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Old 11-18-2014, 01:42 PM   #21
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Different strokes for different folks.
Lots of possibilities.

People Person?
Travel Person?
Different Cultures (countries)
Culture- Art, Literature


The comfort zone needs defining. At age 67, looking for fulfilment in multi arenas, I'm thinking a month or two renting in The Villages, in Florida. Exposure to virtually everything under the sun, with people or alone.
Probably not for a permanent location, but if there were ever a place to offer choices... 1000+ different ways to go.
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Old 11-18-2014, 03:03 PM   #22
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Why not try a home exchange. We tried this with our lake house. Worldwide hits we could not take advantage of. I am sure there are many pet friendly exchanges to be had.
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Old 11-18-2014, 03:07 PM   #23
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Based on an article I read recently, about 1 in 10 find retirement less satisfying than expected, so you're not alone.
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Seems like in this forum, it's more like 1 in 100 ...
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Originally Posted by W2R View Post
6.1% were less happy than they expected in ER, according to our forum poll here. But then "happy" and "satisfied" are not exactly the same thing.
I wouldn't be surprised, but this forum is not representative of the general population by any stretch...
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Old 11-18-2014, 03:12 PM   #24
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I think you may be confusing a therapy dog with a service dog. I'm training my dog to be a therapy dog, which will allow he and I to go to hospitals, hospices, schools, and nursing homes to be with the less fortunate. It's amazing what petting a dog and spending time with a dog can do to the sickly or mentally handicapped. I will still keep my dog.
Guilty here. Thanks for clarifying.
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Old 11-18-2014, 03:38 PM   #25
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Get an RV and take off with the dog. You will be able to see new places, interact with all kinds of people. Sounds like you are single, so go where you want without a firm schedule or set timeframe.
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Old 11-18-2014, 04:37 PM   #26
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..........
I wonder if you've considered doing some travel in a small camper or something like that? ...........
+1. They make some great little campers like a Scamp or Casita that make camping fun without spending a fortune on equipment or gas.
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Old 11-18-2014, 08:27 PM   #27
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All of your posts really helps. The advice was very solid. After returning from overseas last November, I found the first few months was filled with new things, and itís really only been the last few months where I sometime have felt ďis this it?Ē I certainly need to have that attitude change.

When I was overseas, the culture and novelty constantly bombarded me without even having to try hard, so I got used to being stimulated with little effort. For example, for many of the countries I live in, simply walking down the streets stimulated me to no end. Here in the States, Iím finding that I have to work a lot harder at being stimulated culturally and intellectually. The way I have been going about it is wrong. Youíre suggestions sincerely help.

Why come back to the States after being gone for 40+ years? I visited a lot, but usually only for a couple weeks at a time. One reason I came back at the age of 66 was health insurance. I know there are many countries that expats retire in and get health insurance, but usually itís pretty expensive. Some opt to pay out of pocket. I think thatís fine when youíre young (in your 50ís), but when you are approaching your 70ís, my own belief is itís nice to be covered. I had a international health insurance policy with BUPA, but it cost me about $5000 per year with a $1600 deductible. I decided that paying a third of that and being in the States with Medicare was much better.

The other reason for coming back and living in the States was having a home base and being near family. I have never had a house I could call my own. Now I do.

One person mentioned to simply give myself two years here, and if there is no improvements in my feelings and attitudes about living here, Iíll just sell my house (at a loss) and live overseas permanently. That is the extreme, but I can do it. As for my dog, Iíd want him with me going overseas. It can be done. But I hope I "fall back in love with the States", as one person mentioned. Road trips with my dog, or finding someone to care for him while I travel need to be options. I appreciate hearing that from others.

I reread them all again, Thank you again.

Rob
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Old 11-19-2014, 10:45 AM   #28
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I had a bit of an identity crisis after retirement - almost hit the point of depression. Lost about 10 pounds, not healthily.

It took about a year to rediscover the person I was as a youth. I liked him. A bit arrogant, but I think I've dialed that down and become not just the person I was, but the person I was who is slightly improved due to experience and - perhaps - a little more wisdom.

Take the time to rediscover yourself and then you'll find interests to branch out into. Or maybe rekindle old interests. This is the opportunity to rebuild yourself, either a little or a lot, and find new avenues. Or, perhaps, heading back down old familiar avenues feeling less rushed, and somewhat refreshed...


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Old 11-19-2014, 10:57 AM   #29
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Is it possible that the locale is contributing to this sense of frustration?

That part of the country is known to cause SAD ...
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Old 11-19-2014, 11:08 AM   #30
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Is it possible that the locale is contributing to this sense of frustration?

That part of the country is known to cause SAD ...
A real serious condition. I've suffered from SAD many years, it stinks. You might research a little and check into a light. We've also used it for a reason to travel south during the shortest days.

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Old 11-19-2014, 11:24 AM   #31
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+1 on MRG. I do exactly the same. I'm on the same latitude as OP I think.

Was a bit skeptical on the light, it does work though it seems.

Also recognize a mild version what Seraphim says. Just semi-FIREd since a very short few months though.
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Old 11-19-2014, 11:33 AM   #32
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I mean it's partly overcast today and I'm a bit bummed, even though for late November, it's probably pretty good.

Now I'm going to Prague and Vienna, just hoping for some sunny days or at least dry days.
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Old 11-19-2014, 11:34 AM   #33
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Another factor: You mention that this is the first time you have EVER owned a house. There are positive aspects of home ownership, but there are also negative ones. Having to mow the lawn (or shovel snow in some climates), keep up with maintenance on the house, pay property tax and insurance, deal with neighbors, and feeling tied down (almost cemented!) to one particular location are some of the negative aspects of home ownership.

