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Old 10-18-2007, 10:10 AM   #41
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We also love NO and mourn its passing. It offers a unique cultural charm not found anywhere (maybe Quebec City but better in NO IMHO). We have experimented with Florida and found South Beach, Key West and Ft Lauderdale all attractive for our lifestyle. We have also tried San Diego and Phoenix.

But so far we would not relocate to any of the above. We like where we are but would like more sunshine. For the reasons that we like NO we are considering Mexico.
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Old 10-18-2007, 10:10 AM   #42
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My biological father lived many years in Naw'Lins, so I know that area. How much did I love that city? Well, I was planning to move there for a few years when I got out of here (thru eldercaring). @#$%^&* NOW there is no N.O. to go back to hardly...unless you are into toxic fumes.
The food, the architecture, the attitude...just live in a low crime area is what you would have to watch. But what a city! It is such a pity, but, I am afraid, it is gone forever. I know, I know...I am the prophet of doom and gloom, but I am thinking with my left brain now and don't see it possible to rebuild much. I, personally, don't have the guts to stay where the levees won't hold the entire French Quarter and it might soon go all down the drain for good. (I would have lived in the CBD, probably, tho)
I LOVED New Orleans, and am so thankful I got to live there for a few months once.

But, I DO get your point about the feel, the atmosphere of a city that can't or isn't put in any of the statistics you read. That is a right brain function after I narrow the left brain facts down..haha!
I haven't told this one in a while - fresh out of the UW working at Boeing Seattle we were getting New Orleans transfers as Apollo Space Program(late 60's) was winding down 'New Orleans the arm pit of the universe - hot, humid, mosquito's, shell dust, etc, etc - Hunstville, AL a close second - reneck boondocks, etc. Ah - God's Country - Seattle and the Pac NW, mountains, sking etc.

Forward to the 70's(Space shuttle) transferred to - badda bing Huntsville/New Orleans - 'had to take a transfer to yucky Seattle to keep my job - cold, grey, rain, grumpy people, etc - thank God I made it back down South to Paradise - Huntsville vs New Orleans having further dsicriminators - aka da City is not Huntsville. 1974 - 2005 including maybe 1 1/2 yrs total tdy in Huntsville early on.

I made the mistake early on of posting a topic on 'the perfect retirement spot' naively thinking it was the same 'cheeseburger in paradise/Jimmy Buffett mythical location - Wrong!

People are different.



heh heh heh - probably visit New Orleans again for Christmas.
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Old 10-18-2007, 11:25 AM   #43
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I've lived in D.C., Chicago and Houston (plus overseas). Glad you made that point: people ARE different in different areas. That is something the statistics don't tell you at all.
Honestly, the appeal of living in an RV and traveling the country or just taking the car and moteling across the country is getting more appealing by the month. At least, you could get a better feel that way of the intangibles--which turn out to be more important than the statistics when you live there.
For instance, I chose Houston by doing the numbers in the early 1980's...and HATED all 22 years there. That is no way to live. Maybe if I had chosen another area of the city it would have been better? But Bellaire--Dr./lawyers ghetto with all marrieds--was really not a fun place for a single mother with a business. The people all were professionals, so there was no socializing at all in my neighborhood. I thought it was maybe me...until others on the street made comments over the years. Sucked...so much for strictly going by the numbers and statistics.
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Old 10-18-2007, 12:28 PM   #44
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Huntsville vs New Orleans having further dsicriminators - aka da City is not Huntsville.
Frank and I visited Huntsville a little while back, but decided it is not where we want to retire. It is a nice city and all, but just not what we want. Da City is definitely not Huntsville.

Frank works as a senior engineer out where you worked, and did back in the 80's as well. He doesn't like it any better now than he did then (some things never change), but came back for family reasons. Hopefully the fact that I am here might have been a factor as well.
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Old 10-18-2007, 12:37 PM   #45
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For instance, I chose Houston by doing the numbers in the early 1980's...and HATED all 22 years there. That is no way to live. Maybe if I had chosen another area of the city it would have been better? But Bellaire--Dr./lawyers ghetto with all marrieds--was really not a fun place for a single mother with a business. The people all were professionals, so there was no socializing at all in my neighborhood. I thought it was maybe me...until others on the street made comments over the years. Sucked...so much for strictly going by the numbers and statistics.
Houston looks great by the numbers, and it seemed wonderful when I was living in College Station. But the traffic there just gets worse and worse. It's nicer than 90% of big cities, but doesn't make the cut for me when it comes to potential retirement locations. I go to Bellaire a lot for work, and it's true - - everybody there is driving to or from work, and I hardly see anybody who appears to be just hanging out, taking it easy, socializing, or having fun in that neighborhood. I'd rather be someplace that was more low key, for retirement.
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Old 10-18-2007, 12:50 PM   #46
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We also love NO and mourn its passing. It offers a unique cultural charm not found anywhere (maybe Quebec City but better in NO IMHO). We have experimented with Florida and found South Beach, Key West and Ft Lauderdale all attractive for our lifestyle. We have also tried San Diego and Phoenix.

