What Kind Of Retirement Did You Choose And Why?

Discussion in 'Retirement & Leisure' started by Vinny Waccio, Nov 3, 2018.

  1. Vinny Waccio

    Vinny Waccio Active Member
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    Some want to travel when they retire. Some buy an RV. Others want to live near a beach or lake, while some prefer moving to.a big city with a lot to offer. Some even want to move to Las Vegas for easy access to entertainment and gambling. Many seem to want to live in an all year round warm climate. Many, like my sister choose to remain close to their children and parents,

    We chose to live in a Bubble in Florida away from snow and freezing weather. The reasons were lower crime rates than in NYC and NJ we we have lived for much of our lives. No snow to shovel or brave while driving. We are also near Indian casinos and all the theme parks in Florida should we wish to visit them.

    We moved to The Villages (www.thevillages.com). It is the largest retirement community in the world and themed by the company that themed Universal Studios. You feel like you are living in Disney World for adults as it is often called. Each section has its own theme with all building, stores and restaurants having false facades to fit into the theme. Even medical centers are themed. One other reason is that it is a bubble. The world in changing whether we like it or not and not seemingly for the good which does not really need any explanation no matter your political views and who is at fault. It is change in a way I do not like so I chose to live in a bubble with one 150,000 senior citizens like me. Very little crime, mostly thefts. No murder since 1978 and that was between family members. We have lakes and the whole place is landscaped with live oak and all sorts of palm and and other tropical plants/trees.

    We do not have to leave our borders which encompass parts of 2 counties and mostly all of one county. The reason it is a bubble is because we have our own newspaper with mostly good news. Bad news is buried in the back. Same for our radio station. I do not find this terrible because there is plenty of new outlets on TV and online should I want to get depressed by reading or watching it. I do have a lot of news feeds to draw upon when it affects me. People all smile and wave at you and very polite. After 9 years I have yet to see any garbage on the streets or sidewalks. Like at Disney, the landscaping is changed seasonally. facades re-painted as needed as well as constant street cleaning, which seldom needs it but they do have carts with powerful magnets roaming around 24/7 to pick up any nails or metal objects on the roads.

    Although there are manned gates, we are not a gated community. The gates are to control traffic that merges from two to one lane plus forces cars to stop so that they appear on video should a problem arise. Everything we need from theaters to 129 restaurants, 28 golf courses, 30+ pools, most national chain stores, county and state services, utilities and every thing but a car dealership are within our borders and golf cart accessible. If you want a new car you can buy it online and they will deliver it to you. I even had then pick up a car for a recall at no extra charge since we are the biggest market around. No reason to leave unless you want to go to a theme park.

    The place feels like an old home town from our younger years. There are over 2,000 activities/clubs available to residents. Every road has a golf cart lane so you do not need to own a car. If you need one for a short while you can rent one which is much cheaper than buying one to use a few days a year. Dead quiet at night. After the free entertainment ends at our 4 town squares at 9pm, it is dead around here. Most go to bed early and rise early. Not us. We sleep until 10-11am. Costs of utilities and homes is more than half of what it cost we up North.

    I can go on and on but we researched for a few years and only found this place when we visited my in-laws who live nearby. A month later we bought a nice 3 bedroom ranch house on a corner plot with a foot high stucco wall around our property for ultimate privacy. However you can buy house with stables or even million dollar homes if you want. There is no class separation that we have run into here since we all share the same amenities and all are automatically members of every golf club and restaurant. No class distinction at all.

    One last thing which is most important to us. You cannot spit without hitting a medical center. All cater to geriatric medicine and we have been shown to be one of the healthiest group of seniors in the US. We even have our own Medicare Advantage Plan which pays for most everything. My wife had a hip replacement and it costs $38,000. She paid about $400 dollars all in, on an advantage plan with zero premium. Also all staff at stores, restaurants and every place else are geared to dealing with seniors like the ones with expired coupons or who complain about everything like their steak does not look as large as the one on the menu. Also who are bad tippers.

    Sorry for the long post but we love this place despite its Stepford Wife feeling. We sowed our wild oats and now we just want to relax in peace and let the rest of the world go to heck. Although we have no children, those with children here often fly to stay with the kids or their kids visit a few times a year. It only takes an hour or so to NJ or NY and other places where most around here come from. As our friends tell us, they stayed where they were due to their kids only to have their kids move away from them for good jobs. :)
     
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  2. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Greeter
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    I remember reading about The Villages from when I did a category for them for one or another of the web directories I worked for a few years ago. It seemed attractive and unattractive at the same time if that makes any sense. I could see how someone might like it. I think my wife might like it, as she was living in an HOA neighborhood when I met her. Growing up in a small town, and having mostly lived in small towns, I don't know if I could get used to being unable to make decisions for myself. Then again, I rarely make the time to carry out the decisions that I do make now, so I don't know. Either way, I couldn't afford it and won't be able to. Although we're still working and have some other income, my best earning years are over and are unlikely to return.

