Thinking About a Retirement Commune?

We’ve been trying to figure out what our “Next Adventure” will be and honestly, it turns out to be a lot harder to nail down than we ever thought.

We can live virtually anywhere, but that doesn’t help.  Because we have a very specific set of criteria…and it makes for an interesting exploration asking “What is the PERFECT Retirement?”

After a few headlines, charts, and our weekly look-ahead.

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Thinking About a Retirement Commune? — 31 Comments

  1. Yep I’m looking to move but to a little bigger house to spread out and a studio to do artwork in the backyard. Don’t know where to go where I won’t be isolated but also don’t want neighbors too close like in an urban neighborhood. Looking in East Tx cause of prices. If there is a safe, women based community of baby boomers someone let me know. Maybe somewhere people are sustainable minded.

    • If I could recommend? Look at some of the slightly larger towns – like Tyler. You will find a higher education level and with it, more respect for women and rights. There are still areas of the Outback where if you’re not lucky, it’s more like Deliverance country…

  2. Four years after I retired (i.e. 7 years ago) I had a brain hemorrhage. A couple of weeks later I posted to Facebook about the experience and concluded with:

    “Lessons learned:
    1. Every day is exquisitely beautiful.
    2. Recognize which issues and irritations are insignificant and ignore them.
    3. We have made many good friends in [where we live].”

    Now, after seven years of coping with retirement we realize that although we are well-off, we could be happy with much, much less in money and things and what is really important is maintaining close relations with friends and family, doing stuff that somehow will leave the world a better place for the grandkids, constantly seeking new experiences (we are travel junkies), and doing are best to stave off the chronic diseases that would spoil the fun.

    BTW, just got back from Antarctica two weeks ago. It was continent #7 and the best trip ever. Would recommend it to anyone.

    • Amen.. when I got sick I realized everything I thought was important wasn’t.
      That I had never realized till that moment how precious the little things are and how much I took for granted

      • The hospitals ended up taking every dime I had struggled to save. The just in case insurance policies well they are great as long as it’s small event in the event of a more serious issue they are totally worthless.
        The point is. We all struggle for more there isn’t ever enough more to satisfy the drive for it. In the end you find a retirement community nice place pay a quarter to half depending on the spot then pay the three to six grand a month per person maintenance this allows you the privilege that in an emergency you have someone to call for a hundred the first ten minutes then fifty to a hundred every twenty minutes after.
        Now consider this. Buy a mobile camper and join the caravan timeshare camp site community. You can stay thirty to ninety days per spot. Have a medical staff on hand. Swimming pools golf courses the one I visited had horseback back country excursions and hot air balloon sightseeing trips. A hundred locations and even cabins for visitors all included in your monthly maintenance fee. A good bus well my friends is kick but but it cost a mil you can get them cheaper. Another option cruise line. Either way it’s toast.a year after my mother passed my sister called and inquired what happened to all moms money.. hmm six years in the end eleven grand plus per month. Just for housing,laundry, it doesn’t take long.
        An emergency no matter where you are is going to take time.small rural communities has on average a faster response time.

  3. My goodness, what timely post. My spouse & I are beginning to consider the next step in our living arrangements. We’re currently dealing with her 94 & 93 YO parents who are still in their own home. They have the resources to continue that for a while, at least as long as they both are living. We on the other hand have no children, so we’re trying to construct an aging solution. We like the idea of a community and will be trying to visit some co-housing locations during 2018. So George, if you decide to create such a thing, we’d be interested! :)

  4. My move from NY to NC to be near the grandchildren in their early years has been a wonderful experience. To see them grow up & have the time to spend with them is priceless as the Master Card comercial says. Plus we have been able to save the kids thousands of dollars in child care costs.

    • At least they grew up.
      In today’s education protectionism of the namby-pampby nanny state, I fear ours wont.
      I don’t want to be around in order to avoid the temptation to “take people out back” for a little real education…

      • Whoa George! It is not that bad out there for the kids. They will learn to adjust in today’s world which has lots of opportunities available for them to succeed with a little guidance. As in warfare, you adjust for the conditions. But I am glad they are growing up in NC & not NY. If you eliminate all the noise, kids are basically the same. They want to be loved and appreciated.

  5. Being 66 and well on the way to 67, I find that choices do become more complex with each passing year. I still operate a row crop farm of about 210 acres, with the remainder of the 473 acres in trees, which the wildlife loves. I have no hired help, since most of those available lack the motivation and skills required, so why hire someone and end up doing tasks yourself anyway. I must say that my reluctance to hiring a helper comes from the fact that prior to returning to the “family farm”, I owned and operated a manufacturing company. One of the primary reasons I sold the company was I got tired of dealing with the constant barrage of personnel problems.

    This fall crop season made me question the wisdom of continuing to farm on my own and not renting the place out. Equipment maintenance became a source of frustration this year. Nothing of astronomical cost, just nagging little repairs that required time, “skinned” knuckles, and every word in my vocabulary to fix. I don’t “band-aid” things. They are repaired correctly and for the long term. All that being said, once everything fell into place; harvest was a fun endeavor. Made me anxious to get on to next year.

    As for retirement, I will probably be right here. The farm has been in my family since 1854. I have made arrangements for the land to be protected so that it will pass to our only daughter and grandson. I enjoy the peace and serenity of where I live. There were 6 deer in our back yard this morning and 30 or so around the equipment building when I went this morning to fed the “barn” cats.

    Currently, I have no major health issues (other than glaucoma which was corrected by laser surgery) and the wife and I neither are on any medications. In this respect we are truly blessed. All of my friends take multiple meds daily. It is an hours drive to nearest full service hospital and thirty minutes one was to WalMart, doctor, or good dining, but I will gladly trade travel time for being able to live where I do.

