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Are you retired? If so, or it's upcoming, do you want to move?

Tina Marie
2 months ago
last modified: 2 months ago

The real estate thread 2katz started got me thinking. As you can tell from that thread (where I got a little sensitive regarding our area), I love where we live. This is HOME. I do not work and my husband owns a business, and although he does not work full time (usually!), he could work from anywhere. Or he could retire. Sometimes when we are traveling we seek out towns and check them out. My sister and BIL moved to Charleston, SC and sometimes I feel like it would be nice to be a bit closer to them (we're 6 hours away). My MIL is still living and my brother lives in the city near us. But mostly, we have a "tribe" here. Our people. Besides loving where we live, we love these people. They have been with us through thick and thin and I can't imagine doing life without them. The kids of our friends think of us as second parents, and their children think of us as an extra set of grandparents LOL. I can't imagine leaving that. What about you? Do you want to stay close to your family? We don't have children to consider, but I know many of you have children and/or grandchildren. Is that a big consideration in where you retire? Do you want to stay put, or move to a new location? Inquiring minds want to know!

Comments (83)

  • DawnInCal
    2 months ago
    last modified: last month

    I retired in 2014 at the age of 56. A micro-managing boss who created a hostile work environment turned a job that I loved into an unbearable situation and the minute I was eligible to retire, I jumped at the chance and never looked back. These last eight years have been some of the happiest of my life. Retirement has allowed me to pursue the interests I never had time for when I was working.

    We lived in a small rural town in the mountains of northern California for 32 years and for most of that time we loved it there. But, with climate change came a new kind of much more destructive and dangerous fire season and after living through several of those, we decided we'd had enough. In our minds, it became a matter of not if our house/community would burn, but when it would it burn. Given the direction climate change and the prolonged drought in California and other western states is taking, it's just a matter of time. In addition to the fire situation, our area had been taken over by pot (oops, cannabis) growers and we'd had it with them too. Trust me, they do not make good neighbors. And, the older I get, the less I can tolerate the hot summers of interior California.

    Two years ago, after much discussion, we moved to a small town on the N. California coast. It is a place we'd been spending our summers to get away from the heat, so we were familiar with the area. It's turned out to be a very good move for us. We love the climate (well, hubby sometimes misses those hot sunny summer days, but he doesn't miss the winter snow), there are many things to do, from the ocean to the redwoods it is a beautiful area and there are a lot of great restaurants and an active arts scene. We no longer worry about fires, and while there are growers in our new county, there won't be any in the area we've chosen to live. An unexpected bonus is that climate change has improved the weather here on the coast. There are less overcast foggy days and clear, sunny days are becoming more of the norm, yet the warmest day we had this past summer was 78 degrees.

    The house we bought is a nearly 100 year old farm house (built in 1925) that sits on 2/3 of an acre and that backs up to a greenbelt. Until we bought it, the house had been in the same family all that time. It is in need of renovation and restoration both of which we are doing and that keeps us very busy. As I type this, a crew of roofers is in the process of putting on a new roof. Actually, what they are doing today is tearing off the old roof, and boy, is it ever loud! We are trying to keep a careful balance of modernizing the house while retaining all of the things that give it old fashioned charm such as the glass door knobs, wavy glass windows and most of the old light fixtures. This project is keeping us plenty busy and it's so rewarding to see the house coming together.

    We have no children and the only immediate family we have is my sister who lives in Florida, an aunt in Canada and some distant cousins I have never met. When we decided to move, being closer to family wasn't one of the things we considered as that wasn't even an issue. I do think about what will happen as we get older. One thing we've thought about that would allow us to stay in this house as long as possible is having a full time caregiver move into our upstairs master suite while we would move into one of the downstairs bedrooms. Another possibility is moving into a retirement community, hopefully still being able to live independently, but with care facilities available when the time comes. It's impossible to know what the future holds, so we will see.

    I do know that both of us love this house and we will stay here as long as humanly possible. Since we are both in our early/mid 60's, I hope that will translate into many more happy and healthy years in our home. We have wonderful neighbors who all look out for each other, and while I wouldn't expect that they'd take care of us, I'm sure they would keep an eye on us once we are of advanced age. One of the things we plan to do in the near future is to talk to an attorney or someone who specializes in aging about what our options might be as a couple with no children or immediate family. I honestly don't even know who we will leave our estate to, although I see most of it going to charity.

    I see that I've written a novella, sorry, I do go on sometimes, but this is an issue I think about a lot and I find this to be a very interesting thread.

    Tina Marie thanked DawnInCal
  • LynnNM
    last month
    last modified: last month

    DH retired almost 3 years ago. I helped him run our family practice medical clinic, so I guess I retired then, too, although that was only part-time. I had a long list of volunteer "jobs" that also kept me very busy, as well. After he retired, we talked about downsizing to a smaller place in Santa Fe or down in Albuquerque. Mainly to make traveling easier. And then Covid hit the world! Our home here in these Northern New Mexico mountains is paid for, our acres keep things quiet and peaceful, and we just don't think that we could handle homes closed in all around us, or noisy neighbors! Plus, the views (and weather) here are so incredibly beautiful year-round!

