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Re: Moving and retirement
Old 11-15-2005, 03:22 PM   #21
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Re: Moving and retirement

I er'd about 1.5 years ago, but my better half is still working, so we'll stay here until she retires (that's Pittsburgh suburbia).
I have long liked AZ and would move there except that housing prices are zooming there but not here. So, the longer I live here, the more we fall behind the rest of the country - unless the housing boom bursts.
Another option that seems to be attractive, is to continue to live here until I die, but live at least one month (January) in the Phoenix area. It's nice here about 9 months of the year - the other 3 are pure hell ( I hate the snow ).
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Re: Moving and retirement
Old 11-15-2005, 03:34 PM   #22
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Re: Moving and retirement

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha
So those of you that live in the boonies, what do you do for social interaction? Make friends with the Norwegian bachelor farmers down the road?
Social interaction? What's that? I have 3 bedrooms sharing a wall or corner with mine and 7 bathrooms sharing walls or corners with mine and I have no clue who lives in them. (Luckily they're mostly quiet.) I used to think I'm antisocial, but I think most of the others there are, too. Only a couple of the neighbors are seen talking periodically, and I've spoken with them so I guess I'm one of the social butterflies of the apartment building.
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Re: Moving and retirement
Old 11-15-2005, 03:36 PM   #23
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Re: Moving and retirement

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha
I get allergic smelling hay.

I didn't think about things like doctors and dentists. What did you do Grumpy, get a referral from someone?
Two weeks after the move my wife came down with the flu and was running a high fever. With no doctor in the new area she couldn't get an appointment for weeks. Fortunately her doctor from our old location was available by phone and was willing to call in prescriptions to the pharmacy in our new neighborhood.

With that as motivation, I got my health insurance company's list of preferred providers in the new area. Then I asked my neighbors (many of whom had moved from nearby) if they knew any of those doctors. Then it was trial and error. I found a general practitioner that I like (though her office is a little further away than I would like). I went to a rheumatologist that she recommended . Hated him and haven't gone back. Her other referrals have turned out to be quite satisfactory. My wife tried two dermatologists before finding one she felt comfortable with (located 40 minutes away).

For a dentist it was a little complicated also. We have dental coverage from two different insurance companies (my federal health insurance and my wife's insurance from the school system). I called several dentists in the area. I wanted one who would file all of the paperwork for both insurance companies. I struck out on the first three. I finally found one who participates with both. My wife and I both tried him out for a cleaning and checkup and liked him. I have since had him replace two old fillings and am pleased with the result.

We had been using the same doctors and dentist for close to 30 years in our old locations. We realized that this was going to be a problem before we moved and the reality turned out to be as bad as we expected. As time goes by we will hopefully build up the kind of trust with our new doctors that we had with the old.

Grumpy

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Re: Moving and retirement
Old 11-15-2005, 03:49 PM   #24
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Re: Moving and retirement

A few weeks ago we flew up to Portland for a few days (we'd never spent any time there) and then went down the coast, overnighting in Florence and then in Coos Bay where we visited with some friends who a couple of years ago sold their restaurant building and small house here in San Francisco and moved north (the dot com bust very negatively impacted their restaurant's clientele).

As we were driving around they pointed out the second tallest commercial building in Coos Bay, which was about 7-8 stories tall (and I think was built in the 1930s). *Them mentioned that they'd thought of buying it (price about $600K) but even though it had retail space in it that brought in about $5K/month it needed a lot of maintenance, so they passed. *It was amusing to think that we could sell our 1100 sq ft house and buy a "skyscraper". *

We picked up a real estate magazine while in Portland, and a couple of days ago my sweetheart finally got around to looking at it. *Her response was pretty much "wow, look at the cheap prices!".

She FIREd 06/04 and I went out at the end of August this year, so it is too early to consider moving anywhere as things haven't settled down yet.

The problem is that we like where we are (out near the beach and GG Park) and we like the climate. *We would like to have more space here at the house (this area typically has 25' wide lots) as we both have hobbies that require "stuff" to be around. *We also wouldn't mind having the population density drop by about 75%, but that isn't likely to happen until the next earthquake/tsunami. *She's fourth generation SF, and I moved here in 1979, and we've got our 20+ year favorite restaurants to go to, live surf music at a local club every Thursday evening, the beach/park/museums near by, ready access to medical facilities (Kaiser, which we've needed in the past) and she's a member of the local gem and mineral club which is literally around the corner, so she's there on 3 different days each week to work on projects or take classes.

