No. of Recommendations: 3
We scaled back considerably by selling our apartment in the city and moving 250 miles away to a gorgeous little town on the coast of New England. We are near family now and that's really all that's important. We have a mortgage on a small house that we can actually afford now. Food is cheaper. Well, everything is cheaper here than in the city.

I love your post, Brooklyn and wish I could give it more than 1 rec.

NoID, if your boss won't get out of your face, consider the benefits of switching to part time or taking some other less stressful job. At age 64, your body/mind will likely not cope with stress as well as it did years ago. I would hate to read next year that you became disabled from a stroke or had been diagnosed with metastasized cancer. Do you have a spouse who contributes income to the household? Maybe you've been doing the heavy lifting for decades and now it's their turn?? Are you sure that when you add up all sources of income and consider moving to a lower cost of living area that you couldn't make a go of it if you earn less than you do now? Are you trying to live up to a family tradition of working longer? My family has such traditions, too, but...nuts to them ;-)

When my husband lost his job at age 53 (really his career--he was in software mgt and it was the tech wreck), he got a job as a college instructor in a much lower cost of living area near some family. Actually, he started at the bottom as an adjunct making $11k that first semester and no benefits. I was still working part time for my Silicon Valley company as a very distant e-commuter and provided our health insurance. Our income was reduced by 75%, but we were able to buy a house in this lower COL area for less than the equity in our San Francisco condo and, like Brooklyn, live far more cheaply than we could in the expensive metropolis.

Over the following years, my husband was made a Staff Instructor at a little over average American pay, and then I retired. He retired 6 months ago after teaching for 10 years.

As of next spring, we'll have a little more income than he was earning when he retired between Social Security benefits, 2 small pensions, and income from savings. And retirement income goes further because now we don't need to save for retirement or pay FICA taxes. Many people have other savings when they stop working that didn't apply to us, such as end of a pricey commute, workday lunches out and pricey work outfits and dry cleaning. (My husband had a 7-mile commute in a Prius and wore pretty much the same clothing for teaching and relaxing at home.) Not to mention more time to get bargains (for example, a free audiology exam at Costco).

Also, our state, like several others, doesn't tax Social Security income or the first $15k of other retirement income per person (pensions, IRA withdrawals, annuities). So most of our income will not be subject to state income tax.

Our quality of life is comparable to what it was in San Francisco on 3 times the income, and in several ways it's actually better. We can see people and host house-guests any time, take off in our RV at will and travel as long as we like, see weekday matinees for less, shop and make appointments when stores and people aren't busy or have senior discount day. Plenty of time to think, relax, get errands and chores accomplished in a lower cost way--eg, make more foods at home from scratch instead of getting takeout or convenience foods.

Many people prefer higher income and living higher on the hog. But some of us have hung up our spurs and are glad. Just some things to consider.
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