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Old 09-24-2014, 06:22 AM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,967,079 times
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I've always been intrigued with the notion of risk, having been somewhat of a risk-taker in my younger adult years and less so as the years go on. I'd like to hear stories from those who took a big leap of faith post-retirement, risked a lot (financially or otherwise) and what the outcome was/is. What could you have lost? Was the risk worth it?
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Old 09-24-2014, 08:42 AM
 
Location: Center City
6,849 posts, read 7,795,643 times
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I think you probably know my story. After a long and enjoyable career, we desperately wanted to leave Houston when I retired. To make this happen, we drew up a wish list of criteria we were looking for in our next home and identified cities on both coasts that meet them. We systematically visited the half a dozen or so short-listed cities on long weekends in the years leading up to retirement in order to "try them on." After all that investigation, we found Philly met all of our desires and interests and then some. So far, so good. We couldn't wait to put our plans into motion.

So how did we actually get from Houston to Philly? Like this: Retirement arrives. Having spent a grand total of six days and nights in the city, my husband and I sold nearly everything we owned and literally on the day after retirement, packed our car up with personal belongings, put the cat in a carrier and drove the 1500 miles from Houston to Philly in the dead of winter. We didn't have a permanent place to live yet, so we moved into a furnished corporate apartment at $100/night and began our search a place to call home. We met our realtor a few days after settling in and started the search for that place - the first week of of a rather snowy January! We purposely sold nearly all of our furniture because we didn't want to find the perfect place to call home, only to realize that our dining room table or bedroom armoire wouldn't work. Being free of these constraints allowed us to approach each potential property as a blank canvass. I think it was by the end of January or early February, having looked at scores of properties on-line and in person, we found the place we wanted to call home - our current condo.

Then came the time to finally move into our new home! We did hold onto our bed and our beat-up sofa and the movers delivered those, along with cookware, dishes, etc. from storage in Texas. We began living here just under three months of being in the city. Our bed and mattress were in great shape, so that was the one furniture purchase we didn't have to make. We ate at a card table for many weeks and sat on our beat-up sofa while we began to fill the condo with new furniture over the ensuing months. I think we got everything into place when our last picture was hung sometime in August of that first year.

Coming up on 4 years here, the move exceeded our expectations as it has opened up a whole new life for us - so different from the one we led in Houston. Every now and then, over a glass of wine, we'll recall the story of loading up the car like the Beverly Hillbillies and heading north in the dead of winter to a city where had only spent 6 nights together. It's fun to remember that adventure and to realize what we were able to accomplish as a team and we will always have memories of that adventure. I don't think we could have done it without the faith and trust we have in one another

BTW - I forgot to mention that we arrived here without knowing a soul. Today, we have a wonderful social circle. But that's a story for another time.

Last edited by Pine to Vine; 09-24-2014 at 09:05 AM..
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Old 09-24-2014, 11:49 AM
 
Location: Las Vegas
13,879 posts, read 25,306,858 times
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I am a risk taker and some of it worked great but there were disasters too!

Not many move 2500 miles by themselves and undertake a major remodeling job. It was/is a challenge.

My priorities would have been completely different if I had known H was going to die but that's something we never know!
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Old 09-24-2014, 12:58 PM
 
Location: Florida -
8,760 posts, read 10,832,098 times
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I'm neither a risk-seeker or risk-adverse, but, after all these years, hope to avoid launching myself into a negative, unrecoverable future position (health, financial, other) ... without some MAJOR motivation.
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Old 09-24-2014, 01:26 PM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,967,079 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pine to Vine View Post
Coming up on 4 years here, the move exceeded our expectations as it has opened up a whole new life for us - so different from the one we led in Houston. Every now and then, over a glass of wine, we'll recall the story of loading up the car like the Beverly Hillbillies and heading north in the dead of winter to a city where had only spent 6 nights together. It's fun to remember that adventure and to realize what we were able to accomplish as a team and we will always have memories of that adventure. I don't think we could have done it without the faith and trust we have in one another

