I personally can't see moving after retirement....I retired 8 years ago so I'm in my 70's now. My husband is younger and still works because he wants to. To me, moving late in life is a lot of work, you have to start over making friends, finding places to shop, eat, church, etc. Moving is expensive....then you have to unpack....I guess I am "settled." I don't like our house and wish I could move to the country with trees around me but that isn't going happen so I am making do with what we have...it's a nice small house, well maintained and I know the quirks, I know my neighbors, know my way around. I always enjoyed moving when I was younger..I've moved probably 20 times since I was 20. It was an adventure....now, not so much....LOL
09-05-2019, 04:44 PM
Ditto about "flyover country." We don't allow language like that here.
Smaller cities like Duluth (100k) seem to offer pretty much everything the big urban centers do, although often in a smaller version, such as semipro or college sports teams instead of pros. But the activities are the same, maybe even better in some ways, and all at a much lower COL on the day to day stuff. I miss the Minnesota Zoo, for example, but not enough to pay thousands more per year for a higher COL just so it's convenient to go there a few times a year.
I guess my point is it's not hard to find things to do most anywhere, especially if you enjoy being at home a lot, like we do.
09-05-2019, 04:54 PM
LOL! I could have written your post, Peg! Although I think if we lived in a big expensive city we'd be counting the minutes till we could move to a smaller, quieter, cheaper place. We're not in a hurry to move, but that might change if the mine project goes through. Then we would probably be able to sell quickly at top dollar, make a killing, and then move to a much lower COL area or buy a more expensive house on a more expensive lake.
But I agree moving is a lot of work and a pain and not as much fun as when we were younger.
09-06-2019, 06:28 PM
I look forward to living in a new city, but not the actual moving process. Moving can be expensive. However, concidering the difference in cost of living we will make it up pretty quickly.
Some people love big cities. Other people hate them. Some people love small towns. Other people hate them. There is no right or wrong. People are free to like what they like.
But it is annoying when people reject certain cities or even whole parts of the country based on ignorant misunderstandings.
Big cities get ignorant stereotypes as well. My mom told me a whole bunch when she found I planned to move to a big city. My personal favorite, the big city does not have any trees. It is just a vast expanse of buildings and pavement.
09-07-2019, 09:34 AM
I agree about ignorance playing a part in beliefs about locations. That's why I'm grateful for our years in Minneapolis and also happy we chose to live in a majority minority neighborhood instead of the suburbs. It was a good education and a big contrast to the tiny town of 250 we had lived in previously, among several others. We had great neighbors and so many cultural opportunities. The diversity we lived within every day is one of the things I still deeply miss by not living in a big city. But for us, it's not enough to overcome all the negatives about urban living. That's one vexing thing about trying to choose a retirement place. Where we are will not offer what we're likely to need as we age, but we're still looking for the right balance between city size and problems like crime and traffic, and getting the right mix of services and medical care. We don't have family to help us as we age, so will have to depend on ourselves, and at some point, most likely one of us will be alone to deal with it all.
We've learned so much watching my mom and FIL age. Those experiences have a big impact on our priorities when we consider various communities and situations, as well as what our housing needs might be. At this point, we can't decide. For now, we're planning a possible move in 5-8 years. The focus is currently to finish up work that needs to be done here, get our possessions pared down substantially so the house will show better and moving costs will be lower, and just get ready for when the time comes. FIL's attitude was that whatever his situation was, it would remain the same forever. We learned from watching that fiasco to try to plan not for what our needs are today, but what we are likely to need in 20 years. It's an interesting process but frustrating. I'm perpetually curious how it will all turn out.
09-07-2019, 10:12 AM
There are some cities that ARE a vast expanse of concrete, but more and more are trying to create small parks and green spaces and plant trees where they can. There was a big movement in the 70's or 80's to bring green back to heavily populated urban cores. A lot of city planning boards require builders to plant something. But our city core of a few square miles is still pretty solidly concrete. I don't know who has been to LA or the west coast lately, but when I was there a few years ago it was concrete and cars and people as far as the eye could see. And I was looking from the plane. So yeah, do your research. Some people love vibrant inner city life, you might not.
09-08-2019, 08:39 AM
I have not traveled extensively, but the cities I have been to all had green space in or near the downtown or city core area.
And of course the city center does not represent the whole city. In the media, pictures of the most densely built up area is used to represent the city. This can give people the impression the whole city is like that when it is really not.
