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Old 11-21-2017, 09:46 AM   #21
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One thing to consider more for the future does Uber serve the location? If so when you need it there will be transport as needed. Add to this the move to delivery from grocery stores (even where I live in the country there is a local delivery service that will deliver things, and Walmart has the pick up service) Uber is talking delivery although depending on how far in the boonies you are it may be a while till it extends to where you are. (They are 1 county away right now where I live)
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Old 11-21-2017, 10:02 AM   #22
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You can always go ahead and build you next dream home on the acreage, enjoy it for the next 10 to 15 years and then sell and move into town. Unless you believe you will need to be closer to town within 5 years I don't know why you wouldn't realize your dream for the 10+ years you can and then adjust as health and age demand
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Old 11-21-2017, 10:11 AM   #23
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We plan to retire to our country home next year . We are 20 minutes from three grown up areas . Now consider in the country 20 minutes are driven faster then in the city . We now live in a subdivision of Houston and it can take 20 minutes to get to Walmart because of traffic. The country requires different yard work , cutting trees using the tractor to mow , working on the driveway...mine is gravel.
But one thing gets better , your hearing . I hear a train at our country home sometimes and it is a good 5 miles away.
Medical care for the rural areas and technology is getting better so it should be OK .
A friend of ours an EMT told us to be safe it is good to have a defrib. even in the burbs. More efficient then CPR
I say enjoy it !
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Old 11-21-2017, 10:14 AM   #24
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We're 20 minutes from anything - but that's because of traffic, not distance. Oftentimes walking is faster.

We're urban residents, although that matters more to DW than me. The one downside I see to the "more elbow-room" population is low density often leads to a less developed infrastructure. This affects things like availability of cable, internet, health care providers, supermarkets.
That's a great point and one I mentioned to wife after taking 30 minutes one day to go 8 miles here..

I think the bigger issue is just the riskiness of driving long distances in the country when elderly. I'd feel safer driving 20 minutes where we are now and going 5-8 miles than going 30 miles in 30 minutes out in the sticks, on country roads with deer, bad road conditions in winter, crazy people whaling down the roads in their pickups because they don't expect to see anyone else etc..

The other trade-off we found is it may not be as quiet and peaceful as we expected..we were out there a few weeks ago and heard a lot of gunshots. There's also a surprising amount of small plane traffic - basically just driving around in circles up in the sky. Talked to a family member who lives nearby and he says gunshots are pretty common. They don't bother him but he says they happen often. He described it as "country quiet" vs "city quiet" which I take to mean all of the above including the random snowmobile or ATV tooling down the (supposedly motor vehicle prohibited trail behind us) also.
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Old 11-21-2017, 10:41 AM   #25
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I live on 20 acres of woods about 20 minutes from the nearest town, so I think I can relate to what you're describing. There are 10 property owners on a private road about 2 miles long, the minimum acreage is 20 and some have 60 or more. None are visible from the road. The development started when a developer improved a logging road and subdivided wood lots in 1999.

We have all chosen to live here, some from large cities like Chicago and Minneapolis. It was a choice we made deliberately.

We're in North East MN at "The end of the road" literally. The small town nearby has a population of about 3,500 and boats of being the "Coolest small town in America".

It is amazing how many people have moved here to retire from around the US, even some from Europe. Many live in lake homes which aren't on 20 acres, but most are 20 to 30 minutes to the nearest town. A lot of these people were very successful business owners or professionals. Now we all walk around in jeans and flannel shirts and talk about our chain saws and log splitters and line up fishing trips to the Boundary Waters.

For us, country living is great. I wouldn't recommend it to people with children who are involved in a lot of activities. We learn to consolidate trips to town once or twice a week. We'll hit the grocery store, hardware store, post office, library or whatever else we might need all at once. In a
small town you can park and walk to most places and it doesn't take long at all. It would take a lot longer to run all these errands in a big town even if you lived right in the middle of it.


You have to learn how to make your own entertainment. We don't have live TV, but we do have fairly reliable internet service. A Sirius XM radio has been a great investment. We're fortunate to have a fantastic library in our nearby town and we both have a couple books on hand at all times. You learn how to stock your pantry, fridge and freezer. You also learn to
keep gasoline on hand for your chain saw and portable generator in case of a blow down or blizzard. Most of us have 8 cords of dried split wood on hand and a few portable LP tanks. A neighbor has a small tractor with loader and a few of us hire him for snow removal, we're lucky.

