Does it seem like a sacrifice or not? - Page 2
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  1. #16
    Registered User KathyB's Avatar
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    As far as going to the con ahead of time, that is kind of a yes and no thing. The con is so big that hotels are an issue. For other cons, you can get a hotel right next to the con, often in the same building, if you reserve a room really early. For Gen Con there is a hotel lottery. You might get buck and get a room right next door, but you could also get one a mile or more away.

    There is also the issue that it is really, really big and being in crowds can make me feel worn out. So I feel like most likely I would try for going a few hours a day. That would be worth the admission price to me. But not really worth the cost of hotel and air line tickets.

    It is only a theory, but I think I might be better at dealing with large crowds for an event I wanted to go to if I did not have to deal with crowds four or five days a week every week at work.

    There are other cons in the city as well. I think we might try visiting during one of them to check out the city. This year we have decided to not travel and instead finish up paying up our credit cards. But maybe next year or the year after. A couple years ago I brought up the idea with my husband of traveling to various cities we were interested in potentially moving to. He felt that cities can change a lot in ten years so it was too early to do that. But now it is down to eight years and next year will be seven years so maybe that is not too early.

    It is a bit weird that my top pick is a city we have never been to. It just looks good based on my internet research. The cities I have visited that I like had a certain "vibe" or "feeling" to them. I am not 100% what triggered that vibe, but I think it might be a combination of less traffic, not too crowded, friendly natives, attractive buildings, green spaces and restaurants that match my tastes. So really, probably almost any town in the South or Midwest. But I also have a few quirky things. I really like buildings that are made of bricks, especially red brick.
    KathyB

  2. #17
    Registered User Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    I just keep thinking about when we toured Wyoming with a long list of towns, most of which we had never been to. All of them looked great online. We did a ton of research and spent hours watching web cams in various cities and they felt like home. We saved our favorite for last, so sure we would love it and it would be THE ONE. But we didn't like any of them. At the time, we had just been in western South Dakota a few weeks before, basically on the Wyoming border. It was frustrating to decide to make the trip just as we were leaving Spearfish in western South Dakota and have to go all the way home (900 miles) then all the way back, when Wyoming was right there. But we did, and it was well worth it because otherwise we would have spent another year thinking we had found our retirement town. Instead of wasting that year we were able to move on to other ideas. They didn't work out either, but at least we were able to eliminate places and start considering other places.

    I keep saying it's a lot to think about, and it is. There is no perfect place, so it comes down to trying to figure out the least imperfect place.

  3. #18
    Registered User KathyB's Avatar
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    I already have two, maybe three cities I have been to that I think I like well enough to live in. All of them have some minor things I don't like. All of them are cities I feel comfortable in. All of them are ones I like more than where I am living.

    City three has a low cost of living, but my husband has heard that it has been rising recently. So it is a maybe based on the just that factor.

    I feel like I am a Midwest gal at heart. Even though I have never actually lived there.
    KathyB

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  5. #19
    Registered User Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    If you visit a city repeatedly, I think you get a better feel for it and can more clearly see the imperfections. IMO, once is nowhere near enough.

    Subscribing to their local papers helps a lot to start seeing the area through residents' eyes instead of as a tourist. The editorial pages are especially enlightening. But you also get a feel for local politics like how a city values things like schools, infrastructure, its own local environmental issues, whether the city is financially healthy and well managed, etc. The crime reports can help you understand what areas to avoid. Ads give you an idea of costs of various things and services available. Community calendars let you know what types of groups and activities or continuing education classes are available. Church activities are posted, giving an idea of how churchy a place is or not. The real estate ads give an idea about those costs. Volunteer opportunities often show up in the papers, either as notices in the community listings or as feature stories. Getting the local papers is critical for us and we don't usually have to get them more than a couple months to figure out if a place is of interest to us or not. We've been getting the GR paper several years now and have learned a lot more than even visiting the town every couple of months for years has taught us. Subscribing to newspapers is a cheap way to get to know a city before spending the money to travel there. You get to see the good, the bad, and the ugly.

