February 18, 2021

Loving Where You Live: Is That Part Of Your Housing Decision?

 


At least by our standards, the nice weather is here in Phoenix. Though we know it isn't all that long until triple digits, warm sunny days and cool, clear nights, broken up with an occasional cloudy rainy spell make me almost forget the furnace of summer in the desert. Each day is simply gorgeous. Typically, we get some of our meager yearly rain in January and February. The tourists have arrived for the season but Covid concerns have reduced the number of snowbirds tremendously this year. Resorts and restaurants remain shuttered or largely shut down, so the normal throng of happy, money-spending out-of-staters is missing; not so good for the economy but a welcome change of pace for those who live here.

After 35 years in this part of Arizona (with almost three years in Tuscon in the early '80s) we are Arizonan natives by local standards. Betty would move to a small town with white picket fences and much less heat in the summer, but such a place doesn't exist close to family, and that fact is the driving force.

Personally, I'd live nowhere else. After all these years I am comfortable with the harshness of the summer, the brown, unforgiving desert just outside of the city, and 5 million people all rushing to or from somewhere. I know where things are and how to adapt to the climate. Not having hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, polar vortexes (Texas?), mudslides, or any of the usual natural disasters plaguing many parts of the country is a major plus. Some day we will run low on water, but that is a problem others are addressing. 

.All this made me me wonder if most people feel the same way. Do you love where you live or do you simply live where you live? No place is perfect. But, there are certain factors that will determine whether you are content with the place you call home. Take a look at this list and we'll have a quick quiz at the end.

Number one on most lists is the presence of family and friends. If you have good relationships with your family members who live nearby it is likely you haven't given much thought to moving. Most of us will put up with a lot to be close to loved ones. Good friends are also important to how you feel about your home town. As we age it seems making new friends becomes more difficult. If you live close to people you genuinely like and can turn to when you need help that is another check mark in the plus column. Colvid has made this abundantly clear.

The cost of living affects us all. This includes the cost of housing, taxes, food, and energy. Some places are just more expensive to live in than others. Southern California, New York City, Connecticut, the Bay area, parts of the Pacific Northwest,  and Scottsdale  are well above average in this regard. To love living in one of these places is to accept that fact and budget for it. Other parts of the country are relative bargins in these categories. If your budget is tight, the cost of living may play an important part in where you hang your hat.

Recreational opportunities. Being outside and enjoying nature is an important component of happiness for many. Being close to lakes for fishing or boating, having mountain trails to hike or bike or ski in deep powder, being able to play golf or tennis when you want is crucial to many. If you live in Manhattan I will assume this isn't a key priority for you. But, if you do live where you can't satisfy your nature fix on regular basis that could be a big deal.

Educational and cultural offerings. College towns or cities with major universities often rank high in resident satisfaction. The concerts, plays, lectures, community classes, and art exhibits that are usually part of educational institutions may be quite important to you. A symphony orchestra or venues to see live plays and musicals may be the elements of a community you need. Then, again, maybe you could care less. But, the lack of these opportunities may be troubling to you.

Transportation. If you don't like to drive or own a car, don't live in L.A. or Phoenix. Cars are the only reliable form of transportation in these cities. If you prefer public transportation or walking to get from here to there how does your town satisfy you? This could be a major factor in how happy you are living where you do.

Sporting and Entertainment activities. Some of us are happiest as spectators of professional or college sporting events. Others require a variety of soccer fields, horse trails, golf courses, or baseball diamonds for comfort. A good selection of movie theaters and restaurants is a necessity for some. Can you satisfy your interest in sports where you live? How about being entertained? Have you had to give up what you love because it simply isn't available?

Health care facilities. The Phoenix area is blessed with excellent medical facilities. There are two Mayo facilities in town, along with dozens of hospitals and specialized treatment centers. Several medical schools provide us with a better than average doctor-to-patient ratio. In many parts of the country the residents aren't so lucky. If you or a loved one has a medical condition that requires specialized treatment, odds are you will need to live where those options are available.