    Our adult son is married and living across the country, which his very specific job demands. He loves that job, so I can't see them moving back to NM any time soon. No grandkids either, sadly. But, they have a large home and love for us to come for visits anytime.

    Our DD is a clinical mental health therapist and, since Covid started, has built up a very nice practice online via Telehealth (sp?). She moved back in with us last December, and has since broken up with her BF, so she is free to live and work anywhere.

    Three years ago, we bought a 34' wonderful fifth wheel RV and have traveled back and forth to visit my very large family in Michigan, as well as other places. After this past 5-week trip back there, though, we've come to the conclusion that we need a smaller, more manageable RV and are going to sell it.

    Honestly, though, as beautiful and wonderful as life is here in New Mexico, if DH and DD would agree, I would move us back to Michigan near my many brothers and sisters and their families. I am so blessed that we are, and have always been, a very close family. No drama with them, just great, warm, enjoyable people. They still are my very best friends, too. And, my DH loves them, and they love him and DD. But . . . he hates the Winters and Springs there. He says that it's too overcast, gray, slushy, and gloomy. And, that he can't play golf there year-round, as he does here (well, on and off during December and January-LOL!).

    My plan now, which I haven't proposed to him yet, is to not buy a smaller RV, but instead buy a small place near my siblings back in Michigan and spend part of our Summers and Autumns there near them instead. Most live out in the country near Lake Huron in southeastern Michigan, with beautiful ponds and acres of woods around them. Either build on their land or close to them. And, hopefully, talk DD into going back and forth with us. At least until she gets married someday. Hopefully to some guy she meets in Michigan ;~)

    Tina Marie thanked LynnNM
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  • Gooster
    last month

    We hope to pull the trigger and take an early retirement. The plan is to spend time overseas, where we have already bought (south of France). We will keep a US base, close to one family. We've looked at moving but it is mostly not worth it -- those family and friends are the most valuable connections, even if social networks do tend to shift after work ends. However, moving overseas is a like a reset button and enables you to make new connections that supplement the others.

    Tina Marie thanked Gooster
  • Lars
    last month

    I retired about five years ago and bought a second house in Cathedral City (Palm Springs adjacent), which I originally planned to rent half the time as a VRBO, but a month after we closed on that house, CC banned all new VRBOs and then later banned all existing ones. We paid cash for that house, and so there is no mortgage, but there are still a lot of expenses with rent, pool maintenance (which is cheap), and utilities, which are also inexpensive. Property tax is the biggest expense, but we can still afford that as well.

    Kevin plans to retire in three to four years from now because Sony will pay for his health insurance even if he takes early retirement because he was worked for them for more than 20 years. When he retires, he wants to sell our house in Los Angeles and move to the house in Cathedral City. We could sell both houses and buy one in Palm Springs, but I think I would prefer to stay in Cathedral City, as it is quieter, and PS is only 10 minutes away.

    Right now Kevin is looking into keeping the house in L.A. as rental income and will be consulting a financial advisor about that because we might have to pay too much in taxes if we sold it, and then we would have to invest that money as well.

    I would love to move to Italy for retirement, but I don't know how that would work with Medicare. Maybe we could buy a house in Italy when we sell the house in Los Angeles and keep the one is Cathedral City.

    Tina Marie thanked Lars
  • DLM2000-GW
    last month

    @LynnNM I had to laugh at your comment ; Hopefully to some guy she meets in Michigan ;~) and I hoe that wish comes true for you! I hoped for the same thing with our youngest son when he was living here for a while. Alas.... no sparks here - and really no sparks in CO either :-(

    ps - I can't tell you how much I miss MI although I am not familiar with your part of the state - I would live there part time in a heartbeat.

    Tina Marie thanked DLM2000-GW
  • Re Tired
    last month

    My husband retired at 58, and I retired a year later because my sister & brother were planning a 4-week trip to Europe and to search for our roots in Scotland. No way was I missing that. It was a very good choice for us, and we traveled together to many wonderful places before my sister's death last Jan. I'm so glad we made that a priority.


    We did move from Michigan to WA state to be near 2 sons who were already there, and our 3rd decided to make the move too. We love the home we built on a bay of the Sound and being near (1 hour) family. It's been 15 years now, and we've been able to spend precious family time with sons and grands. I wouldn't trade that for anything.


    The upkeep on this home is becoming too much, so we're renovating a condo in the same town (taking forever!) We're putting in a lift, as it's 2 floors. We won't have room for family to spend week-ends with us, but we can be together for the day; and honestly, once the grands become teens, they don't come as much.. We don't really have close neighbors here, so that was another consideration. As we age, being in community with others is a plus, as is a walking trail and services nearby.


    I thought you might like to hear the perspective from someone who's been retired for a long time.





    Tina Marie thanked Re Tired
  • Kswl
    last month
    last modified: last month

    I am really enjoying these accounts of plans made, plans in the making and those already carried out— also all the different perspectives of age, circumstance, geography and profession. I’d love to see us check in every year or so with updates to these plans. This group is nothing if not adaptable, and as dear Trailrunner reminded us……resilient.

    Tina Marie thanked Kswl
  • 3katz4me
    last month

    I have really enjoyed reading everyone's perspective too.