    Talking to locals is critical, too. We spoke to a couple over the weekend who were lifelong residents, he a retired teacher of 41 years, she a retired nurse of over 30 years. You can imagine what a wealth of info they were. We were especially happy to get the insider perspective about the health care there. The papers had provided us with a lot of details about the recent $17m expansion of the regional clinic there, which is in our network and which we would use if we moved there, but getting the personal perspective of a nurse who had actually worked in the new facility was a goldmine. We learned more about the new schools that recently broke ground, and what they will mean for GR.

    Husby also spoke at length to the ranger at the COE park where we stayed and picked up a few more tidbits.

    For us, when we visit a prospective retirement city, we find it works best to act like we live there. We go the places we normally go at home, gas stations, grocery stores, haircut places, thrift shops, etc. We hit some tourist places if they have any, but mostly it's ordinary activities. We learn so much doing that. Sounds boring and like a waste of vacation time and money, but we look at it as an education to help us not to make a very costly mistake that would cost us thousands to undo.

    One question we always ask ourselves is, if something happens to either of us, would the surviving person want to live in that town alone? If the answer is no from either of us, then we don't look at that place any further. Most couples don't die at the same time. No use wasting resources to learn about a place that might force one of us to have to move again.

    Twenty years ago we never imagined it would be so complicated to figure out where to retire.

  6. #20
    Registered User KathyB's Avatar
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    You research in cities in pretty in depth. I am not sure if I will go that in depth, but visiting more than once is good.

    I feel like a lot of the newspaper information could be found on line. I only know a few people who actually read the print copy of the paper. But I suppose there is an online version of it. News is often slanted toward bad things. So I wonder if reading newspapers can give you a biased view against a city.

    I have gone to local grocery stores when we travel. I am not a huge eating out person. I tend to get something that we can have for a light meal or two. If there is not a fridge, I get bread or bagels plus peanut butter and honey and fresh fruit. My "local" thrift store is a kind of pain to get to, so it would not be huge deal to me if it was the case somewhere else. I only update my wardrobe once every couple of years anyway. We have taken public transit in many of the cities I have went to as well.
    KathyB

  7. #21
    Registered User Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    For us, in depth is the only way to do it. We moved around quite a bit when we were first married, and realized there are ugly surprises when we don't get enough of the right kind of info.

    Most newspapers are online, but it seems like there are too many distractions with hyperlinks and popup ads. There's also info in print papers that isn't online.

    Our big thing is, we want to move again only once, possibly twice. Moving costs are astronomocal no matter how it's done. Either you pay to move the stuff you have or pay to replace it on the other end, or some of both. We've lived in towns we really hated and won't do it again. If we make a mistake we could avoid by doing lots of homework, it's going to cost a lot to correct not just on the expense to move again, but to sell a house most likely at a loss and move. We don't want to mess up in our ignorance, so we're doing our best to eliminate our ignorance. I'm sure if we do move there will be lots of things we don't know about, but we're trying to minimize that.

    We also make a point to talk to people at city hall, the police department, and area insurance carriers to ask about things like flood plains, local crime, and building codes. That's probably less important for you since you won't need dog fencing or a she-shed or a gh or some of the other stuff we want.

  8. #22
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    I think if you're used to living on less, (and it sounds like you are,) retiring is much easier. I still work part time from home, but no longer teach ballet and yoga on an intense schedule. After having my hips replaced, I had to make some huge lifestyle changes. It's been fine for me. I was sort of practicing for retirement for years. I also enjoy being home, reading, taking care of my animals, and knitting. My hobbies are cheap, and my needs are minimal.

    I've actually really started to appreciate the home that I have. I bought it when I was 33. It is an ideal retirement home. The older I get, the more thankful I become. It's 567 square feet, a block and a half from the bus, close to the train station, and just a few miles from everything I need. It feels like we're out in the country, though. I'm close to alpacas, horses, goats, llamas, and I have chickens. I live near some nice neighbors, and am even able to travel, which I didn't anticipate. Living beneath my means has made all the difference.

  9. #23
    Registered User KathyB's Avatar
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    I think living below your means is the key to a lot of things. In general, I think people are just happier if they live below their means. Well maybe I will modify that a bit.

    To be content with what your income can buy is wonderful.

