town. At least there's a world-class private college (with semester events), a fine bookstore with author readings, and a movie theater. If I could move into a city I would.
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Old 06-02-2014, 06:06 PM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 19,001,270 times
Reputation: 15649
Quote:
Originally Posted by ansible90 View Post
Your story could have been written by me. My move will hopefully happen soon (just put my house on the market last week). My son recently got a new job in NH and he absolutely loves it there. His family will be there as soon as school ends. I was on a house hunting trip there last week and also had the experience of friendly, happy people everywhere I went. Must be something about the small town atmosphere and lack of stress because they don't have the congestion and traffic. I also found lists of activities there that will interest me -- from college-sponsored programs to local parks and recreation activities. Yes, I know about the cold and snow, but being retired, I don't have to drive anywhere when the weather gets really bad... but can still take the dog for a walk in the winter white. I am so looking forward to this move.
Curious as to what part of NH. I love that state, but property tax is a killer. Maybe more north it isn't so bad. It is a relatively clean state.
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