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Old 08-27-2014, 08:56 AM
 
Location: Whereever we have our RV parked
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OP: I think the key is be open minded. For example, we crossed Wis. off our list several times. But priorities change, circumstances change even in the midst of your planning. Don't be afraid to revisit places you might have previously rejected. Now I think I have found what I want, in Wis.

IT also helps to visit the places you are seriously considering more than once. We just came back and wrote what I had considered our default pick off our list. Too hot.
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Old 08-27-2014, 09:10 AM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
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Not all over the globe. We really want to stay in the Northwest but prefer less rain and a less expensive area with a smaller house and larger lot. As we explore on various vacations and places we pass through on road trips we find a place that seems wonderful, but when looking up the home prices and the climate averages, there's always some major flaw. At this point we have a few years left to decide but are considering 4-5 different locations in 3 states.
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Old 08-27-2014, 09:24 AM
 
Location: St. George, Utah
756 posts, read 885,690 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tijlover View Post
I'm always rather tickled when, in the midst of my dreaming and scheming, I run across one or 2 items that sends my dreams a-crashing, narrows the agony of choices, and drags me back to Square One!
Yes! I am always quite pleased when some bit of information comes up to definitively cross an option off our (long) list! In fact, to answer the question in the thread title: NO! We are no longer bouncing all over the globe with our choices (just all over the country). I researched Mexico, Panama, Ecuador, and even New Zealand! And I have come to realize that I am in fact a red-blooded American girl, and I can't give it up for anyone else's weather, culture, or wonderful food. Many times a post here in this forum would make me realize that moving to another country is a fantasy. So, that narrowed our choices considerably. And I appreciate that.

We chose Phoenix for a start based on practical considerations, so that was easier too. I need to get out of Montana often in the winter and especially in the "spring." I need serious, hot sun on my skin!! Used to be a "want", but now it's a "need", for sanity's sake. But we have many obligations here in MT, including children still in school--so it had to be someplace quick and relatively cheap to get to, with a low enough housing cost that we could swing a small second home. Phoenix fit the bill for practical reasons, not for all the dreamy, must-have checklist style reasons. Ease of air travel and the ability to drive the distance if needed considerably narrowed our choices. Yay!

And now for the wide open choices.... Whether to leave MT (lots of people's dream destination! I contend that it is a lovely place to visit.) Whether to bite the bullet on a third location or just rent. Whether to go for it and find a beach location, or let that idea go! I've been researching beach towns nonstop, and have found a few where we could afford to buy in the next few years. There are more than I thought there would be, but we can't afford anything in the areas I'm familiar with. We haven't spend much, if any, time in any of the places I'm researching.....We go back and forth, back and forth.

I research. That's who I am, and I don't make choices, generally, without exhaustive investigation. I am very envious of those "let's give it a shot!" type people.

The internet is a wonderful tool, but it does create too much choice for one's own good sometimes. There are SO many factors that go into ONE person's dream retirement spot, let alone a couple, and then add children and their unknown futures, potential grandchildren....how does one ever pick the "perfect" spot? I am not interested in moving about continually in retirement, and I envy those who would enjoy that lifestyle. When we pick a place, I really want to stay put and have a home. That makes the decision feel like it's high-stakes.

What is that quote: The source of all unhappiness is expectation?

I do think we build up in our minds what "retirement" is supposed to be, and some of us are probably too married to the idea of an ideal or perfect retirement location--a permanent vacation. There is no such thing, imo. For me, the search is this idea of "home," of feeling settled. Maybe it doesn't exist.

For many of us, retirement is our "last chance" to have the time, the things, the places we compromised in the first part of our lives, for so many good reasons. For me, if I give up the idea of a home at the beach now, that's it, right? It's over! I'll never have it....For others it's another dream--the cabin in the mountains--is it really practical in old age? So letting go and compromising becomes more difficult even as the world opens up and offers us more choices. This feels like a final choice. lol. Morbid.

Add to that the new normal in real estate, and trying to guess where any given market will go in order to time a home sale and/or purchase properly, and you have a whole other spreadsheet to contend with!! I must admit that this provides some much-needed motivation in our house, though. No rational set of reasons to buy real estate get my husband moving as quickly as the entirely irrational fear of getting priced out of a market, lol!

Yes, we are bouncing, driving ourselves crazy, and we hope to settle soon. It will help when we can stop surfing VRBO and Realtor.com and actually get our butts in the sand somewhere, to start making concrete judgments. (Although this makes vacations less pleasurable! Spending them in the car with a realtor is kind of a buzzkill.)

It helps a lot to have people here who have btdt, or are in the same spot, to filter some of the crazier ideas and stay focused.
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Old 08-27-2014, 10:36 AM
 
Location: Center City
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When we were in our 40s - yes, we were bouncing all over the globe. As travelers, we considered London and Paris and even on one beautiful fall day over cappuccinos, day-dramed about Ljubljana, Slovenia. We even made a trip to San Miguel de Allende to check it out. Once I reached 50 (I'm a bit older so got there first), we knew we were dead set on leaving Houston upon my retirement at 55, and so it was time to get serious. We made a short list of what we wanted in our new home: walkability/urbanity, 4 seasons, proximity to interesting day trips, near salt water and a "blue state" (or at least one not as deeply "red"). And thus began the 5 year search.