We consider ourselves extremely fortunate to have found our dream home already built in 2010 and purchased it, we didn't move here full time til 2016.

There are a lot of people in their 70's and 80's who live out in the woods like we do. Most don't move until one spouse can no longer handle living in a house and then they move to a Sr. living home in a larger town.

DW and I are in our 50's and plan on living here til one of us can't handle it or we turn 80, whichever comes first. You don't have to live in your dream home forever.

One person a few miles away is a retired mutual fund manager. He said that privacy is going to become the next waterfront in the real estate market. It's disappearing fast and will only get harder to find.
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Old 11-21-2017, 10:51 AM   #26
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Hi, everyone..wondering if any of you live in the country far from the comforts and amenities of suburbia or city living.
Absolutely. Been there and doing that now. Lot's of Pros and Con's, but for our "preferred" lifestyle the Pro's far outweigh the Con's. The nearest town is 15 mins away at highway speeds. That's where the nearest little store, gas station and hamburger joint is too. Nearest hospital is at least 45 mins away.

I could write a book (well maybe a short story) on the Pro's and Con's of county living.

One thing I'll say is, if you are buying any acreage (more than 5 to 10 acres or so) then you are going to want to get a good tractor with a mowing deck and FEL. The more acreage, the bigger the tractor. A rule of thumb is, once you think you have figured out what size tractor to buy, you need to move up at least one more level.
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Old 11-21-2017, 10:56 AM   #27
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I love it out here in the hinterland. 20 minutes is like suburbia to me. I'd tell you more about it, but it is snowing pretty good and I need to go put the plow on the old plow truck...
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Old 11-21-2017, 11:08 AM   #28
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Add me tot he list of preferred living in the country. I just retired and moved, building a new house on 2.5 acres, about 15-20 minutes from the shopping areas. I have almost always lived in the country and so this is not a change for me. Does not bother me to do yardwork and keep up the property. I already have the tractor, best tool purchase I have made. Beats the hell out of a wheelbarrow and shovel!

Some like dense urban living, some like country. It is what you like. I go crazy in the big city downtown, probably wouldn't last more than a month if I was forced to live there.
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Old 11-21-2017, 11:15 AM   #29
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Retire Soon - As you already know, there is no right or wrong; good or bad answer.

Ms. Gamboolgal and I are preparing to search for our Little Piece of Heaven once I retire from work.


As many have pointed out - as the years sneak up on you....what you dreamed of during the busy years....can be different in retirement. Seen many a couple who retired to their dream place and then determined that it was not for them at the age they retired at.....


But the good thing about that is that they gave it a shot! good on'em !



We are planning on keeping our home in The Woodlands for awhile while we take Road Trips all over and look see what can we find....


We plan on renting in the Short List area's awhile and seeing if we'll be able to fit in comfortably......


RetireSoon - Yawl have a wonderful "problem"



Lifes a Dance And You Learn As You Go....
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Old 11-21-2017, 11:39 AM   #30
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WE moved into town in our late 50's 5 years ago. WE are close to everything and can walk to some places. If I had to drive very far for things I probably would not go many places. I like being able to go to a restaurant or store on the spur of the minute and having it close.
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Old 11-21-2017, 11:50 AM   #31
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Hey, everyone. Thanks much for all the great replies! Very helpful perspectives..

Few bits of additional info:

- DW just turned 60. I'm in mid 50s. No kids, but fairly big family that DW is close to - and would like to see often in retirement. They all live fairly nearby to us today with one or two exceptions that are a bit further out (half an hour at most).

- Another compelling reason for us to move is our current lot. It's on a corner so is diamond-shaped, with both neighbors pretty much 'behind' us to the right and left. The guy on the right (the ones with the teenage basketball players) built a 'monster' 6,000 sqft home that is pretty much my entire back yard on the one side. So, we put up massive evergreens to hide that, which has worked for 15 or so years - but they are starting to die off due to lack of sunlight. They're 35+ feet tall so hide his house - but are quickly deteriorating. If they die, they are REALLY hard to replace - and I'm not even sure I can find anything north of 10 feet or so, and we'd be back to looking at the huge McMansion next to us, right out our backyard..so, getting out while the getting out is good is high on my list. The quickly dying trees are very high on my list of reasons to move..

- We did put up soundproofing - "soundproof" windows, drywall, etc to deaden the noise next door. Thankfully it's died down a bit as two of the kids have moved out and are in college. There's one that remains and he's not as bad. But what if they move and someone else comes in? Hard to plan for..