Her mom is here in town about 1.5 miles away, a sister over in Marin, one near Sacramento and the other in Reno. *But we see them mainly for birthdays/holidays. *My nearest relatives are in New Mexico, and neither of us has a particularly wide circle of friends, and we tend to be a bit on the introverted/shy side so we have concerns about moving away and ending up even more isolated.

We neither own nor need a lawnmower, and the back yard/garden is about 25' square. *Everything else is either house or concrete.

If we could move someplace a bit more suburban that didn't lose us access to everything we are accustomed to having, we might consider it. *But we've got a very narrow climate comfort zone (45-70* F) so we've pretty much got to stay in a coastal environment.

The thought of cashing out, getting a newer/nicer/bigger space and putting money in the bank is attractive. *But we've never been among the crowd that always talked about "we can't wait to retire so we can stay in our beach/mountain/lake home full time". *There's no place that we are aware of that want to be more than where we are. *The only drawback is the millions of other people that also want to be here. *

We've seen the example of her grandparents who left the city for retirement in a small town farther north in California. *That was fine until they got to the point of not being able to drive, and found that the small town largely didn't have a public transit system that would let them get around. *That lead to their daughter (her mother) driving the 180 miles up to take her parents to the doctor. *They eventually sold their place (it took a year to sell) and moved into a small apartment here in the city, which was all they could afford. *Many of their belongings didn't find space in the new place.

We figure that we can't move with any expectation of being able to move back if we change our minds - the real estate markets are just too goofy, and we're not likely to want to get into a mortgage again.

So we have thoughts about moving, but they are vague enough that it doesn't seem at this time they are going to become reality.* We aren't averse to moving as long as we can retain all the positive points of our current location, and add additional positive things to them in the new location.

I guess there is no rush.* We'll try doing some more traveling and check out various places and see if anything calls to us with a siren's song.

cheers,
Michael
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Re: Moving and retirement
Old 11-15-2005, 03:52 PM   #25
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Re: Moving and retirement

Quote:
We moved following retirement for several reasons:

1. We had a big four bedroom two story colonial suburban house and an empty nest - wanted to downsize.

2. Our neighborhood had changed - new (Latino) next door neighbor parked his pickup on the lawn; mowed the lawn with a weed wacker, held noisy late night conversations on his driveway, etc.

3. Wanted to be part of a real community. We lived in our house for 25 years and barely knew any of our neighbors.

Our solution was a move (almost a year ago) to a "55 or better" community in a neighboring state (still a suburb of D.C.). We now have a one-level 3 bedroom house. We know and like all of our neighbors and have an active social life within the community. The transition from a blue state to a red state was a bit disorienting and finding new doctors was a minor trauma but overall we are very happy with the move.

Grumpy
Grumpy -

Are you satisfied overall with your move? And was it your part of your original plan or something you both realized after you had been retired for a few years?
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Re: Moving and retirement
Old 11-15-2005, 06:30 PM   #26
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Re: Moving and retirement

Wildcat,

We are VERY satisfied with our move. It was part of our plan to move and downsize after retirement. A few years prior to our retirement we started seriously looking at places we were considering. These included Las Vegas, Tuscon Arizona, Raleigh N.C. and communities in the D.C. area. We finally decided that we wanted to remain in the D.C. area near family and friends. We visited nearly every "55 or better" community in Maryland and Virginia. Most just didn't have the type of homes and/or the amenities we wanted in the price range we needed. Finally we found the community we are now living in. At the point that we were ready to sign a contract, they had no lots available. We wanted a lot backing to the woods. A few day later, due to a contract cancellation, we signed the contract. It took 10 months for the house to be completed. We moved in February so we've been here 10 months now and love it.

Grumpy
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Re: Moving and retirement
Old 11-15-2005, 10:24 PM   #27
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Re: Moving and retirement

Quote:
Originally Posted by Apocalypse . . .um . . .SOON
It also means one of us sleeps downstairs with the dang dogs.

--Greg
At least your dog still sleeps with you. Mine prefers to sleep ouitside, even in the rain.

Ha
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Re: Moving and retirement
Old 11-15-2005, 10:32 PM   #28
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Re: Moving and retirement

It sounds like you have a real dog instead of the fake-o, barkie things we have.

--Greg

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Re: Moving and retirement
Old 11-16-2005, 12:21 AM   #29
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Re: Moving and retirement

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha
So are you moving when you retire?* Why or why not?*
This is the best house we've ever lived in, and our longest time at one address since we graduated from high school. Spouse has always had a hobby of looking at open houses and I guess I just didn't see where it would lead.