As regular visitors, we knew New York and Boston well, so didn't need to make "site visits." The other cities on our short list that we visited were Portland (ME), Providence, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and in the northwest the other Portland and Seattle. Nether of us had an affinity for DC and places further south did not meet our criteria. After a fun five years of exploring and "trying each city on," we moved in Philly 3+ years ago and couldn't be happier.

I'm writing this as the thread title piqued my interest and I thought I might have an insight to share. I have seen a few posters here who seemingly bounce all over the globe for years and never pull the plug and actually move. That's fine . . . if they want to stay put. Daydreaming is a great pastime as far as I'm concerned. But if a person seriously wants to re-locate, they need to do more than "bounce" or they could easily find their time to move has passed them by. So many locales look good on a magazine page, but I'd suggest a person (or couple ) sit down and seriously consider what they are looking for in re-location. Once they have done so, a glossy magazine spread is not as likely to detour them from their goal.

Hope this is helpful to anyone considering re-location.
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Old 08-27-2014, 11:04 AM
 
Location: St. George, Utah
756 posts, read 885,690 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pine to Vine View Post
When we were in our 40s - yes, we were bouncing all over the globe. As travelers, we considered London and Paris and even on one beautiful fall day over cappuccinos, day-dramed about Ljubljana, Slovenia. We even made a trip to San Miguel de Allende to check it out. Once I reached 50 (I'm a bit older so got there first), we knew we were dead set on leaving Houston upon my retirement at 55, and so it was time to get serious. We made a short list of what we wanted in our new home: walkability/urbanity, 4 seasons, proximity to interesting day trips, near salt water and a "blue state" (or at least one not as deeply "red"). And thus began the 5 year search.

As regular visitors, we knew New York and Boston well, so didn't need to make "site visits." The other cities on our short list that we visited were Portland (ME), Providence, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and in the northwest the other Portland and Seattle. Nether of us had an affinity for DC and places further south did not meet our criteria. After a fun five years of exploring and "trying each city on," we moved in Philly 3+ years ago and couldn't be happier.

I'm writing this as the thread title piqued my interest and I thought I might have an insight to share. I have seen a few posters here who seemingly bounce all over the globe for years and never pull the plug and actually move. That's fine . . . if they want to stay put. Daydreaming is a great pastime as far as I'm concerned. But if a person seriously wants to re-locate, they need to do more than "bounce" or they could easily find their time to move has passed them by. So many locales look good on a magazine page, but I'd suggest a person (or couple ) sit down and seriously consider what they are looking for in re-location. Once they have done so, a glossy magazine spread is not as likely to detour them from their goal.

Hope this is helpful to anyone considering re-location.
Having put in my time in a place that doesn't fit, the idea you describe of finding my time to make a move has passed me by is what keeps me searching every day. Because I am keenly aware of having missed other chances. In fact, because it's always been important to me to make the move eventually, I guess I've never really daydreamed about retirement, except perhaps those short-lived but well-researched thoughts of expatriating. It's always felt like something I needed to get nailed down as soon as possible, to make sure we don't miss the mark when the time arrives.

Funny you chose Philadelphia--it's my absolute ideal location as well (except maybe for property taxes, and I would choose "country" living just outside the city). If we were to have moved during this stage of our lives, it was my unquestioned first choice. An hour from my favorite beaches, quick air access everywhere, history, beautiful historic homes for me to restore, educational opportunities, and 4 seasons that actually include a normal springtime. (Hey, I don't hate winter as long as I can escape it occasionally) And perfectly located for an avid gardener. It is the place I would have liked to build my life, the place I always pictured as "home."

I don't know if it would be as good a fit in retirement. I question whether we could put down roots there after already having raised a family and done those things one does to make connections, earlier in life. We certainly couldn't pull it off financially without leaving Montana behind completely. I know I could do that; not sure about my husband. I had come to the conclusion that we had missed our window for Philly. Whatever those adorable needlepoint pillows might say different, too late is a real thing, ya'll.

We continue to bounce, then, for what looks like yet a third location. Tomorrow I will want to bag the idea and rent. Friday I'll be on Realtor.com searching Cocoa Beach. Saturday I will quadruple-check to make sure California's taxes and housing costs have absolutely ruled it out for us. Sunday I'll be making reservations at a beach house in NC's outer banks for next spring. LOL But it's narrowed, at least, to a single category which helps. Having a limited budget is a blessing and a curse. Imagine having to choose a place if you could afford whatever you wanted! I would surely go mad....

Hey, it's a great problem to have, I know that! Having this much freedom and the means to make it happen is not lost on us. We are grateful to have this as our current struggle.

Last edited by Montanama; 08-27-2014 at 11:57 AM..
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Old 08-27-2014, 11:31 AM
 
Location: Idaho
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Only in the past couple years have I seriously started researching and visiting potential retirement places. Yes, from time to time, new locations that I have visited get added to the list.

