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Trapped in Pennsylvania ...
Old 07-03-2016, 07:04 AM   #1
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Trapped in Pennsylvania ...

I've made no secret that I'm not a big fan of winter and I'd like to move south when my son graduates HS next June. The relatives are all retiring one by one and moving to Florida - building $500k mini castles with pools and tons of beautiful stone work. I am still not convinced - We already are part owners of a nice two bedroom town home in a closed community near Siesta Key. We are not fussy but the entrance is on the side and I feel a bit claustrophobic when we are there. The trouble is the traffic and congestion down there is simply awful. A zillion of us oldsters are flooding the state: sister-in-law: "I can't wait until the tourist go home."

The Mrs tells me when you don't have to get up early and deal with the weather the cold isn't a big deal. The trouble is I get cabin fever easily even if it's just a trip to the super market I need to get out. Hmmmm trapped in the house when it is 25 degrees outside - Naah. Been there done that. Then there's the whole two story living thing I hate going up and down those stairs. Yeah I've gotten trimmer since my knee job but I still don't like it. I'm thinking single floor living!

So we are college shopping for our son and took him to one of the satellite campuses of Penn state last week. He like his sister wouldn't likely do well in a big college. She's done fabulously - better then I could have hoped. The school is about an hour and fifteen minutes away (she's 41/2 hours away- trust me we worry about every trip too and fro.) Anyway the school we visited is neat as a pin and seems like a good match. All in yearly cost for a resident - low twenties - that's a bargain by the way. I've quietly researched a few schools further south in NC (satellite schools of UNC) my son like me isn't the type to have a strong preference - we manage with the situation presented to us. He's thinking computer science and math or business. Like me at 17, he's just not sure. So many options can be overwhelming. My daughter says he won't like the heat but she's complained about walking to class in the snow.. I remember when we moved her in freshmen year and the kid helping her login to the school network said "it will start snowing soon and it won't stop until May" he was accurate and we learned no car likes 5 below zero.

So during the trip my son says "So when I want to come home I get on a plane?" Being the great Dad I am I said "what makes you think I'll tell you where we are moving". Don't worry my son is fully used to my sarcasm. I can't say where this is leading but I can say it will be interesting.

It occurs to me with retirement we are in the same boat as my son ...too many options. I am grateful for the choices but making the right choice worries me.



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Old 07-03-2016, 07:43 AM   #2
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Ray, I felt trapped in Connecticut years ago and moved to Los Angeles (job related though).

Now I (not DW though) feel trapped in south Texas and miss the small town atmosphere and four seasons. Wait a minute..I think we had that in CT!

But now DW wants to stay trapped in south Texas.

It's a constant battle and you never seem to win for the long run, at least for me.
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Trapped in Pennsylvania ...
Old 07-03-2016, 07:57 AM   #3
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Trapped in Pennsylvania ...

I am not an expert on LA but I can tell you I wouldn't thrive there...
Traffic, crime too many people. ... I remember driving on El Seguendo Blvd with a buddy years ago and thinking jeeze we too white boys don't belong here...

"But now DW wants to stay trapped in south Texas."
I'll bet she wouldn't use the word trapped...

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Old 07-03-2016, 08:13 AM   #4
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"But now DW wants to stay trapped in south Texas."
I'll bet she wouldn't use the word trapped...

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It's all about the one granddaughter...
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Old 07-03-2016, 08:24 AM   #5
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ray, iirc you haven't yet been retired for the winter months. May I suggest you wait before pulling the trigger on moving south?

Your wife is correct, in that not having to commute in the cold/snow makes a difference. I also live in SE PA. November and December are not bad weather, there's plenty of 40-50 degree days in December. Those high temps occur during typical working hours, so you may not have noticed them last year when you had to be on your way to w*rk before daylight and drove home at sunset. My favorite time of day to go out for a run last winter was 2:00 pm. -- usually the warmest part of the day and little or no traffic. It would also be a great time to run errands.

January and February can be tough, usually colder with more snow. But once again, the snow isn't bad when you don't *have* to go out in the morning. Just wait for the plows to clean up after the morning commute and the sun to warm the pavement, then get out to run errands or go for a walk. Throw in a 2-3 week getaway to someplace warm, and soon you've made it to March.
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Old 07-03-2016, 08:32 AM   #6
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Left the Commonwealth in '78, no regrets, one of the smarter choices we ever made.

Both our parents left PA(early 80s) permanently for FL and never looked back. We've been looking for 10 years and FL got cut years ago. Too many people! Good luck to you.
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Old 07-03-2016, 09:01 AM   #7
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I agree with Philliefan33...I live in NW PA, and the winter months CAN be brutal.....but I discovered after retirement, that the weather really gets real bad in later January and February, NOT like I "imagined"... that it began in October and ended in May!!!!

Now yes, we've had a lot of snow and polar vortex cold some years, then not so much. When you're home all day, you can select the best part of the day to go out...which sure beats getting out of work in the dark, driving home or to the store in the dark, eating in the dark hours, and realizing it's only 7PM and you're done for the day!!!!