    Tina Marie thanked 3katz4me
  • tishtoshnm Zone 6/NM
    last month

    DH first becomes eligible for his pension in roughly 7 1/2 years. We are not yet sure if he will continue working to increase the pension benefit or retire. If he takes it at that time, we will still be relatively young (he 57 and me 52). I do not really foresee us moving. We were both military brats, so did our fair share of relocating as kids. The cost of living in New Mexico is pretty reasonable and the climate is just about right for us at our mountain home. We get to experience seasons (some snow in the winter, but not all winter long) and a fairly comfortable summer where we generally survive without a/c. I cannot live anywhere too humid because it causes pain in my joints. My parents live nearby though his are quite a distance in the Dallas area. We have no idea where our kids will end up. One is likely to stay in the area, and the other 3 are wild cards. In our semi-rural location, it is not too crowded but we are also not far from the freeway to access the larger city where medical care is. The medical care is somewhat of a question as there is a definite shortage of specialists but that could fluctuate in the intervening years. Another thing is that we have developed extensive gardens on our property and I would really like to see them mature. DH and I also like developing the deep knowledge of one place. We do have a circle of friends here too, but most are older than us so that is likely to fluctuate in the coming years. There is a possibility that we will need to add a master suite downstairs to our house for our later years but that is hopefully a ways down the road.

    Tina Marie thanked tishtoshnm Zone 6/NM
  • maddielee
    last month

    Sorta retired for over 10 years, my DH still is a consultant on his own schedule.


    We were close to downsizing to a ‘garden villa’ about 20 miles from our primary home when the pandemic hit. Then last year our bodies started to show us that we didn’t have the control we thought we did.


    Now, we are very happy to stay put. Our home (since 1983) has the space we need now and the location is convenient to the many health care facilities we never thought we would need.


    I do wish our pool would disappear itself.

    Tina Marie thanked maddielee
  • Kitchenwitch111
    last month

    I don’t mean to be a buzz-kill but when I think of moving in retirement I think of my friend Deb, who’s parents moved to Florida when they retired. Deb’s parents had some good years together in Florida and in the summers they would come north and stay with Deb and help with her two kids during school breaks. Then her dad had a stroke and he lived for years in a Florida nursing home and was unable to do anything for himself. Her parents refused to move back north and twice a year Deb would go to Florida using her limited paid vacation time to visit her parents and give her mother a break. Then suddenly her mother had a heart attack and died. Getting Deb’s father back north and into a nursing home was an ordeal and cost a lot of money. Her father by that time was on Medicaid so getting him on that in a new state was another thing to navigate and then every day after work for the next year and a half she went to the nursing home to feed him and do the things a Medicaid nursing home does not do. Deb ended up having her own health problems from the stress and then her father eventually died.

    If you don’t have a lot of resources it’s hard enough to help aging parents nearby but from a distance it can be really awful.

    Tina Marie thanked Kitchenwitch111
  • eld6161
    last month

    Kitchen, that's a good point. Some people very lucky. I have home in a gated community in Florida. My HOA has 15 homes. 1/3 are upper 80/90’s. It all depends on your health.

    I know many people move back when their health starts decline, but not everyone has those resources.

    Tina Marie thanked eld6161
  • LynnNM
    last month
    last modified: last month

    I saw that over and over the years that I lived in Florida. And, all the years that my parents and, before them, my grandparents, had winter homes in Florida after they retired! Retirees thinking their adult kids will come down on vacations and bring the grands. But, retirement homes/condos/etc. are usually short on spare bedrooms for visiting families. Kids have athletic games, etc etc., they’re in at home, which complicates things further. Traveling back and forth can get pricey and complicated, especially during holiday time. Aging down there, I’ve seen too many times to count, adds many added complications for everyone involved, including my own late parents and grandparents. The last, saddest thing I saw with my relatives, their friends, and my patients (when I was still single and working in medicine down there) was being afraid to fly back to visit family over Thanksgiving and Christmas because they were very concerned about catching a nasty virus while traveling or from the grands once there. And, so they sadly ended up spending these wonderful family holidays alone in Florida. After seeing this over and over again, I personally would never move away from my family. But, that’s just me.

    Tina Marie thanked LynnNM
  • summersrhythm_z6a
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Covid has changed the way people think. More empty nesters keep their big homes without downsizing, and upsizing became a trend these days. The houses with in-law apt are hard to grab even with high price tags around here.

    We're empty nesters, love where we are, not moving, no downsizing. We are not retired yet, DH might retire in a few years, I still have many years to work.

    Tina Marie thanked summersrhythm_z6a
  • cawaps
    last month

    I am not retired or particularly near retirement, but my only child went off to college this year. I've been thinking about moving for years, mostly because of Bay Area (CA) cost of living, but as a divorced parent with 50/50 custody it was easier to stay.


    My daughter leaving the nest is an opportunity to relocate (I've been working remotely since the pandemic started, so work isn't an issue), but my plans have not gelled yet. In fact they are all over the place. In order to make the move make financial sense, I need to move to a lower cost area. It will take me a while to make any decisions, I think.

