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Old 10-22-2015, 10:11 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
18,138 posts, read 23,055,558 times
Reputation: 35397

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Well, my friends, you are probably going to think I'm insane. But, I think I'm going to be moving again. And the main reason is, that there isn't enough to do in my new town, where you can just show up at a group event - like a class or a bus tour.

Most of my time is spent alone, and I prefer it that way. And I'm not much of a joiner. But, in the last year, I've tried joining three different volunteer groups or clubs, and I did not find them welcoming. This is a pretty small town, and everyone in the volunteer groups are old friends and the cliques are set in stone.

Unfortunately, there are no classes here at all, like art classes or recreation department group hikes or even any group bus tours. When I lived in the SF Bay Area, I regularly took advantage of these types of activities. I love them, because I don't have to find a friend to go with me, or worry about driving, etc. Just sign up for a bus tour to go see a play or go to a museum, etc. And I always found someone else who was there solo, to just chat with or have lunch with. No strings attached. Just pleasant temporary company.

The rest of living here, I really like. It's beautiful, and the weather is nice and cool, which I like, and there are a lot of wonderful places to walk my dog.

But, I'm missing a social outlet. And there is nothing any closer that has those types of things I want to do, than 6 hours away.

The good news is, that I now have a HUD voucher, and I did some calling around, and I can transfer it back to civilization. So, I'll probably be moving in the spring. This was always my back-up plan - to move somewhere I could get my HUD (Section 8 voucher), with the hope that if I didn't like where I was, that I could move back to a bigger city where the Section 8 lists are closed, but once I had a voucher I could transfer it.

I had really thought I'd be here for life, when I first moved here. There's so much I really like about it here. But, unless you move somewhere like this with a significant other, be aware that it may be really hard to make your way into the old established cliques.

Ironically, one of the groups I attended for a while has a married (male/female) couple and a married (lesbian) couple, and I got real vibes that they all thought I was trying to take their SOs away from them. I couldn't care any less about wanting a romantic relationship with anyone. But, people will be people.

I also have a lot of secretarial skills and thought to offer them in one group, only to have stepped on the toes, apparently, of the woman who prides herself to be the unofficial secretary of the group.

And honestly, I was very nice and friendly and helpful. They say they want volunteers, but they really don't want to change their little worlds. Instead of welcoming my help, it's like I was a threat in some way to many of them. Sigh.

At any rate, keep this in mind. If you are thinking, "Hey, I'll just volunteer," be aware that there will be well-established cliques. I just got tired of being bossed around, or ignored. One group was happy to get me to man the booth, while they went off to have lunch - without me. Honestly, it's like they were all protecting their little groups from outsiders. They'll "let" you show up and do some grunt work, but they won't ask you to go have coffee afterwards. Heck, they weren't even including me while I was at the event.

So, make sure there are other things for you to do, if the volunteer or even church groups aren't welcoming. If there were a ton of bus tour daytrips or lots of classes I could take, I'd be fine.

But, I'm saving up to move back to the city. I won't like the crowds or the fact I won't find many places to walk my dog off-leash, but I won't feel like such an outcast in the middle of nowhere. I wouldn't feel that way if I had more to do that didn't involve having to fight my way into a clique of grumpy, paranoid old people LOL!

I'm glad it's easy for me to move, relatively speaking. That's the best part about being a renter. Maybe the moral to this story is to rent somewhere for a year before you buy property there. Make sure it's more than just beautiful scenery.
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Old 10-22-2015, 10:14 PM
 
Location: Sugarmill Woods , FL
6,235 posts, read 5,921,100 times
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Good advice on renting in a new area before buying.
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Old 10-22-2015, 10:22 PM
 
Location: Cochise county, AZ
4,985 posts, read 3,477,182 times
Reputation: 10538
Ah, you said Well what I am feeling. I am more accepted here because of family, but I lived in a city for many years and don't really belong.

I don't have a section 8 acceptance, live in an income based apartment, so am semi leery of leaving but am 62 & on disability, which is the basis on how I got my apartment.