I flip my brain on numb during February. And all of a sudden, it's March, and glorious spring and summer is approaching!!! Which where I live, on the edge of the Allegheny National Forest, is wonderful.....

I also happen to enjoy snowblowing the driveway when needed. I like to see the open driveway forming, getting blasted with fine cold snow, my glasses steamed up, and then going in for a hot coffee or shower and just enjoying the rest of the day, IN!!!!!

But I confess. I HATED winter here when I was working. Didn't help I had to drive a LOT for my job (on 79, 80 and Turnpike) So I can understand you wanting to move south, but I too think you should try one year ....you may be surprised....
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Old 07-03-2016, 09:21 AM   #8
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Since your DW says winter won't be so bad when you don't have to work, does that mean that she would rather stay in Penn, because that's a big part of the equation.

So if your DD is in the area, finds a good job or her future husband, most likely that is where she will stay. If you son stays local, he could end living in the PA area as well. Best case if you relocate now and the area is pleasant your son might stay local to where you live. So, as they marry and have kids, this probably will become a bigger issue.

We are here in MN and believe me I know what cold winters feel like. We farm so really didn't think about relocating but we did consider buying a second home somewhere warmer for the winter. Sold the dairy part of our business 6 years ago and started to focus on did we want a winter home, we had no grandchildren at that point.

Now we have .. 5 YO,4YO,3YO and 3 month old grandkids ....IMO the most fun age, not involved in a lot of stuff outside the home and they think you hung the moon. They all live around 2 hours away and I wish we were even closer. We will leave town for about 4 to 5 weeks in the heart of winter and after that long we are really looking forward to seeing the little ones. We ran the numbers and just rejected the idea of buying that 2nd home for only 4-6 weeks use a year, we go to VRBO and rent.

So I say if you really want to go, go now when your son could adjust to the new area. Or don't go at all and just rent and vary the locations you can see in your winter break. Even when your son says can I take a plane to "come home" in his that won't really be home, it will be where his parents live.
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Old 07-03-2016, 09:31 AM   #9
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I have no plans to move. Over the years, most of my immediate family migrated to Texas. Plus, being INTJ, I'm not a schmoozer, so replacing my small circle of friends would be difficult. Better for me to hole up when the the temps hit 100+ (not dry heat, either), hunker down when the tornadoes and softball-sized hail hit, then enjoy the relatively moderate winters. Can always wonder off to higher altitudes/altitudes July-September.
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Old 07-03-2016, 09:38 AM   #10
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If I lived up north, I would simply lease something for 2-3 months a year to get a break from the cold. We get lot's of snowbirds on the AL coast during the winter. Here's one on the beach for just under $1600/mo. I have a friend who owns a unit there. Not a bad deal imo. You can find condos anywhere from $900(off the beach)-$7k/mo. Whatever you want to pay.

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Old 07-03-2016, 09:49 AM   #11
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ray, iirc you haven't yet been retired for the winter months. May I suggest you wait before pulling the trigger on moving south?
+1

During the first year or two of retirement, I notice some retirees sort of floundering about not quite knowing what to do with themselves.

Moving is a poor choice if the objective is just to have something to do, to take your mind off the sometimes more difficult task of adjusting to retired life.

Maybe just try spending more time in your Florida town house, first? I'd think that either doing that, or renting as Dawg52 suggests, would be a great first step. Remember, there is no rush. You have many happy years of retirement ahead of you.

Edited to add: OK, OK, to be totally honest I should add that we planned to move as soon as we retired too. We went as far as renovating and then listing our houses, and then changed our minds suddenly as soon as he got an offer and it all became reality. I am so glad we didn't follow through on that move. I think that when we were working, we wanted to get far away from work. But, after being retired for a few years, we no longer felt that desire.
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Old 07-03-2016, 11:20 AM   #12
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If you move to Florida full time you will basically be trapped inside or in a pool for a few months in the summer so pick your poison carefully .
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Old 07-03-2016, 12:08 PM   #13
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I find it interesting that the #1 reason for moving is the weather. Above money, comfort, family--weather.

Living in SoCal, it's the weather that keeps me here. If I choose, on a Feb day I can be on the golf course in 75D weather. Walk my dogs in Dec in a Tshirt.

Even so, I still think of moving to places like TN, NC, or FL. I love real trees, open land, and so many great cities to visit.
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Old 07-03-2016, 01:10 PM   #14
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If I lived up north, I would simply lease something for 2-3 months a year to get a break from the cold. We get lot's of snowbirds on the AL coast during the winter. Here's one on the beach for just under $1600/mo. I have a friend who owns a unit there. Not a bad deal imo. You can find condos anywhere from $900(off the beach)-$7k/mo. Whatever you want to pay.

