Categories
Retirement Plan

Retirement – Are You Ready and Can You Do It?

Retirement – When Does It Begin?

Looking forward to retirement is the current pastime of many of us 50+ years old boomers.  Anticipating our retirement and what it will be like is a pleasant thought.  They say you really don’t know what retirement is until you actually retire.

The expected benefits are many: having more time, doing things we like, making new friends, traveling, experiencing new things, less stressful life and a better balance between work and play.

Using the new definition of retirement as being a better balance between work and play, when do we pull the trigger and consider ourselves being in retirement? When you leave your full time career job?  When you start drawing social security somewhere between age 62 to 66?  Or when you say so?  Many people find it hard to say they are retired, even after they have retired.

Some people ease in to retirement. They start working from home doing consulting or a Internet business.  People start working part time or take some time off then jump back in for a while. Some people move to a 55 plus community on the edge of a metro area and still work full time.  All of these are the transition to retirement and help easy the process. The exciting part is actually starting the process for a better balance of work and play in our life, no matter what you call it.

Robert, age 62 and retired

Originally posted 2010-05-24 10:11:25.

Categories
Vermont

Towns and Communities in Vermont

I will to going to Burlington VT next week to seek the leaf foliage.   I know Vermont has a lot of small towns that would be a great place to live and would like to visit some.  We plan to do a lot of driving, maybe up hwy 100 and then one day up to the North toward Montreal.

If you know of any good small towns that I could review while in VT, please let me know. If you have retired in VT, let us know where you live and what the area has to offer.

UPDATE:  Well I did visit Vermont and really liked it.  We staying in Burlington and liked everything about it.  It has a University, a great small town for walking, many restaurants, many sites to see like the Vermont Teddy Bear factory, Lake Champlain, and others.  We did Stowe, the ski resort up in the mountains were I took that photo at the top of the post.  Side trips up to Montreal Canada and over to upstate New York were great too.  I see from our site that there are several 55+ communities in Vermont so I need to take another visit.

 

Originally posted 2012-12-06 18:55:22.

Categories
Virginia

Charlottesville Virginia – Check It Out!

Rotunda – The University of Virginia

When one makes a trip to spend a few days in an area you have never visited and discovers it’s an attractive area, sometimes it turns in to a “Let’s move here” idea. I could see how that could happen in Charlottesville Virgina after spending 3 days there this week.

We just wanted a getaway and picked Charlottesville off the map. Having never been there, we did a little research and found it’s a good place to visit and to live.

Charlottesville Trip Report

Day one we flew to Richmond Va and took our rental car for an easy drive over to Charlottesville via I-64. Takes a little over an hour with stop an a visitors center on the way.

Seeing one of the big attractions is visit to Thomas Jefferson home (Monticello) we exited I-64 and followed the signs. We first came upon historic Michie Tavern cir 1784 which offered a buffet lunch which we were about ready for and then a tour of the tavern by ladies in period dress. We went ahead and got the Presidential tour package which includes Monticello, Michie Tavern, James Monroe home and James Madison’s home at Montpelier. After eating we took the Michie Tavern tour with a nice lady as guide. This got us in the right frame of mind for the next stop.

So about 2pm we arrvied at Monticello which is right up the road from Michie Tavern. This is a popular place and lots of people were coming in from the parking lots. We stopped by the ticket office and immediately got on the bus for the next tour of the home. The bus takes you up to the top of the hill to Monticello. Their is a guided tour of several rooms of the home and it has a lot of the items owned by Mr. Jefferson and other period pieces to look just like it did when he lived there. Thomas Jefferson worked on Monticello for 30 years and made it his unique home. Afterwards we joined a tour of the grounds and made a day of it. I think Monticello was the highlight of our trip.

Day two we take the short drive down to the University of Virginia to find the Rotunda designed by Thomas Jefferson. We park at The Corner, a popular place for students, and just follow them up the hill, over looking grounds framed by historic buildings. Every hour there is a tour by a student guide starting at the Rotunda. We visited several rooms inside the Rotunda and hear about it’s amazing history, then go out in to the academic village for more of the tour. After wards we stop by a student hangout at The Corner for a coke.