She found this place on Father's Day five years ago (that tells you how smart the RE agent was, to have their first open on that day). The house was actually on the market for its second attempt but it still looked like a chewed-up trash pit. We lowballed and removed lots of wallpaper & old paint, fixed up moldings, painted everything, you get the idea. Since then we've remodeled the kitchen, two bedrooms, & two bathrooms.

At the time we bought the house she was still on active duty but squabbling with her assignment officer, who wanted her to move to Norfolk or some other foreign country. We not only have a great house but we also have a great kid's neighborhood & great schools. So she decided to move herself to the Reserves, a career decision whose memory will always be intertwined with the experience of closing on this place & moving in. The house is big enough (2400 sq ft) to coexist with a teenager & her friends while still small enough to keep it clean. There's plenty of home improvement left to do and lots of closets to clean out. Working on it every day for an hour or two will probably wrap up those projects in the next five years.

OTOH the yardwork is a life sentence with no parole and we can see that the place will be emptier when the kid moves out. We've been planting low-maintenance groundcover and cutting the trees way back but these are not activities I want to be engaged in four decades from now. The extra space will make it easier to remodel the familyroom (probably by just demolishing it and redoing it the right way) but I don't want to tempt a boomerang kid with all these spare bedrooms. So I guess it's possible that we'll move again someday.

However I'd hate to change climates, surf spots, or our proximity to Home Depot. So maybe we'll just stay where we are and buy the neighbor's houses if they move. But if a Home Depot opens up on the North Shore...?
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Re: Moving and retirement
Old 11-16-2005, 10:30 AM   #30
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Re: Moving and retirement

DW & I love our house on a freshwater lake, 4 blocks from the Chesapeake Bay. But at 4BR, 3 BA, 3000 SF, and just us two; it's gonna be too big someday.

Flashback: In 2000, a scary little cottage two houses down the street showed up in the newspaper's foreclosure list. Kids would cross the street not to pass too close to this hovel. It was my 1st foreclosure auction and I was the last guy bidding at 70K. Took us almost a year, but we tricked it out real nicely and have had appreciative tenants ever since.

Back to the OP. DW calls it our retirement home, all 625 SF of it. It's got a great sunset view over the lake. She envisions us adding a garage and party room. We have an active social life in the neighborhood, family in town and wouldn't want to move out to the sticks. So for us at least, it seems like we've got that one ciphered out.
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Re: Moving and retirement
Old 11-16-2005, 11:17 AM   #31
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Re: Moving and retirement

Quote:
Originally Posted by Apocalypse . . .um . . .SOON
Martha:

Did you tell everybody about diaper baby? Diaper baby moved into a rental about two blocks from us sometime this past summer. I think he's about 18 months old. He shakes his fist at cars when they go by, and fights with all the other older toddlers. About two weeks ago, his mother and father were outside having a dispute with the neighbors. Diaper baby was standing there watching in his diaper (about 40 degrees outside) and nothing else on. His fists were clenched, his lower lip was stuck out, all tensed up--just waiting for the pile on to happen. One little, tough fellow. We need to move before he gets much bigger. (BTW, I ran home to get the camera for an avatar picture, but missed out. I have never seen a meaner, tougher looking baby in my life.) His parents take him for walks in the evening too. He goes out ahead about twenty feet with a stick and bangs on trees and road signs as he walks, scaring people. I'm going to give him lots of chocolate when he's ready for trick or treating.

--Greg
I think I'm gonna have nightmares tonight.

Sounds like a great minor character for a dark comedy.
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Re: Moving and retirement
Old 11-16-2005, 06:49 PM   #32
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Re: Moving and retirement

I did things kinda backwards - chose the place where I wanted to live (and retire) back in my 20's.* I toured the whole country and settled where I thought I'd be happiest.* Instead of downsizing in retirement, we lived so lbym over the working years, moving from an 1100 sq ft house to a 2800 sq ft house seemed like nirvana.* Luckly the timing of the large house purchase turned into a smart investment too, and could serve as our "ace in the hole" using a reverse mortage.* San Diego is not the sleepy little town I discovered in the 70's, but amazingly I still don't feel like I live in a big city.* Every once in a while I get caught in a traffic jam when my timing matches that of the commuter crowd, but it is the rare exception and makes me appreciate retirement all the more.* I've taken up walking for exercise and you wouldn't believe what is available within a 3 - 4* mile radius within a city. I'll save the rural life for vacations. * * * * *
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Re: Moving and retirement
Old 11-17-2005, 12:27 AM   #33
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Re: Moving and retirement

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha
I pulled Dave's post from another thread, but I am wondering how often people do move when they retire and why they move.* We have a good situation right now in that we live in an apartment in a four unit buildling we own.* Keeps the living expenses down to have your home be a cash producing asset.*