The weather. We all talk about it. We all complain about it. Yet, most of us tolerate wherever we call home. There are some folks who love to ice fish when it's 10 below zero. I know some guys who love to camp in the desert when it is over 100 degrees. Take away someone's ski trails and you'd be in trouble. Portland or Seattle can get gloomy in the winter with month after month of rain and drizzle but, when the sun comes out the greenery and views are stunning. Both cities consistently rank as some of the most popular places to live.

Weather is something over which we have no control. Your only ability to affect the weather where you live is to move to where that weather isn't. Are you sensitive enough to your hometown's weather for it to make you unhappy. Or is it simply an irritant that doesn't change the way you feel about where you live? Are you in the Jimmy Buffet camp who thinks, "the weather is here, I wish you were beautiful?"

Especially in retirement, moving is one of the most critical decisions you are likely to make. So, ask yourself this important question: "Am I unhappy with enough of the parts of where I live to consider a move?" Or, did reviewing the list above make me think, "This really isn't that bad, in fact I really kinda like where I am and I can tolerate the not so perfect parts."

I love where I live, though come summer I'm inclined to be in Oregon or Flagstaff. But, I have carefully considered what parts of living in Phoenix are deal-breakers. So far, those parts don't equal a move. I can say I love where I live. I am enjoying a Satisfying Retirement where I am.

How about you? What factors are keeping you where you are? What things that are missing are making you consider relocation? Let us know. It's like the weather, we are all interested in how others address this issue.


43 comments:

  1. Priority One should be the proximity of family and friends. You can (and should) always be making new friends, but removing old ones from your life is a mistake to avoid; and removing family members (unless they're all toxic) is an even bigger mistake. This advice, of course, doesn't apply to the wealthy, who can travel anywhere, any time they please, even during a pandemic.

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    1. I should point out that even the wealthy enjoy family ties. Being able to fly doesn't negate the more instant gratification of having family and friends close by.

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  2. I live in absolute paradise in Switzerland, giving it 10 out of 10 for beauty, access to nature, best public transport in the world yet uncrowded roads when driving desired (exc rush hrs), fabulous health care readily available with little wait (in English if you need it) 4 gorgeous seasons, each more beautiful than the one before, fantastic multiparty direct system with a federal council, a system that would make the rise of a totalitarian despot like Trump impossible... I can go on & on about the benefits. Detractions: penalties & punishment the US govt & financial systems deal out to all its citizens living abroad; the financial risks of currency exchange (esp now w low USD), expense of living here, including esp health care, the fact that the Swiss place high value on expats integrating into Swiss life when it can be challenging to find Swiss who want to have foreign friends, & the expensive travelling distance from the ´other homé in the US. Voila... those are the key points at least...

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    1. Thank you so much for an expat's input. Switzerland enjoys a unique reputation for many positive thing things, as you have listed. The not-so-good stuff is not co0mmon knowledge for those of us almost 6,000 miles away, but important to be aware of, if considering a move.

      Obviously, you have decided the pros outweigh the cons!

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  3. If every winter in PA was as great with snow as this one, I wouldn't consider living anywhere else! Here we say that there is no such thing as bad weather, just poor clothing choices. Family, outdoor recreation, and affordability are the top of our list and our lake community in PA checks all those boxes for us. The closest shopping is a half-hour to an hour away, but we can get essentials at the "corner store" or independent grocer in the nearest town, 15 minutes away. I can hike, bike, kayak, and ski right outside my door and do so nearly EVERY day! I The few times we need anything besides the outdoors we drive to it. Family is an hour away, just close/far enough to satisfy visiting urges when they occur.

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    1. I was born in Philly and had family in Pittsburgh, so Pennsylvania is very familiar to me. The varied terrain and urban vs rural setting give the state quite a mix. I'm not a fan of snow, but you are, and have found a great place to settle.

      Thanks, Kelli

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  4. We love where we live. We moved to our house here 34 years ago and raised our daughters in it from the ages of 4 and 2. Both live close by now, one owns and one rents. Real-estate is expensive here now, but it was reasonable enough when we bought, the house is long paid for, and we don't plan to move anytime soon so it hardly matters.

