Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Where to live next

Sightings at 60 wrote a great article about his ideal retirement home.

S and I have been discussing this far more than S would like.  I, on the other hand, have been looking. We figure we have two more moves in our lives - one to our retirement home and one to our last place to grow really elderly. This, very well, could be the same place.

First, why not age in place? We love our home. S adores his barn. What carpenter wouldn't? 3200 sq feet of his big stuff. 15 acres for him to mow and trim. He is in heaven!
We moved here from Flagstaff where we had built our dream home after renting the first 16 years of marriage. The problem was there were not any jobs that could sustain putting two children through college. With both kids though high school, S searched and found a job here in Kansas. He packed the house and moved the two of us here while I was working on the road. After seven years in my idea of heaven, I was ok with being around green and water again. (Flagstaff is a high desert). We were both employed here until two years ago. We managed to help two birds leave the nest on their own terms and save quite a bit for a nest egg.

BUT! Our children do not consider this place home. There are few jobs in their professions if they should leave where they are now. After spending the last five years traveling to help my parents and sister back in Phoenix, I am acutely aware that proximity is going to be important as we age. A serious surgical mishap three years ago told me just how isolated we really are. Plus, we are missing the everyday moments with our grandson.

That leaves dreaming.

Like Sightings, we both love the sea. S actually likes any body of water he can fish in. The ocean is my desire. There is something about sea air that drives me to happiness. We have lived by the sea three times- in Alexandria VA, Monterey CA and Hong Kong. I can walk for miles in sea air.  Sea is second on the list after proximity to one of our children.

Next is size of house. Main floor bedroom/bath, movie room, small sitting room, big kitchen, two spare rooms upstairs and a huge garage for the woodworking. I'll let you know---we will have to build it.
I don't want a yard- but my husband will go wild without one. Both of us have gotten used to not having curtains for the last 14 years! Unfortunately, the yard will be an issue for my next wish.

Last on my wish is close to a town that I can walk or bike to. It has to have a good library and a decent place to eat breakfast. I would prefer that it had public transportation to a larger city that offered plays and concerts. A good church is important as well. A pastor who is open to discussion and a parish who is willing to open itself to new people.

Do you know of a place? We will be looking in the next three years. How did we ever get so old without roots?


Galen Pearl said...

It must be exciting and a bit scary to be thinking of such a big move, but sounds like you are experienced with this. As for sea air, I'm partial to the Oregon coast, but it is not for sissies--often very windy and the water is cold. Great for walking and looking, not great for sunning and swimming.

What were you doing in Hong Kong? I lived in Bangkok for three years--almost got a job in Hong Kong after that, but went to West Africa instead.

Janette said...

We were in Hong Kong 1990-92. I taught at HK International. My husband was attached to the embassy. It was a great time!
West Africa? Sounds interesting. We did Saudi '95-96. Never did get used to wearing the abaya- but still have mine for the memories. Thought about Peace Corps in Africa- but I would have to get in shape for that one.
Both dh and I love the Oregon coast. It is just too far from where our kids will probably end up. Lincoln City, OR is one of my top ten cities in the world!
Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

Renee said...

Maybe see where the kids end up (if they settle in one place) before you decide?

Janette said...

We could wait Renee, but S will be 75 by then by the time they could "retire". His family history gives him about five more years after that:( Certainly not enough time to let the grandchildren know their PaPa. I'm leaning to our more "stable" family in Md. The Army family- who knows where they will end up- or when!

The Loerzels said...

Can't wait to hear where the wind takes you...

Barbara Torris said...

Oh my goodness...let me know how this story unfolds just in case i miss about a guest post on Retire In Style Blog.

My son is a deputy superintendent in Shanghai American School and was in Saudi Arabia for 4 years. I have a feeling that your experiences will help you make a good decision. You know what you can and cannot do.

Be well.