I am currently looking at other areas to live. Takes a lot of research but that's what we have to do. Good luck to you.
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Old 10-22-2015, 10:23 PM
 
Location: Sacramento
13,784 posts, read 23,832,033 times
Reputation: 6195
Your story seems pretty realistic, frankly I think it can happen pretty much anywhere you locate. Volunteering does help you meet new folks, but acceptance can be fairly measured.
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Old 10-22-2015, 10:32 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
18,138 posts, read 23,055,558 times
Reputation: 35397
Yes, Meo, it does take a lot of work to find new housing. There's no simple database. You have to get long lists from the housing authorities and then just sit down and call them all.

NewToCA, you're right. And I won't stop trying to volunteer when I move. But, I'm hoping the balance of being able to just go to classes and group tours will help me feel more connected to the human race lol. I don't need a lot of connection, but I need more than I'm getting here.

I was looking at all the classes and activities available in the city I hope to move to - all kinds of stuff, from a ton of different types of yoga to decorating gords. The little senior center here only has activities that make you feel like your 100 years old - like pinochle and bingo.

Lord, us baby boomers are the old hippies of the 60's and 70's. They should have classes like Jimmy Hendricks guitar licks 101 LOL. The idea of playing pinochle makes me feel too old.
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Old 10-22-2015, 10:38 PM
 
Location: Sacramento
13,784 posts, read 23,832,033 times
Reputation: 6195
NMSFM, I know a fellow where I volunteer a couple of days a week who moved down to Sacramento from a small town in far Northern California for some of the same reasons you state.

He has been here for a few years now and has found that he is far more integrated into the social network than in his small town. He did give it a six year run in his prior location, so he certainly gave it time to work out.
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Old 10-22-2015, 11:32 PM
 
Location: Living rent free in your head
31,174 posts, read 13,676,183 times
Reputation: 22214
Quote:
Originally Posted by NewToCA View Post
NMSFM, I know a fellow where I volunteer a couple of days a week who moved down to Sacramento from a small town in far Northern California for some of the same reasons you state.
He has been here for a few years now and has found that he is far more integrated into the social network than in his small town. He did give it a six year run in his prior location, so he certainly gave it time to work out.
I'm in Sacramento and it has turned out to be a great place to meet new friends and become involved in volunteer organizations. We go to the Carmichael Farmers market a few times a month and always meet some really nice people, some of whom we have become good friends with.
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Old 10-22-2015, 11:49 PM
 
Location: Cochise county, AZ
4,985 posts, read 3,477,182 times
Reputation: 10538
I also have kept track of Minerva. She sounds happy in Cleveland, also Knoxgarden sounds happy in Knoxville. Things. To think about.
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Old 10-23-2015, 04:40 AM
 
2,744 posts, read 732,184 times
Reputation: 7111
OP, sounds like you gave it a fair shot. And you are going back into city life with your eyes wide open, knowing it won't be perfect, but will give you a better fit.

I'm like you. An introvert who needs some social connection. That's why I've always lived in condos in the suburbs. Yeah, rural settings provide a charming idea, but too limited in scope and depth.

I appreciate your honesty. So often on here, people will recommend volunteering, as if it will provide nirvana in terms of fulfillment as well as wonderful new friendships. But just as not every paid job provides fulfillment or friendship, so it is with volunteer work. In fact, it can possibly be worse because a lot of people's worlds have already shrunk and they are zealously guarding their little fiefdoms.

And yes, there SHOULD be some acknowledgement that some of us have retained our hippieish vibe and would rather do stuff that relates to that than bingo and pinochle as our grandmothers did.

Wish you the best on your move! I do believe in blooming where you are planted, but if the conditions are absolutely not right, no plant or person can bloom!

2 sleepy, what a wonderful way to meet people---at the Farmer's Market!
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Old 10-23-2015, 06:12 AM
 
2,187 posts, read 1,271,494 times
Reputation: 2498
Quote:
Originally Posted by froglipz View Post
Good advice on renting in a new area before buying.
Also, walk around the area you are moving to. Getting stuck somewhere in a lease.........can be frustrating; still better than buying until you know the area. Lots to ponder. Still, quality of life matters.
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