    Other than buying a house that is paid off and not owing anyone anything, except for what we might put on our credit cards, usually for trips and such, I haven't really planned for retirement. The money that I had put away, I invested into an ambulance company, which I enjoyed being part owner of for six years but, as a financial investment, it didn't work out.

    So I suppose, I will work online as long as the job is available and I can still do it, then make do with what I have. We have a camp and some land that we could sell at some point, but that's about the extent of it.

    Never apologize for long posts.
     
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  3. Don Alaska

    Don Alaska Very Well-Known Member
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    We have stayed in the place where we raised our children. The winters wear on us some, but we try to take a couple trips a years to get out of the cold and dark, but, for the most part, we love it here. My wife still has a couple part-time, or seasonal jobs, and half of our children and their families live here. I had several job offers before I retired that would have taken us to warmer places, but my wife has a network of friends here that she would be reluctant to leave.
     
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  4. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Veteran Member
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    @Vinny Waccio "What Kind Of Retirement Did You Choose And Why?"

    We actually did not choose as much as it chose us.....I was laid off from work in Dec. 1983, could not find a reasonable replacement position, so we built a 16 X 40 foot cabin in the woods of Northern Arizona, on a 40-acre parcel we had purchased for summer weather (we lived in Phoenix). Moved all our belongings up there, "roughed" it with no electricity, phone, or water. Water was hauled twice a week from town, 23 miles distant. Electricity, when needed to run my power saw, was provided by a 3000 watt generator. Light came from a propane-powered Coleman lamp; the fridge was an old Servel, ran on propane. We spent what was likely the most enjoyable year of our lives together there, milking the goat, raising chickens for eggs, and some vegetables.

    The second "retirement" came just prior to "Y2K", though that event upcoming had no affect on our decision. We sold the house we had built ourselves outside Phoenix, bought a 300-acre farm in Missouri, in the middle of the 7000 acre Mark Twain National Forest. Again, 25+ miles from town. The place included an old farmhouse, crystal-clear creek running across the property, acres of wild blackberries, and plenty of hardwood for heat and cooking. We did have electric & phone, a good water well, but no internet. Three went into buying the property: we, my nephew, and a neighbor from Phoenix. $40,000 each bought the place; neither of the others wanted the farmhouse, but to my wife, it was a dream come true!

    The house we built outside of Phoenix:
    [​IMG]

    Situated on one acre, the lot cost $27,000, we spent a total of $18,900 in building materials, including those 12,500 red clay bricks from Mexico! Sold for $150,000, no capital gains tax.


    Our farmhouse in Missouri. Lived there 13 years, until 2012.
    [​IMG]


    The creek which crossed our property. Provided rock which I used to build my shop building.
    [​IMG]

    During our time in MO, we "retired" for the third and final time, when I turned 62 in 2004. Between 1999 and then, "lean" was a well-known and understood concept; I taught high school math school year 2002-'03, which eased our frugal necessity some.

    We left there permanently in 2012 for West-Central Arizona, 2 miles from the Colorado River, near Bullhead City/Laughlin (Nevada). The only image I have representative of my final reside:
    [​IMG]

    I picture inability to work my way through the day as the only possible reason I might leave here. That I will fight against to my last drawn breath......
    Frank
     
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  5. Beatrice Taylor

    Beatrice Taylor Very Well-Known Member
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    I didn't choose a retirement lifestyle I just stopped going to work as a result of a layoff.

    I have thought about moving to a more traditional retirement area and have noticed that most people that I know from this area try it and eventually return to be near family in their final years.

    I have also thought about taking an extended winter vacation but don't really have anything that I need/want to escape from.

    I'm content with my situation but it's nice to know that I have some choices if I want to make a change at some point in the future.
     
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  6. Nancy Hart

    Nancy Hart Very Well-Known Member
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    When they found out at work I was retiring, the first thing EVERYONE asked me was "Are you going to travel?" Traveling was the last thing on my mind, in fact there was no plan at that time. I began to feel like there must be something wrong with me because I didn't plan to travel, so I started making up excuses.

    I still haven't chosen what kind of retirement I want, and I've been retired for 16 years. :confused::eek:;)
     
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  7. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Veteran Member
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    @Nancy Hart
    You are not concerned, then, that you might "run out of time" before you decide?
    Frank
     
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  8. Don Alaska

    Don Alaska Very Well-Known Member
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    @Beatrice Taylor, the trip we take are to travel TO someplace, not escape from where we are generally. Our last trip was to finish off my 50th state and to spend time with our son and his fiancee. It WAS an escape of sorts, but if we were REALLY escaping from here, it would be in January or February, not October. We hope to plan a trip to Europe sometime in the future, but have been putting it off for some time. Perhaps next year will be the year. Last year was Hawaii, but this year we have a wedding next month which will put other travel plans on hold.
     
