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Old 12-02-2016, 11:27 PM
 
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If all goes as planned, I will be working for another 13 months, taking a couple of months off to rest up and pack, and then moving from the Boston area to a small Western town. I have been working third shift in a psychiatric hospital for many years and am worn out.

But my co-workers (and often patients, too) are from all over the world. There is time and space for conversation at night. I have met and conversed with people from all over, from so many countries and am so much richer for it. It makes the world seem less lonely.

I will not miss the actual work and stressors involved, nor the physical stress of night shifts.

I am making good money (for me) and wonder if I'm crazy to give it up to become a pensioner and move somewhere where there is no work.

I feel finished with this work and with East Coast life.

I fear waking up in my little house in Colorado with the same furniture and dogs and books and wondering what the hell have I gone and done.

I feel like this is my last hurrah at taking a chance with my life.

Thank you for listening.

-- from the manic-depressive acute unit at 1a EST
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Old 12-03-2016, 12:33 AM
 
Location: New Mexico
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I did this a few years ago. You are making changes on many levels at once so it is normal to be cautious and questioning the decision. Sounds like you are ready to leave your work life behind. Everybody leaves work friends when they retire but you don't have to give up close friends. I make a point to keep track of old friends and make the 1,000 mile trip back about once a year and they visit me on occasion. Some I talk to every week on the internet. You must know that small town Colorado will be a drastic change from Boston. Your dogs and furniture (maybe just some furniture?) will be familiar when not much else is. From that point it is up to you to get out, make new friends, make a new life while you still can.


People commented on how 'brave' and 'daring' I was to make such a life changing move. It seems that a lot of people want to do it but have too many anchors keeping them where they are. You are lucky if you can do it.
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Old 12-03-2016, 01:25 AM
 
Location: Florida Gulf Coast
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Kind of sounds nice to me! Do you already have a place out there? With "the Internet", it's so easy to keep in touch with far-flung family and friends. I am closer to some of my cousins on Facebook than I ever was when I lived near them up North.
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Old 12-03-2016, 01:33 AM
 
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The only anchor I have for myself is familiarity/inertia. I have certainly been thinking about the ways I will get out into the community. Have gotten certified for horse handling for therapeutic horseback riding and am in touch with a program where I could volunteer out in CO. Of course, there's the animal shelter, too. I want a horse life while I'm healthy enough to enjoy it and just couldn't see one outside of Boston (I don't like ring riding, I want the trails, and I want the mountain trails out in CO).

For such a small town, there are a fair number of transplants (although few from the East Coast). My new county voted blue as did the adjoining county where the ski resort is (Telluride). Every time I go out there, I look up people and take them to lunch to discuss volunteering and life in the town. I do have a family of sorts out there- the family of the people who used to run the guest ranch where I went so many times. The older lady owner recently passed on, but she said I was family and her two of her children (in their 50s) are in the town and have accepted me as "a member of the clan." I had certainly hoped to get some time as a near neighbor of the older lady, but knew it might very well not happen due to her age and health.

I will certainly go to town meetings and such to get an understanding of the issues and opinions in the town. I've been getting the local newspaper by mail for many years and it's a pretty good little paper. I even got a letter to the editor published last week, with praise for their election and ballot coverage!

I'll be 65 when I get out there. If I waited another year, it would make a financial difference, but so would working five more years or ten or whatever. Where to draw the line? What is "enough?"

Just looking at woodstoves online for my new little house and marveling at how much money I put into my house here in Mass. because I figured it was my last house!
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Old 12-03-2016, 01:46 AM
 
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Add: I bought a small lot right in town and will be building a small house (800 sq.ft.) I wanted to be right in town and with my dogs, couldn't see renting. There is little available for sale in town and most houses are real old or real big or real outside of town. So I'll get exactly what I want. Last time I went out I interviewed builders and hired the right one.

I do think I'll appreciate the internet a great deal for staying in touch. I love to type and have already re-established far-flung friendships via Facebook. I will stay in touch with a few people from work, who can pass on my "news" to the job people. Yes, most people do have stabilizing influences that keep them here in pricey Mass., be they ball-and-chain types or something more... appealing. I grew up in south Jersey and couldn't wait to leave at 18. I do feel I've become a New Englander but also felt like a Mountain Western person. No other regions appeal to me emotionally (never mind weather, belief-system, etc.) There is a couple who consider me family here in Mass., but they are planning a move to western Mass. for retirement. It's like this is a great area to go to school or have a career job/climbing, but it does seem that people move after that.

I'm amazed at the number of people who make their retirement decision to stay or where to move based on grandkids. I had no idea it was so important to so many people. I suffer the opposite issue- belonging with no one and nowhere, both a tremendous freedom and (on low days) a real sense of isolation. How many people have to pay someone to be their executor?