But so far we would not relocate to any of the above. We like where we are but would like more sunshine. For the reasons that we like NO we are considering Mexico.
Some people really like Mexico, and it is certainly inexpensive. It does not have much appeal to me. Maybe I am a snob!! But it does not appeal or seem like home to me. Besides, I do not speak Spanish very well at all. I have enough French to fit in with my Cajun friends down on the bayou southwest of New Orleans. They have their own unique French dialect but it is not hard to understand at all (harder to speak that way after learning Parisian French in school!).

Thanks for the kind words about New Orleans. I feel the same way. Maybe someday I will visit Quebec City.
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Old 10-18-2007, 01:14 PM   #47
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Orchid Flower ,
One of the most positive things about Florida is the fact that most people are from somewhere else so they are all looking for friends and if you move into a community you will have an instant social life.I lived in one when I was single and it was great . If I wanted company I went to one of the social events or the community pool. I also never felt unsafe in any way .
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Old 10-18-2007, 02:15 PM   #48
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Orchid Flower ,
One of the most positive things about Florida is the fact that most people are from somewhere else so they are all looking for friends and if you move into a community you will have an instant social life.I lived in one when I was single and it was great . If I wanted company I went to one of the social events or the community pool. I also never felt unsafe in any way .
So true! Lots of people are moving into many big cities with good employment and high COL. Just not older people, instead mostly 20s and 30s. It is so much easier if there are people around you who need what you need. People are satisficers, not optimizers. If you go somewhere where most in your age group are already fully integrated into social interdependencies, why would they need you? In fact, you could even be de-stabilizing. It is especially hard to make same sex friends in settled communities.

Like Phil Greenspun says, if you are single and retired, don't go to some deserted beach, go on a group tour.

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Old 10-18-2007, 03:22 PM   #49
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I did run the numbers on the counties west, nw, sw of Austin; and there are many geezers there. But the income level is kinda on the lowish side. Now that will not help me on my quest to find a rich old fart as a companion at all, but willing to check it out.
Las Vegas looks great...then you check on how many have degrees and graduate degrees, and find you will be one of the few that has actually read a book since high school. Delete.
So....will check out Florida. Maybe an area where it is just building up...and people have moved there from other locations would do it.
haha makes a good point of not going to a community where people have been there for years (by the way, I understand Pittsburgh--which they are pushing for retired people to move to--is like that), which makes it hard to make friends. Agree..they don't need me when they have their old pals.
I hear from various gals at the club I swim at where I am in the Midwest (old post-industrial town with hardly any in and out movement) that their biggest complaint is how hard it is to make any friends.
I'm telling you...that RV is starting to look mighty comfortable and fun to me each passing month...ha!
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Old 10-18-2007, 03:30 PM   #50
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I agree with what Moemg said about most people moving from elsewhere and therefore looking for friends and new social connections. I live in a small retirement community where everyone (this is not an exaggeration---I mean everyone of 76 homes, with the exception of DH and I who have no family) moved here to be by their kids. There are a couple who moved here less than a year ago and now thet kids may get transferred or voluntarily move, and they are going to be uprooted again, following the kids. And most of them are very involved in their kids' lives, almost raising the grandkids, with not much time or interest for making new friends.

But it's interesting about Florida. Certainly the average age of its residents must have gone way down since about 30 years ago, with Miami being a hot spot. Just today, the newspaper showed a photo of a new IKEA store opening in Sunrise (a suburb of Fort Lauderdale). No one looked to be above 35 or so! There may have been reasons for this (maybe IKEA doesn't appeal to older people and 500 people had been waiting in line since Monday for the Wednesday opening and to be the first 100 in line so they could get a free armchair), but I do think there is more of a mixture of ages than there used to be.

The thing I don't understand is why we don't see more people in their fifties and sixties around, regardless of where we live. If we baby boomers are really as plentiful as we're supposed to be, why is it that I never see anyone older than 40 at Starbucks?
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Old 10-18-2007, 03:43 PM   #51
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Maybe folks older than 40 have more since than to pay $5 for a cup of coffee.
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Old 10-18-2007, 04:45 PM   #52
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I agree with what Moemg said about most people moving from elsewhere and therefore looking for friends and new social connections. I live in a small retirement community where everyone (this is not an exaggeration---I mean everyone of 76 homes, with the exception of DH and I who have no family) moved here to be by their kids. There are a couple who moved here less than a year ago and now thet kids may get transferred or voluntarily move, and they are going to be uprooted again, following the kids. And most of them are very involved in their kids' lives, almost raising the grandkids, with not much time or interest for making new friends.
How awful!! Sounds like they really do not have a life beyond babysitting. Sure, grandkids are nice, but there is more to life, people!! They should listen to that great Dennis Hopper commercial about Dreams (I know, I know - - great commercial, bad product). But really, if they still had their dreams they would be doing something else now and then, it seems to me.

