The Search for Retirement Lifestyle
The last kid is 2.5 years away from launching & will hopefully graduate in 2025. It feels as though the last 22 years living and raising kids in California blew by at a dizzying pace.
Entering our early 60’s gives us a moment of reflection; what will our retirement lifestyle look like going forward? Will Southern California continue to be the home base or would other communities speak to us and bring more joy to our “senior” years. Or maybe a combination of places?
Can we combine a great location, amenities that are important to us, along with tax friendliness & good value for our money?
Sounds like a tall order… that’ll require lots of investigation!
The Search Begins
Over the next couple of years, we’ll be creating a lot of stories, born out of our search for our ideal retirement lifestyle.
We’re going to start by developing parameters that are important to us; and hopefully our readers will find some common ground as they pursue a retirement lifestyle of their own. Research will likely continually reshape what we believe our ideal lifestyle will look like.
While my wife is great at being able to spontaneously make decisions and change on the fly, I tend to over analyze & plan the shit out of everything! Our search process will require patience from both of us, a heightened sense of humor & a willingness to explore.
Here’s our current parameters, in no particular order. This is what we believe is important to us as of this writing. These “must have’s” will likely evolve as we begin our research.
1. California may not end up being a home base for us. We have wonderful friends here & as well as family. For the near future, we’ll have a placeholder in SoCal, as we continue our research. My Mom (88 years young) & Sister are currently a mile away. The gift of family & being able to assist Mom from time to time is important. This will continue to shape our decision making.
2. Proximity to the kids – While our oldest works nearby, it’s’ not a foregone conclusion that he’ll remain here. Our youngest graduates in 2.5 years and who knows where he’ll end up. Quick & easy access to the kids is important to us. That said, we know they have their own lives and careers could cause them to shift at any time.
3. We’ve got a place in Mexico. While we don’t choose to be there full time, we plan to spend X amount of time there each year. Easily getting to Mex from our new location would be a must.
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4. Tax friendly? It’s a good thing the weather’s great in Cali, because the tax situation certainly isn’t! We’ll be looking closely at how a potential state (or country) treats our hard earned retirement dollars.
5. Cost of living – Since we are already in one of the most expensive states in the country, it shouldn’t be hard to find a less expensive city somewhere. We’d love to find someplace that combines a social, beautiful & less pricey environment!
6. We want to be near a major airport. Getting to family, friends and vacations should be easy.
7 Someplace near water. We are fortunate to be near the ocean in both Cali & Mexico. A lifestyle near the water & natural beauty has always appealed to us. Perhaps a lake or River?
8. An Activities driven Community – We would like a community that promotes community activities. Sports, arts, a clubhouse or beach club. Things that bring the community together to participate in some form of activity. The idea of moving to a new community is a little scary. However a community that promotes activities that all can participate in may help in meeting new friends.
9. A smaller city -Coming from a county of 8 million people is a bit sprawling. Even our “little” town is 37,000. A smaller town feel might be welcome.
10. Access to great medical facilities – getting older sorta makes this a must!
***A college Town? Proximity to a vibrant college scene might be fun: Beauty, academics, theatre & sports might be worth talking a look at…
Let the Research begin
With our best guesses in hand, we’ll begin the research this week. Keep an eye out for updates as we progress on this journey. The idea of relocating/splitting time is both exciting and scary.