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Maryland

Best Small Towns to Live in Maryland

Maryland small townMaryland Small Towns

With four seasons this New England state of Maryland has several small towns  which we consider the best to live or retire in. Here are three towns from our list of the best small towns in Maryland.

1. Easton

Located along Maryland’s eastern coast, Easton has approximately 10,000 residents and is know for its excellent health care system and its cultural activities including a historic theater and art venues.  Easton offers four seasons and a variety of outdoor activities. The Chesapeake River offers a nice location for sailing, fishing or boating and the town presents seven scenic golf courses that are noted throughout the region as some of the best holes in New England. The Eastern shore offers retirement and 2nd homes as well.  Chesapeake Active Adult Living Community, a Del Webb 55 Plus community is located in Easton MD and should be checked out if you are 55+.   Easy commute to Washington DC, Baltimore and Annapolis from the Eastern Shore.

2. Crofton

The town of Crofton was originally a gated community that surrounds a large scenic loop that encompasses two elementary schools, a country club and a town hall. One year Crofton was named one of the 100 Best Places to Live in the US.  The Crofton Parkway is designed for bicyclists and joggers who long for outdoor exercise and fresh air offered in Crofton. The area is a safe community with an exceptionally low crime rate. Crofton is only thirty minutes away from Baltimore MD which makes it a desirable place for city dwellers wishing to slow down a bit. Crofton’s population is about 28,000.

Photos of Tilghman Island, St. Michaels
This photo of Tilghman Island is courtesy of TripAdvisor

3. Tilghman Island

Another desirable small towns along Maryland’s eastern shore lies the picturesque town of Tilghman Island, the so-called Pearl of the Chesapeake Bay.  The area is considered to be unspoiled and a place where one goes to unwind and relax. The town is filled with quaint spots for shopping and dining, City walk sightseeing, the Tilghman Watermen’s Museum and is a working watermen’s village with excellent fishing, an excellent retirement activity.  Take a visit to Tilghman Island for a peaceful getaway to check it out.

See our page for the top 7 best smalls towns in Maryland for more towns to consider.  Also check out our Maryland Retirement Communities to see 55+ communities in Maryland.

Categories
Small Town Living

Small Town Living For All Generations

I usually write about retiring to a small town but there are other groups attracted to small town living.  As John Mellencamp says Some people are born in a small town, live their life in a small town and die in that same small town.

Then there’s a group interested in “lifestyle” that living in a small town appeals to,  brought to my attention by David Carse’s blog post “Small Business – The Solution To The Worlds Woes“.

In the post he touts small living as well as small business.  When you think about it, they kind of go together.

David says  “We made the decision to start our own business as a lifestyle choice. We had come from a big city, where we would commute to work, drop kids at day care, work for some boss in a company culture we didn’t believe in, then off home again, repeat. All so you can buy that expensive house, pay for those child care fees, maybe buy a trinket to put in your house on the weekend.

It all struck us as a bit of a hamster wheel and not really satisfying. With a young family we wanted to spend time with our kids and each other. We also thought – we only have one life, we didn’t want to wake up at 50, finally owning that house and lots of other crap but not knowing our kids.”

Big city living working at a big impersonal corporation and spending your time in the traffic getting to your cubicle was not the kind of life David wanted.

David continues “We started this business in early 2009 after the first GFC. We saw a need in the region and built up the courage to go out on our own. It has been hard, but in 3 years we now have over 115 websites and some wonderful clients.

During these 3 years of business I have been involved with many other businesses, discussing what they do, who they employ, who their customers are. The vast majority of my clients are small/micro business, under 20 employees. The thing I have noticed is these businesses are the lifeblood of their towns and communities. It is these, commonly family run, businesses that create an income for themselves, employee others and create something of value in their community. I really respect these clients, and some of them are 2nd and 3rd generation businesses.”.

So out of the big city to a small town community and from the big corporation working for the man to your own small business that is part of your town and community is more to David lifestyle likening.  He points out that shopping locally with real people and family businesses is giving back to your community.

