Well I was born in a small town
And I live in a small town
Prob’ly die in a small town
Oh, those small communities
All my friends are so small town
My parents live in the same small town
My job is so small town
Provides little opportunity
Educated in a small town
Taught to fear Jesus in a small town
Used to daydream in that small town
Another born romantic that’s me
But I’ve seen it all in a small town
Had myself a ball in a small town
Married an L.A. doll and brought her to this small town
Now she’s small town just like me
[ From: http://www.elyrics.net/read/j/john-mellencamp-lyrics/small-town-lyrics.html]
No I cannot forget where it is that I come from
I cannot forget the people who love me
Yeah, I can be myself here in this small town
And people let me be just what I want to be
Got nothing against a big town
Still hayseed enough to say
Look who’s in the big town
But my bed is in a small town
Oh, and that’s good enough for me
Well I was born in a small town
And I can breathe in a small town
Gonna die in this small town
And that’s prob’ly where they’ll bury me
Baby Boomers are putting a lot of thought in to the question of where to retire. Many people think about retiring to a small town and there are many advantages to living in a small town. Some people even retire to city living and that is also becoming a popular idea.
But today I want to talk about retiring in the suburbs and the advantages of that from my personal observations. These many be enough reasons just to keep me in place, so let’s begin.
Definition of SUBURB a : an outlying part of a city or town b : a smaller community adjacent to or within commuting distance of a city
Advantages of Retiring in the Suburbs
1. Since many of us currently live in the suburbs, we can just age in place. Less stress in moving to a new area. More comfortable with surroundings we know.
2. Closer to our friends, associates, organization we belong to and can maintain current relationships.
3. I have a Kroger, Publix and a Whole Foods within 3 miles of my house. That is nice.
4. We have an Active Adult Center nearby.
5. I have Meetup groups I belong to in my community
6. I am a member of a fitness gym five minutes from my house.
7. We have some really top restaurants nearby (5 to 10 minutes).
8. We have two regional hospitals and all kinds of Doctors and medical groups nearby. For the future home health services abound.
9. I can continue my part time consulting job if I don’t move away. Starting a new retirement job in a new location may not be so easy.
10. Many other services are nearby like getting a massage, stopping by the bookstore, dry cleaners, all kinds of shopping, etc.
11. Entertainment is easily accessible. In my community there are live music venues, concert halls, community theaters, Verizon Amphitheater, sports. A trip in to the city can be made in 20 to 30 minutes for bigger venues.
12. Driving is not bad if I am not in rush hour times but things are so close that does not matter much. If needed in the future, taxis, vans and other transportation are available.
So even compared to one of those wonderful Active Adult Communities in the exurbs, I have a better Fitness Center, better access to grocery shopping, better access to nice restaurants and better access to top medical services.
At first glance there is not as much opportunity to meet new friends; but it is also something to consider in keeping old friends. Meetups, adult centers, volunteering, clubs, libraries and hobbies presents opportunities to meet friends.
As it turns out what I have been searching for may be right here at my doorstep. What about you, are you going to move for retirement?
The history of Thomasville is rich and predates the Civil War! Before Florida was opened up, Thomasville was the last train stop. It was visited in those early days for health reasons, thinking the many pines would be beneficial for those with pulmonary afflictions. Others came to hunt on one of the many Plantations that surround Thomasville. Some just came for the social gatherings.
The streets and roads of this county have been trodden by some very famous and notable people threw out its history. Joann Woodward, wife of Paul Newman is from here. Her father was the principal of an all girls’ school here. This is just one of the many well known personalities of our area. Mrs. Jacqueline Kennedy was tucked away here on one of our many plantations for a time, to give her and the children a respite from the public shortly after President Kennedy’s assassination.
Part of the pride of Thomasville is the tremendous participation in restoration of historical homes and the downtown area. Thomasville residents take their preservation of history and restoration seriously. They put their money where some only put their mouth, they simply do it!! The downtown has undergone restoration on a large serious scale. A lot of energy, enthusiasm and dollars are being put into the downtown area. But the rewards are worth it. The result, is a thriving vibrant downtown area that attracts people from miles around.
