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

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

  • mathmommathmom 32120 replies158 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    We might downsize to a condo in our town eventually, but I'm in no hurry. We've been total empty nesters for about two years now. My parents ended up settling a 7 hour drive from the nearest grandchildren for my father's retirement job. It was fine while he was working, and trying to grow grapes, but as they got older and their friends started moving on it did not work so well. They found a small house in the same town as one of my brothers.

    Last fall my husband was invited to be a visiting professor in Hong Kong for 2 1/2 months so we had an experience something like what you were envisioning. I confess we did not try to do any kind of short term rental and my younger son did not think his friends would make trustworthy housesitters, so we just hired a gardening service and got a friend (who owes us a lot of favors because she goes out of town so frequently) to water our plants. Since dh was getting two salaries money was not an issue. We put in a Nest security system so we could see what was going on around the house. It did look like someone tried the door the day before Thanksgiving and we called the local police to check it out. They didn't see anyone.

    I think renting would be a lot more worry - lots of things of sentimental value.
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  • FlyMeToTheMoonFlyMeToTheMoon 2929 replies44 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    When our kids were young, we dreamed of moving somewhere exciting in retirement. But now that we are retired, reality has set in. Since we are both introverts, establishing a new social circle would require an effort we’re just not up to at our age. And we like a certain comfort level in lifestyle. We’re not even considering downsizing as so many couples our age are. I like my kitchen and yard. He likes our porch and spacious garage. We will just continue to pay for services that we can no longer manage. So far we have hired lawn mowing, mulching, and snow removal services.

    We talked about going somewhere warm for about two weeks over the winter, but last winter slipped by and we never did it. Fine by me.

    A side note regarding leaving your house for an extended period - our neighbors leave for four months at a time. They researched how to close up their house, and it works for them. I know they turn the water off, empty the refrigerator, and turn the heat down. I’m sure there is much more that they do, but it works for them.
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  • powercropperpowercropper 1649 replies67 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Love all these stories. CC is great at brainstorming. We probably are not heading to Europe, and we do still have an elderly dog, but there is hope for off season jaunts to various locations. And we have decided firmly that this is our last pet. We will gladly pet sit for children's pets for short periods, but are so happy with our current dog (going to be 14 yrs old in a couple of months) and will not try to replace him.
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  • 10smomlc10smomlc 59 replies2 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    We've been talking about doing an extended version of this when H retires. Downsize nearby (in Florida) and do a 3-6 month trip each year to a different region, exploring the area with lots of side trips. We will be mid/late 50's when he retires and are very active (hiking, tennis, kayaking, biking,etc). We want to take advantage of our freedom while we are physically able. We've not figured out any of the details, but realize is will not be inexpensive. It's what we've been saving for, though!

    Following...can't wait to hear more from everyone.
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  • VeryapparentVeryapparent 862 replies16 postsRegistered User Member
    This won't work for lots of people but some version could work. We someday hope to get an RV and spend time road tripping around the country. We think we may rent our house out...we live close to a University so visiting professor rentals are a thing here which we think would be a good option....and usually are just one semester. We have traveled a fair amount on the cheap in Europe during our younger years so probably won't be looking to do too much of that. There are many places in the US we haven't seen and plenty of national parks yet to be visited. Plus the added bonus of..if our kids settle far away its a great destination for a road trip. It's just a plan or maybe a dream for now!
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  • whitepicketfencewhitepicketfence 117 replies14 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    We are still talking and looking and trying to figure it out. We definitely want to move. This house is more work than I want to deal with. We have a pool and about an acre and while I farm most of the work out, just getting someone reliable is a pain. We are in FL and sick of the long periods of heat so are looking at SC/NC so maybe a month or two less of oppressive heat!

    We have a 4 year old dog but luckily have a great sitter who takes wonderful care of her. We left her for 24 days in the spring and decided it was a few days too long for us. Maybe once we are pet-free we will feel differently, but for now, we plan on a 3 week international trip every other year and domestic travel in between. We will have to find a new sitter when we move.

