We ER'd from the DC area to the west coast of Florida, 90 miles north of Tampa. Bought the house in '97, left 1/1/98. It's been a roller coaster; the ups full of new and and satisfying experiences, friends, and fun. But, the "downs" have been a nightmare, which could have been much better planned for had we only known. Some resulted from poor financial advice or practices; another large segment from lifestyle habits and marital stress.
I find Florida to be very retirement friendly; everything is available here from the height of city-crush to miles of open space. I'd rather be back north, but that's a personal preference in response to mts. and cold weather. North Florida offers a real contrast to the rest of the state and is 5-8 hours closer to the NE, if you still have family there.
I went from FT government employment to opening my own business. I wish I had had a more solid asset base as it has taken 4 years to get to a solvent point, but I am adding an offshoot business shortly and then should be able to do the snowbird migration in reverse.
Oh, and I'm 58; my spouse in 59. He has 2 gorwn children and I have 3. Our area is swarming with retirees, both traditional and early.
I'm curious to find this forum, as once you are waaaay down the retirement road, mistakes in hand, counting pennies like I did in 1968, then what
It's drop back, and regroup.
Still getting older and still getting wiser.