BTW - I forgot to mention that we arrived here without knowing a soul. Today, we have a wonderful social circle. But that's a story for another time.
What an inspiring and uplifting story! Love it.
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Old 09-25-2014, 08:52 AM
 
Location: Houston/Brenham
4,121 posts, read 4,692,244 times
Reputation: 7578
Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
I've always been intrigued with the notion of risk, having been somewhat of a risk-taker in my younger adult years and less so as the years go on. I'd like to hear stories from those who took a big leap of faith post-retirement, risked a lot (financially or otherwise) and what the outcome was/is. What could you have lost? Was the risk worth it?
I took many a risk when I was younger. When I didn't have much, I had nothing to lose. As it grew, I risked it to make more. This was not investments, but business risk.

As I reached my fifties, I cut back on risky moves. It's one thing to lose a fortune when one is 40; you have time to make it back. As 50 passed, I realized I didn't have enough time to regrow a nest egg, so I took fewer chances. Finally, I sold my business at 56, and retired at 58. Now I'm living off that nest egg.

I was fortunate to have made significant money by the time I was 50, hence my desire to throttle back on risk. Had I *not* made much, I might well have taken even more risks. Hindsight is a game I don't play, so I can't say.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pine to Vine View Post
I think you probably know my story. After a long and enjoyable career, we desperately wanted to leave Houston when I retired. <snip>
Quite a story. Admire your bravery in moving. We live in Houston. We are going to spend next summer in the Rockies, now that I've fully retired. If that works, we may start spending more time away from Houston.
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Old 09-25-2014, 09:15 AM
 
Location: St. George, Utah
756 posts, read 883,053 times
Reputation: 1971
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pine to Vine View Post
I think you probably know my story. After a long and enjoyable career, we desperately wanted to leave Houston when I retired. To make this happen, we drew up a wish list of criteria we were looking for in our next home and identified cities on both coasts that meet them. We systematically visited the half a dozen or so short-listed cities on long weekends in the years leading up to retirement in order to "try them on." After all that investigation, we found Philly met all of our desires and interests and then some. So far, so good. We couldn't wait to put our plans into motion.

So how did we actually get from Houston to Philly? Like this: Retirement arrives. Having spent a grand total of six days and nights in the city, my husband and I sold nearly everything we owned and literally on the day after retirement, packed our car up with personal belongings, put the cat in a carrier and drove the 1500 miles from Houston to Philly in the dead of winter. We didn't have a permanent place to live yet, so we moved into a furnished corporate apartment at $100/night and began our search a place to call home. We met our realtor a few days after settling in and started the search for that place - the first week of of a rather snowy January! We purposely sold nearly all of our furniture because we didn't want to find the perfect place to call home, only to realize that our dining room table or bedroom armoire wouldn't work. Being free of these constraints allowed us to approach each potential property as a blank canvass. I think it was by the end of January or early February, having looked at scores of properties on-line and in person, we found the place we wanted to call home - our current condo.

Then came the time to finally move into our new home! We did hold onto our bed and our beat-up sofa and the movers delivered those, along with cookware, dishes, etc. from storage in Texas. We began living here just under three months of being in the city. Our bed and mattress were in great shape, so that was the one furniture purchase we didn't have to make. We ate at a card table for many weeks and sat on our beat-up sofa while we began to fill the condo with new furniture over the ensuing months. I think we got everything into place when our last picture was hung sometime in August of that first year.

Coming up on 4 years here, the move exceeded our expectations as it has opened up a whole new life for us - so different from the one we led in Houston. Every now and then, over a glass of wine, we'll recall the story of loading up the car like the Beverly Hillbillies and heading north in the dead of winter to a city where had only spent 6 nights together. It's fun to remember that adventure and to realize what we were able to accomplish as a team and we will always have memories of that adventure. I don't think we could have done it without the faith and trust we have in one another

BTW - I forgot to mention that we arrived here without knowing a soul. Today, we have a wonderful social circle. But that's a story for another time.

