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Moving and retirement
Old 11-15-2005, 11:51 AM   #1
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Moving and retirement

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Originally Posted by davew894
I never really understood how moving to a low-cost living area is somehow a compromise. On the contrary, I feel like living in the city is a requirement of having a high paying job. That's why I live close to the city now. If I had my choice, I would live an hour or two outside of a city so that I could enjoy the culture, shows and other things that cities offer without actually having to live there and fight crowds, eat at busy restaurants, pay high housing prices/taxes, etc. I currently live in a rural area near a large metro area and commute as it is the best I can do and still keep my job. For me, moving to a lower cost area is one of biggest pluses of early retirement. I will no longer be tied to a city (or the outskirts of one in my situation) because of needing a high paying job. I will be able to move where the schools are good, lots sizes are large (we're talking acres, not feet ), the air is clean and the traffic is light in a thriving small town (with few high paying jobs). I would drive to the city... maybe once every couple of months if I desire.

For me, no longer relying on an expensive city filled with people competing for limited land to live on while holding down high paying jobs is a huge benefit of ER.

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?
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Re: Moving and retirement
Old 11-15-2005, 12:02 PM   #2
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Re: Moving and retirement

Martha:

RE in rural areas mostly hasn't experienced the run up that urban RE has. Why not buy a country "home base" and rent a pied a terre in the city? I bet that if you sold the building, the new buyer would be happy to have a tenant that they knew was flush wish cash and very motivated to execute a lease with all the i's dotted and t's crossed.
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Re: Moving and retirement
Old 11-15-2005, 12:10 PM   #3
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Re: Moving and retirement

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

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Re: Moving and retirement
Old 11-15-2005, 12:17 PM   #4
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Re: Moving and retirement


Martha and Greg,

Sounds like Green Acres is the plane to be.

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Re: Moving and retirement
Old 11-15-2005, 12:18 PM   #5
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Re: Moving and retirement

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?
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Re: Moving and retirement
Old 11-15-2005, 12:21 PM   #6
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Re: Moving and retirement

I'll probably move to a lower-cost area when I retire. The main reasons I'm where I'm at now are that it's 3 1/2 miles from work and I have a lot of family that lives really close. My grandma and uncle are across the street, and her cousin is next door. The house has been in the family for ages. My grandma's great uncle built it back in 1916, and before that I have no idea how long the land was in the family.

However, things are changing. It used to be rural, backwoodsy country with a lot of farms around. Now it's nothing but urban sprawl. Having 4 1/4 acres, plus having family beside me and across the street does keep it isolated somewhat, but years down the road, once I'm retired and my grandma and her cousin have passed on, there's really nothing to keep me here. At that point, if prices are still high around here, I'd love to sell and move out to some area that's cheaper to live and more rural...but still close enough to a big city in case I get TOO bored! I really haven't put much thought into where to go, though. I kinda like NC, but I don't know much about it.
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Re: Moving and retirement
Old 11-15-2005, 12:48 PM   #7
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Re: Moving and retirement

We retired in place, but only after building and moving to our 'retirement home' while still working.

Seven years or so before my targeted retirement date, we bought some rural property in a neighboring county, about 25 miles from my office. Our plan was to build a house on the property when I retired and make the move to the country. The RE market improved nicely a couple of years after we bought the land so we decided to put our 4 bedroom suburban home on the market to see what would happen. The first people that looked at it bought it , and we moved to a rental while we advanced our schedule and built our new house. My daily commute grew from 14 miles roundtrip to 50, but was in a relatively low traffic area and not too bad. Five years after moving to the new house, we paid it off and I retired six months later.

We decided to retire in the area because of 1. family (grandchildren) nearby, 2. reasonably low cost of living, 3. our love of the TX Hill Country.

A side note: we "downsized" from two stories, four bedrooms and 2,800 sq. ft. to a single story, 3 bedrooms and 2,250 sq. ft. with three porches and a deck. Due to the fecundity of my two daughers and resulting four (soon to be five) grandchildren, we converted one of the porches into a gameroom and are now back to approximately the same square footage. :P (But it sure has helped me retain my sanity!)