    Tina Marie thanked cawaps
  • just_terrilynn
    last month
    last modified: last month

    I’m not sure what we are doing. My husband was going to retire this year. We sold our house with the thought of moving from the northern Palm Beach county area to central west coast Florida. We wanted to be able to walk to a cute little town or take a golf cart. We had our pub and coffee shop picked out. My childhood friends who winter near along with an aunt were excited. The right house hasn’t presented itself . In the mean time my husband got cancer. The area I had picked wasn’t the area hit by the hurricane but I am now not sure of the whole thing. We have no home (renting) and feel like we are living in purgatory. We’ll get through this but the uncertainty of it all is a bit wearing .

    Tina Marie thanked just_terrilynn
  • Tina Marie
    Original Author
    last month

    @just_terrilynn, i hate to hear that about your husband! if you mentioned it here before, i either didnt see or had forgotten. i hope he is doing okay!

  • 1929Spanish-GW
    last month

    @just_terrilynn - sending good thoughts your way. Best laid plans…….right?!?

    Tina Marie thanked 1929Spanish-GW
  • eld6161
    last month

    (Hugs Just Terri)

  • Bestyears
    last month

    ((((hugs Just Terri)))). I came to this thread this morning to post a bit of a warning, and just_ Terrlynn's post makes my case. My husband is 15 years older than I am, and so when he retired, our youngest was still in middle school. That meant we couldn't just take off and travel the way we might have otherwise. Since we loved that phase in our lives, I just figured we would travel later. But what I discovered was that by the time "later" came around, my husband had kind of hunkered down into retirement and he'd gotten less adventurous. It became a struggle for me to cajole him into things because he was content being home. We still had adventures, but we went to Santa Fe instead of the European tour we had discussed, etc. And then came the pandemic. And then he was hospitalized for a month in ICU. He wasn't fully recovered from that, but he had made significant strides, and then we were hit in a terrible car accident six months ago. He has just not recovered from that, though the root cause is a bit of a mystery. He's lost about 10% of his body weight, and since he was very lean to start with, that means he's lost a lot of muscle. He also has a lot of difficulty breathing while doing simple everyday tasks. And because of the condition of his lungs now, he cannot fly, nor can he go to a high-elevation destination. I'm not the first person to issue this warning -but don't wait. Learn from our mistake. Make your plans and go. Things can change fast.

  • Tina Marie
    Original Author
    last month

    @Bestyears I am so sorry to hear your husband is still struggling. Thank you for your words of wisdom, you are so right. We have friends who are dealing with this right now. Our friend's dad has some type neuro disease and is bedridden. His wife has help caring for him. She has turned into quite a bitter, negative person and it is mainly because she is so unhappy with their life. Not how she thought "retirement" would play out. My friend spends a good bit of her time at her parents' house as the mom had some health problems a couple of months ago and is not doing well at rehab (for strength). My friend's dad has to be moved from bed to chair (and back) with a lift, which my friend and her husband go over twice daily to do this. So not only does this limit the time of the parents, but also my friends. They can never travel unless my friend's sister comes in from out-of-state to stay with the parents. Occasionally they have done an overnight with their oldest son staying. It's a sad situation. I so agree with you on not waiting. You never know what tomorrow brings. Or even this afternoon. Life can change in a minute.

  • Feathers11
    last month

    Bestyears and Justterrilynn, thank you for sharing your experiences. They're good reminders, and the lessons are not lost here.

  • DLM2000-GW
    last month

    The best laid plans..... All the planning in the world and you can still get the rug pulled out from under you. Friends move or die, kids get new job offers, our bodies decide it's time to make thing interesting.... Do the best you can with what feels like the right option and cross your fingers. None of it is guaranteed.

    @just_terrilynn & @Bestyears wishing you both calmer waters.

  • DawnInCal
    last month

    Terrilyn and Bestyears, I am sorry that life has thrown you a curve and send my very best wishes that things improve for you.


    Not putting things off is a good lesson for people of all ages to learn. It's not just us older people who have unexpected things happen. I know of a 30 year old woman who was diagnosed with brain cancer. One of the things she said was that she had two pretty dresses that she never wore because she was saving then for a special occasion that never seemed to come. Then she got sick and was unable to wear the dresses. She was so mad at herself for not wearing those dresses. I think they became something of a symbol to her of how quickly her life had changed. She died a few months later and was buried in one of her pretty dresses.


    I'm telling you that sticks with me to this day; I really took it to heart as it was so sad and such an important lesson to learn.


    I started using the wedding crystal every day, wore those shoes I didn't want to get scuffed up and instead of putting off those big trips until later, we realized a life long dream of spending extended time in SE Asia and traveling to Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. We've been there three times now; it would have been more often, but Covid interrupted our travel plans. We are planning to go again next winter. We'd go this winter, but our house renovations are the focus right now.


    We are replacing the kitchen stove and just spent a ridiculous amount of money on a Miele because we love to cook and we want a top of the line stove. It's currently sitting in our dining room and hubby will have it installed in the next day or two; I can't wait to use it!


    And, the big move we made last year and that I posted about earlier was something we'd talked about for years. It was difficult and scary and stressful, but we are so happy here and i can't imagine ever having any regrets. I'm glad we didn't put it off any longer.


    I guess the point I'm trying to make is to do what brings you joy and do it now rather than later. Whether it's using the good china, enrolling in that that class you've always wanted to take or going on a big trip, live life now while you can because none of us knows what the future will bring.