- DW had some health issues a few years back, so proximity to hospital is important. She might not be here today if we were further out than we were at the time from ER care. That's pretty scary..20 minutes from any hospital in good weather..40 in bad.

- We DO have cable internet (whew!). Had a scare a bit back where I heard that NONE of our neighbors had it and were on DSL - one guy used a whopping 1 MBps service from Frontier (ugh!). I work in tech, so that ain't gonna fly. Fortunately, we tracked down the local Charter installer guy and found out the "sub" DOES have cable and the computer was just coded wrong, so everyone that called was told "no, you can't get cable - we don't service your street". Have not been able to confirm any neighbor has it yet but the local Charter line person AND Regional construction Manager both insist we can get it. That alone would have killed the project if we had to use satellite internet but I believe we should be good to go on this..

- Biggest question is "what will we do in retirement"? DW wants to do a bunch of charity work, which means going to the local church which is ~5 minutes away now or other area charities. We also have a "Senior center" (for over 50) that's actually extremely nice - it's like a whole campus full of hundreds of different classes, pool, track, squash courts..you name it, they have it. Pretty high end place and only one of it's kind I've ever seen. Hard to describe but it's very nearby. I like to cook, but there's only so much grilling and baking one can do. Might study to be a CFP, but would have few "clients" in the country..can only ride the rails to trails so many times a day..really don't want to build just to sit in my house all day, so the "what are we going to do in retirement - especially if there is NOTHING around us" is a tough question..

- We live near a quaint city today with a lot to do from shopping boutiques (wife enjoys..I don't), restaurants, city events, etc. Lots to do. The nearest "town" by the new properties is not much - it's pretty rural and somewhat rundown / dilapidated actually. The prospect of new development anywhere nearby in our lifetime does not seem to be that high..so, we also wonder about building a relatively expensive home ($200 / sq ft) in an area where we might have a heck of a hard time selling it, also. At least the other houses on our street are all a similar level of quality and cost but still..they'll probably have an equally hard time selling..

Appreciate all the replies..please keep them coming!
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Old 11-21-2017, 11:54 AM   #32
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WE moved into town in our late 50's 5 years ago. WE are close to everything and can walk to some places. If I had to drive very far for things I probably would not go many places. I like being able to go to a restaurant or store on the spur of the minute and having it close.
That's why I always say it's not for everyone. Doesn't mean it's not for some people.
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Old 11-21-2017, 11:58 AM   #33
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RetireSoon--I would probably hold out for something in town or closer. It doesn't sound like you necessarily need a huge amount of land. That lot might just look good to you in comparison to what you have now. Maybe all you need is a more normal lot where you don't have neighbors right on top of you. A 55+ community could be good, as you wouldn't have the threat of loud kids moving next door, assuming they enforce the restrictions. Not all do, from what I understand. "No, my 14 year old twin grandsons aren't living with me. They're just visiting. For the whole summer."
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Old 11-21-2017, 12:14 PM   #34
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RetireSoon--I would probably hold out for something in town or closer. It doesn't sound like you necessarily need a huge amount of land. That lot might just look good to you in comparison to what you have now. Maybe all you need is a more normal lot where you don't have neighbors right on top of you. A 55+ community could be good, as you wouldn't have the threat of loud kids moving next door, assuming they enforce the restrictions. Not all do, from what I understand. "No, my 14 year old twin grandsons aren't living with me. They're just visiting. For the whole summer."
Thanks..the "dream" FWIW has always been to have a lot of land. I just wish it was closer to civilization!

The two properties (adjacent to each other) are really nice - 1000 ft wide at the front..450+ at the rear. No neighbors (!!) for 500+ feet in either direction. Can't see either one of them due to topology of the land, even with the leaves down.

We came pretty close to buying an existing home about a month or so ago (had offers on the vacant land at the time)..it was at the end of a court, had no-one else in the court, woods behind and ravine on the right. Nearest neighbor was closer than the country lots, but still very private, and 12 or so minutes closer in. But - there was a gravel pit 1.5 miles down the road immediately to the north of it, and I've read that within 3 miles of a gravel pit you might have issues. Did not have time to really evaluate it as there was another offer coming in so we passed. But even with that house, which was really nice - we would have had compromises that we weren't sure we really wanted to make. (Floorplan was nice but had some weird things to it for instance).

We do vacation from time to time in a heavily wooded retirement community in N MI. I've thought about that but even while it appears to be "only" old people (like us) and APPEARS to be quiet, the houses are still pretty much on top of each other..and that's just not private enough feeling for us. Plus, you never know when the grandkids are going to visit - for the whole summer as you put it..

