Putting Down Roots

Putting Down Roots

Happy Wednesday ladies. My posts have been sporadic lately and I thought I would explain why. My husband and I have struggled with where to retire for some time so last year we decided to kick ourselves in the pants into high gear. Although we had no clear vision of where we wanted to live, we sold our home and rented a house in an active retirement community. We wanted to be sure we liked the area and lifestyle before buying a house.

We haven’t rented since college so this has been interesting. It’s refreshing to simply call the landlord when the air conditioning breaks (twice), or the sink leaks or the blind breaks. Not having the financial or personal responsibility to repair things is lovely. What’s not lovely is being told your lease isn’t being renewed.

Two weeks ago our landlord let us know they plan to renovate this house and move in. Our carefree enjoyment quickly turned to anxiety and we recognized the major downside to renting is that you have no control over how long you can live in a place.

Never mind that you have to live with someone else’s tacky drapes, and outdated appliances. I ignored the boring white walls, but quite honestly… I hate not being able to put my stamp on a place. I also miss seeing my favorite things which we mercifully left packed in boxes, stacked in the garage.

Moving is a monumental pain and very stressful. We haven’t come close to finding our be all and end all house to stay in for the rest of our lives, but we sure don’t want to move often.

We started viewing open houses here a few weeks ago but things are pretty scarce. We’ve got a trip planned to Palm Springs and plan to look at houses while we’re there. Housing prices are lower in Palm Spring and many people happily retire there but I’m not sure I want to move that far away from everything I’ve known for the last 41 years.

My only grandson is here which is priceless and we have lifelong friendships we continue to nurture that are a short 2-hour drive away. Starting over where we don’t know anyone doesn’t really appeal but we’re keeping our options open.

I didn’t attempt to put down any roots here because I knew it was temporary but this has made me realize I prefer roots. Unlike my adventurous mother, I don’t have a gypsy type bone in my body. So although I love to travel, I am a homebody at heart and want a home of my own.

I’ll keep you posted on our adventures looking for a new home. Between you and I, I secretly hope it needs renovating so we can make it look and function exactly the way we like.

Have you moved in retirement?

How smooth was the process for you?

Thanks for reading and have a great day.


This post may contain affiliate links which won’t change your price but will share some commission.


  1. Tracey
    February 18, 2019 / 12:47 pm

    Hi Jennifer, I just had a chance to read your post & I can totally relate. My husband & I are not retired yet, but in our early 50’s. However, we have moved around a lot & like you, I really don’t like it. Originally, we moved out of California for a job opportunity he accepted, & for the same reason we moved again 3 years later to yet another state. When we decided to return 4 years later, I couldn’t wait to come back home to Northern California to reconnect with everything & everyone familiar. Though, I was originally up for the moves to other states (Idaho & Tennessee), I found out quickly that what I expected to dislike (Weather, cultural differences) didn’t bother me at all. What I found really bothered me was that I missed everything I had lived around & everyone I had in my life for my entire life. Visits from familiar faces are few & far between & don’t make up for the day to day interactions one gives up. Now, I am back home & I have told my husband I am not leaving again & he feels the same. I know it’s more cost effective to live in other states & that we would have a larger, but cheaper home. I just no longer care. I would say this to you, if you are feeling hesitant about a large relocation then listen to that feeling. I had it & ignored it. I would rather live in small home where I want to be than in a mansion somewhere else.

    • February 18, 2019 / 3:40 pm

      I totally agree. I know we are sacrificing the size of home we can buy but it’s worth it to me. I do wish we were a bit closer to the Bay Area but it’s only a 2 hour drive and for now, I want to be close to my grandson.

