Downsize, Snowbird or Stay Put?

Relocate? Stay where you are? Second Home? Snowbird?

Before choosing where to live in your new retirement, there are several important questions to consider.

Key questions for choosing where you want to retire.

  1. Are your kids going to move back home?  Do you want them to?
  2. Is your current residence manageable? By manageable, I mean; financially (taxes, mortgage, utilities), physical accessibility, friendly climate, repair and landscape upkeep.)
  3. Do you want to stay in the area you live in?  Or have you dreamed of moving closer to family, the mountains, the coast or a different country or living in an RV or boat?
  4. Are you situated where you can ‘age in place?’
  5. Can you afford to buy a second home to retreat to and fill those desires
  6. Have you thought about the thousands of “snow-birds” who live six months in their “home residence” and six months in their dream location?
  7. Have you thought about a “house swap” to try out those locations?

Evaluate your Answers

Answering these questions will narrow your choices and move you closer to your ultimate plan.

 

 Remember this:  nothing is concrete (except, of course, concrete).  If you make a choice and it doesn’t work for you, it can be changed.

My location certainly has changed during the years I’ve been retired.

Three out of 5 Americans want to spend their golden years in another city or state, according to a national Bankrate survey. A majority said they’d be interested in moving, regardless of gender, income and education, though wanderlust did seem to fade with age.  See this complete article at  bankrate.com/retirement/3-in-5-want-to-retire-somewhere-else/

Look at one couple’s experience:

Several friends of ours have moved into age restricted communities.  These come in all sizes shapes and costs.  Choose something that works with your retirement budget in an area that you are excited about and check it out.

One couple we know moved into a suburban neighborhood.  Being retired with their children grown, graduated from college, working in their careers, married with children, the couple thought that living in a nearby neighborhood would be just the ticket to get to see and be involved with their grand-kids lives.

This worked for a while but then the grand-kids grew and had their own interests and lives as did the other younger neighbors on the couple’s street.  Without the involvement of their own children’s school age kids in sports and activities, they found it difficult to nurture any active social life in this neighborhood so similar in age as their own adult children’s.

Ultimately, they moved to a retirement community where every day offers choices to participate in tennis, golf, dances, theater etc.  Very little effort is required to become involved in an age-restricted community and it’s easy to say yes or no.

The best advantage is that there are so many choices of activities with people who have a lot in common with you.  They felt like they had extended their family.

Downsize, Snowbird or Stay Put

Today the accomplishment of your goals is determined by you, not work constraints or others’ opinions. If you want to accomplish these goals, do so.  If you don’t want to, don’t. Just forget about it. But realize that at this time in your life,  what you do is your choice.

In all of this exploring and self discovery, please remember this: small changes can equal big results.  Eat less, spend less, sit less, stress less, watch TV less, worry less, be active more.  Get up and walk around the block or skip, skate, run or ride your bike.  Your choices equal your results. When you choose a job, neighborhood, location or partner, YOU choose a life.

Homework:  Grab a sheet of paper and brainstorm all your answers to the above questions.  Add a little research, mix it with desire and see what your retirement possibilities reveal.  There are good doctors and dentists, hairdressers and grocery stores most everywhere. So, get started!

Dixie

writers@richlyaged.com

 

 

Retirement 7: Embrace Change and Enrich Your Life

 

These chickens are afraid of change!

No matter how excited you are about retiring, it represents a major change. Prior to this departure, you knew what was expected and required of you, but here you are in a whole new role. Even though it’s a wonderful role, it’s still change, and that can be daunting.

It’s even more daunting if you don’t want to retire. Before we quit working , I can remember my husband saying that he feared retirement more that death.  Wow!  That’s an unpleasant comparison.

In either case, retirement demands a significant change to a significant portion of your days, week and years.  How will you adjust?  How will you maintain your equilibrium and your balance, so that you can make this transition smooth? Take a look at this interesting article about change.  Here are some additional suggestions.

Four ways to embrace change and enrich your life

Continue reading Retirement 7: Embrace Change and Enrich Your Life

Positive Aging: How To Be Your Own Valentine

Be your own valentine for a perfect Valentine’s Day!

Valentine’s Day – though unbelievably commercial –  can be nice.  Hearts and flowers and candy.  What’s not to like?  That’s all well and good if you’re getting hearts and flowers and candy.  But what if you’re not?  Positive aging means more than just being positive about other people!

We’re often so busy – even in retirement – taking care of others that we forget to take care of ourselves.  Here’s a solution to that problem. Continue reading Positive Aging: How To Be Your Own Valentine

Building Resilience: Key to Positive Aging

Dixie recently wrote a post about positive aging being a state of mind.  Well, yes, and a new study out of the University of California suggests that she’s right and that resilience may be the key to positive aging.

Nature is resilient. Be like nature!

How So?

  • Older adults with health problems but high resilience – the ability to bounce back from negative events – rated their degree of successful aging just as highly as those without health problems.
  • Even those who had struggled with cancer, heart disease, and a range of other problems, but didn’t suffer from depression, rated their degree of successful aging quite highly.

Continue reading Building Resilience: Key to Positive Aging

Unexpected Retirement Reason: Part Two

Part Two:  Phases of my unexpected retirement & flexibility

Health was the unexpected reason for my unplanned early retirement.  Retirement isn’t necessarily one decision that you live with for the rest of your life.  There may be one phase. Or, there may be several phases, each of them enjoyable.

Floating home in Portland,Oregon: where unplanned retirement began.

In my post on November 3rd, I described Phases 1 and 2 of the 5 phases of my retirement.  I’m recapping my story not because I think it is riveting but because it illustrates how life intervenes and often changes our direction. Even when we plan.

As said before, “Flexibility is the key to happiness.”

To recap, Phase 1 was caused by a health issue.  Phase 2 was caused by a need for medical insurance.

Retirement "sandwich situation" happily helping others
Retirement “sandwich situation” happily helping others

Many retirees find themselves in the “Sandwich Situation.” We have adult children with our young grandchildren and 1 or more of our aging parents still living.   Oftentimes this creates a situation where we are needed to care for our aging parent(s) and also needed by our adult working children for their children.  Hence, “Sandwich Situation.”

My widowed father became our responsibility after my mother passed in Northern California during Phase 2.

Continue reading Unexpected Retirement Reason: Part Two