If money were not a consideration, I'd go to Rome in a heartbeat. But, reality brings me back down to earth. It's awfully expensive to live in the Eternal City. I'm thinking that I will need two places, one in the northern Rockies somewhere, (ID, WY, MT), and the other either overseas or in the Southwest. Growing up and living my whole life in SoCal, I fear that I am a wimp and would soon tire of the winters in the northern tier states.

As long as I am physically able, I'll probably bounce back and forth with the seasons. On my list are central/southern Italy, southern France, Andalusia Spain, Portugal, Uruguay, and Capetown. I'd add Perth, Adelaide, and Christchurch in a heartbeat to the top of the list if it were not so impossible for a retiree to move there. (Notice that most of these are Csa/Csb Mediterranean climates? I realize that I'm a spoiled child.) I still have a couple years to decide where to go.
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Old 08-27-2014, 11:46 AM
 
Location: St. George, Utah
756 posts, read 885,690 times
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I still think we need a C-D Undecided Retirement Spot house swap forum!! I volunteer a reality check in the mountains of Montana in exchange for ruling out Florida at someone's beachfront home .

We have travel destinations in mind for retirement, but the only international locales that ever felt like places I could stay long-term and feel at home were Scotland and the Cayman Islands. (At one time, probably Mexico as well.) Neither of which we could likely afford even if other logistics would work out! For us they will remain vacation destinations.
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Old 08-27-2014, 11:52 AM
 
8,218 posts, read 11,935,652 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nausikaa View Post
What these travel magazines fail to tell you is that you just can't up and move to Portugal, France, Greece, UK, etc, without a visa. Getting a visa is very difficult. Unless you have an EU passport (i.e. dual citizenship), you won't be moving to Europe. If you live there under the radar (without a visa), then you will have no health insurance, etc.
I guess that depends upon your definition of very difficult. I looked into getting a Resident Visa for Retirees from Spain a while back and it didn't seem too difficult. Granted there is a lot of paperwork to submit, and you do have to show up in person at a consulate, but as long as you meet their minimum income threshold and have your own health insurance, it didn't seem to be a big problem. In fact, I thought that was the main issue with most European countries: they just want to ensure that you have independent income and health insurance. I thought if you met that criteria, you're in, but I didn't actually investigate the requirements of other EU countries.


http://www.exteriores.gob.es/Consula...rementVisa.pdf
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Old 08-27-2014, 12:06 PM
 
Location: Center City
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Montanama View Post
I question whether we could put down roots there after already having raised a family and done those things one does to make connections, earlier in life.
It sounds as if you are doing research and know yourself well. Now you will hopefully be able to nail down a short list and move on from there. When I hear about the places you are considering, it makes me smile. Why? Because doing all the research and imagining living in another city was part of the fun for us. The beauty of this is that few of us need to move in retirement, so there is no deadline. Make the process fun and don't fret. I wish you the best of luck.

Out of everything you've written, the above sentence is the one that stood out for me that I'd like to comment on. My DH and I have no children and therefore this was not a consideration in our re-location. I know for many people, however, that proximity of children and grandchildren can figure heavily into the question of whether and where they should re-locate. As for putting down social roots and making connections, I will share our experience. We moved to a city where we knew not a soul. After three and a half years, we have a wonderful new social circle. And, we have not lost our good friends from Houston. We have returned there a few times and have had somewhere in the vicinity of 10 or so friends from Houston stay with us here in Phil. I realize everyone is not programmed like us, because it is necessary to put yourself out there in order to meet new friends. For folks not programmed this way, I can image the idea of re-locating looks a bit more daunting. But I also want to point out that staying put does not guarantee a static situation: You can stay right where you are and your children may move, your friends may die, your neighbors may sell their house (to someone you don't like!), your pastor may be transferred, your doctor may retire, your hairdresser may get sick and your gym may close. Life is change. We will face it whether we move or stay put.
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Old 08-27-2014, 12:47 PM
 
Location: Idaho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MadManofBethesda View Post
I guess that depends upon your definition of very difficult. I looked into getting a Resident Visa for Retirees from Spain a while back and it didn't seem too difficult...
My impressions also. It is almost trivial to get a visa to stay for six months. Longer than that and you have to start jumping through hoops. So, conceivably it is possible to live somewhere in the EU, even purchase a home, and live like a local for six months at which time you need to leave the country, (and get a passport stamp from somewhere else to "prove" you left the country). Then, you can come back for another six months. What I'm not sure of is how long one have to stay out of the country before returning for another six-month stay.

And, maybe there is a loophole in getting to Oz or New Zealand. You can get certainly move to those countries as a retiree . . . if you have a boatload of money. Pretty much anyone will take you if you have money to burn, a lot of money. Since most people don't have that type of funds, another way might be, if one is able to become a citizen of any EU country, then they can freely move to any other EU country. So, establish residency/citizenship in an EU country with lax requirements . . . then move to England. Once a citizen of any Commonwealth country, you can go to any other Commonwealth country, including Australia, New Zealand, or even Canada. Really don't think I'll do that, it would take a long time, and regulations are always changing. But might be possible for someone who really wants to go.
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