What does YOUR retirement community need to have?
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  1. #1
    Super Moderator Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    Default What does YOUR retirement community need to have?

    We've been giving this a lot of thought lately, even though we have a few years to go before retirement.

    For us, a new community has to be large enough to provide all the services we need without us having to drive very far to reach them, while at the same time, it has to be small enough for us to be comfortable and feel safe, not only with crime, but also with other things like traffic.

    Access to full service medical care is at the top of the list.

    The tax situation in a given state is a huge consideration too.

    Real estate prices will be an important factor for us to consider. If we sold our current place, we would want to be able to liquidate some of our assets by buying back a less expensive, but still nice, place to live.

    Weather is a big factor. For that reason, we wouldn't want to retire to anywhere in the southern US. By the same token, anywhere in the northern tier would have to provide winter road maintenance on a par with Minnesota's.

    We would want to be someplace where there is beautiful scenery and lots of wildlife, just like what we have here.

    Someone else mentioned moving to a town where there was a doctor shortage. I'm added that excellent bit of information to the list we're developing as we move towards retirement and consider whether to move elsewhere or stay put.

    So what's on your retirement wish list?

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    Registered User Momto5RN's Avatar
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    a pool, a hot tub, a bar, and hot cabana boys ...... oh you mean in reality ??

    will most likely stay in our house with room for grandkids to come vs ( i better get some eventually ) we are in a bungalow style home with an 2 story addition so could live on just one floor if needed -

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    A lively arts scene for me. DH would like to garden, do woodworking, and family history...so I guess someplace south of the Arctic Circle will do.

    The biggest problem we have in Canada is that the places with all the services are larger cities, and they have terrible traffic, which is awful for elderly drivers. We currently live in a medium sized city and there are issues here with health care. Don't even try to get service at the local hospital with the good equipment... Sorry to say, but I know too many who have died from the ineptness of the staff...such as sending someone home from ER who went into septic shock a few hours later and died. I mean really?! The guy can't stand hardly because of pain and you're sending him home???

    I am definitely planning a move in retirement. If it was left up to me it would be to a large city apartment near a large hospital complex, AND I am planning to give up the car, so I am not a danger on the road. I watched my mother be a danger to everyone on the road for years. It was nerve wracking being a front seat passenger with her. And is with DH to this day!

    As you can tell, I have strong feelings about retirement.

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  5. #4
    Super Moderator Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    We're looking at cities between 25K-50K, in that neighborhood. Probably out west. We used to live in a city in South Dakota. It's a good location but has nothing for scenery and after living where we are now, we would miss that terribly.

    We're just wondering what questions we need to put on our list.

    We have good medical care here with knowledgeable staff and caring doctors and nurses, but it's a small hospital with a satellite clinic. For any big medical problems, we would need to go to the main hospital/clinic 110 miles away. Not good as we get older. I'm going to add a note to ask about doctor shortages to our list of questions to ask as we do more research.

    We want to go where we can garden, too, but we're not very good at it so if that doesn't work out, we'd be able to compromise on that idea.

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    I think the finances of a community is just as important as your own. For example: our community, although we kept our head above water since 08, had to cut some services. Ambulance service has been combined with other communities. State/county police patrols are at bare minimum.
    ~Russ

  7. #6
    Registered User forHISglory's Avatar
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    Well, I'm the one who lives in a community with a doctor shortage. We thought we had researched everything, but it never dawned on us to check the doctors available. We also were limited on doctors that were part of our insurance, and unfortunately, we are tied down to our insurance plan until we get on Medicare. It's really been a hassle to be in a small city with a nice big hospital, but not be able to see a doctor because they have too large of a case load. And we don't have specialists, which means we drive for 6 hours to a specialist (and that costs MONEY!).

    But we wanted to live in the midwest, close to family. We wanted to live in a town with a college, which would give us a chance to teach part time, and also have a cultural program. We wanted a city with lots of parks, walking trails, and so forth. We wanted a city with a strong foundation of religion. However, where we moved is a very unchurched town, with over 90% having no church home. Yet there are 80 churches in the town. Go figure.....

    We wanted a strong and robust community economically, with a strong family structure. But we find ourselves in a community that has shrunk since the 1980s, with many businesses pulling out. We live in a town that has the highest drop out rate for high schoolers, the highest unemployment rate, and one of the highest domestic abuse and divorce rates.

    So...... we had to make a lot of compromises. We are here because this is where my family is, and we are needed to care for my aging parents. That is the number one reason for our move here. There is a wonderful college here which immediately offered Hubby and I jobs, and they have wonderful cultural programs for the public. No disappointments there. We have found a church that is vibrant and has a belief base that we ascribe to. There are wonderful parks here. But we do miss some of the shopping/restaurants/etc. that we were used to. And we fear for the community as a whole with the big problems. It's as if the community in many ways has given up hope.