    Tina Marie thanked DawnInCal
  • runninginplace
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Bestyears and terrilyn, I'm so sorry to hear of the unexpected and very unwelcome detours life has thrown at both of you!

    Don't wait rings very true to me also. We saw it happen to my husband's brother (only sibling). He was an engineer who worked at a stressful job for 40+ years, finally retired at 65 and moved with my SIL from crazy Miami to their dream retirement location, beautiful tranquil Stuart FL.

    They bought and remodeled a home to perfection and then 2 years later he was diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer. He died last summer having lived only 5 years after his retirement and move. I'm haunted by that, and by the truth that life will happen and you can never, never know what it will bring-and when.

    We split the difference WRT retirement moving. When husband got close to 65 YO we started talking idly about if we'd like to move. Hadn't really considered it till he popped up with a suggestion to consider the Keys-at the time we lived in Miami. At that point I was still working presumably for another few years since I was 61 and we were primary caretakers for his mom and my dad, both of whom were aging and who we needed to stay close to.

    Luckily and coincidentally they lived close to each other, and we were about 45 minutes north of them. So one day we drove to their location, looked at our watches and drove 45 minutes south instead. That was our starting point for the house search.

    We "upsized" when we found an amazing waterfront house with space enough for hosting our large extended family. My husband could enjoy his beloved diving and it met my priority: it was in a real neighborhood so I wasn't living in a weekday ghost town when I retired--much of the Florida Keys is now vacation rental properties or seasonally owned.

    We bought the house, he retired a few months later and immediately starting spending almost all his time down there-when he took the cat I knew that was it LOL. I didn't make it to 65, ended up retiring before my 62nd birthday because I couldn't wait to get down with him and start living the dream.

    It's been incredible and wonderful, even though COVID meant those family gatherings haven't happened for the past few years of course. But we love it down here and it is close enough to our family. My dad died last year too and my MIL is alive although vegetative in assisted living. Meanwhile, son and DIL also live in Miami and gave us a grandchild last year. We're still going to our doctors, we still use the same airport, stores and so on. We both have very rewarding volunteer activities and have met and made some wonderful new friends. Life is very full.

    We do discuss next steps for us as we age-a friend commented to me that this is almost certainly the last place we will live in together which is probably true. I hope we both stay healthy enough to be here a long time as a couple. I hope Key Largo doesn't draw a bullseye storm. I hope sea level rise doesn't make it impossible to live down here.

    But one never knows. We still own a rental property in Miami a few blocks from our previous home, so that's an option if he's the first to go and I want to move back though it wouldn't really appeal to me unless my son/DIL are still in Miami. My daughter in suburban DC has already made it clear she would want me living close, and I could definitely see myself in some kind of elder living situation there-I love DC's energy. If my husband is the last man standing he wants to stay here forever--I worry he would be one of those heartbreaking elderly parents that would make our kids' lives very difficult by being stubborn.

    But who knows what life will bring. For now everything is great and I consciously try to appreciate and treasure every day of health and sunshine and family and good friends that we are blessed to enjoy.

  • 3katz4me
    last month

    Such words of wisdom to not put life off to a later date. I experienced three life threatening illnesses between age 15 and 55. DH had one at age 57. All is good now, at age 65, but we are well aware how quickly that could change. We are still adventurous and reasonably able bodied and up for considering a new location for our second home. Whether we stay or go there are no children to be burdened with the ramifications of our decision. And nothing's permanent - if we move and it doesn't work out we will have our aging in place home to come back to. We are very fortunate to be in a position to have these choices. My parents weren't so fortunate and I often wonder what they'd think about the kind of life I live - high on the hog they'd probably say.

    Tina Marie thanked 3katz4me
  • Tina Marie
    Original Author
    last month

    Just read through these last responses. Running, love hearing how happy you and your husband are in your new location. We have thought of a second place, but really don't think it is for us. I'm not sure if my sister and BIL will ever move back this way; I really don't see it and I don't see us moving closer to them. Plus, my brother is not in the best of health, and he is in a city near us, I would not want to leave him. We love our small town and I cannot imagine leaving our closest friends, who really are family to us. The four of us say we will stick it out till the end - being there for each other and their two sons, and especially one dil, say they will be here to help us if needed. Thankfully our home was built with aging in mind and we have no need to move from here. I am grateful to have retired early and know that working (at least a bit) is important to my husband, to keep him healthy and happy. He must be active. I'm not sure how much longer he will put off full retirement (he's 62), but I predict in the next couple of years. He is enjoying our longer trips, etc. I think if one of us ever had to go to AL, the other would go also. The AL facility my dad was in had a few couples there together, they even allowed small pets! Hoping we do not need to go that route, but at least we have a plan in mind. Hoping we can age in place in our home and just hire assistance for the yard, etc. as needed. We are indeed fortunate to be able to do what we want to do.

  • maire_cate
    last month
    last modified: last month

    DH never planned on retiring. He loved his career, his practice and his patients - and became close to many of them during the 40 years he worked. As so many others have mentioned - you never know what life will bring. In his case he survived a major heart attack but it left him with a damaged heart. He ultimately returned to work full time but with a damaged heart muscle he didn't have the stamina and started reducing his hours until finally retiring 5 years later.

