R. and I are at the beginning of what seems to be, for most everyone I know and/or have heard about, a journey into a new retirement lifestyle. There are so many choices. Each one has its benefits, allure, charm, financial feasibility, etc. Then there are the friends and family who stake claims on our time and attention…the friends who try to seduce us into joining them on their journeys. “Come join us in Florida.” “RV living is the best!” “We’ll visit you all of the time if you get a cabin in Colorado.” “You could have a little place in Wisconsin for the summer and a place in Arizona for the winter.” A house in the country…a condo in the city…a maintenance-provided villa…time to give back, volunteer workers needed…
Very good friends started choosing their retirement homes and activities–solving their mystery, making their retirement choices–several years before they retired. They bought a share in a condo in Florida to visit for several weeks each winter because they enjoy tennis, golfing, beaches and boats, and WARM weather. After a couple of years, they decided that the condo sharing was a little inconvenient; so they sold their share and bought a maintenance free villa in Florida that they could visit more often. Meanwhile, back home in the cold north they sold their big house and moved to an attached home with low maintenance.
Mrs. Friend finished her career and started working at home so that she could work from either the Florida villa or their attached home in the Cold North. Then came the crazy housing boom. The couple bought and sold a couple of villas, each more plush than the last, and made a profit each time they sold…until the crash. Mr. Friend retired, they sold their attached home in the Cold North, and they moved to Florida. They now own three pieces of Real Estate in Florida of which two are rented and a very beautiful one is their home. They have a terrific and active social and sports life and have built a cabin for the summer months on inherited land in Maine.
Now these are reallllly good friends, and they keep suggesting that we would realllllly love Florida. Maybe so, but we don’t have the head start, the inherited land, or the social and athletic skills they do. They are enjoying the journey they chose. Ours will be different but hopefully just as satisfying. And we can visit them in Florida and Maine!!
Everyone makes choices. This Blog will recount some that have been made. Please comment with your story.