  2. Ellen
    February 7, 2019 / 9:17 am

    I am retired, my husband 2-3 years out. About 4 years ago, after out last child left home, we moved to be closer to his office, about an hour away. Our daughter lives there, it just seemed like a no brainer. We felt sure it was a good place to retire. What we had not understood was the value of the roots we had established in the community we had lived in since we were college students. After three years of absolute misery we sold our house and moved back “home”. We were 8 minutes from our daughter and family, we had our dream home, but it was just not enough. I always tell this story to people looking at where to live in retirement. We are two introverts and that, I am sure, made establishing connection harder. It is just very, very hard to find your place if you do not work and you do not have children. Everyone is different, and I do believe if one part of a couple is more extroverted it can be much easier…just worth considering when looking at where to retire. I call it our Wizard of Oz experience! LOL

    • February 8, 2019 / 5:09 am

      Thank you for sharing your experience with us, Ellen. History and roots in a place are so important.

  3. Susan Krupp
    February 2, 2019 / 5:56 am

    We retired twenty-five miles north of two of our thee sons and four of our seven grandchildren in 2011. We were new to the area so family was the draw. I cannot tell you how grateful I am for our time living close to them in the early years. Now that they are older it is harder to schedule time for spend the nights and hanging out. Our retirement community is large and filled with activities and amenities that I would not have if I lived in the city nearer them. Last year we took the plunge and bought in a high rise condo in San Diego to be near the third son and three other grandchildren. It seemed that every expensive trip we made to visit found them tied up with work and school so our actual visit was always compressed. We did rent before we made the condo purchase.

    • February 2, 2019 / 7:16 am

      Thank you for sharing Susan. Your choices sound like they worked out well for you.

  4. Beverly Glotzbach
    February 1, 2019 / 5:20 pm

    Jennifer, I am sorry you are having to move again so soon. I know you started your initial moving process just prior to when I did in the fall. We are not settled yet, and I cannot fathom having to do it again. However, you did consider it temporary and maybe it gave you more wisdom as to what your “must have’s” in your permanent move will be. This was our permanent move and although I like most of our decisions, we still didn’t get everything right and are adjusting. I hope you find a place that looks like home to you and will feel like home within a minimal amount of time. (((Hugs))) as you do it again.

    • February 1, 2019 / 8:16 pm

      Thank you so much Beverly. It is a daunting task, as you know. I hope you settle in soon. Xx

  5. Shirley
    January 31, 2019 / 5:30 pm

    I feel like I’m in the minority here with all you lovely ladies. Having two houses to divide your time between? Living in Europe part of the year? Moving across the country? Retirement for my husband and me will be here in the house we built, on land his parents bought in 1940. Looking forward to a little travel, but happy to be home, enjoying grandchildren nearby. We worked hard all these years at regular jobs, saving for this time. Not a lot of money, but still so happy and excited about this new chapter! However different retirement may look for each of us, I pray that it will be exactly the way you want it to be!

    • January 31, 2019 / 8:51 pm

      You’re blessed Shirley. If I could have done it your way I would have. My family is scattered so “home” is a moving target. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Patricia A. Morgan
    January 31, 2019 / 7:54 am

    In July 2018 I sold my 3-bedroom house located in Madison, Wisconsin. I decided to sell because I just did not have the passion and enthusiasm to keep up with the constant home maintenance tasks involved with home ownership. I took great pride in my home and worked with “gusto” on keeping it looking great. My house sold in seven hours for considerably more than my asking price. For years I talked about moving to Florida, but ultimately chosse to relocate to Tucson, AZ. I decided that I did not want to own any property, and found an apartment to rent. I love it; no responsibility except to pay the rent and the utility bills. I also like the climate here; no humidity–no hurricanes like Florida endures. I moved here knowing only a few acquaintances–no lomg time friends, no children, no grandchildren. I just jumped right in and sought out experiences that exposed me to new challenges and new people. In other words, I totally got out of my confort zone. I have no regrets, especially when I see the negative temperatures that the midwest is currently experiencing.

    • January 31, 2019 / 8:48 pm

      That sounds so exciting!! You’re very brave and I’m glad it workec out so well for you.

