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Ideas of Retirement Moves vs Extended Vacations to Explore various regions of the U.S.

powercropperpowercropper 1651 replies67 postsRegistered User Senior Member
We are a long married couple about to become empty nesters. I have always thought moving to the beach would be a fun idea, but the reality of leaving friends, neighbors, church family, doctors, etc. makes a move seem less ideal now that we are actually staring at the finish line of parenting. (Our youngest goes off to college in August. Oldest has graduated college, married, and gainfully employed.) We will be supporting youngest child financially through college with money from our current earnings.

If money was not an issue, I could easily see us renting in a different location each fall, a month or two at a time. My H works FT, and can work anywhere he has reliable internet. But money is an issue, so we would need to either rent out our home (we have paid off our mortgage) or scale back with a long term Airbnb type rental. Would probably have to settle for a less ideal rental location, smaller place, etc. Thinking we could use long weekends to explore both locally and take day trips within the region.

I am looking for stories from people who have enjoyed empty nest travel in different ways, or how you went about choosing another location to move to permanently.

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Replies to: Ideas of Retirement Moves vs Extended Vacations to Explore various regions of the U.S.

  • bopperbopper 13943 replies98 postsForum Champion CWRU Forum Champion
    I have friends who had a big house in NJ. NJ is expensive with taxes. They didn't really want their DD to end up in Nj because of the expense. When she went off to college, they sold the house and moved to Colorado in the spring of her freshman year. They wanted to be able to ski etc while they were still able to (they are a little bit older parents). They were going to wait til see where she ended up after college. They realize that living at 8000 feet is not for them...the current plan is that the DD will be working out side of Pittsburgh, but they are looking at New Hampshire
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  • CTmom2018CTmom2018 788 replies10 postsRegistered User Member
    Back in the 1980s, my parents started thinking of moving to FL for retirement. For half a dozen years or so, each year they spent their vacation in a different part of FL. When they found their ideal location, they bought a plot and built their retirement house.

    Perhaps instead of a month or two at a time, you could do 2 weeks? This worked for my parents.
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  • milee30milee30 2037 replies13 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Do you have any hobbies or activities you like to do which involve other people? That would be a good way to meet local people, see if you click, imagine what some of your life might be like. If it were me, I'd try to vacation and meet up with the local running/swimming/sailing/kayaking/whatever you like to do groups and try them out.
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  • gouf78gouf78 7776 replies23 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    I think 2-3 week jaunts would be good. But looking for a permanent move you’d be wise to try different times of the year if the weather changes drastically.
    Then I’d make my personal list—where are the docs? How far to shopping? Taxes? Cost of living? Etc.
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  • powercropperpowercropper 1651 replies67 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited June 14
    Thanks for the stories and keep them coming. I do think I need to clarify what I am looking for.

    We are coming to the realization that a drastic move is not our style. So we are exploring ways to enjoy empty nest without actually moving. I was hoping to hear stories of how others have used their free time after raising children.

    I get stuck in my thinking, and CC parents have always surprised me with new/different ways of getting outside the box. I am trying to figure out what would make me happy in empty nest, if moving away to an area closer to a beach is not a realistic choice for us. My H is working full time (entire company works remotely around the world), plus has a side business and several seasonal referee jobs. It is possible to travel around hitting tournaments and H working a 3-4 day event.

    If there was a way to downsize in our current community, could we keep a small "home base" but still travel to see friends and family, sight see, etc., within the constraints of H working along the way?

    So I am not looking for "where should I move to" but more stories of "this is how life looked different for me as I transitioned from active parenting to empty nest".

    My H and I enjoy going to small venue live music events. Especially listening rooms, where the focus is on the music, and there is not talking in the audience. We like to be near or have a good view of mountains, lakes, oceans. Sitting on a porch in a comfy rocking chair with a view and a good cup of coffee in the morning is a treat.

    We love nature but currently have physical issues that require us to enjoy nature in small bits, so no long hikes. We prefer deep friendships with fewer people, but enjoy playing card and board games and could meet up with folks along the way who enjoy that type of activity.

    edited June 14
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  • powercropperpowercropper 1651 replies67 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    @katliamom ^^This.^^ This is the kind of idea that I was talking about. Outside the box. Love the way it fell into their laps, and then they figured out how to do it a second time! Love it.
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  • katliamomkatliamom 12783 replies167 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited June 14
    @powercropper -- the downside of "renting cheap" in Europe is that you often get a bare-bones place out in the middle of nowhere. It means you have to have a car... or at least access to a train station if you want to do some exploring. And if you don't like living in a rustic little place, such an option may not be for you.
    edited June 14
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  • doschicosdoschicos 20642 replies209 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    "If there was a way to downsize in our current community, could we keep a small "home base" but still travel to see friends and family, sight see, etc., within the constraints of H working along the way?"