Although I would never consider moving to downtown LA, I was curious enough to Google for pictures. The birds eye view is all buildings and concrete. But the ground level view shows some trees here and there. Not a lot, but there are some. Because the buildings are really tall, you don't see the trees when looking from above.
09-09-2019, 02:42 PM
The only 2 things that make us hesitate to move to Duluth, which has everything, are the traffic and those dang steep hills downtown. The hills we could live with because we wouldn't have to go downtown a lot, but there's no getting over the traffic. Still, it's tempting. We've always lived Duluth. It has all the shopping we got ever want, two large regional medical complexes, one that's in our network and also works with Mayo. Lake Superior is so gorgeous, and I love all the different types of architecture there, plus all the events we could want at the DECC, beside the bay, and at the college, volunteer opportunities, Beargrease, Grandma's marathon, etc, etc, on and on. Husby likes the idea too. We're interested in a particular neighborhood so will be looking into that. That neighborhood is close to most of the places we shop when we go to Duluth, we're already familiar with the streets there which are well regulated by stop lights. Already knowing our way around would be a huge help.
I might be talking myself into Duluth. I have to admit it's appealing to think about having JA, HL, Savers, Target, Aldi, HF, Dollar Tree, Viking Village (sewing machine service), 2 Goodwills, SuperOne, WM, Menards, all in one area and a bunch of them in the same mini mall.
Always so much to think about.
Let this be our worst problem. Not complaining.
09-10-2019, 09:20 AM
Is the traffic an issue all the time or just during morning and afternoon rush hour? If it is mostly bad during rush hours, you could probably avoid it unless you were doing to an event at a specific time.
I feel like no place is completely perfect. Even our best choices will have some issue with them. In light of that I roughly base my choices on three general principals.
1. Overall, is it better than where I am living now?
2. Overall, how does it compare with other cities I am considering?
3. Do I think I could be happy living there? Do I think my husband could be happy there?
Of course determining all of those is rather complex. There is how the city looks based on research. There is also the vibe/emotional feeling I get from a city.
I sometimes click on internet articles for "the best places to retire." Most of the time I do not agree with them. The criteria of what makes a city a good place to live is too personal.
09-10-2019, 04:22 PM
A lot of the considerations on those 'best place' lists have to do with weather. Some people think Minnesota has bad weather since we get (gasp) SNOW. Personally I think hot weather is far more miserable, as are tornadoes and hurricanes. Our summers here are glorious. Some of those lists are obviously written by coastal snobs who don't think anywhere in the midwest is good enough.
One big question we ask ourselves is "would we each want to live in this city without the other?" Not many towns get a positive answer to that one.
I'm not sure Duluth has rush hour. It seems busy most of the time. I do know if we live somewhere, we will figure out that town's rhythm and know when the best times are to drive around. The shopping area we go to there has some goofy turns but we know them already. We also know after we live in a place a while, we learn which routes have less traffic so we can avoid the main roads. Husby already figured out the back ways into a bunch of the stores we shop there. I'm sure if we moved to Duluth, we would do the same.
Now you're talking me into moving to Duluth. LOL!
The other issue is the hilly streets downtown, but that's only an issue in winter. Otherwise, since we're already used to the roller coaster now and know when to yawn to clear our ears from the change in air pressure as we drop into the city, it's not that big a deal. The area we would do most of our driving in is fairly flat, so the day to day stuff would be okay in winter.
I think next time we go to Duluth, we need to spend some time in our target area. Moving to Duluth is an option we haven't seriously considered till recently. Lots of potential there though.
Agree about any town's vibe. If it doesn't feel like home immediately, we drop it from our list.
Also agree no place is perfect, but some imperfections are deal breakers.
09-10-2019, 04:32 PM
Your first question is one of the things we struggle with most. We love where we live. Our COL could not get much lower. We're already established here with a house set up well for us as we age, and we're making changes to make that even better. We like our town and know people here. The reasons for moving mostly have to do with medical care and shopping. Still, we're lazy, and as much as we talk about moving, inertia will probably keep us right here. 😁
09-11-2019, 09:17 AM
I have seen some northern cities on some of the retirement lists, but it does tend to skew toward the southern part of the US (including Texas and the southwest). It is not always clear what criteria they are using. For example one says it uses "47 key factors." Some are skewed toward low cost of living, so small and mid-sized cities pop up. Some are geared toward things to do (attractions and events) so more big cities pop up.
