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Want to move to better weather but tough to leave family/comfort
Old 04-24-2017, 05:02 PM   #1
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Want to move to better weather but tough to leave family/comfort

I have been California dreaming most of my life. I thought about going out there when I was applying to dental school and again right after I graduated and got married but both times I chickened out. I stayed here in DC where I was born and raised mostly because my mom is mentally ill and I feel that I need to be here for her and my dad's sake. Mom and Dad are both still living. Dad is 86 and mom is 77. My sister also stayed in the area. As they age they are needing more and more help.

I have a great life here in Northern Virginia. I have a very successful practice and a great reputation in the area. I'm now semiretired working 3 days a week and still love what I do. I've raised 3 wonderful kids here- the oldest is married, has a little girl, and lives 8 minutes from us. The 2 younger ones are both at UVA. I have friends but no friendship that I would consider super close, and while I've been very involved with my church it is not something that can't be replaced. My wife currently babysits our grand daughter 2 days a week and I'm able to help share the duties a half day a week.

We just got back from So Cal and have found the spot that works for me and the DW. Finances are not a problem, so the only things hold me back are 1- giving up my extremely successful practice, and 2- leaving my family behind.

After years of working hard and planning for my retirement, I'm realizing that actually making the jump is a difficult decision to make. I'd appreciate any insight. Many thanks! BTW I'm 53.
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Old 04-24-2017, 06:06 PM   #2
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How about extended vacations during the worst of whatever weather you are trying to avoid?
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Old 04-24-2017, 06:13 PM   #3
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How about extended vacations during the worst of whatever weather you are trying to avoid?
That's sort of what I'm doing now although the vacations aren't long. Every month or so I have been taking 5-7 days off and going somewhere. This year I've been to Puerto Rico, Scottsdale AZ, and So Cal. There is just something about that So Cal lifestyle that I yearn to taste- being minutes from the beach, pleasant outdoor living with low humidity and no mosquitos.... I suppose I could just go out there frequently and maybe rent a place through airbnb but not sure it would be the same as having our own place with our own stuff
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Old 04-24-2017, 06:18 PM   #4
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Could you try easing into it by renting for a month next winter? I would not be able to leave my grandkids either.
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Old 04-24-2017, 06:33 PM   #5
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We are dealing with similar conundrums. My wife and I are in our 30s with 2 kids. We live in Minnesota and are very sick of the super long dreary cold months. We fell in love with Key West. Being in nice sunny weather everyday is a life changer. We are so much more active down there. We've spent 3 months total down there the last two winters and have 2 more months booked for 2017-2018 winter already. Here's the problem, we have 2 little kids and currently live very close to our extremely loving and supportive parents. We have a great social circle as well which would be tough to leave. With that said, the more time we spend in places that have much nicer climates, the more we can see how people justify leaving friends/family for it. We are in a very tough spot. Schools here in Minnesota are great compared to most places in the country which is very different from Florida.

So what does one do. Well right now we've decided to just get away as much as we can while we can (essentially until kids are in 1st grade or so) and then we can go from there. Ideally we leave for 3-4 months during the winter...long enough to be happy, but not too long where it effects ours kids relationships with their grandparents.

I'd highly suggest doing the temporary 1-3 month thing first before buying anywhere. It will give you some good perspective and allow you to make better decisions.

Long story short, this is a very hard thing to deal with. I wish I was born in a nicer climate locale so I wouldn't have to make this decision in the first place.
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Old 04-24-2017, 06:46 PM   #6
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I moved from Boston to Southern California in 1989 and have never looked back. I live at the beach and walk along the beach every day, enjoying the sunshine and warm weather, and the ability to swim in an outdoor pool year round.

Leaving family, friends, employment, and familiar surroundings is not easy. But living in a cold weather climate is something that some people are OK with, others not so much. I could never move back to the east coast. It was OK growing up, but it's so nice to enjoy the warm weather here year round. If you can afford it, and have found a place you like, I say go for it.

So where in Southern Cal are you thinking about?
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Old 04-24-2017, 06:55 PM   #7
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There was an article some time ago stating that Ventura County was the best place. It is the best kept secret in Southern California. People are so busy driving from LA to Santa Barbara and points north, that they miss it!
We live 10 miles inland in a town of 30,00, so we get the ocean influence but not a lot of the fog and low clouds.
If you want more info, please PM me
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Old 04-24-2017, 07:04 PM   #8
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After years of working hard and planning for my retirement, I'm realizing that actually making the jump is a difficult decision to make. I'd appreciate any insight. Many thanks! BTW I'm 53.
I had a nearly life ending heart attack at age 51. If I could have afforded to stop working, I would have in an instant. Instead I dialed back from overachiever to normal worker for the last 13 years an DW retired early so our lives as a total were not so rat racey. It sounds like you already have dialed back to an extent. Do you want to do that for another 13 years? My advice, don't be like me, go now!
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Old 04-24-2017, 07:23 PM   #9
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What insight could we really give you? Everyone has their own opinion, only you can decide if you can be happy "visiting" your kids and grandkids.