The homes on Love Street and Warren Ave, near the downtown area, have been dealt a new lease on life over the past eight years. These are now home to many professionals, young and old. It is a place where neighbors stroll the streets with their children, groups of young parents get together for kickball and flag football, and children play together in the green space at the corner.
“We all love the Warren-Love Street neighborhood, because it is so easy to walk to downtown community events, restaurants, and shopping. The city tennis courts and the cultural center are also within short walking distance”. Quote by, Darlone Bailey Kaley
“The neighborhood is special because we all saw the potential to return to a simpler time and way of living, and we were willing to work to make it happen. There are still a few houses waiting to be completed, and we would love to have a few more great neighbors”! Darlone Bailey Kaley– is an owner and resident of a home on Love Street.
Thomasville Landmarks and The Historical Society are places to receive support and encouragement when taking on any of these restoration projects.
You will appreciate the proximity of being close enough to the Gulf Coast for a day trip, within one hour and thirty minutes express route or two to three hours the slow scenic route. Just a tree lined forty minute drive on four lane highways to Tallahassee, Florida for all kinds of shopping, eating and entertainment events. Four hours from Atlanta and North Georgia mountains can be reached in a day. Savannah and east coast is only three hours away.
Thomasville proper is a good balance of a slow southern atmosphere, with a healthy emphasis on culture for arts, writing, music, acting, and athletics. These are all encouraged and nurtured here. If Florida is too crowded for you, try north of the border. “Thomasville; a place apart.”
Thomasville has received mention in several retirement research articles and books.
Retire in Style: 60 Outstanding Places Across the USA and Canada [Paperback] Warren R. Bland PhD (Author)
When you make your list of places to explore for retirement potential, Thomasville should be on your list.
I live in Thomasville Georgia. I’m a “Baby Boomer” of 1951. Check out my blog at Boomersberg.com and leave me a comment OR start a conversation in the forum.
Thomasville Interesting Facts: Thomasville Georgia deems itself the City of Roses and holds an annual Rose Festival. Thomasville features plantations open to the public, a historic downtown, a large farmer’s market, and a 320 year old oak tree at the corner of Monroe and Crawford streets. The population of Thomasville was 18,413 at the 2010 census
Previously I wrote about the Advantages of Small Towns and all those points still remain. Those were the basic reasons to consider moving to a small town.
I have come across even more reasons to consider living in a small town in the present environment.
Home prices may have come down even more in some small towns, relative to suburban or city homes. Home prices were already reasonable in many small towns, but now they are really reasonable. Affordability is near the top of the list of many boomers nearing or entering retirement.
If you are waiting for your suburban home to come back in price you may be waiting a long time. The lower price you get by selling your existing home now, will be partly made up by buying a lower price home in a small town.
These days small towns reportedly are a more accepting environment and gay or minorities can feel comfortable calling them home.
With these tense times where the news is non stop negative and the employment situation is not good for so many, escaping to a small town can give your life a refreshing change of pace.
Moving to a small town that is increasingly popular for retirees can put you in touch with a lot of potential new friends and offer social opportunities with people to whom you can relate.
These days many 55 plus retirement communities are located in small towns, which is ideal for you to take advantage of this type community plus enjoy small town living too.
Remember that there is not best small towns or top ten small towns, but only the small town for you. Things have changed but retiring to a small town still offers many advantages.
Livability is what makes small towns a good place to live and to retire to.
Small Town Sense of Community
Many features makes up what we call livability, but for me it is a sense of community. Big cities and urbanized suburbs have much to offer, but they can’t hold a candle to small towns in offering a sense of community on a personal level. I could give many examples as I have experienced this first hand after moving from a big city urbanized suburbs to a Del Webb Community in a small town two years ago.
I loved living in the suburbs while I was working, but now that I am retired, I like my new small town community and feel a sense of pride in it. Here are reasons we live small town living.
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.
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.