I have read that one big issue with many rankings is that they count things like number of attractions, but all attractions are weighted equally. For example two small museums would count as two, but one large museum would could as one. So the city with two museums is rated higher. Even if the two museums put together are smaller than the big museum. I have also heard that attractions counts a variety of things, including parks. So a park would count the same a zoo.
SD, I am puzzled about your question "would we each want to live in this city without the other?"
I guess because for me the criteria for a city would not change if I was a widow.
My husband and I have slightly different criteria. However, they overlap enough to easily find something we both like.
I enjoy going to museums with my husband. But I also like going to museums on my own. I could say the same thing about many of the attractions and special events in the city. If I pick a city with things I like, I will like them whether I am married or a widow.
09-11-2019, 10:51 AM
I think it's different living in a place alone vs. as a couple. I don't like to drive as much as Husby does and I was born with no sense of direction, so I don't think I would want to be in a bigger city, although the advantage would be more opportunities to travel by bus.
It also seems safer to travel around a city as a couple instead of alone.
A lot of it is not knowing anyone in a new place. It's hard for me to make friends. Incidents in our life have made me wary. Here, we know people.
This is a good question though, and I think it's one Husby and I need to discuss some more. Thanks for asking it. Maybe it's not as much of an issue as we thought.
We know neither of us could stay where we are now, because it takes both of us to maintain the place. That's a big reason I keep pushing to get things ready in case we need to unexpectedly sell.
09-11-2019, 11:06 AM
Isn't it wonderful we all have different tastes in places to live?
I was so blessed to have been raised in a tiny village in upstate NY. By the time I was out of high school, I knew I wanted nothing more to do with snow so I relocated to Daytona Beach, Florida. I needed to find a place where I could get my education so I saw all the local colleges and opportunities here. I ended up retiring as a college professor from the first college I attended! After I stopped working I moved to the beach and I absolutely love it here.
When I was younger, I'd travel back up North or other states to experience the changing leaves or Christmas in NYC or the adirondacks.
Now I'm content living on the beach in an area where seniors are catered to and there is not much traffic.
I also realize how blessed I've been to see most of the US and I've seen good in every place I've been. Same with other countries.
09-12-2019, 01:05 PM
It is good different people like different places. If too many people move to the same place it can become an issue. Crowds and traffic get worse and home price/rents go up. COL is a big factor and if a city gets too popular, it can go up significantly. In a way, it is good if you like a place that is not popular.
One of my criteria is game conventions (table top RPGs and board games). I don't think too many people have that as a criteria.
Tolerance for snow seems to be pretty personal. My husband does not want a place with "too much snow." That is pretty vague, but it seems to indicate that some amount of snow is okay. In my mind that rules out chunks of the Midwest, but not all of it. For example, in Ohio, Columbus and Cincinnati average 22 inches of snow a year. But Cleveland, Ohio averages 68 inches. So I would put Cleveland in the too much snow category, but not Columbus and Cincinnati.
It is also interesting in that some people want to move to an area that is like where they grew up and others do not.
I have come to the conclusion that I am not much of a traveler. But traveling to different cities gives me a feel where I might like to live. I am not found of my hometown. I have mixed feeling about the area of the country I am living in now. So for awhile I just thought I was one of those unpleasable people who would find fault with anyplace. It was only through traveling that I stumbled across places where I really felt I would like to live.
Going places alone in a city in not inherently dangerous. It depends a lot of factors: the particular city, the neighborhood, the time of day. Duluth does not strike me as a place that would have a very heavy crime rate.
Is your sense of direction just a normal bad? Or is it extreme enough to be in a comedy skit? The more often you visit the same place, the stronger your sense of direction to the place gets. At least that is how it works with most people. Finding your way to a place the first time can be hard. The next few times might be a little easier. But a places you go to on a regular basis becomes almost automatic to find. Of course this does not apply if you are a passage in car that is not paying any attention to route.
You could possible increase your odds by being on an easy route to something. For example, we have a grocery store that is around 8 blocks away. I turn left leaving our condo complex. Then I just walk 8 blocks till I see the store. So the odds of getting lost are pretty low.
You could also try living couple of blocks away from a really tall building you can see from a long ways away. It will help you find your way home. Well maybe that is not too practical for Duluth. For a few years I lived a couple blocks away from this building: https://www.nationalshrine.org/