As I sit here at work and it nears 4am and I so wish I wasn't working, even though the night is quiet. Been doing this long enough. Had a nice conversation with a Pakistani co-worker and then a Haitian co-worker. But they will move on as do most co-workers, for career/family/retirement. I've seen it over the years. It is nice to know that some people will miss me. I think one thing is, I apparently don't look my age, and no one expected me to be retiring in 13 months, never mind moving out West.

I just got weary of making every vacation a trip to ride horses out West and thinking of retirement here, of taking the same vacations. Why not just move there?!

At worse, I'll be a dog-adopting hermit and might be considered a bit odd. Nothing new there!

And while Ridgway, CO, isn't exactly low cost, I'm coming from the Boston area, and COL isn't my main concern. Humidity is, and views of the big mountains, and a horse life and the possibility of learning how to become involved in a community.
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Old 12-03-2016, 02:37 AM
 
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Bright doglover, when you change something going forward, it never means you lose what you once had. Your life on the east coast, your colleagues, your important work, will always be a part of you, always be something you had. You are just making a decision that you don't need to carry some of these things forward in life with you. I had 35 years of living in the big city, going to lots of cultural events, and traveling all over the world for an exciting job. It was right for me at the time. Living a much quieter life now, part of the pleasure is the contrast. And listening to music now, mostly recorded or televised, part of the enjoyment is the recollection of attending so many live events. Change doesn't mean you were unhappy before, just that you're ready for something different. It sounds as though you are ready for this.

I was talking to someone the other day about how when you make such a huge change in your life, for no reason except that you want to, you can be pretty confident that it is a good decision for you in the short term. But until you actually do it, live it for several years, you don't know whether the change is right for you long-term. You can't. So just go into this with realistic expectations and the best possible self knowledge. Should you find out in several years that you were mistaken, or that your needs have changed again, stay flexible. I'm still very happy with my big move after retirement, but occasionally give some thought to my options in case, in future years, the quiet and remoteness would no longer be a good fit.

And one great comfort is that in the digital age, you can carry much more with you than ever before, should you care to. Books, concerts, plays, movies, all online. Old friends on Facebook, discussion groups on all topics on forums. If you decide you made a mistake, and you can't get out of it, at least the Internet makes it a little less intractable.

Best wishes!
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Old 12-03-2016, 02:40 AM
 
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I think you're making an excellent decision! You'll have horses to ride and horses to use therapeutically as a volunteer and be able to indulge in your love of horse riding frequently, a house you're having built to suit you, dogs, fresh air & lovely scenery & nature. Sounds great.

You won't have your job to count on for interaction & conversation, but that would be true whether you stayed in Boston or live in Colorado. You're reliant on your job to provide interaction & some emotional sustenance, but that will change and you'll find other ways to provide some emotional sustenance. Most everyone stops working at some point (except the few who never do) so do not worry, you'll enjoy your life!

You have so much more than so many retirees! Nothing to worry about. And you are not the only retiree who is alone - there are many, so don't feel that you are unusual.

Be grateful that you are very lucky to be able to move to Colorado where you can enjoy horse riding frequently in a lovely scenic nature environment, that you can build yourself a new house, that you can have dogs, and that you will no longer need to make a living and can pursue interests. And if you do not succeed completely in life as a retiree, you will surely succeed in many aspects of it.

Last edited by matisse12; 12-03-2016 at 03:47 AM..
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Old 12-03-2016, 04:03 AM
 
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Thank you all for so much excellent advice and support! I have long told myself that no thoughts of mine after 3am should be taken seriously, but sometimes as the night wears on I worry. You have all been most encouraging and I thank you most kindly.
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Old 12-03-2016, 04:10 AM
 
1,137 posts, read 570,860 times
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Colorado is beautiful!! DW and I lived there for 10 years- the other side of the Rockies, between Boulder and Estes Park. You won't have to worry about humidity (nosebleeds due to LACK of humidity are another thing though!) We didn't even own a snow shovel for the first 5 years; only needed a broom. Some winters, you couldn't pack snow together to make a snowball if your life depended on it...it was too dry. After moving from Co to Maine, everything changed. Needed an ice-pick to make it to the garage! The area you are going to is absolutely beautiful. Have driven the 4x4 trail from Ouray to Lake City, across some of the most beautiful country in the US. You are in for a beautiful retirement.
Good Luck!!
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Old 12-03-2016, 04:16 AM
 
13,322 posts, read 25,574,131 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matisse12 View Post

Be grateful that you are very lucky to be able to move to Colorado where you can enjoy horse riding frequently in a lovely scenic nature environment, that you can build yourself a new house, that you can have dogs, and that you will no longer need to make a living and can pursue interests. And if you do not succeed completely in life as a retiree, you will surely succeed in many aspects of it.
I am so grateful, even while I swoop into fears of bag lady poverty or or or... (I think it's called "catastrophizing" or something I can't spell).

This forum has been so helpful in hearing other people's lives and concerns (and solutions), I so appreciate it and am happy to be on it.
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