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  9. Martin Alonzo

    Martin Alonzo Veteran Member
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    I choose my retirement of sailing around the Caribbean until I could not do it any longer. Than reality came in and I realized that the cost of everything was going up and the fear of something braking down that I would not have enough money to fix. Lucky I had seen how other people live and survive on little or no money, So I had an opportunity to change my life stile and live in a third world country. I could have not made a better decision. Living in paradise on pennies
     
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  10. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Veteran Member
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    @Martin Alonzo
    How does the cost of everyday living in D.R. compare with, say, U.S. or Canada, on average? I know such info may be researched, but thought perhaps you had some approximations which were made when you settled down there. Have wondered just when you pulled up and bid Canada "good-bye". If I'm being too personal, please say so. A nosy old man like me need not be accommodated........:oops:
    Frank
     
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  11. Nancy Hart

    Nancy Hart Very Well-Known Member
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    Ha! I suppose I should, but it seems like things always have a way of working themselves out, and a clear path becomes obvious eventually. At least that's the way it's always been. I guess that means, so far at least, I enjoy just what I'm doing. [​IMG]
     
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  12. Cody Fousnaugh

    Cody Fousnaugh Veteran Member
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    At 62, due to being unemployed since leaving Colorado, but getting EUI for awhile, wife and I decided I should apply for my SS Early Retirement. At least I had some money coming in. There were different reasons I had a hard time finding a job, but the main one was no college degree. Wife has a Bachelor's and that definitely helped her find a job.

    We love to live in a house again, but a much smaller one than we had in Colorado, but financially, that just won't happen.

    People chose the wrong area to move to and that's exactly what we did when we moved here. At first, we thought "this is it" and really liked it here. But, then we began to miss things that we did in Colorado and we simply aren't the "Florida" or "South" type couple.

    Actually, we don't want to live anywhere east of the Mississippi or in the Southwest where it can get so dang hot. We don't necessarily like winter, but "winter" comes with the area we like to live. That's just the way it is.

    One thing for sure, retirement takes money to really, really enjoy it and some of us have that coming in thru a Pension/Savings/SS, while others don't. Even with the best health insurance, money still has to be there to pay for certain things.

    IOW, money is the "Spice of Life", no matter how young or old we are.
     
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  13. Sheldon Scott

    Sheldon Scott Veteran Member
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    We found a wonderful place, 25 acres with a 6 acre lake just outside the city limits of a small town ( less than 10,000)
    We've been here 11 1/2 years. I guess our health will determine how much longer we can stay here.
     
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  14. Gloria Mitchell

    Gloria Mitchell Very Well-Known Member
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    I semi retired at 62. Then by 64 I had enough of big corporations and their insane way of doing things. I worked PT as a caregiver briefly then on to a day care and taking care of 10 two year olds! OMG, hard work, but loved it, although I stayed sick. The employer had a screw loose and suspended me for two weeks . When I went back two week later- she wanted to know where I had been? Anyways, I quit, and fell into deep depression. No ,not drugs or booze, just very depressed mode.I decided I was unfit for the employment world.
    Now years later, I can not seem to force myself to want to go back to work,especially after my near death experience last year.
    The hubby 7 years younger than me, but becoming physically broken, is semi retiring Feb. 2019.
    I fear the future financially, there is no way we can make int on SS and his pension for years. However since my family does not live long, perhaps that will be taken care of:rolleyes:. I know friggin morbid isn't it? But true. We live in apartment- a nice one- by choice- no yard work, house repairs etc. but it grows costly every year. We may have to move to one bedroom at some point. Anywhoo , that is our story and hope i am around long enough to see how it ends:p
     
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  15. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Veteran Member
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    @Cody Fousnaugh
    It takes a BIG person to admit his/her own mistakes. For that, you are to be commended. It also indicates honesty, also something not "buyable", like trust.

    As an alternative to the bitter cold you will experience in Wyoming, or even Colorado, I would call your attention to a place especially-suited to those enjoying 4 seasons, but having those sharp extremes of cold and heat "clipped off". Cottonwood, Arizona is one such place:

    "Cottonwood is a city in Yavapai County, Arizona, United States. According to the 2010 census, the population of the city is 11,265. Cottonwood has a semi-arid steppe climate. In January the normal high temperature is 55 °F (13 °C) with a low of 26 °F (−3 °C). In July the normal high temperature is 97 °F (36 °C) with a low of 68 °F (20 °C). Annual precipitation is around 13 inches (33 cm).
    Here are a few pics of how it looks there:

    • [​IMG]
    • One can gaze at plenty of snow while basking in 50-degree temperatures. Despite being fairly dry, there are lots of trees.
    • [​IMG]
    Almost forgot:
    [​IMG]
     
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  16. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Veteran Member
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    @Gloria Mitchell
    Something needs to be added to your write........some means of providing ideas which could help, alternatives, less expensive places to live, stuff like that. Don't you be talkin' about not living long.......we all get such thoughts from time to time, and they are counter-productive to our well-being in general.

    No, it's not "morbid", it's realistic, but is that kind of realism which drags one down, instead of being supportive......

    Frank
     
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  17. Gloria Mitchell

    Gloria Mitchell Very Well-Known Member
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    Thank you Frank. :)
     
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