Next it’s a short drive to the downtown mall, which is an area several blocks long with the main street closed to auto traffic. Side walk cafes all around and we try on out for a delicious lunch. For the afternoon, we drive out to tour the farm of James Monroe which was part of the Presidential homes ticket.

Day three we drive out to Montpelier James Madison’s huge home and farm. It is a about 15 miles north of Charlottesville, right off the path to the Blue Ridge Parkway, which we would be visiting that afternoon. We pass many farms on the way. This property has been restored by the National Trust, and they have done an excellent first class job. There is a large visitors center where we watch a short movie about James Monroe, the father of the US Constitution. Next we tour the large home and walk the grounds.

It getting around noon so we head East to the Shenandoah Park. Ticket is $15 but since I am 62, I am offered the Senior Pass for $10 and it is good the rest of your life. What a deal! We get on the Blue Ridge Parkway and about 9 miles along stop at the Big Meadows Lodge for a nice lunch in their dining room. We enjoyed he views and head back to Charlottesville where we dine that evening at the Boat House, the best new restaurant of the year.

It was an amazing trip and to see so many things in such a short period of time! Charlottesville is a college town with history and everything you would want, without the traffic of a large city. If you have never visited Charlottesville you need to. You just might want to move there.

Originally posted 2010-09-26 13:12:27.

Categories
Retirement Small Towns

Factors That Make Small Towns Desirable for Retirement

Factors That Make Small Towns Desirable for Retirement

In planning for retirement, many people seek out a new home in a new town, whether to downsize, move to a sunnier climate, or simply for a change of pace. While some baby boomers are looking for more excitement and a thriving night life, many people – both singles and couples – hunt for new homes in quieter, more cozy places than the suburban or urban environments in which they spent their working years.

Small cities – those with populations of 25,000 or fewer – offer some distinct benefits for senior citizens seeking a respite from the hustle and bustle of life, but don’t want to live out in the middle of nowhere. In the hunt for the perfect small-town retirement destination, you may want to consider a number of factors: criteria that can help you determine whether or not a small city in question is a good spot to retire.

So, what makes certain small towns more desirable for retirement than others? There are a wide range of answers to that question, but the same few seem to pop up again and again: Low crime rate; mild weather; ease of travel within city limits (walk-ability) and to other destinations (nearness to international airport); number of retiree amenities per capita; natural beauty and charm of the surroundings; and ability to make quality social connections. While some of these factors (low crime rate and mild climate) are easy to quantify, others are a bit more subjective.

Ease of travel: To some, this may mean the ability to walk easily to the majority of restaurants, venues and shops in the community, while to others it may mean excellent public transportation options in a small city. For those who are moving to be closer to their children and grandchildren, how easy is it to visit them is a factor as well. They want to be on the right side of the metro area to be close for visits.

Retiree Amenities: Some are looking for a  55+ community with all the included amenities and facilities, while others look to the town in general to see what healthcare facilities, senior centers, adult education opportunities, libraries, and arts and entertainment venues are available.  Is there a senior center nearby?

Social Connections: Many small towns or small cities share a common “theme,” or may have large concentrations of certain types of people. Perhaps citizens share a common ethnic heritage, like Leavenworth, WA’s Scandinavians, or shared interest like the Sedona, AZ population of artists. Towns that host annual festivals and other events also offer many opportunities to meet new people.
Are there many baby boomers or seniors your age?

Regional Medical – Is there regional medical resources nearby and 24 hour medical services close by?  See

Tip! Small towns with one of the large Active Adult Communities like those of Del Webb, K. Hovnanian Homes, Brookfield Homes, Lennar, Beazer Homes,  WCI Communities or Erickson Retirement communities – they usually have done the research for you and are in or near desirable small towns for retirement.  See my post Hospital Nearby Is Mandatory.

Retiring to a small town can be an appealing option on many fronts. After battling traffic and hassles of urban or suburban living for decades, the attractions of small town life can be a serene alternative, and offer opportunities to learn, grow, socialize, and live happy and healthy lives as seniors.