    The spring, summer, and autumn are glorious, my wife loves her garden that she created here from scratch, and right across the road is Lake Ontario. We have hiking trails on the Niagara Escarpment nearby, there is every half hour train service to take us into Toronto for the big concerts, plays, and sporting events (whenever that gets going again) and all the other big city attractions without having to endure the traffic driving in. Locally there are smaller community performing arts centres 10 minuets away for artists that have all the talent just not the "big name" (yet).

    Bob, you have the summers that keep you inside and we have the winters. I know some people love winter but as I've grown older winter isn't for us. Now that we've retired this gives us the opportunity to head south to Mexico for 4 months or so where we spend the winters. Our place in central Mexico is also right on a lake though we are in the mountains here, also with lots of hiking trails.

    I think most people usually end up where the lifestyle suits them best. If you hate the big city it's unlikely you are going to stay there long term and the same is true if the isolation of the countryside drives you nuts. You adjust as you go along and I would bet that most of us end up living exactly where we want even if it takes a few attempts.

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    1. Most of us make compromises, but settle for a situation that makes us more satisfied than not. Of course, there those who are tied to one place because of finances, responsibilities, or commitments. Even so, I doubt many could continue to reside in a setting that constantly irritates them.

      You have a beautiful mix of southern Canada and Mexico. Way to go!

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  5. We moved to the Asheville,NC area from Houston and love it. Why, much less traffic, natural beauty and 4 seasons to enjoy. We have family all over the US but mostly in PA; we can drive there to visit when we want to. It's fairly affordable here in terms of tax rates but NC does have an income tax where TX didn't. We love to hike and explore neighboring mountain towns. So many places are within driving distance to visit and explore. I don't miss the Heat and humidity of Houston Summers!

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    1. At this moment, not being in Texas must seem very nice. What a mess with the effects of the storm still affecting hundreds of thousands.

      I have been to Asheville on an RV trip; the city has a breathtaking setting. I spent a lot of time in eastern N.C. on business, but never was in your neck of the woods until we drove there in the RV.

      I had to be in Houston on a few occasions in the summer...no thank you. I can handle the heat but the humidity just saps me.

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  6. My wife and I have lived in New Hampshire for 36 years. I believe that people here are more accepting and tolerant of differences, except for political topics, so I avoid political discussions. I believe that people here enjoy living independently of others, but are receptive to social contact when they are approached, and are readily available when help is needed. We enjoy each of the four seasons. The winters are less severe, but the summers have become more hot and humid. We enjoy relatively easy access to Boston theater and restaurants, and to New Hampshire forests, mountains, lakes, and ocean. The major dilemma for us as we get older is that our children and grandchildren live in northern and southern California. Our current decision is to live in New Hampshire until we're approaching 80 years old, and then to move near one of our California children.

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    1. I lived for a while in Nashua while working in Massachusetts because the rents were much more reasonable. Lake Winnipesaukee was a family vacation destination while I was growing up the the Boston area.

      Yes, having kids in California while you reside in the "Live Free or Die" state will become more problematic as you age. Best of luck.

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  7. We've lived here in the NW (inland) since starting college in 1979. Still haven't come up with a reason to leave :-) Our weather is a true 4 seasons ranging from 0F to 112F. We bought our home 30y 3d ago! (Missed that anniversary). It's single level 1650 sf and plenty of space for us including a hobby space for each-quilting studio for me and woodworking shop for hubster. Poor mass transit so definitely a driving community. We are conservative on tripping out though driving less than 15k/year for both vehicles.

    I have 1 sister in town so was part of her kids lives. They have both moved, 1 5h drive and the other a 3h flight. I have a brother and 3 adult kids 2h drive away. In-laws are right here. My oldest sister is just a 1h flight or 7h drive away. We see each other 2-3 times a year :-)

    We have a mountain cabin just 2.5h away or 3-3.5h if winter driving conditions. We love to downhill ski and we can be standing on skis just 23minutes from our front door! The town is alongside a wonderful high mountain lake for summer fun. We rent lake toys rather than worry about 9 months of storage plus maintenance costs. Our cabin is 1250sf, again plenty for the 2 of us.