  7. January 31, 2019 / 7:11 am

    How unsettling having to move before you have found your forever home. I do feel for you and would hate to be in your shoes right now. Fingers crossed you find a forever home soon. Jill x

  8. January 31, 2019 / 5:06 am

    Oh, how frustrating! I hope you find a place you love. I don’t like where I am right now and have a 2-4 year time horizon. I’m putting down light roots – forging friendships with a few people I’d travel to go see when I move – but not establishing much of a base other than that. Everything I do to the house has resale value in mind, which is fine but not really me. It’s an odd feeling for sure. I miss the city terribly and visit it often. It’s odd to be homesick at home, but there it is. I hope your dream place appears quickly. Xx

    • January 31, 2019 / 8:44 pm

      I understand Jen. You’re in a tough time fame and spot but handling it with more grace and elegance than most women could. Hang in there. You’re an elegant inspiration. Xx

  9. Susan Gowan
    January 30, 2019 / 11:41 pm

    Lived in an urban community for 30 years with my hubby and raised three kids there and when my husband took his retirement we left our community and two of our grandboys and daughter and moved to a property closr to a small lake and about 14 miles from a Great Lake. Huron.Lovely community but after almost 3 years here, I still miss my former community. And friends and family. Good luck to you on your move..Home will always be where the heart is!

    • January 31, 2019 / 8:41 pm

      That’s really tough Susan. Are you stuck there or could you change location?

  10. Susan
    January 30, 2019 / 8:31 pm

    I am glad that you had a trip planned to Palm Springs – it could be a “God thing” in bringing you here at this time!

    I live here part time (Indian Wells) and absolutely love it. Folks that live here full time just plan to spend some time away during the summer and it sounds like you have that covered. Housing is relatively reasonable, there are great cultural events here during the season, decent medical facilities and really, really nice people that just love living in this beautiful paradise????. You can be as active or relaxed as you want to be…

    If I can answer any questions for you while you are out here, just let me know.

    • January 31, 2019 / 8:39 pm

      Thank you so much Susan. I’d love to connect with you and chat.

  11. Penny L. Luckenbaugh
    January 30, 2019 / 1:50 pm

    Hello tp Penelope from another Penelope!
    Would I leave my 100 year old home in a historic neighborhood, where I can enjoy a variety of ages and hear children laughing and look forward to trick or treaters and lemonade stands? Plus all the urban amenities.
    There are no guarantees the grandchildren will have the time to spend with you. They grow up and scatter cross-country.
    My children and grandkids like knowing that the family home is here to come back to. It’s a constant in their lives.

  12. Shari
    January 30, 2019 / 12:25 pm

    Jennifer! Look how many people care about you! Your posts are great…loved the recent pink pants!
    We live in Tennessee! I grew up here but Newyorker hubby has learned to love it…we are retired here now and love the climate and a retirement area close to us has lakes and over 100 clubs! Now we are starting to think of our next move…to a independent home in a continuous care community! Life keeps throwing in changes.
    As my grandson said, I wish I lived down the street…but they are now in Michigan ! Life in our times doesn’t always make gramdparenting easy!
    Come over to Knoxville Tennessee! Three seasons, low taxes, cool people….and we need some style!
    Thanks for your column and best of luck in finding the perfect place!

    • January 31, 2019 / 8:37 pm

      Thank you Shari! I’m blessed to have the wisest, kindest readers. I think the changes keep coming so we just have to roll with them.

  13. Lori
    January 30, 2019 / 11:43 am

    So sorry about your unplanned move. We are in the process of packing up right now so I feel your pain! We have decided to relocate to Palm Desert. The prices there are much better than other parts of CA. We found a nice condo there in a great community where the residents have made it a point to have monthly get-togethers in the common areas. Everyone seems so nice and we are looking forward to it. When it gets too warm there, you could just go somewhere cooler in your RV! We looked around in Arizona and Nevada and we also explored a Trilogy community in Nipomo CA which was lovely but the desert won out!

    Good luck and happy house hunting. Feel free to email me if you have any questions about either.

    • Joanna
      January 31, 2019 / 4:43 pm

      Lori, I would like to rent a house for a few months during the winter. Everything you see online is not as advertised. What are the areas to avoid?