    DH also never planned on leaving our family home of 35 years that we had renovated several times - adding 1000 sq ft, 5th bedroom, 4th bathroom a pool and a screened in porch. We raised 3 kids and my Dad lived lived with us for many years. DH's life was his family, work and his home and our getaway property in the mountains of NE PA.

    But he accepted that we needed to downsize and simplify so we sold our family home and moved 8 miles away to an over 55. He wasn't keen on moving here but we gutted the place and made put in everything we wanted. Our lot is in the back of the small neighborhood and is very private with a large wooded area. It has taken him awhile to get used to a smaller yard but now we're free to spend more time at our other place and most importantly all 3 kids live within 30 minutes. My 2 brothers are out of state and his sister died a few years agol. Our nieces and nephews are in the 40's and have families of their own and busy lives. Neither of us ever considered leaving the area. We like where we are - by the time we become annoyed with one season the next one is just around the corner. We still have the same old friends and made many new ones here. And the medical facilities are top notch which is important - DH had a 6 hour open heart surgery 4 years ago and is now facing another major medical issue.

    In 4 years we went from no grandchildren to 4 little girls under the age of 5. Our greatest happiness is watching our kids become parents and spending time with them and the girls is our greatest joy. He's never been a traveler but I'd been on several vacations with girlfriends until Covid hit and we're just now contemplating traveling again.

    I do wish I had been able to travel more but his health and Covid has severely impacted those plans. But I am content, I have really good friends and enjoy my life. Finding contentment is the key to a good retirement,

    And tomorrow I babysit the 3 year old and 1 year old while my DS and DDIL meet old friends.



    Edited to add- We did have a plan when we picked this home in this community. Hopefully we'll both be here for many years but if we need a live-in helper we have a full bath, bedroom and loft on the second floor. It's also manageable if one is us is living here alone.

    Tina Marie thanked maire_cate
  • sergeantcuff
    last month

    My husband and I had long planned to move to the city (Baltimore) from the suburbs when he retired. Since Covid, he’s been able to work from home so we made that move last year. I miss my large garden, but it’s been wonderful to be closer to the cultural stuff that I enjoy so much.


    We considered moving elsewhere but the cost of living is lower here than in other places we like. I would love to move abroad for a few years at least but DH is not interested and his elderly mother is here.


    I was hoping to have more of a social life here. I’ve met some like-minded people and have great new neighbors, but still no friends. I’ve always been a bit of an oddball though and do many things by myself. No enemies at least! DH is retiring in a few months and I don’t want us to “live in each others pockets.”

    Tina Marie thanked sergeantcuff
  • summersrhythm_z6a
    last month

    My goodness. Hope all the husbands who are going through difficulties recover and be healthy again.


    Tina Marie thanked summersrhythm_z6a
  • Bestyears
    last month
    last modified: last month

    sergentcuff -do you know about the OLLI program? (Osher Lifelong Learning Inst.) This program offers university courses at reduced rates specifically for seniors who are interested in continuing education courses. I just looked them up and Johns Hopkins participates. I thought it might be of interest to you because participating in a class that meets regularly is kind of a low-risk way of meeting people -lots of repeat interactions while you decide if someone is friend material. OLLI at JHU

  • sergeantcuff
    last month

    Bestyears - no, I’ve never heard of that. Thank you! I will look into that for the Spring. I assumed it was for seniors (I am ”only” 54) but it looks like it’s for 50+.

  • Kswl
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Our state offers free classes at any state university or college on a space available basis to all residents 62 and older. Most seniors don’t know about the program and it would be a great way to meet people of similar interests.

  • SeattleMCM
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Yes, we're moving. My husband is Canadian and the deal always was for us to eventually settle there to benefit from the better health care. The pacific northwest is the only region I like, so this probably means Vancouver. The plan is to work there a couple of years, then retire early -- around 50.

    On one hand, it breaks my heart to leave Seattle, but I'm looking forward to trying out a new city, and living there will completely shake up our lifestyle, which is actually pretty exciting to me.

  • jsk
    last month

    This is an interesting topic to me. I haven't read all the responses yet.

    We are in our early 60s and both still working, but we both work from home full time, so we could move anywhere.

    Our DD, DSIL and my 2 precious grandchildren live an hour away. For me, that is much too far. I would like to eventually move closer to them. My DD is dying for us to move closer. Like really close. Ideally within 15 minutes.

    However, DH is not on board with that plan. He has no desire to move. He reminds me that when we bought our house 25 years ago, I said we were never moving again. Yes, I did, but I did not know our daughter would eventually move to a neighboring state (what was I thinking letting her go to college in another state??? ;-)

    Right now, DH's elderly parents live an hour away in the opposite direction of our daughter. DH is understandably not willing to move further from them as we don't know how much help they will need in the near future (they are both in their 90s). Therefore, I am not pushing it, and quite honestly I love my house and finding another I love as much will be difficult. But it will become an issue eventually. Especially once I do retire (hopefully in the next 3 years or so) and want to spend a lot more time with the grandchildren.

  • Gooster
    last month

    Having the thread revived again allowed me to read the cautionary tales from bestyears and others. It is a great reminder to not delay, as you don't know what the future may bring.


