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February 07, 2012


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I agree with all your current thoughts because I am in the same boat. I like Michigan for all it has and could live without too much winter and like you 10 years from now kids, grandkids, location etc. are deciding factors.

One set of friends kids who grew up here, one lives in Boise Idaho and the other in D.C. Talk about polar opposites and not in a warm climate. They are currently still here in Michigan.

I agree. We plan on staying in the area, but maybe moving to a one story home once the kids are gone. Or we may stay in the same home a few more years, as we have already spend money upgrading bathrooms and kitchens

My home is paid for including multiple upgrades over the years so why would I ever want to leave it? We built the house we wanted, barely making the mortgage payments in the beginning but over time it became easier and we began to make improvements, finally paying off the mortgage in 15 yrs.

It is a big lot (1 acre) but I am excited to take it back following my retirement in 80 days. When I can no longer do the yard in 10 - 15 yrs or grow tired of doing it myself, I'll have a service do it once again.

We love Destin, FL and seriously thought about buying something there. But finally figured we could do a whole lot of renting for the purchase price. So, we can slip down for a long weekend or for a month; whatever strikes our fancy and then return to the place where we are most comfortable. I realize at some point we will need to simplify but no time soon.

I think there are two stages of retirement. There is a period of time in which you will probably be active and are able to take care of your home, travel, etc. However, most of us will need some level of care as we age. Often, the need of care grows over time. For me, I will eventually move into a continuing care retirement community so that I can transition from living on my own, to home healthcare and then eventually to skilled care.

This discussion somewhat goes hand in hand with the discussion on long term care. Approximately 60% of us will require some kind of assisted living and many of us will progress to that point. To think that we all have the option of living out our days in the same home is not likely.

I sure hope I can move when I retire. The Midwest has horrible weather, it's really isolated, and there's nothing interesting to do if you're not working or raising a family. I'm only here for my job. When I'm not working anymore I'd like to move to where there is civilization and natural beauty to enjoy.

I thought we would move to escape the Midwest winters. Now we have a grandbaby just a few miles away, and we get to see her several times a week. Even our son who lives out of state is only two hours away. No way would I move now, although spending January and February in a warmer climate is a definite possibility once I retire in two years.

We've already packed up and moved (to Thailand). I don't think I will ever own a home again so chances are we will continue to move every few years as we love the experience of discovering new places.

I plan to stay here in Michigan when I retire.. My friends and family are all close by, and the cost of living in my area is fantastic. Like everyone else, I would like to get away during the winter. However, I also realize that the thing I really don't like about the Michigan winters is those lousy days when you have to get up, shovel the driveway and drive through the snow to work. Being retired, I would have no problem getting up, making a nice cup of coffee and looking out the window at all that snow and those poor people that are driving to work in it.

I live in Conneticut which is not a retiree-friendly state. However, as you and other writers have indicated, I have my social/professional network/support system is here. My large, 3 room condo will be paid up in May, and is very economical to maintain, and my neighborhood is walkable (i.e., sidewalks and good lighting), and the bus stops right in front of my building and across the street. I live in one of Ct's cities where there is excellent medical care, topnotch arts/cultural/educational opportunities, and many opportunities to volunteer. Money isn't everything. I feel that quality of life is more important. After all, isn't that what we've worked for?

We bought our current home in 1977, and retired in 1992 with zero debt. The home is single story, now mandatory for my wife after two hip replacements. We live in the heart of Silicon Valley which has a fantastic climate, low humidity, cool nights, few bugs, and no need for A/C. Thanks to Prop. 13 our property taxes are amazingly low.
The amenities we use frequently are just minutes away, our city has first class utilities and services and a great clinic & hospital, when needed, is about 7 freeway miles away.
The valley is surrounded by 2,500+ ft. mountain ranges (most are open space preserves) that offer fabulous year round hiking that I enjoy every week. Yesterday my daughter and I did a 10 mile hike along part of the Bay Area Ridge Trail with fabulous views of pristine, green, redwood forests that are home to deer and many other animals (even an occasional mountain lion, of which sightings are quite rare).
The only natural hazard is an earthquake, but our home is built upon flat undisturbed orchard land, well away from the fault line and we withstood the 1989 Loma Prieta 7.1 quake with no damage of any kind.
Our landscaping has taken me 34 years and a lot of work and money to get it the way it is and we couldn't bear to leave it.

Bottom line - It's never too early to start making your retirement plans. I started making financial calculations 2 or 3 years before I retired, but we decided long before that we were here staying put.

Hard to say where we'll be, considering retirement is likely to be 25-30 years away.

However, our home is already accessible and safe for aging in place. This is a pet peeve of mine, and was on my mind when I bought the house in my twenties.

When I was a child, my best friend and next door neighbor lived in a multi-generational home with a disabled grandparent. My friend's mom, (Mrs. B) modified the family home so that her own mother could live there after a stroke at age 70 paralyzed her left side. Nana lived with them for 20 more years, unable to navigate stairs, but able to get to and from bathing facilities with minimal assistance. Life expectancies in nursing homes are nowhere near decades long and that was the alternative if the home couldn't be modified. Similarly, when Mrs. B had multiple hip surgeries, she was able to remain at home.

All of us, without exception, experience a change in our physical abilities throughout our lifetimes, but our homes are generally designed to fit able-bodied adults of a particular size. Age restricted communities tend to account for declining mobility, but disability is not limited to the 55+ crowd. Since I grew up seeing a multi-generational family cope with disability in a neighborhood full of children, it has never seemed normal to me that the disabled and/or elderly should be sequestered in 55+ developments*** or specialized housing for the disabled. Rather, my idea of normal is that all spaces should be designed and built for what really happens.

I'm a decade or two from retirement so it is too early to say.

We might move. My wife and I have discussed the possibility of eventually moving to my hometown. If we return to my hometown it will be cheaper and closer to my family. However we like the city we live in now a lot and the weather is nicer. But my mother in law lives here so it depends where she ends up as well.

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