    • January 31, 2019 / 8:33 pm

      We visited that Trilogy in Nipomo too! I would love to chat with you. I’ll email you

  14. Penelope
    January 30, 2019 / 11:39 am

    Be thankful you are not moving across an ocean!! Nothing is more expensive and complicated than that.
    I grew up in the house my dad built in a small rural community in central CA and loved it. Deep roots there.
    Like you, I need to be close to my roots, physically and emotionally. I need my personal things around me as well. I keep reading about the joys of downsizing and eliminating much of the stuff in ones possession, but …and maybe I’m strange….. there are memories embedded in all my belongings,…. memories which appear at random times when seeing or using an item, and are these priceless. If I did not have the physical object to spark those vague and forgotten memories, they might be lost forever.
    They are part of my “roots” and help ground me.
    I lived in apartments as a single mother for decades and for me, nothing was more frustrating and unhinged than apartment living. I hated it. I never felt I had a home. The worst was never knowing who was going to be living around me, and I had some scary situations even in upscale areas.
    My biggest regret is feeling pressured to downsize during a major move many years ago. I let many things go that I wish I hadn’t. Irreplaceable things. So I no longer go through an elimination process before a move but if I feel the need, I do it slowly afterwards.
    That’s probably my biggest take away lesson from having moved multiple times in my life.

    • January 31, 2019 / 8:30 pm

      Thank you fur sharing that Penelope. So many of my things hold priceless memories. I just want to unload the things that are simply clutter so we can be more portable.

  15. January 30, 2019 / 11:25 am

    How unfortunate to have to move on short notice! You have often talked about your love for Vancouver where you once had a beloved second home (and a daughter and lots of friends) and now being so close to your grandson. Why not get 2 small places and go back and forth?

    We took a very practical approach to our move 3 years ago from Palo Alto, CA: Stay in good weather, be near hobbies, stay near enough to family and friends, live in walking distance to shops and restaurants to start driving less. We took a 2 step process: buy a mobile home so we can take our time looking for a house and get acquainted with the new area. Stay in it 2 years for tax purposes. Then buy a small house with a second structure on the property so we can either use it, rent it out or store our things in it if we temporarily go elsewhere and want to rent out the main house. We completed all that, right near downtown Santa Rosa.

    • January 31, 2019 / 8:26 pm

      We have thought of doing that very thing ourselves. Having a place to rent out that could provide income would be very smart. Santa Rosa is so nice!!

  16. Annette
    January 30, 2019 / 11:12 am

    Hi Jennifer, I am so sorry you are going through another move so soon. Since you have your grandson up north, doctors in place and many friends I would think finding a smaller home or place in a retirement community would be ideal. We have friends who just moved to downtown Benecia where it was more affordable, closer to family and they can walk everywhere. Good luck!

    • January 31, 2019 / 8:23 pm

      We love love love Benecia! Such a cute town and close to everything.

  17. marlene alves
    January 30, 2019 / 10:39 am

    Jennifer, I have not read the previous posts; however, being decades older than you, I am going to bring up a reality that so many couples face…one partner outliving the other. If one makes a list of priorities, I suggest focusing on that eventuality, along with proximity to family along with the need to be close to a wide range of medical services. Transportation can also become a challenge.

    Yes, moving is extremely stressful and expensive; to find a single level home that you can renovate and live in throughout the coming years as a couple…or as a single person… may be something that one wants to consider.

    • January 31, 2019 / 8:22 pm

      Thank you for sharing Marlene. I am thinking of that and think being close to my son would be very smart. He’s a wonderfully supportive young man who we could rely on helping us.

  18. Kay
    January 30, 2019 / 10:26 am

    I have lived in the same house for 35 years. My children wail when I occasionally suggest we sell it. The best thing about it is that it’s paid for. It’s too big for my husband and me with five bedrooms and three baths, but the idea of sorting through 35 years of stuff is too much for me. Please come to Palm Springs. That’s just down the road, and we could go shopping together! LOL.