    We had planned to "FIRE" ourselves but its been delayed and pushed out (just "one more year"). But time and time again we hear stories where great retirement plans have been scuttled by health or circumstance.


    A couple weeks ago we were sitting at lunch in a little wine village in the northern Provence and met a couple that were moving from location to location in Europe, chasing weather and whims on the fly, moving to a new location with last minute reservations. That is living the moment. (The next picture we got from them was from a off-the grid location I had mentioned at lunch)

  • DawnInCal
    last month

    Gooster, I had a co-worker who retired along with his wife. They sold everything they owned, from their house to their silverware, stuffed whatever they could carry into backpacks and hit the road. Last I heard, they were trekking around South America and signing up for immersion programs that let them live with local families and improve their Spanish language skills. They are in their late 60's and having a blast. Every now and then, they'll buy plane tickets to visit their kids and grandkids in the US before heading off for their next adventure.

  • mtnrdredux_gw
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Jterri, I'm so sorry to hear about your husband's health issue.

    Bestyears, I recall the car accident, so unsettling to hear it has led to chronic health issues; I hope you can get some answers.

    I have blathered on and on about this subject, so feel free to SOB!

    For the record; our youngest just went off to college. We plan to make our beachhouse our primary family home, get a pied a terre within an hour or so, and travel during the yucky months (those months that are post snow, which i enjoy, and pre the green-leafiness).

    I noticed that a lot of posts seem to advise not to retire too late, and not to wait to spoil yourself. My reply is "not so fast."

    I retired (essentially) in my late 40s and now I think I retired too soon – I like work and have too much free time now that we are empty nesters. DH retired in his early 40s but found a lot of ways to use his skills.

    I look at my Mom living to 94 and think, man that is expensive to live that long (especially the way we do), maybe I should be more frugal!

    What’s the joke? We make plans, and God laughs.

    Make decisions that seem right for the time, enjoy the present, and be prepared to adjust.

  • 3katz4me
    last month

    Well I'm adventurous enough to move to an entirely new place but not with what I can carry in a backpack. I like a home I can settle into with reasonable creature comforts.

    On the topic of when to retire: I think if you like your work, and are keeping up with the times related to it, it's good to keep working as long as you can get away enough to also enjoy other things in life. If you're miserable going to work every day or it's all consuming and you are missing out on life then moving into retirement is probably best as long as you can fund it for the rest of your days. I can't imagine retiring in my 40's. I felt like that was the prime of my life and I loved my work. When I was 62 I knew it was time to move on. I wasn't miserable working but I was no longer passionate about my work. Every day I was way too distracted thinking about (and planning for) personal things I wanted to be doing.

  • mtnrdredux_gw
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Yes, it was the prime of my career, but is was also when our kids were young. We retired to be able be more hands on with our kids, and we were. My kids essentially had 2 full time parents after the youngest finished kindergarten.

    I hope that was a good thing, we assumed it would be. Of course they have no frame of reference for how hard and long we worked until that point. I hope they can get the hang of it LOL.

  • Caroline Hamilton
    last month
    last modified: last month

    These stories are all very interesting and have given me a lot to think about - thank you! I am in my late 40’s and my husband is 60. I own a business and have been fortunate to work from a home office for nearly my entire career. This has given me the time and flexibility to raise our son (only child) who is now 17 and will be in college next year. It will be a complete lifestyle change for me as he has been the focus of my life for so many years. I am looking forward to expanding my business next year, there is so much more I want to do, including hiring more employees. Being an empty nester will allow me the time to devote to my work.

    My husband, on the other hand, is now retiring from his second career, which means a second pension. He wants to devote more time to our house flipping business which is not full time as we generally do 1-2 properties a year. He wants to wind down and travel while we are in good health. However, I feel like I am just getting started. He also initially wanted to move more south (both of our homes are in NJ) but we’ve decided to stay here for now. I am sure there is a happy medium in there somewhere!

  • Allison0704
    last month
    last modified: last month

    This, by Mtn. - Make decisions that seem right for the time, enjoy the present, and be prepared to adjust.

    Interesting thread, I've enjoyed reading such varied thoughts and plans. Sorry to hear of the DH's having health problem. DH has them too, and it is one of the reasons we moved to FL early last year. I never thought I would move away from our children and grandchildern, and DH says if not for CV, I probably would not have. Daily FT with our youngest DGD and DD2 helps, and being only 4.5 hours away, I can visit often. DD2 recently moved and I have my own bedroom and bath now. She would love for us to eventually live with them, but I don't see that happening if DH was living. I probably would at some point, but not at my current age and health.

    The main reason DH wanted to move was warmer weather for his aching body. While we do get cooler temps, he can still swim and sit in the spa 2x a day. He only missed a day or two last winter. He has met a lot of people walking daily. One of our neighbors is the 10yr older version of DH and they talk in the mornings when they see each other. My sister bought a place a few minutes away and comes every other month. Last year DD2 and her family came often, and DH or I would bring our DGS back with us for weeks at a time when we went to Drs or to visit family. Less so this summer, but between them coming here and us there, there has been just as many if not more days together.