As you get more grandkids and their parents get busier everyone with have good intentions but the visits will be harder to put together. You'll be the Skype grandparents.If you don't want that , you'll have to settle for snowbirding.
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Old 04-24-2017, 07:45 PM   #10
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We moved to Europe for several years.

I always told DW that going back home (if she got homesick or wanted/had to get back) was a 6 hour and $600 "problem". IOW, no big deal.

Between phone, Skype and folks coming over and regular runs back home we made it work.
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Old 04-24-2017, 07:46 PM   #11
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That's a tough one. I will say, having lived for many years in So Cal, the people are definitely different on whole. Not to say they are bad people but there is a difference. I prefer the more laid back Nor Cal as far as people go. However, as far as weather goes it's So Cal all the way.
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Old 04-24-2017, 08:07 PM   #12
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There was an article some time ago stating that Ventura County was the best place. It is the best kept secret in Southern California. People are so busy driving from LA to Santa Barbara and points north, that they miss it!
We live 10 miles inland in a town of 30,00, so we get the ocean influence but not a lot of the fog and low clouds.
If you want more info, please PM me
Disclaimer: I am NOT on the Chamber of Commerce
That was the "best kept secret" when we moved from Connecticut to Thousand Oaks in 1981. Now T.O. is OK, but not nearly as nice as it was 30 years ago. Further up north over the Conejo pass is where you are (I think? Santa Paula?) and is still excellent. We moved to Texas in the mid-1990's and like it here too.

BTW, I was just back in CT for a brief visit last week and there is NO WAY I would move back there again.
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Old 04-24-2017, 08:10 PM   #13
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If you don't need to work in California, there are lots of quieter towns with great weather and less congestion that you could move to. There is no need to live near LA if you are retired. The traffic is awful, and who needs it if you're not commuting to a job. I happen to be partial to Orange County, but San Diego and Ventura county both have lots of great towns to move to.
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Old 04-24-2017, 08:19 PM   #14
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If you don't need to work in California, there are lots of quieter towns with great weather and less congestion that you could move to. There is no need to live near LA if you are retired. The traffic is awful, and who needs it if you're not commuting to a job. I happen to be partial to Orange County, but San Diego and Ventura county both have lots of great towns to move to.
I think I found my spot- Irvine
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Old 04-24-2017, 08:22 PM   #15
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I think I found my spot- Irvine
Excellent choice. Irvine is very central to everything and has easy freeway access while still being a short drive to the beach. Are you thinking single family residence, condo or apartment?
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Old 04-24-2017, 08:25 PM   #16
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Excellent choice. Irvine is very central to everything and has easy freeway access while still being a short drive to the beach. Are you thinking single family residence, condo or apartment?
SFH. We were just out there and looked around
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Old 04-24-2017, 08:29 PM   #17
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I think I found my spot- Irvine
I was going there for work some years ago and can see the attraction.
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Old 04-24-2017, 08:30 PM   #18
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Also, as a dentist, you don't need to be in the big city to make a living. One of the perks of being in a health profession--we're employable everywhere. If need be, you could jump in part time there I'm sure. The weather is probably the number one reason California is such a desireable place to live. I lived in LA for 4 years (UCLA) and the SF Bay Area for the rest of my 39 years, before moving for lifestyle reasons and family reasons. I was always seeking more free time. You have that now-so follow your dream.

It is true--there is no excess humidity, no mosquitos except in the certain parts of the state certain times of year. But also consider serious fires, the effects of drought, in choosing a place to live. I miss California. But if I had stayed I'd be working another 10 years and my son would have probably failed miserably in school. Just figure out a way to stay in the DC area with family in the spring and the fall when the weather is every bit as wonderful as California.

One thing to consider--there will be a time in your life when you need your kids to help take care of you. Be prepared to move near one or more of your kids eventually.
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Old 04-24-2017, 08:31 PM   #19
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I think I found my spot- Irvine

Irvine is pretty nice for sure but pretty darn busy too.
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Old 04-24-2017, 08:35 PM   #20
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Irvine is pretty nice for sure but pretty darn busy too.


I'm in the D.C. Suburbs where it is busier, the traffic is worse and the COL is even higher if you can believe it.
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