This is inspiring and encouraging to me as we look forward and wonder how much risk to take after sacrificing much to avoid risk for this stage of our life. The story of building a new life in Philly and making those connections is one I'd love to read sometime!
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Old 09-25-2014, 12:37 PM
 
Location: Central Massachusetts
4,800 posts, read 4,843,254 times
Reputation: 6377
Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
I've always been intrigued with the notion of risk, having been somewhat of a risk-taker in my younger adult years and less so as the years go on. I'd like to hear stories from those who took a big leap of faith post-retirement, risked a lot (financially or otherwise) and what the outcome was/is. What could you have lost? Was the risk worth it?
My wife is very conservative but took a risk marrying me. Some of you might know that my wife is from South Korea. We married 34 years ago and settled here. She took that risk to be with me so in retirement we are looking at another move similar to P2V below.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pine to Vine View Post
I think you probably know my story. After a long and enjoyable career, we desperately wanted to leave Houston when I retired. To make this happen, we drew up a wish list of criteria we were looking for in our next home and identified cities on both coasts that meet them. We systematically visited the half a dozen or so short-listed cities on long weekends in the years leading up to retirement in order to "try them on." After all that investigation, we found Philly met all of our desires and interests and then some. So far, so good. We couldn't wait to put our plans into motion.

So how did we actually get from Houston to Philly? Like this: Retirement arrives. Having spent a grand total of six days and nights in the city, my husband and I sold nearly everything we owned and literally on the day after retirement, packed our car up with personal belongings, put the cat in a carrier and drove the 1500 miles from Houston to Philly in the dead of winter. We didn't have a permanent place to live yet, so we moved into a furnished corporate apartment at $100/night and began our search a place to call home. We met our realtor a few days after settling in and started the search for that place - the first week of of a rather snowy January! We purposely sold nearly all of our furniture because we didn't want to find the perfect place to call home, only to realize that our dining room table or bedroom armoire wouldn't work. Being free of these constraints allowed us to approach each potential property as a blank canvass. I think it was by the end of January or early February, having looked at scores of properties on-line and in person, we found the place we wanted to call home - our current condo.

Then came the time to finally move into our new home! We did hold onto our bed and our beat-up sofa and the movers delivered those, along with cookware, dishes, etc. from storage in Texas. We began living here just under three months of being in the city. Our bed and mattress were in great shape, so that was the one furniture purchase we didn't have to make. We ate at a card table for many weeks and sat on our beat-up sofa while we began to fill the condo with new furniture over the ensuing months. I think we got everything into place when our last picture was hung sometime in August of that first year.

Coming up on 4 years here, the move exceeded our expectations as it has opened up a whole new life for us - so different from the one we led in Houston. Every now and then, over a glass of wine, we'll recall the story of loading up the car like the Beverly Hillbillies and heading north in the dead of winter to a city where had only spent 6 nights together. It's fun to remember that adventure and to realize what we were able to accomplish as a team and we will always have memories of that adventure. I don't think we could have done it without the faith and trust we have in one another

BTW - I forgot to mention that we arrived here without knowing a soul. Today, we have a wonderful social circle. But that's a story for another time.
Awesome story P2V. It is inpirational and bodes well for people who make some plans then just execute the plan without regard. Philly is a very nice city. I do not think it is for us but your story makes me feel good about whatever direction DW and I go. We are fairly confident with what we have in place.
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Old 09-25-2014, 04:25 PM
 
Location: Center City
6,849 posts, read 7,795,643 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Montanama View Post
This is inspiring and encouraging to me as we look forward and wonder how much risk to take after sacrificing much to avoid risk for this stage of our life. The story of building a new life in Philly and making those connections is one I'd love to read sometime!
Montanama - I'm glad you and others found something of value in our story. We have been through 19 years together (I know so many of you have been in relationships so much longer than ours), but we are very well matched in our interests and temperaments. We talked for years about the type of city we wanted to one day live in and I believe we knew in our hearts and guts that this move was right for us. I think we had enough confidence in ourselves and in one another that it never really dawned on us that it was risky. It's only in retrospect when we tell friends here what we did that it does seem we took a leap of faith.