But, if we both are retired the quarters are a little close for day in day out contact.* (Sorry sweetie, no reflection on you).* So we are starting to look at the possibility of selling the place while rental housing still goes for a pretty good price, and buying a home.* Where Dave's ideal is moving out into the country, my ideal is moving to the big city.* More of our friends are there and there are more things to do.* The downside is the cost and the worry that prices are currently inflated in Minneapolis/St. Paul.* *Decisions, decisions.*

One option we have is to sell our rental property and rent a place in the cities, betting on prices of housing going down or stagnating.* It at least looks like the rental market is a buyer's market so maybe we could get a place even though we have two dogs and two birds.*

So are you moving when you retire?* Why or why not?*
DW and I really love the dessert Southwest. We both grew up in the mid-West, but lived and worked out here i Phoenix for 14 years. Then, just about the time we started thinking seriously about early retirement, we got obscene salary offers to come and work in Iowa. We did some calculations and decided that we could work 5 years in Iowa, save money like crazy, vest in the pension plan, and retire. We assumed we would move back to the Southwest when we were through.

So we got the chance to live for 5 years on wooded acreage just ouside of a town with a population of under 300. It was a great experience and I enjoyed it. But it became clear that we missed the activities we had been involved in prior to moving to Iowa. In a large city it is easy to find people and organizations that share just about any interest you may have. This just isn't true in a town of 300.

We moved back to Arizona once we retired.
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Re: Moving and retirement
Old 11-17-2005, 08:52 AM   #34
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Re: Moving and retirement

This (moving) is becoming a bigger problem as we invent our ERselves. Having ERed in January, the new-found freedom is dizzying. We've organized our finances but* skimmed over the where-will-we-stay aspect. Our NC place is great but not in January. Our NY home is too big but a comfy place to be for Christmas and Thanksgiving. The kids live nearby.

In January we're outta here. Don't know where yet.

A friend recently attended a govt. sponsored retirement symposium. She was impressed by this trend... Many retirees sell out of the MidAtlantic states and move to Florida. They hate it and move halfway back. Its called "The J Effect". Their advice was rent don't buy until you know for sure.

Good advice.

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Re: Moving and retirement
Old 11-17-2005, 08:56 AM   #35
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Re: Moving and retirement

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Originally Posted by BUM
Many retirees sell out of the MidAtlantic states and move to Florida. They hate it and move halfway back. Its called "The J Effect".
I've heard them called "halfbacks" too...
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Re: Moving and retirement
Old 11-17-2005, 09:07 AM   #36
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Re: Moving and retirement

Since I'm still several years from FIRE, if ever...

I don't have a good feel for whether I'll stay put, move, etc. Where's the rest of the family? Is my son married? Grandkids? How's the economy? Will I be married/cohabitated? I doubt I'll ever own two homes, so short stays and or renting for a change of scenery seem more practical.

Unless, of course, the economy, and my portfolio, do much better than I anticipate, in which case I'll adjust accordingly!! 8)

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Re: Moving and retirement
Old 11-17-2005, 03:02 PM   #37
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Re: Moving and retirement

Moving away from Florida, to somewhere "halfway" could mean NC or SC.
The cost of living (Taxes) in NC and SC are much higher than FL, right ?
.
I really hate paying taxes to inefficient and crooked politicians - like the ones we have in Harrisburg PA.
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Re: Moving and retirement
Old 11-17-2005, 03:21 PM   #38
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Re: Moving and retirement

Florida has no state income tax, however, depending on where you live (within Florida) and how much house you buy the property taxes can be high. Property tax rates are less than 1% in some counties and close to 3% in others. The average is 2%.
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Re: Moving and retirement
Old 11-17-2005, 09:13 PM   #39
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Re: Moving and retirement

Husband and I made a list of the mistakes we thought our parents made when they retired, and what we wanted in a community when we retired. Then we waited until the right property came to our attention. Our only disappointment is that the kids aren't as close as we had hoped.
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Re: Moving and retirement
Old 11-18-2005, 03:25 AM   #40
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Re: Moving and retirement

Current for us: 3800 sq ft (way too big) in college town suburb and 5 hours from the ocean

ER plan: 1800 sq ft with a dock on the intercoastal waterway (OBX area)

Housing cost and taxes mostly a swap. A passion for being on the water makes it an easy decision. Maybe Jan-Feb down in South Padre or Marathon after the younger one is gone.

[Booked some FF miles to MIA for a sneak-away sailing session in Key West this weekend. Not a single rental car to be found at MIA airport right now. South FL is one big continual mess right now]
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