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Author: bill2975 Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 748980  
Subject: Now that I'm retired, why isn't life perfect? Date: 4/19/2002 9:01 PM
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On May 1st this year, I'll have been retired from my previous company for nine full months. Seems like it's time to do an assessment on how things are going.

First off, and even though I had an excellent job with an above average company, I haven't missed the office for a single instant out of the 23,587,200 seconds since I left (assuming I don't suddenly miss them sometime during the next 12 days <grin>). Periodically I'll have lunch with some of the people from the old office, and they have even asked me to consider coming back, but I really like the freedom I have these days. As I mentioned to someone the other day, I'm just as busy now as when I used to work full-time, but I never feel rushed anymore. So from an "emotional wellbeing" perspective, I seem to be thriving.

From a financial perspective, things haven't been as spectacularly successful, but we're doing OK. In retrospect, I guess that you'd have to say that we achieved FI, but not RE. Expenses are still higher than planned, so we decided to make some big changes.

In spite of lowering costs dramatically, not least of which was all the payroll taxes, it still costs a lot to live here in southern California. While we love our home, the terrific weather, access to theater and restaurants, and all the other amenities here, we decided to evaluate other places, so we visited Colorado, Oregon, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, and Nevada. Last week we began escrow on a home in southwest Reno and listed our home here in Costa Mesa for sale. The housing market here in southern California is particularly strong right now, so it seems to make sense for us to take advantage of the record home prices, sell ours now while things are moving, and move to a less expensive location. After much soul-searching, we selected Reno, Nevada over Greensboro or Raleigh, North Carolina.

This will allow us to reduce mortgage payments by almost $1000 per month, move into a relatively new home (<3 years old) in a nice area, and add to our post-tax savings since the gain on the CA house will be tax-free. In addition, Nevada has no state income tax which is important as we start to take money out of 401(k)s and perhaps do Roth IRA conversions since our tax bracket is much lower now.

Given the investment markets the last two years, this seems like a prudent change, as is my decision to begin teaching corporate classes on project management and management/leadership a few days per month. This brings in a few dollars to supplement the budget and pay for group health care insurance through the self-employed business, and allows me to work as much or as little as I want. So to reiterate what I said earlier, I guess I'm really FI, but not RE.

From a "financial wellbeing" perspective, I'd have to say then that we're doing fine, though not as well as I had hoped. And I just had another curve thrown at me that we'll need to figure out. Turns out that health care insurance in Nevada is even more expensive than in California (!?!)! COBRA in January increased from about $470 per month for me and DW, to $568.35 per month. Anthem (Blue Cross / Blue Shield) in Reno just quoted us $1,224.23 per month for roughly equivalent coverage with "guaranteed issue" for our small business. Wow! Bet it'll be more next year, too. $656.00 per month additional fee is a lot more to come up with, isn't it. This is a PPO plan, by the way, not an HMO plan. We're now looking into alternative plans to see what can be done.

From a "physical wellbeing" perspective, news is mixed. DW is thriving, but I've let my exercise program lapse and it's time to pick things back up again. After all, if we're going to stop working fulltime, it would be nice to be well physically and able to enjoy the other activities.

This includes travel, a favorite of DW, and something she really wants to do more of now that she has survived the "big C" wakeup call for over two years now. So next month we're going to spend 3 weeks in Europe, one of which will be spent walking around Paris, staying in a hotel down in the Marais district. Later this fall we're going to go with friends to the Canadian Rockies for a couple of weeks. If I was still working fulltime, I wouldn't be able to do these things because I couldn't get that much time away from work. So I guess we would say that the tradeoff of having to pay through the nose for our own healthcare insurance is worth it, at least to us. I keep telling my daughter that we're spending her inheritance <smile>.

I'm not so sure about the "spiritual wellbeing" side of the picture. Neither DW nor I are particularly religious, although we love being out in nature, walking through the woods. In fact, that's probably one of the things that drew us most to Reno. Our new (to us) home is only 25-30 minutes from Lake Tahoe, and the drive to Sacramento is only a couple of hours, with wine country and the redwoods being a bit further. After lots of spirited discussion, we decided to give it a shot, lower our cost/expense structure, and see how things go. If we find after a couple of years that things aren't as good as we hoped, we'll re-evlauate and decide what to do next. In the meantime, we'll try to be conscious of one of my favorite quotes - "Happiness is found along the way, not at the end of the road", or, as another REHP community member once told me - "Enjoy the journey, 'cause the destination may turn out to suck".

