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Old 01-29-2013, 08:08 AM   #41
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Don, what you need are some of dem dere hippies. That would fit pretty well.
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Old 01-29-2013, 08:17 AM   #42
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I'm hoping to find a little house way up in the mountains in Taiwan. Just gotta stay out of the landslide zones! But for convenience's sake we'll probably end up in an apartment on the outskirts of a big city. Not really looking to socialize except for going out with photography groups.
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Old 01-29-2013, 09:54 AM   #43
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My wife and I have been discussing this as my potential retirement becomes more realistic. We enjoy our current community and like having friends of diverse ages, and more than a few that we've known since college and have "grown up" together. However, we also live in a relatively high tax state that borders two relatively lower tax states. So for retirement we are tempted to move to either of the lower tax states for financial reasons (though we are doing a closer study, as lower income taxes may mean higher taxes/fees in other areas), but the thought of reestablishing social contacts at our age is a deterrent.
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Old 01-29-2013, 10:14 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by donheff View Post
Interesting post Imolder. My fondest memories are living with and hanging with lots of like minded people back in the late 60s, early 70s. The concept of a 55+ community appeals to me although DW has no interest. The problem I think would be finding a like minded group of people. I tend to immediately like working class folks or maybe educated, engineer types who were not upper management like me . But I am a flaming lefty and would not fit in surrounded by conservatives - particularly social and religious conservatives which I regularly hear is what I would find in a retirement community. On the other hand, I couldn't stand being around a bunch of serious, holier than thou liberals. I can afford and would like an up scale development but don't like being around a bunch of stiff, backed executive types.... Argh, should I stick with the DIY approach or is there a community worth visiting?
I think these communities are far more diverse than you might think. You only need to find a few individuals who share your interests. And, IMO, you want to be tapped into things outside the community as well, and not totally dependent on the community for your social interaction.

We moved into our community because it was close to where we wanted to be anyway.

I don't think I would move to a place just to join a certain community. There would have to be other strong reasons pulling me to that area. But once you find an area you really like, then check out what is available community-wise.
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Old 01-29-2013, 10:51 AM   #45
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I am 57 and ER'd for the past 2 yrs. My DW is still working. What you are describing is something I've tried to describe to DW and friends. That is, however much you plan for your retirement, once you cross that retirement line, you will discover some things about yourself you never planned on.

I love being a homebody some of the time and socializing some of the time. One of my ER goals was to make sure I did something social each week so I wouldn't be isolated while all my other friends are still working. It has worked out pretty well.

I would say that you are lucky to have found the community you did. Congratulations. I've noticed that type of camaraderie happen when I was working. Also, when I was in college. But I am of the opinion that you can't design it and make it happen but you do have to be open enough to see it and take advantage of it when it comes along . . . which you did.
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Old 01-29-2013, 10:59 AM   #46
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This all sounds similar to living in my expat community. I live in a city of 9 million people, but the expats who number in the thousands, generally live in my district of 100k. I prefer to spend the time with my Wife and Son and extended family, but every day I venture out and run into many of my several hundred friends who live here or are regular visitors.

For many years there was a Cafe in the center of town owned by a friend from Omaha. This negated the necessity of electronic devices as if you sat there long enough, everybody would eventually stop by before the day's or evening's planned activities and always led to impromptu adventures!

I find the sense of community is important in the abstract, but I only partake now on my own terms.
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Old 01-29-2013, 11:13 AM   #47
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This all sounds similar to living in my expat community. I live in a city of 9 million people, but the expats who number in the thousands, generally live in my district of 100k. I prefer to spend the time with my Wife and Son and extended family, but every day I venture out and run into many of my several hundred friends who live here or are regular visitors.

For many years there was a Cafe in the center of town owned by a friend from Omaha. This negated the necessity of electronic devices as if you sat there long enough, everybody would eventually stop by before the day's or evening's planned activities and always led to impromptu adventures!

I find the sense of community is important in the abstract, but I only partake now on my own terms.
Sounds like where I live, mail comes in at 12AM, so everyone shows up at the same time to meet and greet. Ms G wonders why getting the mail can take more than an hour.
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Old 01-29-2013, 11:14 AM   #48
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Don, what you need are some of dem dere hippies. That would fit pretty well.
I still have some old friends who are unreconstructed hippies, but that is not quite my cup of tea either.
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Old 01-29-2013, 11:20 AM   #49
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...(snip)... The concept of a 55+ community appeals to me although DW has no interest. The problem I think would be finding a like minded group of people. I tend to immediately like working class folks or maybe educated, engineer types who were not upper management like me . But I am a flaming lefty and would not fit in surrounded by conservatives - particularly social and religious conservatives which I regularly hear is what I would find in a retirement community. On the other hand, I couldn't stand being around a bunch of serious, holier than thou liberals. I can afford and would like an up scale development but don't like being around a bunch of stiff, backed executive types.... Argh, should I stick with the DIY approach or is there a community worth visiting?
This part of Don's post could almost have been written by me.

And I appreciate others who have questioned how happy they'd be in a social community setting. I would be horrified if it turned out I was back in high school.

Can one have a deep discussion without stepping on other's feelings? Or do you have to be satisfied with surface smiles and weather talk? Moving is no small thing and getting involved in a community could be great or terrible.