    • January 31, 2019 / 8:19 pm

      Having it paid for is huge. Maybe we could meet up for coffee? Email me

  19. January 30, 2019 / 10:08 am

    My husband and I also wrestled with the idea of where to retire but put if off because of the daunting job of downsizing and actually moving. Our decision was made for us in October 2017 as we lost everything during the Tubbs Fire in Northern California and made it out with just our dogs. Not wanting to go through the process of rebuilding we chose to move near our daughter in Arizona. I can say we are very happy with our decision but was a struggle to get our lives back together. Life is never as planned but we are very thankful. Good luck with your journey!

    • January 31, 2019 / 8:17 pm

      Oh no Linda, I’m so sorry! It’s sounds like you’ve made the best decision. Good luck and thanks for sharing with us.

  20. Lily
    January 30, 2019 / 9:30 am

    It is -12 degrees with a windchill of -45 as I type this. We have had it. We will retire as soon as our youngest son graduates college. We have lived in the same house for 20 years. I don’t know if I could live in a rental. I would miss my garden!

    • January 31, 2019 / 8:13 pm

      That’s too cold! Gardens can be replanted but people can’t be replaced. Good luck

  21. Nancy
    January 30, 2019 / 9:23 am

    We moved from Santa Barbara to Palm Springs into a 55+ communitywhen w e retired 3 years ago. Best move ever. The sun shines every day! The summers are hot, the winter, spring and fall are warm, the houses are affordable, excellent shopping and healthcare, restaurants, entertainment, airports and the beach is only 2 hours away. But you would be quite a distance from your grandson. We are 2000 miles from ours but we see them several times a year but it’s not the same as weekly I realize. I just don’t want to live in the Midwest where they live and put up with winter!

    • January 31, 2019 / 8:12 pm

      Santa Barbara is so beautiful. Thanks for sharing

  22. Eileen
    January 30, 2019 / 9:08 am

    Oh my Jennifer, it seems you haven’t had much time in this rental. It’s difficult to know sometimes where to set your roots. I guess you could rent one more time, if you need to think things over. My advice, don’t rush.

  23. Julie Anne
    January 30, 2019 / 8:58 am

    Once you’ve factored in all your wishes, add one more because you hate moving. Because of medical issues for both of us, the layout of our house matters now, or at least it soon will. The unexpected has happened and a walker or wheelchair make bedrooms on the second story an issue. We’ll have to consider other things too. A year ago we were both very fit and didn’t stress about turning 70.

    • January 31, 2019 / 7:57 pm

      I’m so sorry you’ve got this struggle Julie. We are only looking at one story homes. My husband needs a knee replacement so stairs are out of the question. Wishing you the best

  24. Suzi
    January 30, 2019 / 8:50 am

    Jennifer, you do know it is very hot and dry in Palm Springs, right? We followed my only child and grandchildren to CA from AZ. Despite some “friends” warning not to chase your children. I pinch myself everyday even after 7 years; we live in So Cal, 20 minutes from a beach, warm days, cool nights and I am able to see my grandchildren at least weekly. Happy Hunting!

    • January 31, 2019 / 7:54 pm

      That’s part of what worries me about PS. I’m not a fan of hot weather and would far rather be near ocean breezes. Sadly my grandson doesn’t live anywhere near them. It’s a puzzle we need to figure out.

  25. Joanna
    January 30, 2019 / 8:09 am

    I’m sorry you’re having such a difficult time deciding where to live in retirement. I know being close to your grandson tops your list of requirements. I know you wanted to be close to a good hospital, too. Do you want to live close to the ocean? Small town or big? Do you want a condo or single family home? Did you like the active community lifestyle? Do you want the heat of Palm Springs, or the cooling breezes of the Pacific? How many hours away from your grandson would be ideal? Then draw a circle around his home. There are so many things to factor into your decision. I guess you can only look on this as your gypsy years. Lol

    • January 31, 2019 / 7:51 pm

      Great idea. I do feel our lives will be fluid for a few years now but I do want a home.

  26. Sissy
    January 30, 2019 / 7:44 am

    It’s not easy to change ! But ,I wish that I had done it sooner !
    My time is spent enjoying life and all the new people that I have met ! It’s very freeing not to be tied to a home with its upkeeps and responsibilities!