bill2975, looking at life as an adventure, enjoying the journey, and hoping for the best as we go on from here
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Author: intercst Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 65243 of 748980
Subject: Re: Now that I'm retired, why isn't life perfect Date: 4/19/2002 10:26 PM
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bill2975 writes,

From a "financial wellbeing" perspective, I'd have to say then that we're doing fine, though not as well as I had hoped. And I just had another curve thrown at me that we'll need to figure out. Turns out that health care insurance in Nevada is even more expensive than in California (!?!)! COBRA in January increased from about $470 per month for me and DW, to $568.35 per month. Anthem (Blue Cross / Blue Shield) in Reno just quoted us $1,224.23 per month for roughly equivalent coverage with "guaranteed issue" for our small business. Wow! Bet it'll be more next year, too. $656.00 per month additional fee is a lot more to come up with, isn't it. This is a PPO plan, by the way, not an HMO plan. We're now looking into alternative plans to see what can be done.

"Guaranteed issue" is probably roughly equivalent to the "health risk pool" in other states. Here in Texas the health risk pool sets its rates at double the average premium a "healthy" individual would pay for the same coverage in the open market.

intercst


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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 65247 of 748980
Subject: Re: Now that I'm retired, why isn't life perfect Date: 4/19/2002 11:28 PM
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<< Turns out that health care insurance in Nevada is even more expensive than in California (!?!)! COBRA in January increased from about $470 per month for me and DW, to $568.35 per month. Anthem (Blue Cross / Blue Shield) in Reno just quoted us $1,224.23 per month for roughly equivalent coverage with "guaranteed issue" for our small business. Wow! Bet it'll be more next year, too. $656.00 per month additional fee is a lot more to come up with, isn't it. This is a PPO plan, by the way, not an HMO plan. We're now looking into alternative plans to see what can be done.>>



My experience was that COBRA was an excellent deal, and going from COBRA to any other plan meant a substantial increase in cost and reduced coverage.


So perhaps the increased price you were quoted reflected the fact you were off of your former employer's health insurance plan and on a plan for your business.



Seattle Pioneer

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Author: billjam Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 65248 of 748980
Subject: Re: Now that I'm retired, why isn't life perfect Date: 4/20/2002 12:25 AM
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Sounds like you're doing pretty well overall. I made the RE decision 28 months ago and have never regretted it. There have been some adjustments to the plan along the way, like a recession and bear market I hadn't expected so soon. If you remain flexible, as you appear to be, you can still enjoy retirement despite the bumps in the road. Good luck!

Bill


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Author: bill2975 Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 65249 of 748980
Subject: Re: Now that I'm retired, why isn't life perfect Date: 4/20/2002 12:29 AM
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SeattlePioneer said:

My experience was that COBRA was an excellent deal, and going from COBRA to any other plan meant a substantial increase in cost and reduced coverage.

So perhaps the increased price you were quoted reflected the fact you were off of your former employer's health insurance plan and on a plan for your business.


Hi, SP,

I don't think that's the case here because I was quoted Blue Shield coverage here in California and it was about $70.00 higher than the COBRA amount for a comparable level of coverage.

The Anthem BC/BS person admitted that Nevada health care costs were higher in general, and didn't seem too surprised that it was that much higher. She also said that her impression was that other providers in the state would be in the same ball park, but invited me to check it out.

If they're all like this, I might as well stay on COBRA until the month before it runa out (January, 2003).

bill2975

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Author: dj111 Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 65251 of 748980
Subject: Re: Now that I'm retired, why isn't life perfect Date: 4/20/2002 6:22 AM
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". . . as is my decision to begin teaching corporate classes on project management and management/leadership a few days per month.

You may want to look into the Project Mangement Institute and certification as a Project Management Professional. There are far too many hobbyists and dilettantes practicing project management. Both industry and government are growing weary of the situation, and increasingly senior leaders insist project managers prove their proficiency. Certification as a PMP is the minimum standard for proving proficiency in the field. You can get more information from this link:
http://www.pmi.org/

David Jacobs

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Author: intercst Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 65253 of 748980
Subject: Re: Now that I'm retired, why isn't life perfect Date: 4/20/2002 10:51 AM
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dj111 writes,

You may want to look into the Project Mangement Institute and certification as a Project Management Professional. There are far too many hobbyists and dilettantes practicing project management. Both industry and government are growing weary of the situation, and increasingly senior leaders insist project managers prove their proficiency. Certification as a PMP is the minimum standard for proving proficiency in the field. You can get more information from this link:
http://www.pmi.org/


Why wouldn't a 20 or 30 year record of successful practice prove proficiency as a project manager?