    There are so many factors in choosing a place to retire. It's rather overwhelming.
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    Super Moderator Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    That's the conclusion we're coming to as well. We know we'll have to compromise, and the biggest compromise, if we do decide to relocate, is going to be the relocation itself. It would be a lot easier if we didn't like where we live, but we love it here.

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    Registered User forHISglory's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spirit Deer View Post
    That's the conclusion we're coming to as well. We know we'll have to compromise, and the biggest compromise, if we do decide to relocate, is going to be the relocation itself. It would be a lot easier if we didn't like where we live, but we love it here.
    So did we. Our home in MO was perfect, and our community was awesome. It was a bit of culture shock to move. But we know that we made the right decision based on our priorities of being near family. We've talked about moving back after my parents pass on, but at our age, moving is hard. And moving is expensive. We have learned to love our new home and many things about our new community. We simply determined that we would look for the good, and try to change whatever bad we can.
    Spiritual:
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    Financial:
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    MY BLOG: glorybug.wordpress.com


    1. Keep on writing.
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  10. #9
    Super Moderator Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    That's the key right there. We've already started making a conscious effort to change our attitude about moving, even if it's just going to be moving into town so we don't become road hazards and because I think the maintenance on this place will become too much for us as we age. We don't want to become people who are so stubborn and set in our ways that the concept of change is something we can't accept, even if that's the best decision for our health and safety. We want to be able to move and be happy wherever we are, and so much of that is up to us and how we approach things.

    I have a counted cross stitch pattern that says "Grow where you're planted." I think I need to dig that out and make it up. It would be a good visual reminder of the need to keep an open mind about a potential move.

  11. #10
    Registered User zakity's Avatar
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    We live in an area where there is a doctor shortage. We drive into Portland for doctors/hospitals and to Hillsboro for my chiro.

  12. #11
    Super Moderator Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    I don't know that we have a doctor shortage here, but I do know our doc is taking on fewer and fewer patients as he gets more involved with administration. He's the most popular doc at our clinic so I hope we don't have to give him up any time soon. He's very skilled and well respected.

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    Registered User Lady_V's Avatar
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    OldMan and I have discussed this (oh, ya, I forgot to mention, I became "of the third age" last month) and ...

    he wants -- the country dream... lots of land, place to fish, etc.
    I want -- to be in an area with paved roads, fully staffed police/fire/ambulance and within "heart attack" distance of a hospital.

    So, the search continues.

  14. #13
    Super Moderator Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    IMO, if someone waits till retirement to have a home in a remote place, they've waited too long. Health problems are almost a given once a person reaches a certain age, and it gets harder to take care of a country place, too.

    It's hard to think in those terms but it seems prudent.

  15. #14
    Super Moderator Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    I've been doing more research and am starting to think maybe we're looking at this the wrong way, or at least we should be able to consider a different approach that would allow us to in our present area.

    The places we're most interested in moving to have some real problems in their infrastructures, such as availability of water. (We live in lake country, and I can't imagine water becoming a huge issue.) The towns we're interested in also have all had problems with flooding. (If it flooded here, the whole world better be building arks.)

    I'm also thinking a lot about our health care. Minnesota has world-class health care. People come from across the globe to be seen at Rochester Mayo. Our local clinic system is affiliated with Mayo, so that's a huge resource our local doctors can tap into. Our local hospital has also been adding new services the past few years, such as doing some surgeries. Specialists fly in to the local clinic/hospital on a routine basis to see patients, perform surgeries, and do tests. The main clinic is about to acquire a good-sized hospital fifty miles away, which will make things easier because I'm sure some services only available now at the main hospital 110 miles away would become available closer to home. And I'm sure technology will continue to advance and make use of computers and other tools to help with treatment at the satellite clinics. In ten years, our little local hospital/clinic could become and probably will become much more able to handle more complex health care locally. In the past five years, they have built a new and much improved clinic and also built a new nearby assisted living facility, so it seems obvious they're willing to expand services right here in town.

    It's going to be interesting to see how medical care here does change over the next decade.

    That still leaves the tax burden of Minnesota's high taxes. However, we have to consider quality of life here vs. somewhere with lower taxes. Our taxes are among the highest in the nation, but so is our quality of life. You get what you pay for. We know how to live frugally, and overall we have a low cost of living here, too, which helps offset the high tax rate.

    So I think we need a multi-pronged approach to retirement planning. We need at least three plans. One for staying here, on this property. One for moving, but staying in the same area. And one for moving out of state.

    Good thing I love research!

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    Registered User frugalfranny's Avatar
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    Good post and I will be watching this one.......

    Hope we hear from some of the members that have made a move........and how they decided......and how it turned out.

    I have been "searching" and checking and you name it and I can't even come up with a CITY I can settle on.....for a multitude of reasons. But some states have scared me away due to taxes.

    I had hoped to find a 55 plus park where you aren't on your
    neighbors doorstep..........

    My thought was to have "probably" a manuf. home here and one south.........can't find one here that I like.

    I don't really have a firm list.........and the more I look, the more I adjust any list that I started with!!!

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