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There have been some interesting threads here about assisted living and other elements of life in retirement, but I wanted to start a new one, perhaps suggesting various other aspects to discuss. I have not made it a poll because I think that tends to limit what people can say. How about your views on the following -- and perhaps other topics about "retired living"?

If you have not yet retired, do you have your own home, or do you live in an apartment or condo?

Would you like to retire to a condo or another private home? Or would you prefer moving to one of the so-called "retirement villages" or even "assisted living" facilities?

Have you carefully considered the cost of retirement in the style and location you envision?

Do you prefer being surrounded by others or do you prefer peace and quiet in your own home, perhaps situated on a sizable chunk of land?

Where do you live now -- in the country, city or where? What part of the country? Would you want to change that or would you like to remain in the same area?

Are you alone or part of a couple or family? Do you envision being alone in retirement?

What else have you thought about or dreamed of in retirement?

If you are already retired now, are you happy with your choice(s)? Or do you envision changing?

Just a few thoughts. What else can we discuss here?

Happy New Year, again!

Vermonter
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I'm 73. My life plan calls for moving to a retirement community at age 85. But of course that can change depending on developments.

I moved here in '06 and considered moving into a condo then, but decided I like gardening and shoveling snow. They keep me active. Otherwise, I'd trend toward couch-potato-ship.

I live in a story and a half 4 bedroom on a quarter acre in the suburbs. It's convenient enough to most city services.

Maybe home delivery and Uber will one day change things, but for now when you can no longer drive, living in the suburbs is difficult if not impractical.

Of course living near family is a plus. They can help in a pinch, but one doesn't want to overdo dependence on them.
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I didn't give retirement much thought. It was something that I would do after I quit work at age 70. However, I discovered that it would be to my financial advantage to retire at age 68 due to changes to my employer's retirement plan and provisions in the Pension Protection Act of 2006 requiring my pension to be actuarily adjusted for retiring after 65. After the actuary completed his adjustments, my pension benefits increased by 21%.

The month before I retired, my wife turned 66 and able to receive the full Social Security spousal benefit.

I spent 30 years of my career traveling around the globe on business and not very interested in more travel in retirement. Actually, neither of us were very keen on traveling in retirement. We had been to Europe several times and took the children when I went there for business. Another issue with traveling in retirement was that my Vietnam War injuries had finally caught up with me.

We lived in Southern California and planned to stay in our home until one or both of us needed to be in an assisted living facility. Unfortunately, my wife died last January. It didn't take me long to realize that I didn't need a four bedroom house. I sold it and moved to my 97 year old mother's house in Northern California. I think it makes more sense for me to pay her rent than to pay it to some landlord. Also, I can give my sister a break with her role as my mother's caregiver.

With me here, my Mother has someone to have a glass of wine with while we watch PBS News Hour.
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<< It didn't take me long to realize that I didn't need a four bedroom house. I sold it and moved to my 97 year old mother's house in Northern California. I think it makes more sense for me to pay her rent than to pay it to some landlord. Also, I can give my sister a break with her role as my mother's caregiver.

With me here, my Mother has someone to have a glass of wine with while we watch PBS News Hour.>>



That sounds like a good plan.


Seattle Pioneer
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"That sounds like a good plan.


Seattle Pioneer"

*****************************************************

They are all good plans.

Howie52
Deciding to live as you can - and enjoy what you can is one perspective of paradise.
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No. of Recommendations: 11
We are in a cruise-ship type of Retirement Community, but my husband is still working. He has a busy schedule with 16-18 Silicon Valley CEOs of small to medium-sized companies. He loves the work and is entering his 18th year, but in the last month he has spoken 5 times (I've counted them because to our family they are "newsworthy" remarks) about retiring in 2021 ( he'll be 78) because there will be other things he wants to do......

Being the thoughtful guy he is, he made a list of 19 "Ongoing Activities in Retirement" to show me this week, and asked me if he had "forgotten something"...I had to laugh!

You asked if other fools were happy with their current choices in retirement.

I have to say I really think our decision was one of the best we've made in our happy lifetime (52 years married ) so far. And originally we did it only so our kids would never have to worry about us.