When I worked an an Engineer in the oil & gas business we had "leaders" with offices full of certificates and ribbons that couldn't manage their way out of a 3 ft. deep trench.

intercst

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Author: ariechert Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 65255 of 748980
Subject: Re: Now that I'm retired, why isn't life perfect Date: 4/20/2002 12:10 PM
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Turns out that health care insurance in Nevada is even more expensive than in California (!?!)! COBRA in January increased from about $470 per month for me and DW, to $568.35 per month. Anthem (Blue Cross / Blue Shield) in Reno just quoted us $1,224.23 per month for roughly equivalent coverage with "guaranteed issue" for our small business. Wow!

Well, there is just no doubt about it; your wife is going to have to go out and get a job somewhere that you can get family health coverage. That's what I did and it's working great! Women love working! - Art

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Author: uwalum Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 65256 of 748980
Subject: Re: Now that I'm retired, why isn't life perfect Date: 4/20/2002 12:35 PM
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My neighbor had to find health coverage for herself and her children. Her husband is covered under his work and it would cost them an additional $600 a month to cover the family. They looked into catastrophic coverage (deductible of $4,500 for the family before it kicks in) and that is costing them $137 a month for everyone.

L

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Author: galeno Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 65257 of 748980
Subject: Re: Now that I'm retired, why isn't life perfect Date: 4/20/2002 12:42 PM
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Why wouldn't a 20 or 30 year record of successful practice prove proficiency as a project manager?

When I worked an an Engineer in the oil & gas business we had "leaders" with offices full of certificates and ribbons that couldn't manage their way out of a 3 ft. deep trench.


I like the way you think intercst! I guess the old saying of "if you can't do a job, teach it" is just as valid as ever <grin>. The Peter Principle is alive and well.

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Author: galeno Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 65258 of 748980
Subject: Re: Now that I'm retired, why isn't life perfect Date: 4/20/2002 12:45 PM
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Well, there is just no doubt about it; your wife is going to have to go out and get a job somewhere that you can get family health coverage. That's what I did and it's working great! Women love working!

From what I understand, Starbucks has pretty good health benefits. There are lots of Starbucks in Reno from what I saw. Check it out??

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Author: ariechert Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 65259 of 748980
Subject: Re: Now that I'm retired, why isn't life perfect Date: 4/20/2002 12:53 PM
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Most city, state, and federal jobs have really good health insurance; that include family policies. Also, there are some goverment jobs that aren't demanding at all. They usually come with good leave time benefits too. The University of Tennessee advertises for assistant librarians all the time. I guess that job is reshelving and checking out books. There are often city jobs in the parks that involve working with kids in after school programs. - Art

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Author: CindyC72 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 65261 of 748980
Subject: Re: Now that I'm retired, why isn't life perfect Date: 4/20/2002 1:04 PM
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Well, there is just no doubt about it; your wife is going to have to go out and get a job somewhere that you can get family health coverage. That's what I did and it's working great! Women love working! - Art

ROFLMAO! Art, it's a really good thing we're not married, I can see it already...

"I don't wanna work, YOU go get a job."
"Well, I don't wanna work either, why can't YOU go work?"
"Because I don't want to!"
"Well, I don't either!!"

Cindy

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Author: bosslady52 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 65262 of 748980
Subject: Re: Now that I'm retired, why isn't life perfect Date: 4/20/2002 1:34 PM
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Thanks, Bill...great post!!

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Author: bill2975 Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 65266 of 748980
Subject: Re: Now that I'm retired, why isn't life perfect Date: 4/20/2002 4:58 PM
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dj111 said:

You may want to look into the Project Mangement Institute and certification as a Project Management Professional. There are far too many hobbyists and dilettantes practicing project management. Both industry and government are growing weary of the situation, and increasingly senior leaders insist project managers prove their proficiency. Certification as a PMP is the minimum standard for proving proficiency in the field.

Thanks for the suggestion, dj111. The course I teach now is one that was developed by someone else, and is fully compliant with the Project Management Institute's PMBOK (Project Management Body of Knowledge, for those of you who don't work in this field). The company doing it has been successfully delivering multiple levels of project management courses for about 25 years now. Since I knew some of the people involved, they were receptive to the idea of using me as a contractor (facilitator) for this course and possibly some future courses on leadership and management. So far, the class evaluations have been very positive, and they seem to appreciate my approach to things.