  27. Anne
    January 30, 2019 / 7:13 am

    We downsized from Los Angeles when we retired a year and a half ago. We live in the Sierra Foothills, not far from where you are by the sound of it. We wanted to be closer to our grandchildren who live in the Bay Area, I wanted an art studio and my husband wanted dark skies for his amateur astronomy, and the home prices were reasonable. We found a great community – mixed, not all retired people, and has opportunities to be involved and meet new people. My husband is elated that he doesn’t have to clean the pool anymore! Plus I am now a lot closer to some good friends who live in Northern California. The house was a “flip” and it’s a good thing my husband was a home remodeling contractor – he is able to fix things or install bookshelves and whatnot. Anyway, so far, we don’t miss Los Angeles at all! Loving the quieter life.
    Good luck finding your happy place!

    • January 31, 2019 / 7:44 pm

      That sounds ideal for you Anne

  28. January 30, 2019 / 6:59 am

    Oh boy….following along. We are at the same place in our life trying to figure out what we want to do.

  29. January 30, 2019 / 6:32 am

    Well, if you move to Palm Springs, I’m only a couple hours away and will happily come visit! 🙂

    • January 31, 2019 / 7:41 pm

      That would be beyond fun!!

  30. Deirdre
    January 30, 2019 / 6:23 am

    I’m single and for the past eight years had my kids on my own in my big family home. Thinking about downsizing kept me stumped. I’m not yet ready to retire but I didn’t want to move closer to work because it’s not a great area for single people, I’d love to move downtown (I’m in Chicago) but my commute would be impossible and it would be too expensive to get a place where my three kids (20-25) could stay when they needed to, etc. In September, my oldest moved into his own apartment and suddenly I was alone in my five bedroom home! A few days later, the guy who lives across the street in a charming three bedroom brick Tudor knocked on my door and said that if I ever planned to put my house on the market they’d like to make an offer. Suddenly, a light bulb went off. I could stay in this neighborhood but have less house to maintain while keeping all my same doctors, cleaning lady, church, book club, bridge group, yoga studio, commmute! My prayers were answered and we bought each other’s homes. We already closed but we are renting back and forth because my daughter will be coming home from abroad in the spring and we can move once she sorts through her belongings. The new owners have three boys that are about 16 years younger than my 3, and needed more room. They get to still walk a couple blocks to the school my kids went to, same church, friends, etc. and I have everything I had before but 30-40% less space and lower costs. It’s pretty crazy! I’m planning to stay there until I retire and then decide if I just want to continue to stay there, move to a warmer climate, or get into a property with less maintenance. Sometimes there no place like home!

    • January 31, 2019 / 7:42 pm

      That sounds ideal for you right now Deirdre

  31. Robin
    January 30, 2019 / 6:17 am

    My husband and I are just beginning to think of retirement. We are 60 and 61. At this point we don’t have any desire to leave our home where we raised our boys. We’re within 30 minutes of where we grew up and have lots of extended family. Our sons live even closer. We’re blessed with many dear friends. I can’t imagine not living near family and friends. The support and love that we have for each other is priceless. Once we do retire, I’d imagine if we want to spend a few weeks elsewhere, we’ll rent. One thing I’m sure of is that I don’t want the responsibility of a second home.

  32. Eva
    January 30, 2019 / 6:13 am

    My husband and I are 63 and 62 yrs old. We retired 3 yrs ago and have loved every minute of it. We live in an 18 hole golf community which also has a lake. We used to live on hole# 8 but 3 yrs ago moved to a house on the lake in the same community. We’ve had such fun. Our kids and grandkids all live close by so they enjoy the amenities along with us:)
    Although we hate the cold we do live in Missouri. And our winters can sometimes be brutal! BUT…..our Springs, Summers, and Autumns are the best!!!!

    • Gloria N.
      January 30, 2019 / 10:06 am

      Eva….Your situation sounds ideal, to me.