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Re: Moving and retirement
Old 11-15-2005, 12:51 PM   #8
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Re: Moving and retirement

I guess in some ways I am a contrarian to the down-sizing trend. *

For my first ER, we moved to a different part of the country but were we had lived before and where my kids are currently in school. *We actually up-sized * to a larger house. *The new house was just a bit more than the one we left but had a lot more square feet, storage areas (long story) and had a bedroom on the first floor (very important at the time). *The downside was it was a bigger house; more to heat and cool, more to clean and it is further to the refrigerator from the TV set. *8) *The yard will be a nice retirement project but for now is a pain in the rear due to high maintenance. *I like to do it but just don't have the time now.

Flash forward 3 years....

The house is now too big. *The needed space is slowly yielding to vacant closets as things are being slowly disposed of. *We don't use 50% of the house and the reasons for getting the place are fading away (base camp for the kids once they move away) and need to lots of storage for "stuff". *

We are now looking at downsizing in a few years. *Even though the place is too big, I still enjoy the ability to have a room dedicated to just about anything without having to rearrange the world for different activities. *It is also nice to be far away from DW when she is in "one of those moods" *: *I can crank up the TV or stereo in the basement and she can still talk on the phone in the kitchen with very little "interference" to each other. *

That said, I would like to have no mortgage, lower energy bills, a smaller and more managable yard and lower taxes when we retire. *We like the area and may start looking in a year or two at a smaller place but in this neck of the woods. *So far we are still in the same ball park with housing costs even with a smaller house. *The area has really inflated in the past couple of years so less house is still as much as what we have now. *We would have to move some distance and into a more compact and higher density area to get enough of a break in price to swap the equity for a paid-off new house. *

It is a puzzlement!
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Re: Moving and retirement
Old 11-15-2005, 01:04 PM   #9
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Re: Moving and retirement

The only moving we'll probably do is downsize to a smaller home (maybe a bungalow) but that's years away since we're renovating our current home to get ready for the new addition in the spring Even if we do downsize, I'd prefer to stay in our current neighbourhood since it's close to shopping, downtown, etc.

I don't think we'd ever leave Calgary due to the economic benefits of living here as well as the lifestyle. Hubby enjoys the winter activities such as skiing and we're only 45 minutes away from The Rockies. I think I would go stir-crazy living in a small town...I lived in Tulsa for a couple of years and that was small enough for me :P
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Re: Moving and retirement
Old 11-15-2005, 01:30 PM   #10
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Re: Moving and retirement

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveR
I guess in some ways I am a contrarian to the down-sizing trend.

Me too. I am ready to upsize but I really don't like the idea of paying for it. I also don't like the idea that our 4 unit building in our town of 80,000 is worth about the same as a 2000 sq ft house in St. Paul, MN. So swapping a property that generates income of about $20,000 a year to a non-income producing asset is a tough decision.
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Re: Moving and retirement
Old 11-15-2005, 02:07 PM   #11
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Re: Moving and retirement

Move Greg into an adjoining unit. Make sure it has a basement. I'm only half kidding; if you have a 4 unit building and need more space, why not live in two units? If you wanted you could insert a door or knock down a wall or make a kitchen/dining room in one unit into something else. Depending on the layout you could knock down a wall and have a large master bedroom/bath suite.
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Re: Moving and retirement
Old 11-15-2005, 02:10 PM   #12
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Re: Moving and retirement

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.

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Re: Moving and retirement
Old 11-15-2005, 02:20 PM   #13
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Re: Moving and retirement

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigMoneyJim
Move Greg into an adjoining unit. Make sure it has a basement. I'm only half kidding; if you have a 4 unit building and need more space, why not live in two units? If you wanted you could insert a door or knock down a wall or make a kitchen/dining room in one unit into something else. Depending on the layout you could knock down a wall and have a large master bedroom/bath suite.
We've already done that once. The dogs didn't like going up and down the stairs, or we didn't like carrying them up and down. The good part was we had an office/kitchen just off the new TV room. It also means one of us sleeps downstairs with the dang dogs.

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Re: Moving and retirement
Old 11-15-2005, 02:36 PM   #14
 
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Re: Moving and retirement

We moved to the boonies when I semi-retired, and I can't recommend it highly enough. No lines, no traffic, house half-price, insurance lower, etc.

We got a somewhat smaller house (about 1900 sf), and now that DD is gone, I wish it were smaller still. I'm on clean-the-upstairs duty today, and it's great to skip the closed off bathroom and bedroom.