I agree with intercst, though, about acquiring certifications. I have almost 30 years of practical project management experience and no shortage of customers who want to learn more about how to do it. As long as I am familiar and compliant with the PMI's PMBOK, I don't see any reason for me to spend the money and do the administrative stuff to get the PMP certification. If that's what customers demand in the future, maybe I'll do it, or just decide to do something else since I don't really HAVE to do this work in order to survive.

bill2975

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Author: bill2975 Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 65267 of 748980
Subject: Re: Now that I'm retired, why isn't life perfect Date: 4/20/2002 5:05 PM
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My friend ariechert said:

Well, there is just no doubt about it; your wife is going to have to go out and get a job somewhere that you can get family health coverage. That's what I did and it's working great! Women love working!

LOL - oddly enough, that was DW's first inclination until she realized that she wouldn't be able to take month-long trips to faraway placesl and, she didn't want to go back to 30+ hour weeks (join the club!)

I think we'll check with some other vendors and group associations first to see what we can come with.

By the way, DW currently works about 20 hours a week for our small side business (library information services to a pharmaceutical company here). Last night she told me that the thought of leaving this work behind suddenly felt like she had taken a hefty weight off her shoulders, and she was looking forward to redirecting her energies to the new house.

Doesn't sound like she'll be looking for employment in Reno real soon. <grin>

bill2975, who only cares whether DW is alive and happy, not whether she's employed

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Author: bill2975 Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 65268 of 748980
Subject: Re: Now that I'm retired, why isn't life perfect Date: 4/20/2002 5:07 PM
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galeno said:

From what I understand, Starbucks has pretty good health benefits. There are lots of Starbucks in Reno from what I saw. Check it out??

I think I'd like the benefits, but they probably want you to be employed to get them!

Nope - that won't work....

bill2975

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Author: dj111 Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 65275 of 748980
Subject: Re: Now that I'm retired, why isn't life perfect Date: 4/21/2002 8:50 AM
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Why wouldn't a 20 or 30 year record of successful practice prove proficiency as a project manager?

You wouldn't hire a doctor, laywer, engineer, CPA, or even a barber without the proper credentials. Most reputable firms and federal agencies won't hire project managers without the proper credentials either. There have been too many cases of incompetent project managers costing commercial firms and taxpayers huge amounts of money. The PMP certification is the proper credential for the project management professional. Once you have the credentials, then a history of successful experience is a discriminator, but a pretty resume can't make up for the lack of proper credentials.

David Jacobs

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Author: phantomdiver Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 65305 of 748980
Subject: Re: Now that I'm retired, why isn't life perfect Date: 4/22/2002 9:17 AM
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Women love working!

Bite your tongue, Art! This one doesn't love working!

phantomdiver

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Author: Commodore64 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 65308 of 748980
Subject: Re: Now that I'm retired, why isn't life perfect Date: 4/22/2002 10:51 AM
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"Most reputable firms and federal agencies won't hire project managers without the proper credentials either "

Really?

Wow, I've worked as a consultant to the federal government for almost 20 years and I don't think I've ever seen anything from this organization on any of the resumes (or "I love me" walls) of the govt. project managers.

These PMI folks better increase their advertising budget.

jb


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Author: cristinam1 One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 65313 of 748980
Subject: Re: Now that I'm retired, why isn't life perfect Date: 4/22/2002 1:05 PM
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Bill,

I have a question for you regarding your move to Reno. My Dad calls it the "California retirement plan" - where a person sell thier house here and moves to practically anywhere else in the nation and can buy a home for cash with change left over. ( BTW, We live in Orange county too !!)

My concern is not the financial ramifications of the move but the personal ones. What are you thoughts on leaving all of your freinds behind ?? What about your family - will you be moving aways from your childrne and grandchildren?

I often wonder about this. When you retire somehwere else - you now have all the time and mobey and no one to enjoy it with. It takes years to build good freindships and the older you get - the harder it seems to makes them. My grandparents were devastated when they had to move from thier home in one town to a retirement community in another only 30 miles away. Driving was not an option for them (they had to move becuase my grandfather had a stroke and my grandmother does not drive). I took them years to make new friends and get used to the new community. At least they were close to thier family.

Anyway - I am just curious and would like to hear your ( or anyone else's) thoughts on this.