    To be content with considerable less that what your income can buy is even more wonderful.
    KathyB

  10. #24
    Registered User Contrary Housewife's Avatar
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    I saw a quote from someone, I wish I had saved it. It basically said "If your goal is to have "more" you will never have enough."
    Stop trying to organize all of your family’s crap. If organization worked for you, you’d have rocked it by now. It’s time to ditch stuff and de-crapify your world.

    If you're not using the stuff in your home, get rid of it. You're not going to start using it more by shoving it into a closet.

    Use it up, Wear it out,
    Make it do, Or do without. ~unknown

    A clean house is a sign of a wasted life. ~unknown

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    yes what you expect to be doing in retirement makes a big difference. are you helping out your kids all the time or do you have budget paying for airfare to visit all the time. are you happy with older cars or are you someone who has to live with a new one all the time so payments. same with eating out.. is it a cheaper local place or $$$ restaurant. so many of these factors count.

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    Oops. I thought I was on a different thread, so I just deleted this post. Sorry.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KathyB View Post
    I am one of those people who wants to retire on the early side. I am aware that I could be financially better off waiting more years. But by my rough calculations my husband and I should be doing okay financially. Not at the level of traveling all over the world or eating in fancy places, but I am okay without having that.

    I read an article by someone who had the opposite view as me. He said he saw the sacrifices made by people who retired early and were living frugally. He wanted no part of that. He was working extra years so he could “live life to the fullest” when he retired.

    To me if seems like the bigger sacrifice is working years you do not have to. My hobbies and interests tend to be cheap to moderately priced. What I long for currently is not more money for hobbies and entertainment. It is more time for hobbies and entertainment.

    We are frugal now. Maybe on the moderate side of frugal compared to some here. (Some coworkers might disagree with that assessment, but that is another story.) But my lifestyle does not seem like a sacrifice. Nox Vidmate VLC I have been dirt poor a good chunk of my life. So right now I feel like I am living pretty good even though it is below my means.
    I think we will be a couple years away from paying for that when retire. However, we could easily toss some extra money in it and be done with it before retirement.

  14. #28
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    I've mentioned the word retirement to DH but he said he will never do that.. I also said I'm thinking of moving more west, but he said there's nothing out there....I am starting to think that he will always be busy doing something for money and doesn't want to move.

    We had a conversation today about the cost of living. We looked at cities in different states and realize that we live in one of the highest priced states. I'm realizing that as time goes on. Although my hourly pay is very good, just the cost of food is surprising. And since my hours are cut in half, I'm finding that paying for required/necessary items is difficult. So, I'm not sure how this will progress as time goes on. I do think that working until it's physically impossible may be the unfortunate thing to do.

  15. #29
    Registered User KathyB's Avatar
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    I know it is common for people on the coast or major cities to dismiss the rest of the country as "nothing to do" or "a whole lot of nothing." That is a reaction of someone who has not researched the cities. I thought that myself until I looked at some cities and found there actually is quite a lot there. I also found out that many cities were much bigger than I thought. They are not the sprawling mega cities of the east coast, but it is not all little hick towns either.

    I though I would be sacrificing a lot if I moved to the Midwest, but my research has shown it is not true.

    Talk to your husband about what things he is looking for in a city. Museums, a zoo, professional sports teams, concert venues, good places to eat, music festivals, etc. You can find a lower cost of living city with these things.

    On the other hand, it could be that he just really likes the area you live in and does not want to move.

    Talking about what he - what both of you - want in a city can uncover if it is more a love for your current city or more negative preconceptions of places he has never been.
    KathyB

  16. #30
    Registered User Contrary Housewife's Avatar
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    Thanks Kathy. Yes, we have our share of hick towns... and quite a number of small quaint towns that are really quite nice... and cities big enough to have all the modern conveiniences and luxuries that folks on the coasts have. And we have less traffic, cleaner air and water, and more open spaces.

    IMO, if people think that the center of the country is "flyover country", then they can just keep flying. We don't need that elitist attitude here.
    Stop trying to organize all of your family’s crap. If organization worked for you, you’d have rocked it by now. It’s time to ditch stuff and de-crapify your world.

    If you're not using the stuff in your home, get rid of it. You're not going to start using it more by shoving it into a closet.

    Use it up, Wear it out,
    Make it do, Or do without. ~unknown

    A clean house is a sign of a wasted life. ~unknown

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