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If we baby boomers are really as plentiful as we're supposed to be, why is it that I never see anyone older than 40 at Starbucks?
Because we're at work all the time.

My 29-year-old daughter nearly lives at Starbucks. She hasn't "seen the light" financially, so she is probably charging her coffee to one of her over-extended credit cards.

I bring my coffee to work from home, in one of those car-mugs. I love good coffee but this is cheaper and faster.

I do think you have a point. If you look at the actual population curve, the baby boom is not THAT huge. Sure, our generation is an anomaly, but the press sometimes implies that it is bigger than it really is.
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Old 10-18-2007, 05:12 PM   #53
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I love my son. I adore my son. I spent 20 years of his life not dating to raise him. I gave him my total attention, time and money. I have done my job. I am not obligated to raise his kids if he ever has one. I feel I have done my time in "Motherhoodland." (This is my little sermon so he knows not to expect me to be responsible for his "mistakes" if he ever has one. So far, so good, tho.)
In other words, I consider myself a free agent now, baby....whoopie!!!!!
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Old 10-18-2007, 05:37 PM   #54
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I do not want to raise my grandkids or be a permanent babysitter but grandkids are the best thing since sliced bread . My SO has four and I have one on the way and they are a blast . We can play with them and send them home .
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Old 10-18-2007, 05:51 PM   #55
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As it should be, Moemg. As it should be.
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Old 10-18-2007, 06:38 PM   #56
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I do not want to raise my grandkids or be a permanent babysitter but grandkids are the best thing since sliced bread . My SO has four and I have one on the way and they are a blast . We can play with them and send them home .
One of my main reasons for wanting to retire early is to spend more time with our grandchildren in distant locations. It's not the only reason, and won't be our primary goal in life, but twice a year for each of them (California and Missouri ) is not enough. Turn around and they'll be pre-teens and will be way too busy with their friends and activities to have any time or interest in us.

For all of that we've still got to continue a fulfilling life for ourselves, granted. But my first trip after FIRE will be a slow boat to visit each set for as long as they can stand having us around.
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Old 10-18-2007, 09:03 PM   #57
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If we baby boomers are really as plentiful as we're supposed to be, why is it that I never see anyone older than 40 at Starbucks?
It's because we have been around long enough to know where they still serve quality espresso, and it isn't Starbucks. The coffin nail for Starbucks quality was when they went to the automated espresso maker machines.

BTW, went in the original Starbucks today, in the Pike Place Market. Still looks about like it did 40 or so years ago, but I believe that it has been relocated or re-created in the market. My memeory is that it was first on one of the streets downhill from the market, between the market and the Bay. I don't remember that they served retail coffee then. You just bought the beans and took them home. My wife had a stovetop espresso maker that she brought from Italy. They are still available, and look just like they always did. Maybe I will get one, though I usually prefer to go out for special coffee.

Anyway, if you looked in Seattle you would find lots of seasoned gentlemen hanging out in coffee houses.

Ha
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Old 10-19-2007, 06:30 AM   #58
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There is a couple at my pool who graduated high school around my time. Their youngest son dumped is two little kids (3 and 5) off with the grandparents. They have had them for 2 years now.
The husband is overweight and the kids just burn him out now that they are 5 and 7, and both love the kids alot...but feel burdened by this responsibility both emotionally and financially.
In other words, this proud couple has actually had to get some assistance from others to raise these kids--even tho he has a pension from a major corporation and both have SSI.
Yes we should love and adore--and spend so much time as you can with--the grandkids. But, I, myself, do not want to raise any at 63 and beyond. Sound selfish? It might be...but I see how hard it is for others. Of course, if I really, really had to, I would...but I do not want to be put in that position to find out.
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Old 10-19-2007, 07:26 AM   #59
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Yes we should love and adore--and spend so much time as you can with--the grandkids. But, I, myself, do not want to raise any at 63 and beyond. Sound selfish? It might be...but I see how hard it is for others. Of course, if I really, really had to, I would...but I do not want to be put in that position to find out.
We made a couple of things clear to DD when she was growing up, by pointing out examples and letting our opinions (pro and con) be known. By the time she was grown, she knew that:
  • After high school, she would either be in college or else self-supporting and out of the house; and
  • If she had a child, that child would be her responsibility and not ours (as well as how children are conceived, and how that can be prevented if desired).
Of course, if she had shown up on my doorstep with a grandchild and penniless, never in a million years would I have turned her away!! But we did not tell her that, and so far, that hasn't happened. She went to college and right now she is 29, completely self-supporting, and living on her own, in a different state from either her father or me.

Part of the responsibilities of parenthood is teaching the child some limits (and I think you and I have probably done that), but maybe some other parents have other limits than we have.
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Old 10-19-2007, 02:42 PM   #60
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My 3 grandchildren are across the country and I see them once a year. Used to be more often but they are their own people now and they know me well. I remember when I was the age of my kids, that I appreciated my independence. So I respect them and raised them to be fiercely independent.
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