Maybe you would be happier in the US if you sold your house and rented an apartment in a per-friendly building for a while.
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Old 11-19-2014, 11:48 AM   #34
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after being overseas for about 42 years in 12 countries working
If you have been overseas for that long, why not explore the USA? You can get an RV/trailer and travel with the dog. You can do a lot of good right here, and keep the dog.
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Old 11-19-2014, 12:04 PM   #35
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Another factor: You mention that this is the first time you have EVER owned a house. There are positive aspects of home ownership, but there are also negative ones. Having to mow the lawn (or shovel snow in some climates), keep up with maintenance on the house, pay property tax and insurance, deal with neighbors, and feeling tied down (almost cemented!) to one particular location are some of the negative aspects of home ownership.

Maybe you would be happier in the US if you sold your house and rented an apartment in a per-friendly building for a while.
You don't say where you live, other than very generally. If you live down in old town Bellingham, it likely won't take long at all to get a social life going. Also old town has a interesting street life in many places. Fairhaven is great, as is the UWW area just north of it. Remember, the fastest way to get out of loneliness is to start to meet women. Plenty of interesting, attractive people up there. UWW is a big draw. Though I suppose that if you moved up there, you must know about this. With suitable adjustments, same holds if you are gay.

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Old 11-19-2014, 12:36 PM   #36
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All good suggestions. Thank you.

As I mentioned, when you have lived in places like Liberia, Iran (time of the Shah), Vietnam (before and after the war), Korea, Singapore, China, Cambodia, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Egypt, and Jordan for 42 years, being stimulated visually took very little effort. Learning a couple languages and cultures on the way stimulated me intellectually. A simple walk outside my home in those countries was always fulfilling.

I'm currently living about 20 minutes outside Bellingham near the Canadian border. I'm also 25 minutes from Vancouver with the Nexus. I have no doubt that I can accomplish the same stimulation living in the US, but it will take much more effort than what I've shown. The travel around my own country, volunteer work, and even visits to other countries is something I need to do, with or without my dog. Unfortunately, the stimulation is not right outside my door as it was in other countries.

As for owning a new house and the headaches as one poster mentioned, it really isn't so bad. I paid for the house in cash, so all that is needed is the insurance and property taxes, and they are taken monthly out of my bank account. It's less, much less, than rent. Yard work in minimal, and I believe the maintenance is no more of a headache that a condo or getting the landlord to fix something in a rented apartment. Will I sell the house in a couple years? You bet. I like the idea of age restricted condos, fully aware of the pitfalls with condos also. Renting an apartment just doesn't seem right. I know some of you do it, and I know it works for some of you, but for me, I'd hesitate traveling much knowing that I'm still paying rent on an apartment that's empty.

I'll make the best of a new and challenging situation. Thank you for all your advice and encouragement.
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Old 11-19-2014, 06:36 PM   #37
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Hi Rob, I also want to commend you and your lab. I use to have a yellow lab and they are wonderful companions. You do live in a beautiful area of the U.S. and Washington state. You may want to look at joining an outdoors group for hiking, backpacking, climbing, cycling or kayaking. Some of these activities can involve your dog. Also, it is almost snowshoe and Nordic ski season. Think about a day trip to the Skagit River (Rockport). The eagles are returning for the salmon - absolutely spiritual. Wonderful opportunities to discover the beauty of your area (both WA and Canada). It just may provide you a different type of stimulation and allow you to meet others.


I wish you the best.
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Old 11-22-2014, 10:49 AM   #38
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.... I will still keep my dog....
I'm hoping that he'll travel with me around the US. When I'm comfortable with that, them maybe to Mexico or Central America, or even Hawaii, where there is no longer a quarantine. I made a commitment when I got the dog, and that's something I need to keep....Rob
It might be good to join social/educational events/classes that interest you, where you will meet and socialize with folks. Take music/painting/welding class or even university courses to learn/have fun and meet/chat with other people.

One thought for you, is to travel as in road-trip around Canada/US. You could easily rv/van with your dog on multi-week trips at not a great cost.
Personally, I've been watching some youtube.com videos of how people modified/simply enhanced different kinds of vans so they can road-trip and not have to tent. Some changes are very low cost and not even permanent so can revert the van for selling/use later.
This might solve your itch to travel for the next few years.
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Old 11-22-2014, 11:31 AM   #39
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Hi Rob, I also want to commend you and your lab. I use to have a yellow lab and they are wonderful companions. You do live in a beautiful area of the U.S. and Washington state. You may want to look at joining an outdoors group for hiking, backpacking, climbing, cycling or kayaking. Some of these activities can involve your dog. Also, it is almost snowshoe and Nordic ski season. Think about a day trip to the Skagit River (Rockport). The eagles are returning for the salmon - absolutely spiritual. Wonderful opportunities to discover the beauty of your area (both WA and Canada). It just may provide you a different type of stimulation and allow you to meet others.


I wish you the best.
+1
You are fortunate to live in one of the most beautiful parts of the continent, with so many diverse sights and activities within a day's drive. I hope you can find a way to find friends and enjoy it.
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Old 12-12-2014, 02:29 AM   #40
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I as well live just south of Bellingham WA. and have a 2yo golden retriever Libby, what a great companion. We travel a lot in the camper. Retired in April 2014 and logged 20k in 6 months. We Had a blast and could write book. Ready to go asap. "Things at rest stay at rest"
Libby won't let us sit still. You guys will Have a great time on the journey. It just gets better.


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