Maybe in my mid-70's I'll feel different.
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Old 01-29-2013, 11:58 AM   #50
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Mixed feelings about this. I have 2 primary objections to such a community and one pro.

Objection 1 - My sense is that most of these communities are HOAs on steroids. That is, they have heavy HOA type rules PLUS. As someone with pets, we didn't want a subdivision that had pet restrictions (well we live in one that says pets can't be loose and can't be nuisance but otherwise doesn't have specific limits). The retirement communities I've seen usually have very heavy pet restrictions so that basically knocks out most of them for me.

Objection 2 - This is similar to donheff. The area I live in - which I overall like - is overwhelmingly of a particular political viewpoint and most of a particular religious viewpoint. This would be even more so among the older population. I don't share those viewpoints. So if I lived in such a community I would constantly be out of step with the overwhelming majority of the community. Yes, I am sure that there would be exceptions. But the majority would be of a viewpoint I don't share.

The Pro - I am seeing that once retired (or ESR in my case) that social interactions are way down. DH has been fully retired for 2 1/2 years and he has very little social interaction now outside the family. He takes our daughter to martial arts a few nights a week and talks to people then, but that is about it. I go to the office once or twice a week and that is about it for me. Neither of us have activities we really like to do that call for us to interact with people in the "real" world. We do interact with people online (forum such as this, playing World of Warcraft, etc.).

I actually am starting to realize that even though I am an introvert I would like more social interaction. Part of what holds me back though is the political/religious thing I mentioned above. It is very wearying to constantly feel you have to censor yourself because you know that virtually everyone around you is the opposite of you on those issues. And I am not exaggerating. People who are in majority tend to think that everyone is as well, so there is often just the assumption that everyone has the same political/religious viewpoint. Knowing that I am of a minority viewpoint, I don't want to make anyone uncomfortable by starting a debate or even presenting a dissenting opinion so I tend to just stay silent. And that tends to make me feel even more isolated.

So yes I do like the idea of a bit more social interaction (only a bit), but I think one of the senior communities would be jumping from the frying pan into the fire from a political/religious perspective.
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Old 01-29-2013, 12:10 PM   #51
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Before we retired, from a job that was somewhat stressful, and required considerable interaction with upper level management and a large number of subordinates, my retirement dream was... and this is not an overstatement...
A log cabin near the top of a mountain in the Adirondaks, surrounded by barbed wire.
In truth, a wish to be a hermit. Away from neighbors, only venturing out to do solo...
The first part of the OP pulled me into this thread which I have been following intently. Replace mountains surrounded by barbed wire with beach surrounded by empty sea and you have summed up my current feelings quite well.

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Originally Posted by W2R View Post
...
The idea of living in such a community does not appeal to me at this stage in life. Having several hundred "friends" sounds like Hell on earth to me, to be perfectly frank. When I was younger, that was more appealing. Perhaps it will be again some day.
This also describes my current state; but, like a few others here, I wonder:
  • Will these feelings change as I age?
  • About all of the issues with aging in place.

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Originally Posted by kyounge1956 View Post
...When I formally retire I think I will become a hermit for six months or a year...

This is still my plan as well. I am not sure how long it will take me to recharge my alone time battery, decompress, etc. But, I am definitely looking forward to finding out.


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Originally Posted by grasshopper View Post
I live in a small hamlet of maybe 250 folks, some are snow birds, some are only here for the bird and reptile season June- September. So at any one time I may have a social connection with 100-150 people. So I found Dunbar's number research to be very enlightening....
I remember reading about Dunbar's number some time ago but had forgotten about it. My ideal location might be on the outskirts of this kind of small community. Thank you for including this in the thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Katsmeow View Post
...I actually am starting to realize that even though I am an introvert I would like more social interaction. Part of what holds me back though is the political/religious thing I mentioned above. It is very wearying to constantly feel you have to censor yourself because you know that virtually everyone around you is the opposite of you on those issues. And I am not exaggerating. People who are in majority tend to think that everyone is as well, so there is often just the assumption that everyone has the same political/religious viewpoint. Knowing that I am of a minority viewpoint, I don't want to make anyone uncomfortable by starting a debate or even presenting a dissenting opinion so I tend to just stay silent. And that tends to make me feel even more isolated.

So yes I do like the idea of a bit more social interaction (only a bit), but I think one of the senior communities would be jumping from the frying into the fire from a political/religious perspective.
For me, it is not so much wanting more social interaction for its own sake but the preponderance of evidence which indicates this is good for health and well-being even for the most introverted. Now, I just need to find a small hamlet of like minded folks or folks who do not feel the need to convert all to their viewpoint.
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Old 01-29-2013, 01:37 PM   #52
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Making the transition now. Getting my social needs by coffee shop, exercise classes, line dancing, and ball room dancing. At each there is a separate mostly non overlapping community. Neighbors are nice, relatively friendly, but socially we just never clicked. Religion is at one of those too big to notice us places.

Unsure if a move to a cheaper to live, warmer area is warranted. Guess where the kids land eventually may be a draw to at least driving range.
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Old 01-29-2013, 05:27 PM   #53
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This thread has run its course. Thanks, all, for participating!
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