There's this vacation house down the street with one big room plus a bathroom and kitchen. I'll bet we could live there with no problem. So easy to get the wood stove heat to the whole house, do the cleaning in an hour.
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Re: Moving and retirement
Old 11-15-2005, 02:40 PM   #15
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Re: Moving and retirement

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigMoneyJim
Move Greg into an adjoining unit. Make sure it has a basement. I'm only half kidding; if you have a 4 unit building and need more space, why not live in two units? If you wanted you could insert a door or knock down a wall or make a kitchen/dining room in one unit into something else. Depending on the layout you could knock down a wall and have a large master bedroom/bath suite.
As you might have gathered from Greg's message, the layout didn't really work right to combine two apartments. To do it right would require some major work and would not positively effect the value of the place.

We think it is time to leave the neighborhood. As evidenced by diaper baby, the neighborhood is not improving.



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Re: Moving and retirement
Old 11-15-2005, 02:42 PM   #16
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Re: Moving and retirement

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?
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Re: Moving and retirement
Old 11-15-2005, 02:48 PM   #17
 
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Re: Moving and retirement

For us, meeting people has really been no different from how it was in the big city.* I meet people through jazz gigs, and DW meets them through volunteering and choir.* We also have neighbors.

For us it's 8 miles to a town of 350 residents, 25 miles to a town with 12,000 and 30 to a town with 30,000.*

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Re: Moving and retirement
Old 11-15-2005, 03:07 PM   #18
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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?
That's right. But they are from Mexico, not Norway, and they are married and retired. They do have a batchelor son living with them, so maybe that counts.

It turns out we are "closer" to our neighbors living hundreds of yards apart than when we were living a few feet apart in suburbia.

Our area (carved out of an old ranch) has 110 lots varying in size from 3 to 11 acres. Most are 5 acres to qualify for "Texas Vet" financing. There are only 30 homes so far and our nearest neighbors are across the road, about 150 yards away. The next closest is over a quarter of a mile down the road.

I suppose because we all live out in the boonies, we talk often at the mailbox and at occasional neighborhood gatherings, discussing what's happening in the area. (Plans to widen the state highway leading to our neighborhood, getting a street light at that intersection, etc.) We know almost every family here and ask friends down the road to keep an eye on our place while we are out of town and pick up their mail, and do the same for them.

So for us, our social interaction has actually increased with our move to the sticks.



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Re: Moving and retirement
Old 11-15-2005, 03:09 PM   #19
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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?*
Heh. * We actually bought our retirement home from a Norwegian bachelor farmer.

As far as social interaction in the boonies, you basically can't avoid it. * Everytime you go to the store or an eatery, somebody you know is there.

Here are the qualities we looked for in our retirement home:

- a large yard for the dogs and kid
- a single story, to take it easy on the dogs' knees and reduce the risk of my wife pushing me down the stairs
- lots of places to hide
- lots of potential remodeling projects to keep us busy
- a nice view, so we can have something pretty to look at as senility sets in
- walking or biking distance to most of the places we want to go, so we have no excuse to avoid exercise
- quiet, so we can hear each other mumble
- private, so we can walk around without pants
- small enough to avoid hiring a cleaning staff
- a garage large enough for my laboratory

We're also in an area with good schools for the kid, a boat ride away from a major metropolis, good local doctors, and fairly good places to eat. * *The only thing I miss from The City is Fry's Electronics.
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Re: Moving and retirement
Old 11-15-2005, 03:11 PM   #20
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Re: Moving and retirement

Martha/Greg -

I don't know much about life after retirement but you have to live in a place that makes you happy, a place that best suits your interests/needs. *For some people that means the city (a growing trend among some retirees and cities are taking notice --- read an article about it & Chicago is starting to offer all kinds of discounts on services), the country or the burbs. *

I think you both know what you want (city) but price is the factor holding you back. *Why not take your idea for a test spin and rent a place in the city? *No need hurry (hurry up and do nothing as UM2 would say) or rush into a new way of life and divest some rental real estate you would rather hang onto for a bit longer.

I'm too far away from retirement to offer any insight about what I will want years down the road * *But those are just my general thoughts on the topic & I need to get a post in for the day.
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