    I have several family members that are AIRBNB hosts. One built a new home. Over the garage there is a unit they rent out year round. They also rent out their main residence at times when they travel, going abroad for a month or so at a time. These set ups not only pay for their trips but pay for their mortgage as well. The couple is in their 30s/40s.

    Another family member has an apt in their home with a separate entrance. They used to lease on an annual basis. Now they use AIRBNB and rent out for vacation and business travel. It pays the mortgage on the entire house.

    Just examples of ways to make the finances work.
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  • CountingDownCountingDown 13363 replies110 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    I could see us downsizing to a condo and then going to other places a few times a year instead of buying a "winter" place. Following this!

    We've found that many campgrounds overseas also have self-contained cabins. These run less than a hotel and we can cook. Has been a cost-effective way to travel for us.
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  • greenwitchgreenwitch 8708 replies41 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    H has an older cousin who downsized to a condo in their hometown and spends a lot of time traveling. Not only did it save money, but they don't have to worry about the house if they're away for a month or more. They are big skiiers and spend all winter either in Utah or Italy.
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  • thumper1thumper1 73843 replies3220 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    We plan to downsize our house...and buy something smaller but not probably far from where we currently live.

    Our new place won’t have a mortgage.

    We then plan to take 4-8 week jaunts over the winter months to different places. If we like a place, we will go back...but this gives us the freedom to try lots of different places, but not lose the connections we have here. There are so many places where you can rent for a month or two...and that is far less costly than owning a second home someplace. We have friends who have been doing this for years...and they have been to San Diego, Santa Fe, San Antonio, Key West, Charleston, Savannah, Sedona, Seattle, Portland Or, New Zealand, France...lots of choices.

    We would not rent our regular home while we were gone.
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  • katliamomkatliamom 12783 replies167 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    @thumper1 Will your home stand empty while you're traveling? I also don't really like the idea of renting out my home, but would worry about no one being in it for weeks at a time...
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  • thumper1thumper1 73843 replies3220 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited June 14
    @katliamom we have great neighbors. I wouldn’t worry...at all. We leave our home empty now for vacations of 1-3 weeks. And we would need a cat sitter so someone would need to be here daily anyway.
    edited June 14
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  • VeryHappyVeryHappy 18422 replies324 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Ah yes, the pet issue. We currently have two very active dogs, so having DH and I go away together at the same time is a major event. I am eager to lose the dogs through -- ummmm -- attrition, but DH keeps saying he wants to get another.

    It's an issue for us. Currently, we travel separately to visit our children and other friends and family.
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  • gouf78gouf78 7776 replies23 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    I think you may be able to swing the finances of different locations for 3 week stints if you research the “off seasons” and major holidays. This works wonderfully well and saves big bucks if you aren’t tied to work schedule or school calendars.
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  • gouf78gouf78 7776 replies23 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Safety is important. We left the door unlocked for a two week jaunt. Another time we left the garage door open which a neighbor closed for us. We were lucky I guess but I don’t overly worry about leaving.
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  • gouf78gouf78 7776 replies23 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    I’m in the “travel different places” camp. So many friends have “second homes” and it’s always too much work. Or they realize too late how far away the grocery store actually is. Or how scarce labor can be when you need work done. Or that the country road is gorgeous during the day but plenty scary dark at night. Or figure out the internet doesn’t work great in a remote location.

    The only ones I know who love their “second home” bought in convenient tourist type towns or very close. And they bought condos or super small places so they could lock the door when they leave and forget it. They picked spots that they kept going back to could get to easily from home base.

    I know one couple who sold their home and moved to a smaller one closer to the local airport since they liked to travel so much.

    I’d look at local airlines and see the routes they offer.
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  • gouf78gouf78 7776 replies23 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    @VeryHappy — not worrying about a pet is so freeing when it comes time that you want to travel. I miss my pets but enjoy the freedom. I’ll get another when I quit traveling.
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