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Author: fietser Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 65316 of 748980
Subject: Re: Now that I'm retired, why isn't life perfect Date: 4/22/2002 3:45 PM
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When you retire somehwere else - you now have all the time and mobey and no one to enjoy it with. It takes years to build good freindships and the older you get - the harder it seems to makes them.

cristinam1, it can even happen within a few kilometers.
When my parents moved out of town because part of our property was needed for a housing project, we only moved 5 K out of town. This 5K proved to be the difference between frequent visits by my father's family and very infrequent visits. You see, none of his 3 sisters were able to drive a car and would only cycle. If you know the Dutch, you should also know that while they cycle often, they don't cycle much.. so they had to PLAN their visits.. It wasn't that nobody would visit us anymore, but anyone visiting did it as part of a plan to visit. When we still lived at the border of the town, people would just pop in to say hi, since they fancied visiting us and it would only take them a very small detour to do so.... This even was true for those driving a car..

So, even 5 K (3 miles) can make a big difference.

Fietser, explaining Dutch distances.

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Author: bill2975 Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 65323 of 748980
Subject: Re: Now that I'm retired, why isn't life perfect Date: 4/22/2002 7:04 PM
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christinam1 asked:

My concern is not the financial ramifications of the move but the personal ones. What are your thoughts on leaving all of your friends behind?? What about your family - will you be moving away from your children and grandchildren?

Hi, Christina.

You know, it seems that the answer to every one of life's questions is "Well, it depends."

DW and I certainly thought about the personal and social aspects of this decision a lot before deciding to go ahead and make the move.

In our case, we have no family here in California (or Reno, for that matter). Our daughter's family lives in Massachussetts (where we lived before moving here in 1988), my relatives live in Virginia, and DW's mother lives in Denver.

Oddly enough, most of our closest friends live in various places around the U.S. - Massachussetts, Michigan, North Carolina, Georgia, Louisiana, and northern California. We have only a few friends here in Orange County that we do theater and other stuff with. And we'll miss them, but those "local" relationships are not as well-rooted as the other ones that have endured in many cases for about 30 years. In some cases, we may get visitors from Orange County once we get to Reno, and we have invitations to stay with friends here whenever we're in town, but a lot of what are loosely called "friends" here are really just "congenial acquaintances". Having been part of a golf club for the last 9 years, we have "friends" that we occasionally play golf with, or have dinner with, but in looking back the number of people from that side of our lives that I would call in the event of a family or personal emergency is startlingly small.

Your point about making friends is absolutely right on - it's much harder to make friends as you get older, I think. And as you get really old, many of those friends die off. We see that more and more these days, even at 55.

On the other hand, I wonder if the key factor in making friends really has more to do with finding people of congenial personality who are in similar situations to your own, or who are working together for a common cause. And while that may have been child-related when we were younger, perhaps now it's tied more to things that we're involved in because we believe in a particular cause, whether that's church, or environmental groups, or whatever. Or maybe because we live in a community with a somewhat common goal and bonds.

In Reno, the home we are buying is in a nice development with a thriving community organization which coordinates various activities such as crafts, theater, cooking/dining in small groups, social interests, etc. In assessing the location to begin with, we also visited the local church oriented to our particular persuasion, and found we were made to feel very welcome. We're hopeful that this, coupled with perhaps some local community interests will help us form new relationships that will be even more meaningful than what we have built here.

But if it doesn't work out, we have a contingency plan for moving on to our second choice, or perhaps even coming back here, once we've spent a couple of years giving Reno a fair chance, and taking advantage of Nevada's low tax structure to restructure our nest egg so that anywhere we go next will not take a large bite out of our savings.

So we're hoping for the best, but we're flexible enough to revise our plans if things don't go as well as expected. We've lived in a number of places during our 35 years together, mostly because of work, and this means that we don't have 35+ years of living in a single community keeping us from moving on to something else. While we have a number of old, close-knit friends, they're not concentrated here, in this location.

I'll continue posting from time to time once we get back from our trip next month to let people know how things are going. After all, I feel like I have an additional new set of "virtual friends" now, just from having participated in the REHP message board community for the last few years. It's amazing how close you can feel to some people simply by corresponding with them over the years, sharing their hopes, fears and dreams, and commiserating when necessary. Just because I haven't met them in person doesn't mean that I don't think of them as friends. As I've often said before, TMF's message boards allow us to communicate almost like pen pals from days of old.

bill2975

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