Originally posted 2020-09-07 08:10:21.

Categories
Florida

Best Places to Live in Florida

Florida Retirement

Best Places to Live in Florida

Florida, known as the Sunshine State, has been attracting people almost every year since World War II due to its warm weather, world-class entertainment, beautiful beaches and recreation areas, and proximity to both North and South America as well as the Caribbean.  Although many people think of Miami or Orlando when considering moving to Florida, there are many smaller communities that are attractive and still close to those major areas.  In this article, we’ll explore why these Florida retirement communities should be considered for anyone wanting to move to a small town in Florida.

1. Naples, FL – with the first people moving to what is now know as Naples, FL arriving in the 1860’s, Naples has always been noted for it’s mild climate and plethora of fish and other game.  Socialites have always called this place home back to the time of Thomas Edison and Greta Garbo.

Why would someone want to live in an area known for celebrities? With one quarter of the population older than 65, this area is very retiree friendly as well as having beautiful beaches.  With many cultural amenities like museums and parks, there are plenty of indoor and outdoor amenities to enjoy as well. Some museums to check out include the Collier County Museum, highlighting local history through the centuries, and the Von Liebig Art Center, which showcases art after 1950 and in the local style.  Parks to enjoy include the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary , which was the first national preserve in the US Parks System and is great for birdwatching, canoeing, and kayaking, and Fakahatchee Strand State Park which is full of endangered species including the Florida Panther.  It also has a 2,000 foot boardwalk to look at the natural setting.  If you’re daring, you can even get a guide tour of the swamp!

Overall, Naples is full of shopping as well.  Fifth Avenue South is the heart of this shopping.  There are lots of little cafes and restaurants in this area.  Whether you like natural stuff like parks or shopping,

2.  Clearwater, FL– named one of the “Ten Best Beaches From Maine to Hawaii” by USA Today, Clearwater, FL is one of the nation’s top vacation destinations.  However, with a great climate and white sand beaches, it’s also an ideal place to relocate due to a laid back lifestyle.

Located just west of Tampa, FL, Clearwater has 28 miles of beaches and is a stereotypical beach town with small roads, people hauling coolers, and lots of boats.  However, it has a diverse economy with manufacturing, education, and tourism making it an easy place for people to find jobs.  Being close to St. Petersburg International and Tampa International Airports also makes traveling and having friends visit easy as well.

With marinas, beaches, and an aquarium, Clearwater’s location on the beach means there’s lots of water sports and fishing.  As home to the biggest fishing boat fleet on the Gulf Coast of Florida, there are many opportunities to go deep-sea fishing, dolphin watching, and just leisurely sailing the clear waters.

3. Winter Park, FL– this little community is located just north of downtown Orlando and is probably one of the first “wealthy” areas of Orlando.  There is a lot of history here with professionals from Orlando’s early years residing here.

Home to Rollins College, Winter Park is a small community that has kept its roots as a vacation resort to the rich in times past to now becoming a bedroom community of Orlando.  In many parts of this small town, you can walk by various shops with a farmers market every Sunday just west of the main park north of Rollins College.

Although a bit pricey for homes due to the highly-educated and highly-paid workforce, Winter Park makes up for it in cute brick paved streets and low speed limits which makes it quiet for people living here.

Winter Park is a great community to consider living in for those who want a tight knit, classy town that has all the amenities of a small town while being a few minutes from downtown entertainment and work space.

Overall, living in Florida has its pros and cons.  Even though it’s extremely hot in the summer months, the proximity to the beach, mild temperature outside of the summer months, and slow pace of life make Florida a great relocation destination for those who want a simple life that doesn’t involve winter weather.  Naples, Clearwater, and Winter Park are all communities that a person should consider when looking at Florida 55+ homes for sale.

Copyright SmallTownRetirement.com

Originally posted 2010-09-09 06:45:00.

Categories
Where to Live

Suburban Retirement

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?

Originally posted 2012-10-13 14:18:13.