To answer your question, I wasn't trying to be mysterious about how we developed a new social circle. I was just trying to keep my post from rambling on for too long. So, simply, here's the story. My husband still works. After settling in, I am not one to watch soap operas or read books all day until he gets home, so I started attending weekly gatherings organized for gay men who are 50 and older sponsored by our LGBT community center. These 2 hour weekly sessions take on one of three formats: A facilitated discussion, an educational session with an invited guest, or guided tour of one of Philly's many interesting historical sites, museums, graveyards, college campuses - you name it! I have met many great people there and several friendships have developed.

I think I posted on this a few years back, and I recall one poster's tongue-in-cheek response, something along the lines of "Gee, I wish I was gay." I hope that's not what anyone would take from this. The point is that wherever you move, there will be venues where like-minded folks are socializing. It could be a church or synagogue, a golf club, a book club, a neighborhood association, volunteer work or other activities or organizations that bring together like-minded people. There are two organizations that I volunteer for where I have met great people. Also, we live in a condo and our building has periodic socials. We struck up a friendship with one couple a few years back and ended up spending time with them at their condo in Hawaii earlier this year. While we were there, we got legally married . . . finally. When we walk by other properties we explored on our house search here in Philly, my DH always says if we lived there, we wouldn't have become such good friends with our neighbors and possibly might not even be married yet. It sometimes seems that life nudges us a bit at certain stops on the journey, slowly moving us on the path we are meant to follow.

Anyhow, too much rambling? Making new fiends is easy, in my view, if you have interests and are willing to pursue them. Photography? Poetry? Wood working? Book collecting? Bridge? Political action? Gardening? Sailing? Board games? Ceramics? Scouting? Hiking? Painting? Cooking? Fishing? There is likely a group of people out there who share similar interests and are already meeting. Making friends to me is about plugging into a group of people who your interests. From there, friends are made and social circles grow.

Last edited by Pine to Vine; 09-25-2014 at 04:42 PM..
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Old 09-25-2014, 06:21 PM
 
Location: St. George, Utah
756 posts, read 883,053 times
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Thanks, P2V. I know how it works, of course, but it does sometimes seem more difficult in my imagination than it really is--the establishment of a new social circle that includes real friendships. We don't have any trouble mixing in, but making deeper connections does continue to worry me. I mentioned before that a place like Phoenix or Florida make it a bit easier, or perhaps more "automatic"--we start out with relocation in common with almost everyone around us!

But what got me thinking between another of your posts and this one is that if we do instead stop overthinking it, and choose our retirement place based on what our guts tell us, as you did--the place we are drawn to by our interests and our personalities--I think we are more likely to make those deeper connections that I'm worrying about...maybe...though it may take more effort and willingness to put ourselves out there, as you have said, than landing in a ready-made retirement community like a Sun City somewhere (nothing against Sun Cities at all!)

So it's not so much that I needed an instructional guide as I am probably looking for reassurance at how natural the process will be if we're open to it. If we are willing to risk just a little! Your story is just a perfect illustration.

Quote:
Photography? Poetry? Wood working? Book collecting? Bridge? Political
Quote:
action? Gardening? Sailing? Board games? Ceramics? Scouting? Hiking? Painting?
Cooking? Fishing?



Ha! Almost all of these. And horseback riding, dog shows, literature... I guess I didn't really picture a place like Philly having clubs and groups like this, the way they are available in the Phoenix area subdivision (not age restricted) we chose for our vacation/pre-retirement/retirement home. And it's true that being a "senior" builds in an opening for a lot of group activities no matter where we go.

I just love that you went just exactly where you felt you should go. What a beautiful story that it led, in a way, to your wedding in Hawaii as well. Love it!

Thanks for telling your story. It's just reassuring to know that re-settling in a home and planting roots late in life is probably not as scary as we sometimes make it out to be in our imagining.
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