    We started retiring in 2016, working for ourselves. It had become more PT for DH years before that, and we fully retired in 2019. He did the day to day and I did the paperwork (owned and managed our commercial RE). I know DH would like to travel more, but I think he worries about being away and something happening with his health. He has Calcium Deposition Disease, RA and neuropathy. Back surgery, two neck surgeries, shoulder surgery and lots of knee scopings. He has to be extremely careful about making almost any move, because the slightest move (right or wrong) can cause issues for weeks. Almost two weeks ago he developed Bell's Palsy. It isn't a bad case, so until he blinks (and one eye doesn't close) or he smiles, you wouldn't be able to tell. That has depressed him a bit because he feels like it is always something. He can't catch a break.

    Anyway, our lives focused on our three children, work and our parents for so long, that it is nice to be (mostly) focusing on ourselves for a change. I know this wasn't our last move, but it was the right move for this time in our lives.

  • chinacatpeekin
    last month

    Excellent thread! I’m so sorry to hear of the health problems and medical issues discussed above. {{{Hugs}}} to all of you! I’m soon to be 72, retired almost 2 years ago, the month I turned 70. I loved my work in pediatric nursing, had an easy three-day-a-week schedule with lots of vacation time, and so had not planned to retire quite then, but Covid…changed our work environment, to say the least. So I gave 6 months notice, and retired. I do miss the daily contact with patients, their families, and my coworkers, but otherwise I’m loving retirement far more than I’d expected.
    I have a smallish 1914 Craftsman, recently renovated in a great neighborhood in the East Bay. I’ve been here since my late husband and I bought it -the first house we looked at- in 1987. I have no plans to move. I grew up a few miles away, in Berkeley, and my roots are here and deep.
    My sisters live nearby, and so do both my DD, DS and DIL. My DD is currently living in the newly built basement ADU (an ideal situation we agree) and someday it could provide living space for a caregiver for me, or I could move into the ADU and rent out the main house, and travel, or not:)
    Living here, I have a great circle of friends who get together quite often, ideal weather, museums, live music, great food, etc- I feel very fortunate! Until recently, I’d thought I’d like to live in France for a period of time, but as I’m getting older that vision is changing to a wish for shorter, more frequent vacation trips- I love my home here, and miss it when I’m gone. This weekend I returned from a 25 day trip to Europe, and although it was wonderful, I also am so happy to be home again. If I had a partner, long term travel would likely seem very attractive, but I’m solo, and although I’ve done plenty of enjoyable solo travel, I prefer having some company.
    I’m fortunate to have good health thus far (knock wood) but am quite aware that could change in an instant. I want to enjoy this time to the fullest.

  • texanjana
    last month

    I have not read all of the responses yet. Sending good vibes to those dealing with health issues. My DH retired almost four years ago at age 57. I am going to be 60 this year, and am still working (from home). I like the work I do, but not the drama that sometimes accompanies it. Our daughter who lives in another state really wants us to move closer to her.


    My mother died last week, and she was the last of our four parents (all lived in Texas). So, that gives us more freedom now as we would not have moved away while they were still alive. We will not do anything right away, but are certainly mulling over moving.


    Although we live in a progressive city, our state is not and neither is DD's. That is something that gives me pause. The cost of living where she lives is lower whereas ours is higher. We love our home and our neighborhood. However, many of our friends have moved away for various reasons. One of our sons lives in yet another state and one lives here. So many things to ponder.

  • Funkyart
    last month

    Texanjana, I am so sorry for your loss❤️.

  • mtnrdredux_gw
    last month

    Jana, I am sorry about the loss of your mother.❤️

  • Allison0704
    last month

    So sorry for the loss of your mother, Jana.

  • Bestyears
    last month

    Jana, I'm so sorry about your mother as well.....

  • artemis_ma
    last month
    last modified: last month

    I retired and I moved. I'd bought some land years before in Massachusetts, and knew that remaining where I lived in Connecticut was not what I wanted. I wanted to farm, enjoy woodlands, raise chickens and other livestock. My driveway then was terrible for winter, and I despised the late 60's idea of a kitchen (NO real storage, no space to move around). Which is how I found GardenWeb, btw.

    My parents have both passed, and I have one brother, who is happy in Florida. Personally, I love my brother, but I dislike Florida - climate and price for land especially if I wanted some acreage? No. People at work expected me to move to be with my brother and his family. But I prefer the mountains (or at least, the hillsides). And, while New England can see hurricanes, they see them more regularly there. (And no, he didn't evacuate and for him it was lucky that last one went south of him at the last moment.)

    Did I make the right choice? I know I did, even if my ankles are telling me I should never raise anything larger than a chicken (maybe a turkey?). But I love the change in seasons, even if last night's rainstorm decided to wreak havoc on the leaves. And, I have the kitchen I always wanted, and a FLAT driveway for winter!


    As one who needs to be outdoors often, living in a climate with humidity in excess of 90% and over 78 degrees F so many months of the year would be intolerable. (Coconut oil melts at about 78 degrees F. I like to say I must be made of coconut oil....)

  • SeattleMCM
    last month

    I like to say I must be made of coconut oil....

    When people ask why I moved from sunny Albuquerque to grey Seattle, I tell them I completely thrive here, therefore I'm part fern.