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Old 10-02-2017, 06:41 PM
 
Location: Houston
1,151 posts, read 952,454 times
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This is a question I've been struggling with for a while. I unexpectedly retired last year, so making a decision has become more urgent, not because of economic necessity, but rather because I want to spend whatever good years I have left in a place that offers me the most enjoyment.

I grew up in and live in Houston, which has become a big city. The outer regions are extremely suburban and I would be bored living there. Nice place to raise kids, but dull for an older single male. The inner core of the city is more interesting, but (as everyone would expect) nothing like Manhattan or other places that have been dense for a long time.

When I was young, I thought it would be great to live in a house on a mountainside outside of a city. Now, I realize that I would go nuts living there. However, I don't want to stay in Houston -- I won't go into all the reasons, but I'll just say that I have long been ready for a change. But, to where? Cities in the NE are fun to visit, but I feel like I would need to have connections there in order to adapt. Maybe it would be too hard from me to adapt at my age. West Coast cities ... well, there are things I like and things I don't like. LA has been like a 2nd home to me over the years, but it's expensive to live in a nice house close to the ocean there and my sister who lives there keeps telling me that "the big one" is coming. Austin is a possibility ... an up-and-coming city that I know pretty well, but its unfortunately it's like a blast furnace in the summer.
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Old 10-02-2017, 07:28 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, NC, formerly DC and Phila
8,575 posts, read 12,681,399 times
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For retirement, I have thought of spending the summers (4-5 months) in a city and winter at the beach in Florida. I think it would be amazing, but prohibitively expensive to do that in New York City, so lately I've been thinking about Montréal, which I love. We might try out a few different cities the first few years of retirement before deciding on a permanent place. With Airbandb and long-term lease opportunities, we should be able to do that. At the very least, I would live in a walkable town. I refuse to live somewhere where I am required to drive everywhere I need to go.
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Old 10-02-2017, 07:44 PM
 
Location: Houston
1,151 posts, read 952,454 times
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Yeah, I have thought along those lines also. Maybe keep a place in some Texas city for the winter months, but rent during the summers somewhere that is different and has nice summer weather. If it were also walkable, that would be great.

Or, maybe just ditch the homeownership in Texas for a while (property taxes here are too high, anyway) and just rent in different places until we find one that we know that we are comfortable settling down in.

Ultimately -- at least for me -- I don't expect there will be a perfect solution. Any place will be a mixed bag, but at least one can try to find the most comfortable balance ...
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Old 10-02-2017, 07:57 PM
 
982 posts, read 145,180 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoffD View Post
I used to live on the back channel between Portsmouth, NH and New Castle Island. I loved the place but the math didn't work. I couldn't have that much of my net worth tied up in a house and the ownership costs weren't going to be sustainable.

Those views are gorgeous! But I hear you. Doesn't make sense.
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Old 10-03-2017, 02:07 AM
 
5,429 posts, read 3,455,723 times
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I just wanted to mention that I think having access to shopping (and also really good shopping) is over-emphasized. You'll be surprised how little shopping is necessary or even often desired as one grows older.

For one thing, many do not want to accumulate much in one's older years, but rather cut-back in purchasing and possessions. And I think the desire to shop and accumulate can wane. And often, not much is really needed in older years.

As far as groceries, if you're lucky, you can have them delivered. Grocery delivery is very much the trend and more options are sprouting up all the time, and some have existed for quite a while.

Instacart.com which delivers fresh groceries from your local Target, Whole Foods, Cub, & your other local grocery stores, Amazon has gotten into the fresh grocery delivery business in larger cities; it's different from Amazon.com), Peapod.com, Safteway.com, Walmart is starting to deliver fresh groceries (not Walmart.com, but a new service they're developing), FreshStart, Walmart.com, and there are a number of others, some specific to a certain city.

And with all of the above, all the groceries are ordered online. Instacart.com, and Amazon's fairly new fresh groceries delivery in some areas, Peapod.com, Safeway.com - all deliver fresh fruits & fresh vegetables.

(I know there will be people who are not interested in grocery delivery - and others live in more rural or small town areas)

I know some people are not interested in giving up their shopping for consumer goods - clothes, etc - but with others the desire really does wane, as one realizes there really is not that much time left to use things. And I think one's desire can diminish.

And being near a Walmart big box store is not really necessary - everything you buy there can easily be ordered at Walmart.com.

Last edited by matisse12; 10-03-2017 at 02:22 AM..
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Old 10-03-2017, 02:36 AM
 
71,705 posts, read 71,829,507 times
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i disagree , i am not a shopper but i have to say every time i wanted to buy something in the area we had the house in pa i had to accept what walmart or home depot had had , if they even had it .

otherwise i had to order it on line and wait .

there is nothing better than having choices in life .
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Old 10-03-2017, 06:36 AM
 
Location: Center City
6,860 posts, read 7,811,377 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madrone2k View Post
This is a question I've been struggling with for a while. I unexpectedly retired last year, so making a decision has become more urgent, not because of economic necessity, but rather because I want to spend whatever good years I have left in a place that offers me the most enjoyment.

I grew up in and live in Houston, which has become a big city. The outer regions are extremely suburban and I would be bored living there. Nice place to raise kids, but dull for an older single male. The inner core of the city is more interesting, but (as everyone would expect) nothing like Manhattan or other places that have been dense for a long time.