  33. Kathy
    January 30, 2019 / 6:11 am

    We moved to a retirement community but not out of the area where we’ve lived and raised our children for 40+ years. Being close to the grandchildren is so fantastic, that i would have trouble moving to warmer climates (we live in upstate NY). I’ve made some wonderful new friends in our active condo neighborhood but love the benefit of seeing two of our grandchildren grow up. We once again attend recitals, soccer games and love watching them grow. But once they’re away in college or become busy adults, Florida might call to us for a few months in the winter. Big decisions ahead for you…. good luck! BTW…we own our condo, and I’ve had so much fun making it our home.

    • January 31, 2019 / 7:35 pm

      I think this won’t be our last move either. Knowing that is a bit freeing.

  34. Val
    January 30, 2019 / 6:09 am

    Come be my neighbor in Healdsburg, CA. We have plenty of lovely new houses.

    • January 31, 2019 / 7:33 pm

      We love Healdsburg but it’s pretty pricey for us. Lucky you!

  35. Sarah Bonvillian
    January 30, 2019 / 5:48 am

    Today is our moving day. I’ve moved multiple times during my 30 year marriage which ended in 2005. Part of my spouses work. Call moving company, search for a home and live in hotels! It was an adventure.
    I’ve since remarried in December and both of us lived in his condo knowing the stairs were a problem. So, God opened the door for us to move 50 miles away into my family home. Hopefully, our final move.
    Take it ONE DAY AT A TIME!
    Good luck and don’t stress!

  36. Stormy Smith
    January 30, 2019 / 5:31 am

    Jennifer – I feel your pain. We have downsized and are currently renting a townhome. And yes, it’s wonderful to just call the landlord. But like you, I like to live in a space that reflects me. We are not quite retired yet, but think a lot about how to move forward into retirement and do it our way. No use hanging onto a house or “things” that my children won’t want and will just have to deal with when we’re gone.
    Anne Woodyard – It sounds like you’ve come up with a great plan. We’re working on how to spend a few months each year in France, Italy, Portugal or Spain. Like you – we are not ready for Florida. It’s a big world out there…

  37. Cheryl Ann
    January 30, 2019 / 5:25 am

    Jennifer, we retired almost 10 years ago. It’s been a whirlwind of change. We sold our “dream”:home in Seattle and moved to Nashville TN. We have been able to see our grandchildren grow up and enjoy our family on a weekly basis. We used to have to travel to see everyone and now we have them over for lunch, go to ball games, know their friends and attend the same church. It’s been a blessing! We live a half hour from our children & grands. It used to be a plane ride that took most of the day and was tiring. The more we are here, the more we love it. We downsized to a builder grade home and remodeled it to suit our needs & some wants. We are in a planned community with no age requirements and love seeing the neighbor kids growing up. Most of our friends are retired & moved here to be with their grands, too. Others are lovely southerners who have been generously welcoming. We feel blessed! We have made lasting friendships that support us in need and celebration. You will find your home and wonder why you didn’t do it sooner. Be well…

    • January 31, 2019 / 7:26 pm

      Thanks for giving me hope. It sounds like you found your perfect solution.

  38. Maria
    January 30, 2019 / 5:24 am

    My husband and I moved to a completely different community far from where we used to live, after we were both retired 6 years ago. When we were trying to decide where to move, a friend asked “What do you want to do in your new home? I wanted to be able to get involved in the community…a good library…be able to continue gardening…book club….make new friends….still be near our children and grandchildren. That is how we found our ideal home!

    • January 31, 2019 / 7:25 pm

      Those are wise questions to ask ourselves

  39. Merri
    January 30, 2019 / 5:24 am

    We downsized 5 years ago from the home where we raised our kids. Our residence is now a condo townhouse in a small development of 12 units. Presently we are searching for a 3 season home on the shores of Lake Huron. As a family we have vacationed here for decades so it is a place our children love as well. Our plan is to keep a apartment in the city till my spouse retires and spend most of the year at the lake and 3 months somewhere warm and travelling as well.

    • Janet
      January 30, 2019 / 6:44 pm

      I’m from that area and understand why you love it. Hoping to retire in London but prices are up and supply is low for bungalows.