So, after all is said and done..we're pretty sure the only way we can get what we want is to build - but am also somewhat terrified about doing that again, ESPECIALLY if we're not building in an actual "sub" with dozens/hundreds of other houses where finding a reputable builder is a heck of a lot easier than in the country..and, if we want to build, I need a decently private and quiet property to do it - and those are rare as a purple, two headed unicorn in these parts..

Whoever said "privacy is the next lakefront" up-thread really nailed it..that's so true. We're definitely after privacy and QUIET - but am not sure we are even going to find that on 12+ acres in the country with the small planes, frequent gunshots, etc. There may be nowhere left on earth that you can count on regular quiet. People just are not (generally) considerate of others as much as they were when most of us were younger..
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Old 11-21-2017, 12:43 PM   #35
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We wanted out of the city so we moved to the country this fall. Our town has a pop. Of about 1800. No fast food dives within 25 miles or so. Lots of good restaurants, though. Cell phone service is a problem, we have our first land line in 7 years!
We mow the lawn area ourselves and have a guy do the pasture. Septic tank and well are a new twist.
Unlike a lot of folks, we are on a paved road, thatís a plus. Best part, it is quiet and oooh, the sunrises! We plan to stock the chicken house and the goat pen this spring.
We are planning for this to be the last place we ever live, but who knows. Life should be an adventure.
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Old 11-21-2017, 01:13 PM   #36
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Too bad you can't find a 'best of both worlds' that's maybe 5-10 mins out of town. 22 years ago, we almost bought a house that was 20 minutes to everything. Decided that it was too much for us. We ended up buying in a different town and love being 2-3 miles from supermarket, bank, gas station, post office, small restaurants, hardware store and gym. We have privacy at home....not total isolation....which is OK for us.
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Old 11-21-2017, 01:31 PM   #37
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We live in an area where urban sprawl meets a state park system, so we have wilderness hiking in one direction and shops and restaurants in another. We thought about moving further out of town but thinking ahead we decided to stay for the following reasons - close to more than one senior center, door to door senior bus service for something like $1 a trip for when we are older, commuter train station within Uber distance, near hospital, can walk / electric scooter to shops, banking, post office and stores. Transaction costs here are high to sell a house here and moving is a hassle. We're still decluttering after several years of retirement. I think we will end up staying in our current house until we are too old to take care of it or the upkeep becomes more of a hassle and then maybe move to a retirement village near one of the kids.

We had relatives who moved to a resort area for retirement. Eventually neither one could drive and they had limited access to bus and taxi service so it was a real hassle helping them get places especially for medical appointments. They finally moved back into town. They were introverts and pretty isolated their later years until they moved again, and moving was hard for them when they were older.
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Old 11-21-2017, 01:37 PM   #38
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When I bought my 2nd home in the high-country boonies, I thought I might retire up there. Soon after spending time there, I learned it was not an ideal place for older retirees. It is in an unincorporated town, and although is not in an isolated spot, it is 50 minutes from a regional hospital and real grocery stores, in fact any doctor's office or pharmacy. When we get older, even that town that is 50 minutes away might not have a medical specialist if we happen to need one.

Living there full-time I would miss the amenities of the main suburban home which is within 5 miles of all major stores. So, I keep it as a summer place.
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Old 11-21-2017, 01:56 PM   #39
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60 and mid 50's is still young enough to maintain a property and you will probably be able to maintain it for a good 10+ years, depending on the type of property of course.
Doing volunteer work, to church, the senior center, etc just means coordinating everything so you can do everything in one trip to town instead of running back and forth.

I would say go for it!
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Old 11-21-2017, 01:57 PM   #40
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DW and I have been "living the dream" since 1988, when we bought an old farm property with 45 acres at the end of a dead-end road. We're just outside the exurbs of metro Milwaukee, a city that hasn't sprawled quite as massively as some. When I was w*rking my daily 45-minute commute took me into the heart of downtown.

As a lot of people have said, yard work can be a challenge. The biggest pain can be spotty access to utilities. I don't miss cable TV, but I wish we had access to natural gas for heat and cooking. A cellular 4G hotspot delivers adequate Internet. It's pricey, but our other media spending is low. As is our property taxes -- pretty bearable compared to what some of our friends in town are paying.

Of course, our emergency services are also limited. There's an old saying about the volunteer fire departments out here: "They've never lost a basement."
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