    Healthcare here is excellent. We have terrific docs as the lifestyle is very appealing. 2 health systems are available choices.

    We have great college football and have supported our program since being able to afford season tickets.

    We have a wonderful performance center and get some great stage shows. As well, we have 2 terrific concert arenas within 20 miles of us and we draw big names this century. (Rolling Stones and Elton John were fantastic shows).

    COL here is fine for us even though I hear complaints from others daily. We have no mortgage or other debt. Our property taxes rise "significantly" each year as others have discovered it's a great place for retirement and homes generally don't make it 24h on the market!

    I do not foresee us leaving.

    This is a great discussion for any readers trying to decide if they are planted or need to move.

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    1. I hope the the greatest benefit is to those thinking of moving before or after retirement. The comments allow a reader to see so many different people enjoying so many radically different places. I am pleasantly surprised about your positive health care situation, though i would guess having a college helps quite a bit.

      If There has been one consistent theme so far, it has been the importance of four seasons. Phoenix has two: summer and not summer. Of course, the mountains and snow are less than three hours north, so it is possible to freeze if that is one's choice!

      You have all the pluses of a college town but still maintaining a mostly rural feel, and you and hubby are happy.

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  8. Hi Bob! Such and important distinction! Figuring out what really matters to you and making your choices based upon careful consideration is all about what I call rightsizing! Thank you for breaking it down so very clearly. The only thing I think you could include is for those who still need to/want to work. Where we decide to do that does have influence. I don't think it should be the deciding factor any more than some of the others, but it should be considered. I believe that as we all decide the what is best for us and our family we will eventually be as happy as you are with your choice. May we all find that "right" place for us. ~Kathy

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    1. In today's world, having solid, dependable, speedy Internet service is probably a requirement. So much of our life is online that being at the hands of undependable connections to the outside world would be a deal-breaker for many. In your example, so many businesses can be conducted online, or need an active web presence that the Internet is a must.

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  9. I have a friend who is thinking about moving to your state after living 75 years in Michigan same as I have. I just can't imagine leaving the support system we've had our entire lives to move to a place where you don't know a single soul. And, yes, the weather is the prime reason he wants to leave. But he's pretty disabled and I think he's under estimating how much he depends on others and I'm worried he won't be able to network as fast as he thinks he can. We are the opposite end of the choices for our age bracket. I'm moving to a place where there will be more services and he's just planning to drive out to AZ with no planning or true destination and see what strikes his fancy.

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    1. His approach is risky. Arizona is a big state with all sorts of climate, political viewpoints, and urban/rural options. The Phoenix area is very different from Flagstaff or any of the White Mountain areas. Tucson is politically much more liberal than the rest of the state and more desert-oriented than Phoenix.

      As you describe his situation, he is in for a bit of a shock. But, maybe he feels he needs one last grand adventure. Driving from Michigan to Arizona with little planning certainly could fit that description.

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  10. Just moving two hours North for a year took me away from old friends,social groups, church, and the weather I love here in the desert.It was a good lesson. Back int he Valley since 2015, I am a happy desert rat. I love warm weather, my pool, the year round outdoors activities, and as you mention, the lack of (mostly) natural disasters! If I had a dream life, I would love next door to my favorite bro and sis in law.. but they live back east — where I could never go back to.. so, we visit. I think your PLACE is super important for all the reasons you cite int his article!! I am very very grateful for a nice home, backyard,weather and support system. Not going anywhere!!!!!

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  11. An important thing, on more thought.. is— I think we need to be aware of “idealizing ” our “perfect place..” I know I had all kinds of romantic notions of nights in front of the fireplace, of a small village of happy friends, when we left the valley for a small town. A small town was way too “cozy” for me, and, after all, the neighbors were all —I mean all— right wing conservative..I had nothing in common with the townsfolk.. The “romantic” snow meant I could not take walk without falling— Ken slipped and broke his hand the first week we lived there! In a splint for 8 weeks! There was poor medicaL care.. I had not thought of that! ANd no Trader joe, Sprouts, Michaels or.. well, let’s put it this way—we all wore the same flannel shirts from Walmart. Just. VISIT for an extended time before moving!!! If we had rented a year it would have saved a bit of grief and some money too.But alls well that ends well.now, I COUNT MY BLESSINGS and just overlook the few things that may bug me ion the place I am.