When I was young, I thought it would be great to live in a house on a mountainside outside of a city. Now, I realize that I would go nuts living there. However, I don't want to stay in Houston -- I won't go into all the reasons, but I'll just say that I have long been ready for a change. But, to where? Cities in the NE are fun to visit, but I feel like I would need to have connections there in order to adapt. Maybe it would be too hard from me to adapt at my age. West Coast cities ... well, there are things I like and things I don't like. LA has been like a 2nd home to me over the years, but it's expensive to live in a nice house close to the ocean there and my sister who lives there keeps telling me that "the big one" is coming. Austin is a possibility ... an up-and-coming city that I know pretty well, but its unfortunately it's like a blast furnace in the summer.
Perhaps you are like us. After spending nearly our entire careers in Houston, we knew we wanted to leave when I retired in December 2010. We investigated smaller cities and visited a few such as Providence and Portland, ME. When it came down to really imagining ourselves living in a smaller city day-to-day, we realized that it wasn't big cities we were tired of - it was the bugs, humidity, endless and brutal summers, sprawl and the need to drive traffic-clogged streets to attend to even the simple errands in Houston.

We began visiting the major cities on each coast and found Philadelphia to be a fantastic fit for us. We have lived in Center City for 6 and a half years and couldn't be happier. We walk nearly everywhere - from restaurants to entertainment to shopping to medical appointments. We were able to get down to one car and keep the other only for occasional get-aways. Downsizing to a maintenance-free condo gives us the time to enjoy all the city has to offer. It's not for everyone, I know, but we know several folks in our condo building who retired to the same kind of lifestyle we are enjoying.

It seems you are concerned about setting up a network of friends. Us too. I moved with my DH, however, so unlike you, we at least had one another to rely on. That said, we didn't know a single soul in the city, but we packed up and moved here 3 days after I retired. After we completed most of the tasks associated with creating a new home, I would wake up with a spouse away at the office and think "What now?" Within a few short months, I was volunteering for two organizations in addition to weekly tai chi. Not only did that give me meaningful things to occupy my time, it linked me (and my DH) into a new network of friends.

Finally, I’d like to debunk a tired myth: people in the northeast are not rude but are downright friendly. I’m not sure if you had the same experience as us, but in Houston, upon running into people out and about, invariably they would say upon parting “Let’s get together soon.” We’ll, those invitations never came. Here in Philly, if some suggests getting together, you better have your calendar handy.
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Old 10-03-2017, 08:00 PM
 
Location: SW US
2,220 posts, read 2,038,205 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
I think the best mix is going to be in a suburb or small town within an hour of a fairly major (~2 million CSA size) metropolitan area.

I live in a depressed town of 50,000. We have a small bus system, but it mostly runs during core business hours during the work week. It seems to have mostly a senior ridership. It does run between several of the medical facilities and larger gathering points in town.

The thing about going truly rural is that if you are no longer able to drive and do not have anyone to take you somewhere, you are basically stuck.
Also it is hard to find services for when you can no longer care for your home and yard easily.
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Old 10-03-2017, 08:41 PM
 
2,296 posts, read 1,563,546 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hefe View Post
I'll be very interested in how you feel after going through next summer, I toy with the same notion sometimes but I don't do well in weather extremes.

The only "smaller town/rural area" I think I could handle would be a university small city near a larger metro area, I enjoy nature & views but I also get bored if I can't walk somewhere where there is some sort of "buzz" of folks doing things, a bit of culture, grocery stores, a park.

My brother & sil built a nice house near a small lake in rural PA for weekends & vacations & I can tell now after 5-6 years he is getting bored with the reality of rural life: a lot of out of work or retired people with nothing to do but fish, go to Walmart & drink a lot. His plan was to retire there & sell the big suburban house for a pile, last time I talked to the sil she complained that she "had no friends" up there.

For all the talk of how expensive it is here... & it can be, I spend less than $700/mo in property taxes & housing fees combined (mortgage paid off) for an apartment, I go out to eat often at small ethnic eateries - Mexican, Thai, Peruvian, Italian (run by local folks from those countries) & typically spend under $30 for dinner/drink/tip. NYS doesn't tax my SS & mostly I walk almost everywhere or take mass transit which is typically around $40/mo. So no car expenses ( monthly + down payments/fuel/repairs/insurance) unless I decide once in a while to rent for a day or 2, happens rarely. Huge savings doing that & I think it's healthier as well.

I might end up snowbirding & not moving to the SW, NYC finally has good Mexican food now.
Yeah, I'm anxious to see how I'll do, too. Besides the milder winter weather as opposed to where I am, I'm looking as a single person to also have more connection to people. So, I think this winter I'll try some Meetups in Scottsdale and the Phoenix Metro to begin with. Then I'll see what how I feel about extending the move or making it permanent, etc.

I think ultimately, for me, a retirement community might be best because of others in the same position with willingness to socialize, etc. I suppose the summer weather could get old, but there's ways to escape. I'm just finding as a single person that it's difficult to connect here with like minded folks. I do have relatives here, but I haven't been able to establish the kind of connection I'd hoped for. (Can't go home again, etc.) I get together occasionally but it's not like we do it that often, etc...so that's been disappointing...

Ok, I digress...lol...
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Old 10-04-2017, 05:40 AM
 
12,711 posts, read 14,093,600 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheOldPuss View Post
We're counting down the months - 19 left to go, and then retirement! How many of you relocated to a smaller town/rural area, as opposed to remaining in a larger metropolitan area?
I lived and worked in Manhattan all of my adult life. By retirement time I knew that it would probably be too difficult to live there financially, and I was sick of the noise and crowding wherever you went.

And I wanted nature...birds, flowers, trees, the wind. So, since retirement I have only lived in small cities 20,000 or less or in the countryside. For me it was an excellent decision.
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