Finally David says “You could take it a step further, if you are employed by a large corporation, consider downshifting to a rural community and contributing to a smaller local business. You would be amazed at how affordable housing is and what a pleasant lifestyle these rural towns can provide.”

It is clear that small town living appeals across generations for the same reasons that we tout small town retirement living.  Thanks for our insight David.

Categories
Minnesota

Thanksgiving Memories – A Visit to Small Town Minnesota


As a baby boomer, I have seen many Thanksgivings come and go. This is one of the more positive ones of them that I remember fondly.

Back in my 30’s I was engaged to a man who in his extended family, had a sister that I had met. This sister moved alone to Minnesota. She had a very strong faith. At the time I was dealing with thoughts and feelings to break off my engagement. She was going to come back to Missouri for the Thanksgiving Holiday and asked me to fly up to visit her and she would drive us back to Missouri.

I bought a plane ticket and off I went on another journey of life. It was wonderful! I had never been to that part of the United States and found the people and country side there so peaceful and serene.

Her home was so warm and filled with country charm. As you entered the door of her little modest house, there was a little cubby-hole with slip on slippers in it. I asked, “What is this?” She let me know about the winter seasons in Minnesota. People were used to the snow storms and when they visited a home this was a place to take off their boots to dry. Little clean slippers were there for guest to wear while their boots dried.

Later I attended a church function with her. Again this was another heartwarming experience. Also the church had the little cubby for the boots. The people were so warm and friendly. It was a perfect picture of small town love. The minister, who had a beautiful Canadian accent, smiled at his church family and said,” Ahh, what a beautiful Thanksgiving this is. I just saw the first deer tracks in the snow out on the parking lot. Ahhh, what a beautiful winter this is going to be.”

I had so much to learn from these people who lived so humbly and shared so simply. Some of them looked at me like I was a rock star coming from the Big city and that I was not. They shared with me so much but treated me with total respect and gave freely of their love.

When it was time to get in the car and return to the city life, I had an inner peace that words cannot describe. I did not want to leave those folks and their way of life but I had to return home. I will never forget this experience of truth and caring values that those folks gave to from their heart. Through them the spirit spoke to me.

I returned home. I broke off the engagement. It was not meant to be. My heart was at peace with the decision. I will always be grateful for the experience of being with the people in Minnesota in that small town and sharing the meaning in their way of what Real, Honest, Heartfelt Love is ALL about! Today I share my story so that it may touch your heart with a smile.

By Ann Hearn
Retirement communities in Minnesota and best small towns in Minnesota

Categories
Retirement Homes

Retirement Homes – Renting May be Better than Buying

retirement homeBefore signing on the dotted line to purchase a retirement home baby boomers should consider the benefits of renting, especially in a down economy. For some seniors buying a retirement home may not be a good fit despite all the pundits that decree buying is the only way to go. So if you are considering buying or renting read on to discover why renting a retirement home may be your best option.

Reasons to Consider Renting Your Retirement Home:

1. Cannot Afford to Buy

What caused the housing market to crash in the first place were predatory lenders giving money to people who could not afford to pay their monthly mortgages. If you cannot afford to buy a home the fact of the matter is you should consider moving into one of the many 55+ rental apartments that are available.

If you are one of the seniors living on a fixed income it would behoove you to live below your means. Using too much of your income to go towards a house payment is a dangerous financial practice that will set you up for financial disaster.

2. Unsure of Where you Want to Live

Many seniors want to explore different areas of the country to see where they want to spend their retirement. There are several 55+ houses for rent in all areas of the country that seniors can live in temporarily.

3. Less Risk

The economy is in a shaky state so buying may put you at risk. Buying homes in a down economy may be good for young investors but not for seniors. Seniors should be looking for financial stability and ways to minimize risk. When you rent you put yourself in a much safer financial position thereby shielding yourself from potential risks associated with buying in an uncertain housing market.

4. Property Taxes

Some states have astronomical property tax rates that add hundreds to your monthly mortgage payment. When you rent you do not have to pay property tax and can use that money towards other expenses or savings.