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    1. You make an important point: the vacation view of a "favorite" place. We see a certain place through rose-colored glasses. A good example for me is Hawaii. I love the islands and have felt I could happily live there for the rest of my days.

      But, as Covid has shown us, it is not always possible to simply fly back to family. "Island Fever" is real, expensive, and with virtually no significant differences in weather from one month to the next. Wearing only T-shirts, shorts, and flip-flops probably gets old.

      I could live in Hawaii for a period of time each year, but even those 3 months or so is too far away from family.

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  12. I did a lot of research prior to retirement and kept a spreadsheet on potential locations. Considerations included home prices, miles to ocean, miles to Whole Foods, miles to airport, access to healthcare, weather, air quality, walkability, golf, wineries, population and public transit. We didn't get everything we hoped for, but we are very happy with where we landed.

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    1. You approach appeals to me: cold hard facts and analysis. Emotional bonding to some place is important, but emotions are not a solid foundation for long term satisfaction.

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  13. We've been in Vermont for over 30 years. My in-laws are about 3 hours away by car. My only surviving family member is in New York; I have cousins all over the country but nobody close. We have a few friends here since we're not very social, and they're older and apt to leave. Airports, which I hope never to need again, are about 4 hours away. No Whole Foods here. We like it fine, except what we can expect with high taxes in a state that wants to be California. On fixed incomes we won't be able to convert our oil heating and lovely gas stove to electric conformity (with some of the highest rates in the country) only to have the power still go out regularly. We just got broadband (barely). The country itself is gorgeous, lots of hills and trees, which keeps cell service and such difficult but we don't care. We can walk to a lake, fish and shoot on our own property, and stay home for days at a time. It would be hard to leave but if we are driven by expense to do so, I think lower on the Appalachian chain would be where to look. Find another depressed area like this one and locate an affordable dwelling that can adapt to our ways. Maybe even find one where there's a Whole Foods under 4 hours away so I can go see what the big deal is LOL.

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    1. Like Trader Joe's, Whole Foods is a place I never go (Whole Paycheck) but it certainly has a solid following. We live in a very competitive grocery market so prices are very reasonable. at the places we do shop.

      You mention energy prices as an important factor. It will become even more so as the climate continues to change. At some point, probably after I am long gone, the desert will be too hot to sustain regular human settlements, and Vermont will probably have a climate like Maryland!

      As a link to your state, years ago I was skiing at Killington. I crossed ski edges, cut my leg badly enough to require an ER trip and then a long drive home in a VW bug. Still, I hold no grudges and came back to Montpelier several years later...so pretty.

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  14. My husband and I have talked a lot about this recently. We live in San Diego, so it's hard to beat the year-round temps. As I read about the horrible weather happening elsewhere, I am still picking tomatoes from our vine and - just this morning - we took a fabulous urban hike in short sleeves. BUT, the city is getting too crowded. Even though we live close to the coast, it's been a while since we've been to the beach. It's tough to find safe places to ride bikes, and most errands require getting into our car. I'd love to find the perfect combination of weather, walkability, services, and things to do, but, if it existed, everyone would live there. For now we'll stay here, but we are always looking for alternatives.

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    1. Your statement about everyone would live there reminds me of the Yogi Berra saying:" Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded."

      There is truth in that convoluted nugget. San Diego is a beautiful city with a fabulous setting. Both my daughters lived there at one point, but moved back to Phoenix because of the cost of living, border concerns, and overburdened roads. Paradise can lose its luster when too many people think of it as "the" answer.

      That said, you and hubby have determined, at least for now, the city has more pluses than minuses. Such a calculation is the only way to really decide what is best.

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  15. My hubby and I retired three years ago at age 62. In preparation for retirement we downsized to a townhouse in our hometown in southern Idaho and bought a winter home in southern Utah, both when prices were near rock bottom (2012). Both of our homes have doubled in value since then.

