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I retired nine years ago. DH retired for the 2nd time a year ago. Nothing has been like neither he nor I envisioned it (in positive ways).

We thought we'd live in a rural setting in our log house. Instead, we moved to the capitol city six years ago, and now (as of almost 3 years ago) we've bought a 3 level condo. It's in an area that has a mix of young families, older folks, various nationalities. Lots of folks walking, running, out with their dogs. We have a couple with college-age kids on one side, a single engineer on the other, both quiet. We still have the rural cabin, a two hour drive away. Our family (kids, grandkids) are closer to that location and that's where family gatherings happen. Our friends are either in the city or at the other end of a flight.

We like the rural, wide open spaces...up to a point. We also like being close to the things we like or need to do. In the city, we are fifteen minutes or less from the airport, same for doctor, dentist, gym, library, stores (some are under five minutes drive). In the country, it was typically 45-60 minutes.

The times we've needed one level living for a couple of weeks--after two hip replacements--we just stayed at the one--level cabin until stairs were manageable again.

DH thought he'd be doing consulting work by now. Instead, he finds himself relieved to be out of all that stress and confusion and political attacks.

So far we're managing keeping up two places, mostly because neither is all that costly. We know that one day, we may want to do something different so right now we're cleaning and fixing things at the cabin in case we decide to sell it. We do have a lady that cleans it 2x a month, and the weeks between, she picks up any mail, checks on things, etc. Weekends there are relaxing--we're pretty isolated-feeling there.

If I had to pick one or the other I'd probably say "sell both" and find something different near the city. Neither of us would want to live full-time in the woods.

A retirement community sounds intriguing on down the road (he's 68, I'm 63). Both places we have now have appreciated in value so selling wouldn't be hard. We'd want it close to where we are now, though. Certainly still in NC. And if one of us was gone, I'm thinking the other would be better off in a retirement community--otherwise, either one of us would be at risk of becoming too isolated.

One thing I can't emphasize enough, for us...although I planned as well as I could for retirement, (started a 401K when I was 26, etc) a number of things happened that I never could have foreseen. Never dreamed DH would be tapped for a new post-retirement career that would last five years and cause us to move to a city. Never ever dreamed I'd fall into am occasional part-time job traveling all over. Being flexible and open to possibilities, comfortable in not having everything planned out and nailed down, has been the key, so far. And decades of (mostly) LBYM.

Disclaimer: both of us are in good health, good shape, etc. And I'm aware that can change in a heartbeat.

we'll be fine as long as the WiFi is strong :-)
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