    Now we have to figure out what kind of home we want. We definitely want low maintenance but are leaning towards single family. Though I never thought I would say this, we have visited a few "55 and better" communities and have really liked what we have seen. New developments are very different from what I expected. I think I would enjoy living in a community with people of different backgrounds with different life experiences, yet in a similar stage of life. We meet with our financial advisor later this summer to figure out what is realistic.
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  • wis75wis75 13927 replies62 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    We made the move seven years ago. Before then we did road trips to various places we thought had some of what we wanted. Long ago knew we weren't the artsy type, not into it or antiques. Discovered the desert definitely not for us- New Mexico trip. Happened to be in Seattle one November and the gloom got to us- but it could still be in our future. Where we end up when, say 80, will depend on where son is at the time. We figured out income taxes and other costs of living issues, lifestyle and other factors such as liberal/conservative, no Bible belt, weather, city size, ability to take college courses... You can tell a lot about an area with the types of houses that are common in a city.

    No place is perfect. Tampa summers mean vacation away to the north is desired. A neighbor returns to upstate New York for a few months. Our area has a lot of people from elsewhere and plenty of retirees. There are many things to do for retirees and services. We live away from the hurricane evacuation zones and in a regular neighborhood. We aren't into the activities found in over 55 communities like many probably are.

    It took us a couple of years once we found our target area to find our house- it suits us so well. Lucky we were looking before the market picked up. It pays to be patient and not jump at something that just doesn't feel right (we totally renovated- the location, lot and bones were good).

    Now is a good time to just plain see different places on lists of where to retire. See if the climate and activities appeal to you. Figure out the finances- taxes, prices other costs.


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  • wis75wis75 13927 replies62 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Years ago we had a condo an hour and a half away. I still recall needing to clean every time. A friend here has a second home a similar distance they go to every weekend. It is hard to keep up two places- double the household maintenance, cleaning, shopping for keeping a pantry/refrigerator stocked et al. They will eventually retire there (later than sooner for me- I enjoy seeing her). I/we considered having a condo elsewhere for summers but the hassle factor too great for us. When I look around inn our current home I see the stuff we kept after downsizing and actively like. I see far too many things I would want to take with me. Something to consider when you retire- even with a busy life you still will spend far more time in your house. It is important to like your surroundings.
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  • cypresspatcypresspat 240 replies7 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    We send our last to college next year. We will wait a year or so before any big move, but we intend to leave the city we are currently in. We were transplants for jobs and with all of the kids gone, don’t feel very attached to here.

    Plan is to downsize significantly. We have renovated many homes over the years. Kinda done with that. I want to significantly reduce the amount of ‘stuff’ in my life.

    We are dual citizens (US and Italy) and plan to purchase a home there with a brother and our oldest child. Will likely spend 3 months or so there each year. We’d like to purchase a place in a college town in the US where we could spend the summers there (enjoy the facilities of the college without the students) and rent it out during the school year. The other months we will spend on monthly rentals near our kids and hopefully boat loads of grandkids.

    Close friends of ours became empty nesters in their early fifties. They sold their big suburban house and everything in it. Got rid of one of their cars. Rented a small two bedroom in a rural town near where they were living (so college kids had someplace to come home to) and bought an RV van (sleeps two). When they visit us, they sleep in our driveway. They travel from place to place for most of the year, sometimes staying in parks and sometimes AirBNBs. They are both consultants and can work anywhere but plan to stop working completely soon. They love hiking and the outdoors and seem to be loving this lifestyle.

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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 33097 replies358 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited June 14
    What sort of budget?

    I looked for activities in a few places where we'd thought we'd like to live and it's problematic. Personally, I'd like to meet a range of ages, so retiree college classes or activities aren't enough "it." Has to have good food, whether high end or cute little places, an interesting Main St. Most ideas are more Yankee Magazine or a cute small town than new developments. But a few weeks in a great city would be fun, too.

    Our home is paid off. Taxes and home/car insurance are high here, but to lease a 2 bedroom place (incl a guest room) in the sort of location that would ring our chimes would cost at least 2x annually what those present costs are. Buying isn't much better. (And that means pretty permanent, a year round base, at least in the short run. Obviously, not ready to choose that spot.)

    Add to that, this home is increasing in value, just the luck of where we live now. Not selling for 5 years- or more- makes sense. (If we bought in a new location, would that place risk losing value? So many friends have faced that.)