    We kept our home in Idaho and go there in the summer months to escape the heat here. One of our daughters lives there, as well as two of my brothers and my husband's mother, sister, and brother. My sister and her family live across the street from us in southern Utah (she loved our home so much she bought one in the same complex). The weather here is quite similar to Phoenix, only 10 degrees cooler most of the year. My 91 year old mother moved in with us in 2016 and she lives in our Utah home year round.

    We'd spent time in both places enough to know we'd like them, and we have plenty of opportunity to interact with family and friends here or there. We absolutely adore living in perpetual summer, and have turned into absolute wimps for cold. I don't miss trying to get around in snow and ice even a little bit. lol We enjoy a lovely spring here until we head back to Idaho in June, where we enjoy spring again before it starts to warm up. Then, we enjoy fall in Idaho and head back to Utah in October where we get another lovely fall and mild winter. Perfection.

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    1. It sounds like you are referring to St. George and maybe a place like Twin Falls. Having the ability to follow the weather is the best answer for those who can afford it. Plus, you have solid family connections in both locations. That can be the ultimate decider for many.

      Perfection about sums it up.

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  16. We moved! We had family both places and decided the weather made the difference. We wanted the warm weather of AZ and not the PNW cold, wet, and cloudy weather. We also had a 3 story house and needed to move to one level. Since we needed to move anyways, we headed to nice weather.
    We have been here about 7.5 years and for the most part love where we are. We are on 5 acres and can do what we want (even with COVID we have the space to enjoy being out and about). However, at some point we will need better medical options and less upkeep. At that point we will have to again figure out where we want to be.

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    1. Medical facilities does move up higher on the list of important factors as we age. I hear from folks who live 45 minutes or more from the nearest doctor or hospital. Others have seen their only clinic in town close, and there is real concern in their emails.

      The rural, quiet, unhurried life is great for many. But, it becomes rather risky at some point. Knowing an ambulance is an hour away can be a scary thought.

      Welcome to AZ full time!

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  17. When Alan and I became engaged in the late 70's, both of us were already in good jobs that would provide solid careers, so employment (which at that time was a huge factor in where you lived) was not a consideration. Living near family was important to us. Since both of us were the youngest of our siblings, our parents were older than those of most of our contemporaries, and we wanted to be nearby. Just as important to us was building our own home on a decent sized piece of property in the nearby mountains we both loved. Shortly before we were married, we found and fell in love with a three acre parcel that was covered in pine, hemlock, birch and ash trees. It took us a year and a half to clear enough space for the house and build our home, and this fall we'll celebrate 40 years of living in the same happy place. Three of our four siblings are close by (one escaped the winters of the northeast by moving to Florida), and our son and his fiancee bought a house last year that's a 45 minute drive from us in the same range of mountains. Our daughter still lives at home and is the most social of all of us, so we fully expect her to fly the coop to a more populated area at some point. Within no more than 30 minutes in different directions, we have two great bike trails, two State Parks, a major river for boating and two large ski areas. In addition to a local hospital, there are two large, well-respected medical centers an hour away with a third 90 minutes out. Cultural opportunities flashier than local concerts, fairs and festivals are two hours away if the inclination arises, and it rarely does. The only major downside to our location is dealing with winters in the northeast. That, alone, wouldn't prompt us to move but, as we get older, I can see more winter trips to visit the sibling conveniently living in Florida. With family nearby and outdoor recreation steps away in every direction, we're happy homebodies.

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    1. With your RV and camping lifestyle so passionately on display in your blog, I am not surprised at your housing choice. But, keep those siblings happy in Florida. I endured enough northeast winters to know an escape is needed.

      In non-Covid times the Phoenix area has more entertainment and cultural options than one can possibly consume. Even so, we find we prefer the smaller, local art center and performance space, along with concerts in a nearby park, and flea markets.