5. Amenities

Many 55+ rental apartments and homes in 55 communities offer great amenities such as yard and home maintenance, organized social programs, clubhouse, transportation, pool, fitness center, and even on site medical care. If you purchase a home these amenities are typically not available leaving you to your own devices to meet those needs.

6. Less Responsibility

Owning a home is a huge responsibility. You have to do yard work and take care of any home repairs or hire someone to do it for you. Renting a retirement home alleviates most of this responsibility leaving you with more time to enjoy your golden years rather than fretting about home maintenance.

7. Social Life

Research shows that seniors who are actively involved in social programs and have relationship with their peers are happier and healthier. Renting a retirement home in a community gives you instant access to people the same age who have the same interests.

If you are considering purchasing or renting we hope you look at the pros and cons of each and do a thorough analysis to figure out what is right for you. If you need expert help see a financial adviser who has experience in helping seniors and baby boomers.

Categories
Over 55 Communities

55 Plus Homes for Sale – 55+ Homes for Rent

Announcement:
55CommunityGuide.com has now added two new sections, 55+ Homes for Sale and 55+ Homes for Rent for ads for individual property listings. Just like our community listings, these ads for individual properties are free.   We already show up at the top for 55+ homes for sale and rent.  We are at the top of the search engine result for many terms relating to 55 communities and rank number one on Google for “retirement communities”.  By placing your free listing(s) you will get exposure right away.   If you already have an account at 55CommunityGuide.com, to place your ad for an individual property  for sale or rent, just log in from the left side of the home page.  Then on your Member Section page look in the left column to place your free ads in either of these two new sections.  If you are new, just click the “Advertise with us” tab on top of the home page.

These new sections are separate from the “community” listing you now have and will give you great free exposure for your listings. You can upload photos and get a direct link to your web site from our high rated PR5 site! That’s worth it right there. We have options for each age qualified group 50+, 55+, 62+ or none.  We have property types for houses and homes, condos and townhouses, apartments, duplexes, lofts and modular homes.

Your ad in either of these two new sections will be promoted on our extensive social media accounts at twitter and Facebook where we have thousands of followers.

Thanks, Robert Fowler

Categories
Over 55 Communities

Move Before It’s Too Late

My wife and I were discussing her mother’s dilemma.  She is 88 years old and in a nursing center rehab program now for two months with her fate becoming increasingly clear; she will not be able to live by herself anymore.   She fell in her home and couldn’t get up.

Only a little over a year ago she turned down a chance to move to a nice little independent living community when her name came up on the list.  She said she was still not quite ready for that.

She had placed her name on the waiting list for this independent living community maybe 5 years ago.  But each time her name came up she wasn’t ready. My wife and I couldn’t understand her decision not to move to a better place, where she could socialize more and be near help if she needed it.  This last time in an interview meeting, the director of this community advised her not to wait too long – enjoy in while you are still able.

Now it appears she will be skipping the independent living stage, going straight to assisted living or to the nursing center.  She didn’t want to move when she had a say so, but now it looks like she will be moving with no say so.

We see parallels in our own lives.  When we sold a business five years ago we started looking around for places to retire.  This process helped me to start Retirement Media which has turned out to be an enjoyable retirement job and I am still learning and exploring the options.

However it is now five years later and at age 63 we are still “thinking” about our options in retirement.  We came close last year to buying a home in a 55 plus community (see Analysis of a Move to a 55 Plus Community) but with the uncertain economy and depressed real estate market, decided the time was not right.

The time was not right for us.  Where have we heard that before.  Are we doing the same thing as my mother in law.  Just not ready yet.   It is not like we are giving anything up.  To the contrary, this should improve our lifestyle.  So why are we reluctant.  It is really the real estate market or is it something else.

Last year when we told our neighbor of our plans to move to a 55+ community, she replied “so that’s where you are going to end up?”.  Humm.  Didn’t think of it that way.  Or did we?

Even a change for the better is hard to make.  You are giving up what you are familiar with for something new.  Maybe now I can understand the mother in law’s reluctance a little better.

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