By moving here we:
a) found better health care than we had previously,... even though we had never had any worries before
b) can be alone and quietly peaceful or as social as we choose
c) meet interesting people, attend interesting lectures, attend lovely professional concerts just by walking down the hall, or claiming a seat in the main auditorium downstairs....no worries about parking, or arrangements depending on weather
d) are exposed to more volunteering opportunities than we could ever want...or fulfill
e) live in an area new to us, so date-night is a chance to explore new restaurants, local symphony etc
f) see how if residents lose a partner, they are supported by friends and staff on a daily basis for as long as they need that "caring" warmth

A very lengthy answer to one of your questions, Vermonter.

Maryanne
(busy learning Chinese, singing in choir, teaching four immigrants (volunteering) puttering in my garden, doing water aerobics, TLC, Book Club, to name a few things...and still enjoying time to myself just reading on the balcony...(or maybe just watching the clouds...)
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Maryanne:

Sounds like you two are both very busy people and are enjoying the lifestyle you enjoy. Bravo!

Care to give more detail about what a "cruise ship" retirement community is? I ask because we've all heard the tales of people "retiring" by buying a lifelong round the world voyage aboard a cruise ship, but you are obviously on land! Do you mean you get all your meals, beds made for you, etc.?

Afraid we two are more sedentary, but we enjoy what we have. We're somewhat active in our church, we help with pastoral care visits, I share lector duties in the service, she is on the Altar Guild, and we do what we can in fundraising activities. We have grown children not far away, which is a blessing, of course. I'm still somewhat active with my amateur radio, and this location on a ridge is a great spot for it, especially with several acres of tall trees.

I think, as I have said, each of us needs to seriously consider what type of lifestyle we want and then pursue that, within whatever limits we face in terms of health and wealth.

I hope you get to enjoy many more happy years!

Vermonter

Above all
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McCrockett:

Sorry to hear about your wife. However, it sounds as if you have worked out a new situation as best you can, and no doubt are a big help to your mother. I wish you well.

Vermonter
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Hey Mary Anne,

I would love it if you shared that list of 19 things your husband made. Sounds like he’s an organized kind of fellow. I am lacking in that area but I do find it interesting in how others live and think in their retired years....I know he’s not retired but you are anyway. :)

Lucky Dog
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"Cruise ship" is a joking term around here for this particular "Continuing Care Retirement Community" that we live in.

You can start independent living in a house/villa, living in a Garden Terrace,... or as we do, living in a 3 bedroom apt, 3rd floor in the central building. The central building houses front desk, mailroom, health facility, computer lab, two dining rooms, a cinema with new movies daily, video room with library of DVDs, the hardback library, two elegant little dining rooms for your private parties, a pantry for daily necessities run by residents, a billiards room, a card/game room with 10 tables and a professional Bridge teacher, or continental breakfast and newspaper reading space where singles often go early in the morning to drink coffee, chat a little, and read the papers from 6.30a.m onwards.By short covered walkway you get to a huge indoor/outdoor swimming pool, hot tub, fitness room, painting studio and beauty salon.

This building is where my husband learned to walk again, after a debilitating car accident.

Services include... As many meals in any of three restaurants as you want, but we only get 30 FREE meals per person a month...any time. All of us have nifty kitchens with excellent appliances and if we don't want to eat in the restaurants, we can also order off the menu ( changes daily) and pick it up/have it delivered to eat at home.
Included in monthly fee:
Laundry picked up, done and delivered free once a week.But we each have a small washer and dryer for personal laundry.
House cleaning every two weeks, with "deep cleaning, moving all furniture, shampooing carpets" once a year.
Free maintenance care.."Help! Our toilet is backed up" "our disposal unit isn't working" etc on the spot
Shuttle trips to local groceries or around campus if you don't drive.
Hired buses for excursions to events e.g Symphony in SF
Another building holds all the fitness classes..chair exercise, stretch and flex, yoga etc


When you need full time assisted living, skilled nursing, or memory care you move to Creekview, the building on campus 5 minutes walk from the main building. Spouses often share meals in that facility....all three meals served daily for small extra cost to the monthly fee for the apartment.

We can have the grandkids over for a few days any time.. ( extra rollaway bed $10) and we have space for our 3 grandsons. They love the pool, ping pong, miniature golf,...and the buffets.

So,... many of us joke we are living on a cruise ship.

I think www.stoneridgecreek.com will get you to our place if you are curious..

Wow....I really gabbed a lot! Sorry.
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Maryanne:

Thanks for the lengthy reply. I'm sure other people were interested, too.

As long as it suits you two (and it seems to), it does, indeed, sound like the right choice.

Enjoy -- and Happy New Year!