    • January 31, 2019 / 7:24 pm

      That sounds so nice Merri.

  40. January 30, 2019 / 5:06 am

    Retirement living is HUGE on our minds right now – and has been a constant topic of conversation on our daily walks around Lake Anne for years! We’ve just decided that, rather than moving from the DC area that we really love to the central Florida home we bought 14 years ago with thoughts of retiring there (and have leased to others since then) we are going to move to our much-loved home in Aix en Provence. We had planned to spend 3 months there, 3 months in Florida, repeat as needed, but we just don’t want to live in Florida yet, and every time we’re in Aix we wish we didn’t have to leave….so decided to move there, returning to the US a couple of times a year to spend time with family. So that’s the plan – we’ll see if it really happens!

    • January 31, 2019 / 7:23 pm

      Given your options I’d move to Aix too!! It’s a gorgeous spot and cute little town. I wish I had those sort of options. Enjoy!!

  41. Bonnie Hall
    January 30, 2019 / 4:38 am

    We downsized twice from the house where our kids grew up. The last downsize was to the N.C. mtns where we had had a vacation condo, but best of all was closer to grandchildren! Now, they are almost all in college (the oldest in college in CA!). The other set of gtandchildren were in CO, but we used our motorcoach to visit them (and flew out too). Now they live in Ohio…much closer! We are now torn between our condo on the SC coast and our Mtn house. This latest cold snap is pulling us closer to the coastal condo! Isn’t is wonderful to have options!

    • January 31, 2019 / 7:21 pm

      You are lucky to have options. I’d stay in SC too. Stay warm

  42. January 30, 2019 / 4:28 am

    Good luck. Can you put your things in storage and do AirBnBs until you find the place you like? We live across the street from a retirement community, and I see the residents really look out for each other. That’s a big plus.
    Family also is important. Time can slip away without seeing them (grandkids!) if you’re too far away.
    Personally, I am itching to downsize. I don’t enjoy gardening and miss city life.

    • January 31, 2019 / 7:18 pm

      That would be very costly as we have a lot of “stuff” Believe me I wish we had less. I want to downsize too

  43. January 30, 2019 / 4:13 am

    I feel for you, Jennifer. No, I am still living in our first house. My hubby would love to downsize into a city side apartment, but I don’t want to give up my yard, my deck 3 seasons a year, closeness to my yoga classes, grandchildren…..and the thought of using common area washers/dryers? No!
    I might regret this stubbornness, but not yet.

    • Margot
      January 30, 2019 / 4:27 am

      Paulette, as my children have moved from apartment to condo to apartment over the past few years I’ve been pleasantly surprised at the number of units that now have their own washers/ dryers! The condo my daughter just bought is in a 13-unit building that has a common laundry area but most of the condo owners have gone to the expense of installing their own.

    • Susan
      January 30, 2019 / 4:41 am

      We retired when we turned 50, (10 years ago), but we really like living in our current suburb which is close to shops, doctors, the CBD etc. My husband would like to downsize to an apartment, but that is my idea of hell and since he can’t bear the thought of cleaning out his garages and shed, we will stay put.

      • January 31, 2019 / 7:17 pm

        My husband can’t seem to get rid of anything too so I feel your pain

  44. Janet
    January 30, 2019 / 4:01 am

    Ha! No matter how we plan, envision and organize, life doesn’t always follow along. I had it all planned and then real estate sales came to a screeching halt and I haven’t been able to sell and now demand and prices have increased where I wanted to move to. My husband needs to retire and that will cut our income in half. I”m on plan “G” at this point. Keep your eye on the end goal to keep your focus and move forward. Something will turn up!

  45. January 30, 2019 / 3:51 am

    Hello Jennifer. Although my husband and I have a few more years before we retire, I have begun the exploration into retirment. I am relating very closely to your post. We have five beautiful grandchildren who live nearby and see often. The thought of leaving them is daunting. We also realize they have a full life that will absorbe more and more of their time as their family ages too. I look forward to reading about your adventure!

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