    So I decided the longer stays are the better option, for now. Not every VRBO or AirBnB type place, even in popular spots is expensive. Better deals if you can do a one bedroom (often not as popular with visitors.) Or even an efficiency (we're very relaxed travelers, as long as it's clean and reasonably up to date.) There have to be some interesting things to do, natural beauty. Nice enough to invite new friends in.

    I think if the 'urge' is to get away for 3-4 weeks, you start with any locations that intrigue you. We love Maine, know certain spots well enough, and are close enough, that we could go for a week at a time, several months/year-? Sort of sneak in.

    Other places that intrigue are NH, the Berkshire area, VA, NC, SC, somewhere near Chicago, MI, MT. Lots of places.
    edited June 14
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  • mycupofteamycupoftea 479 replies14 postsRegistered User Member
    We love our second home and also travel to other destinations several times a year (not counting business). But if finances were an issue, I would consider downsizing to a condo (with simple decor, simple maintenance & repairs) and do home swapping.

    Another idea is to take a job that requires lots of travel (I am actually thinking about it - there are some interesting opportunities in my field, and I would not mind traveling actively for several years)
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  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 3685 replies16 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited June 15
    If your very adventurous look into Workaway. You can work for room /board and try out different regions. Going outside the United States many do this to teach English or work in a Cafe. It's geared towards college kids it just checking it out you could live in the hills of Tuscany Italy on olive farm, work 4-5 hours and then go site seeing and they make lunch or dinner for you...
    Looking for different well there you go.

    As mentioned some areas Arbnb can be reasonable to check out an area. We have used then all over the world.
    edited June 15
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  • intparentintparent 36291 replies644 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    My parents used to rent a condo for a month, trying to overlap with kid’s (eventually grandkids, too) vacations, usually for the month of March. They’d rent maybe half an hour from Aspen to get a better deal, but near a river so my dad could fish, for example. Or a beach condo in Florida, but not one of the most expensive locations. They’d get one with 2-3 bedrooms when we could join them.
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  • NorthernMom61NorthernMom61 4108 replies29 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Well after 20 plus years overseas we dream of returning to where the house we built is in Maine and working in the yard and doing house projects as everyday retirement life, and doing all the local things we miss, and hopefully building a feeling of being part of the community. It's always a matter of perspective, lol. But, what we have observed most of our retired parents and relatives to do the snowbird or travel thing for a number of years, then return "home" where they started to enjoy the familiarity, any family, church, and community connections again.

    I'm in the camp of doing trips and short term rentals. Travel where and when you can and can afford.
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  • gardenstategalgardenstategal 5488 replies10 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    I have a relative who sold his big family home and traveled in an RV for a year THEN bought his downsized retirement home.

    I realize in reading this that he spared himself the problem of dealing with his home while he was gone.

    He loved the flexibility of the RV, while personally, I could appreciate but not enough to do it myself!

    I would say that if affordability is one of the things that's part of the equation, there are a lot of places that are great - and much cheaper! - outside the peak season. It may be too cool to swim at a beach resort in May or September, but not to bike, hike, kayak, etc.

    Loving this thread. This is a thought on my mind.
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  • cypresspatcypresspat 240 replies7 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    @mycupoftea I have chatted with many flight attendants over the years who chose their job as a second career. Often their partner has some sort of atypical work schedule (I remember the one whose husband worked on oil rigs and with her ability to bid for routes and flight benefits, they travelled a ton). The downside was being a FA....tough job!
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 6623 replies39 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    We moved for a job change just as D was heading to college. We are in a bustling, close in, suburb of a major city, adjacent to a T20 university. We love it! Easy access to an international airport where we can fly almost anywhere direct, public transportation to the city which we utilize weekly, and concerts, lectures, art exhibits basically at our doorstep through the university. It’s been very life enriching!

    As such, we will be staying put and just traveling! Hopefully in longer spurts when H retires some day.
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  • rickle1rickle1 1815 replies14 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Thinking about the whole AirBNB vs. 2nd home scenario recently. It's a game changer for sure as you can likely rent for several months as opposed to owning two homes. Trade offs for both but I'm starting to like the idea of renting in different areas vs. being locked in. Yes you lose the appreciation of the 2nd home but you also lose the upkeep, furniture costs, etc. Definitely provides more flexibility.

    Not there yet but starting to think about it as we'll be empty nesters (at least during the school yr) in a yr.
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