Vermonter
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Dear Lucky Dog,
David was amazed that you would be interested in his list...

"Does she know I can barely see,.. and that my leg means limited activities?"
"Yes, lovey. I guess she'd just like to know what Oldies do"
"But other than gratitude project, I haven't added things I might want to work with...it's not a complete list or anything! Just 15 minutes writing brief thoughts"
"Well,.. you know how I laughed when I saw you were making a 'to do" list a YEAR before you MIGHT retire, and others may think that is funny too...."

There are family things that would bore you to tears, Lucky Dog,...He has a menu collection from meals he ate all over the world that he wants to collate, and he is determined to make a book for the grandchildren of many funny stories, events or achievements that we know of from our own grandparents, and I'm not sure if those things are mentioned, but I'll try and do a "copy and paste" on another e-mail.

He's very English, fairly private and quiet. I thought he was a Stuffed Shirt when we first met on a one-to-one basis but I was very wrong. He is actually very witty, interesting, loving, and easy to live with...

Good luck with things you love to do, or just want to try....
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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.

cm,
we'll be fine as long as the WiFi is strong :-)
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Tell your husband, I would love to hear his aspirations and that it will inspire me to push forward rather than be complacent with same old, same old. :)

Stoneridge Creek is beautiful, I remember looking at it before when you mentioned it. I have four questions:

1. How close to fires, power outages and earthquakes?

2. If you had to do it over again, would you move somewhere else?

3. What do you advise your friends to consider before moving to a CCRC?

4. What are the things that bug you about living there?

<smile>

Thanks.

Lucky Dog
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Cabinsmama: 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.
<snip>
Disclaimer: both of us are in good health, good shape, etc. And I'm aware that can change in a heartbeat.


Good on ya, lassie! I was (am) concerned that the Countess not be left alone. She is an introvert and we don't have many local friends. My hope is that the retirement village approach will help us both in the short- and long term.

CNC
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Cabinsmama,
We had to sell our cabin about 18 months ago.

We loved it, but it was at least 2 hours for the kids to drive to, and with weekend sports and all the grandchildren involved in theater rehearsals, plus the added cost of repairs, insurance etc, my daughters couldn't have taken it on right now, and it was getting to be a bit more of a hassle for us to get there frequently. So we sold it....but with a lot of sadness. And I still miss just going down to the lake and casting a line ( off the shore) and waiting for a trout.

I hope you keep your cabin as long as you can. ( I was 76 before we discussed selling it) Enjoy it!
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Not very close to fires this year, but we smelled smoke.

Yes, in earthquake territory.

No would NOT move anywhere else. This place far better than we expected. Also, I open a tab at Starbucks second Tuesday of every month in our old suburban area, (40 minutes away in good traffic.)...and all my friends drop by to keep me up to date with their news and news of their families, the community, and things I am still interested in. Then I drop by my old school ( I retired from that 14 years ago but still have friends who work) or babysit my grandchildren in that suburb too, as needed.

Consider bringing less stuff! Most people find they have brought far too much. Think ahead and make sure your chosen location in the CCRC is close to things you like as you become less mobile.

Talk with other residents before you sign up, and ask about complaints. Don't ask us...we don't have any.

Nothing bugs us yet. There was a wait to be seated for dinner sometimes, a few months ago, but management has mostly fixed that.
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think www.stoneridgecreek.com will get you to our place if you are curious..

WOW...we are practically neighbors! Since they opened up Stoneridge we typically take that road instead of the interstate to avoid traffic and pass right by you!

Ok...our story. DH started planning retirement when he started his one and only professional job of 35 1/2 years that came with a pension. We invested and LBOM. DH retired 12 years ago.

We had always thought we would move a little farther out of the SF Bay Area to get a newer nicer home and pocket some of the equity but two years before he retired both our sons and their families moved back to our home town. With our 2 year old grandson just a mile away, we decided to stay put in the home we raised our family in and did a little remodeling to make it nicer. We still think about moving but have stayed put to be near my Mom who has been in failing health.

DH and I always knew we would love retirement! We LOVE to travel and we have really stepped that up. Since 1975 we've had some kind of RV of some sort and now have a really nice motor home that we use about 3 months out of the year. We discovered in 2012 that we love to go on cruises (on ships...on the ocean) and have been seeing the world!

As far as other activities there's the planning of the trips....I'm very involved and love doing the research. Right now I'm almost done planning our two long RV trips and doing the research on the upcoming cruise. We enjoy spending time with our friends and family. We take daily walks of 3 or more miles a day. I garden and DH tinkers. We do enjoy watching TV and taking it easy.