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  18. After 26 years in north Texas, when retirement came, my wife and I had to compromise. I am from the cold north of Germany and she is from the warmth south of China, so relatives are all far away. I could live in any climate but she just can't deal with the cold. Everyone, please spare me the jokes about Texas this week...
    Our kids live on both coasts (Seattle/NYC), which pretty much ruled out a relo for us from Texas unless we wanted to be house poor and double our taxes.
    We considered South Carolina or Florida's West Coast but in the end decided to stay put because after 26 years, you do grow some roots, we have excellent access to high quality health care, can shop 'til we drop, have all the ethnic foodie choices we can ask for, have all major sports and entertainment venues, and can be in the mountains or the desert pretty much within a 4 hours' drive. For now as we are still in our go-go years, staying put geographically and downsizing to a small house was a good choice.

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    1. I assume your name, Plaino, is a bit of a word play on Plano, the city north of Dallas. It is a pretty part of the state. This week's weather is an anomaly as you well know. Blue Northers, sure, but not this.

      Having relatives on either side of the globe and kids on both coasts, you are probably about as centrally located as you could be. There is a lot to be said for having roots in a particular area, feeling comfortable, and knowing where things are.

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  19. After 39 years, we decided that housing is a thing that can change. We moved to Delaware seven years ago to help with babies. The youngest in that family is five. House will be on the market in two months.
    The next ten years will be spent in my husband's childhood home. Gateway to Yellowstone, small town, great bi lingual programs in schools...Rigby, ID. A hometown store of Broulims reminds me of AJ's of the past in Phoenix and Costco is about 15 minutes away. The area also has great health care (of which a number of family members are a part of). Our area is flat-so a three wheeled basket bike will be my transportation for several months of the year. Not right now---it is BURRRR. We are both OK with snow and cold (and built a house for both). We miss the West, terribly.
    In seven years we will reassess. Seven years is how long we have been in each of our "after military" homes- Flagstaff, Kansas and now Delaware. Our son will retire from the military in 2027 (gulp- had to type that a few times). Our daughter's family will have decided if they are staying in the DC area. Where ever they go--we will probably end up. Ahhhh---a home is where you hang your heart and hat. It is not a certain wall or door.
    On to a new adventure!

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    1. You must have really mastered the art of packing and thinning out possessions with the number of moves you have undertaken. I am familiar with the Rigby area. We were near there during an RV trip to Yellowstone. I do remember a snowstorm at the end of May !

      "A home is where you hang your heart and hat" is so true. I must admit, however, if any of my kids moved back East I am not sure I could follow. The West have its hooks deep into me.

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  20. We like where we live even with winter. I will admit we normally go somewhere warm about this time of year for a break. But of course we're not doing that this year. We like the seasons (except for this stretch of winter), we're near family, and we have great healthcare in this area. Being near our parents as they age has been important - at least within a few hours' drive. This city is big enough to have anything we need, a couple hours from Chicago if we're craving a city, and the natural beauty around us is abundant. We do need a car to get around, so I can see us moving once more if we lose that ability. But for now, we're pretty happy with where we are. We have a lot more travel on our bucket list, but we always enjoy coming home.

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    1. Betty and I have discussed how having one (or both) of us turning in our driver's license will be part of the discussion about our future housing. I don't think depending entirely on Uber-like services really works when all you want is to pick up pills or a quick pizza. So, transportation will become a key factor.

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    2. So many delivery services these days.I also think I’d hire teens to do errands if I had to.My father in law stopped driving when he was about 70.. not sure why_- I don’t think he ever enjoyed driving, but my mother in law was ok for maybe 8 more years. At that point someone should have gotten her license away but that did not happen.unfortunately when she had a stoke that ended driving for all.they still stayed in their home and had caregivers but that got to be a HUGE burden on the youngest son who lives nearby with his family. If only ONE of us could drive I would be ok.but BOTH of us means a new plan would def. be needed.

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    3. Yep. Betty and I will do virtually anything we can to keep either daughter from having to become basically a full time caregiver whose own life is put on hold while caring for one or both of us.

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  21. My family has been within 60 miles of where I sit since 1852. Oregon gives me all I need. I will stay the course.

    Rick (happily) in Oregon

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