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From reading the OP's threads, it is difficult to tell whether his spouse is on board with leaving the kids and moving to Florida or not. I agree with some others that living in Florida all year round would be like being held hostage by the tourists in the winter and by the hot temperatures in the summer. The best approach might be to spend the winters in the OP's home near Sarasota and just put up with the traffic and crowds or spend the winter a little farther up north as suggested above. The winter highs in Sarasota are in the low 70's but are in the 60's in Jacksonville and along the Georgia and South Caroline coast. I would trade the few degrees of cooler weather for less crowds. The OP might also consider downsizing the main home in PA or some arrangement that would make it easier to lock up and go away in the winter.
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Old 07-03-2016, 01:25 PM   #15
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As one who also hates cold weather I would also counsel to stay at least one year after retirement. I wanted to move to one of the Carolinas but DW didn't want to move that far from family. While I still would like to move to warmer weather, it isn't that bad, and I do enjoy the proximity to family so seeing them doesn't involve an exhausting drive and/or overnight stays.

As others have noted you can pick the best part of the day if you do go out, snow forecasts are generally reliable and we stock up on food and such, and at least where we are in WV, it's only bad for two or three months of the year. Since we're homebodies anyway I've found that cold weather doesn't bother me as much as it did before I retired since I don't have to go out in it.
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Trapped in Pennsylvania ...
Old 07-03-2016, 01:50 PM   #16
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Trapped in Pennsylvania ...

The wife like me isn't sure what she wants... But I suspect she is ready for a new adventure. Perhaps it isn't just the cold. On LI my buddy would swing buy at night beep his horn. I'd grab 2 cold beers stuff them in my pocket and we would toss poppers until it was dark at the striped bass in Hempstead harbor. When I moved from LI I pretty much gave up fishing for the kids (it was worth it). Oh There a couple of creeks nearby but it just isn't that big water feel. A Twelve inch trout isn't the same as the striped bass that stripped my reel of every inch of line one night. (A colleague from work witnessed the battle and was forever addicted to fishing). A house by a lake or the ocean with maybe a little putt putt boat might be in order... There's something so soothing about the water....

Is ok to be a little selfish? I mean both will graduate loan free. To me I'm done...well as much as I can be.
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Old 07-03-2016, 02:14 PM   #17
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I find it interesting that the #1 reason for moving is the weather. Above money, comfort, family--weather.

Living in SoCal, it's the weather that keeps me here. If I choose, on a Feb day I can be on the golf course in 75D weather. Walk my dogs in Dec in a Tshirt.

Even so, I still think of moving to places like TN, NC, or FL. I love real trees, open land, and so many great cities to visit.
If it is just the trees you want you can move to NorCal for that. Winters are a bit colder but still a Mediterranean climate if you stay near the coast.
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Old 07-03-2016, 03:51 PM   #18
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I'm also from SE PA and we've purchased an 8th floor two bedroom condo on the beach in a small town just north of Ft Lauderdale. We looked around the west coast of FL but traffic was a nightmare. Our ocean view prevents any claustrophobia and a daily walk on the beach will be just outside the doors of our building. Shopping is just a mile away. Plenty of restaurants in the area and while there is traffic, it's far better than in Philly any month of the year. Our condo has a gym, a nice pool, and some game rooms along with 24 hour security guards. Our first full winter there is coming up, but we spent some time in the area on several occasions and gave friends nearby. I hate winters and the cold and have spent three retired years waiting for DW to retire so we can join the snowbird club. Sadly she still wants to come back up for Christmas, but we'll see how many years that lasts.


Enjoying life!
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Old 07-03-2016, 04:03 PM   #19
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I hate cold weather as well, I do not plan to move to Florida year round but would like to spend a great deal of the winter there. From what I've seen, there are plenty of places there that aren't overcrowded, especially in the winter, also it's really reasonable to rent there, no need to buy, which will give you flexibility to move around and find the perfect spot for your family, whatever you do, best wishes !
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Old 07-03-2016, 04:13 PM   #20
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The wife like me isn't sure what she wants... But I suspect she is ready for a new adventure. Perhaps it isn't just the cold. On LI my buddy would swing buy at night beep his horn. I'd grab 2 cold beers stuff them in my pocket and we would toss poppers until it was dark at the striped bass in Hempstead harbor. When I moved from LI I pretty much gave up fishing for the kids (it was worth it). Oh There a couple of creeks nearby but it just isn't that big water feel. A Twelve inch trout isn't the same as the striped bass that stripped my reel of every inch of line one night. (A colleague from work witnessed the battle and was forever addicted to fishing). A house by a lake or the ocean with maybe a little putt putt boat might be in order... There's something so soothing about the water....

Is ok to be a little selfish? I mean both will graduate loan free. To me I'm done...well as much as I can be.
I'm not sure what you mean by selfish,It's pretty easy to maintain relationships with grown kids and not give them money. If you hang close for any grandchildren it's not an obligation, it's just a choice.

If you mean done with PA, just move on,as long as you and your spouse are in agreement.
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