This is the retirement we always envisioned and then some! I could see us moving into a community like Stoneridge Creek some day when we can no longer take care of our home or need personal care.

Utahtea
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This is the retirement we always envisioned and then some! I could see us moving into a community like Stoneridge Creek some day when we can no longer take care of our home or need personal care.

Utahtea


PMFJI, nut to me, this misses the point of a community like Stoneridge Creek. I would move before I need help. It would be good to move while you are active, and can enjoy the facilities, meet people who would be your peers, and have a great home base for travel. This seems to be what Malaoshi and hubby have done. They can enjoy visiting and being visited by the grandkids while enjoying a very comfortable place to live.

This is more or less our plan. We have registered to get a two bedroom apartment at https://carlsbadbythesea.org/ . Not as large or as luxurious as Stoneridge Creek, but it does enjoy the ocean. We are both shy people, and my hope is that the resort lifestyle will suit us well.

CNC
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PMFJI, nut to me, this misses the point of a community like Stoneridge Creek. I would move before I need help. It would be good to move while you are active, and can enjoy the facilities, meet people who would be your peers, and have a great home base for travel. This seems to be what Malaoshi and hubby have done. They can enjoy visiting and being visited by the grandkids while enjoying a very comfortable place to live.

This is more or less our plan. We have registered to get a two bedroom apartment at https://carlsbadbythesea.org/ . Not as large or as luxurious as Stoneridge Creek, but it does enjoy the ocean. We are both shy people, and my hope is that the resort lifestyle will suit us well.

CNC


I totally see your point. We can't predict how things will go but we're not ready to give up the homestead just yet. Hopefully we won't wait too long.

Utahtea
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Ok, I’ll give it a go:

I retired nearly 6 years ago at age 65 after 39 years as a professor at the same university where I’d gone to grad school. DH had retired a few years before me. She owned a large dance studio and ran a nonprofit dance company.

I retired mostly because I was unhappy with how my university had morphed into a corporation oriented toward maximizing the bottom line. I had tenure, a comfy lifestyle, had spent my entire adult life here. But I was unhappy, and so I pulled the plug on it.

Money was not a major issue for us. We’d lived modestly in the same house for 30+ years, zero debt, built up a comfortable nest egg, … the usual “millionaire next door.” I delayed taking Soc Sec until age 68.

For the 6 years prior to retiring, I’d been focusing my energy on forming an organization of indigent Detroiters who were regulars at a soup kitchen in the city. A handful of my students and I worked with a core group to launch the organization. After retirement, I took this on as a half-time volunteer job. Today the org has 4 chapters and nearly 6,000 members. We’ve accomplished a lot of good stuff. But as we grew and became an official nonprofit, that too became increasingly bureaucratic for me, chasing grants and supervising staff. It’s taken me 5 years to hand over the reins. I’m still on the board.

I’ve loved Hawaii--the place, the people, the culture--ever since we first visited 38 years ago. So 7 years ago, DH and I bought a condo in Waikiki. It’s an older but nice building, with mostly year-round residents (kama’aina) and some renters. We split our time between here and our Michigan house. We also travel around Europe, typically 2 to 3 trips/year, plus trips to Oregon to visit DD and her family. Our nearly 7 y/o granddaughter is the joy of our life.

I’ll be 71 in a couple of months, DW just turned 68. We’re healthy and active. I still run (slowly) and swim miles in the ocean regularly. I walk to the beach. I joined an outrigger canoe paddling club a couple of years ago. We paddle competitively, working out or racing as many as 5 days/week during the season. We don’t have many paddlers my age, so typically I’m in a 6-man canoe with folks decades younger than me.

I still do research, write articles, do my nonprofit work, putter around the house, etc. I’m never bored. Life is good. I'm very grateful to be able to do this.
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M.Funguy: I retired nearly 6 years ago at age 65 after 39 years as a professor at the same university where I’d gone to grad school.

AAAACK!!! Academic incest!

CNC
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MisterFungi

With your screen name ,did you teach botany at the university?
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With your screen name ,did you teach botany at the university?

Nope. Political Science, alas. My screen name is a pun inspired by my wife, who refers to me (ironically?) as "Mr. Fun Guy."

(Count No Count, whom we've hung out with when he and his DW visit Hawaii, is in on the "secret".)
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