    I have been all over during the course of my adult life working in industry. It has been nice to come “home” to the farm where I grew up and enjoy the peaceful surroundings. I suppose I was tired of the “rat race”. Perhaps if I had not returned to this life 17 years ago, my health situation would not be as good as it is now. At least I like to think it is a contributing factor.

    Good luck with your quest for the best place to retire. Keep up the good writing, I truly enjoy your articles. (as an aside, taxes on the farm about $3,000 for 473 acres even if it is in Tennessee. Currently on first name basis with Sheriff and most of his staff, and not because I am a regular visitor.) Bottom line, I am entrenched.

    Lloyd Snider
    Gleason, TN

    • It really doesn’t get better Lloyd. You tax rate is $6.35 per acres. Ours here in the “high rent district” is nigh on to $23.49 per acres. I look at those fifth of an acre people paying $8000 per year in taxes – which pencils out to $40,000 per acre per year and wonder “Who needs dope legalized? Look at state budgets – we have more “dopes” than we ever needed…”

  6. As we all get older it seems that the Grass in Greener on the other side of the fence,, Goodby Love life, Welcome to the pills and ills time. I thought about relocating but about that time it was time for my Nap and so forgot all about where I wanted to go. So I will ride put the rest of my time where I am familiar with, Cuts out a whale of a lot of hassle.

    • Relocating is a hassle. We waited until I was 71 to move and searched for 3 years before the move. And integrating into a new community takes time. Not being “churchy” or a golfer in an area where socialization centers on churches and golf, we found our avenues to new friends in a boat club and volunteer work.

      Despite the hassle, every morning when I go out and feed the ducks on the pond and listen to the weather report from PA where it is currently 50 degrees colder, I ask myself, why did we wait so long to move?

  7. “We have also kicked around both getting our EMT certs and buying a portable automatic external defibrilator (like the ones on Amazon such as the Philips HeartStart Home Defibrillator $1,200).”

    Good choice.. that’s the one we have in the house the one in the shop is different. Emergency o2 both places fire blankets and hoods.” Essex “Victim Rescue Unit” and a medical kit in both areas.. you never know when an emergency will happen. What if it’s someone you love or care for.. what if it’s you. Most heart attacks at home occur on the toilet or after strenuous activity.
    Another thing fire extinguishers most homes have one maybe two. As far as a retirement community.. around here most of the people head down to you just because they can cross the border and get their years supply of medications the savings alone pays for their whole stay there.. it’s like a natural migration. The PNW no way in hades not with the reports about Fukushima contamination and future cancer probabilities.
    EMT training that’s something everyone should go to school for you just never know.. also get the ACLS (advanced cardiac life support cert) easy quick anything else your close enough for flight for life. put in a monitoring system it isn’t that expensive and help is a push button away.
    I personally prefer to be safety conscious and see an importance in that.

    • Death on the other hand is something we are all heading for. It’s a journey we will all see at some point. I can tell you seriously that there are things worse than death.
      A coworker had a heart attack at work. Luckily she worked where she did and was saved.
      I went up to visit her in cardio (I was working monitors) and we started talking. When I decided to no longer to be feeling sorry for her was when she let me know the stressful event that triggered her attack was when someone squeezed the toothpaste tube in the wrong spot.. the kicker it wasn’t her tube of toothpaste lol.. another one that comes to mind was a handsome man great job wealthy beyond my scope of reality. Was a quad neck down nothing totally dependent frantic he was going to loose his fiancé we got talking and I asked what the tragic accident was. He was at a picnic his fiancé made beans he was upset because the beans weren’t exactly what he was expecting got upset through a fit decided to go off cool down and jumped on his bike hit a curb and broke his neck. I said are you kidding you did this to yourself over beans weren’t right.. there are many many more stories just as crazy. The thing is accidents do happen and none of us have a choice when it’s our time. Live be happy don’t stress the small things.

  8. After reading of your restless dreams for awhile, and knowing what you now have is the culmination of a lifetime of adventure and achievement, I think it is time for you to scale back your future ambitions. No place will be ‘perfect’. No place will have all the items on your ‘want list’. It will simply be someplace ‘different’. Why? Don’t be disillusioned by where you are now. Improve what you can in life, and accept what you cannot change easily.

    I went through this phase when my (much grander, richer) retirement plans were dashed by a forced early ‘retirement’. I got most of what I wanted, where I wanted… just not as rich as I wanted. But it is adequate, and I am surviving just fine. I have faced the reality that this life is the final settling place, and there will be no ‘next great place’. I have plenty here to keep me occupied for the rest of my lifetime. I think you do, too.

  9. George,
    I have crossed the bridge you are seeking in terms of what to do next in retirement while maintaining a certain vigor and challenge to your lifestyle. 19 years ago I fully retired, and spent 3 years crisscrossing the entire country looking for my final place to settle. Funny side story, but I finished the project about 45 miles from where I started, and simply moved to the top of the mountain. My solution was a town of less than 25,000, not too far from a city of 100,000, which was not too far from a metroplex of a million. So I layered my options in terms of shopping, health care, entertainment, and so on. I dropped to a property size of about 6 acres, which is just enough to put up a couple of barns, a greenhouse, dig a well, install a windmill, put in hookups for RVs, install solar panels, build a storm shelter, and everything else needed to “Homestead” in my golden years. It was natural and easy to build a cluster of networks around diverse social and intellectual needs. There’s a couple of things that I’d recommend you add to your thinking. First, explore the idea of home automation and take it a little deeper, particularly with respect to personal security & safety as well as all the other essential life functions to be comfortable. Which of course ties into the second point about health (and dying). Most people don’t just blink out and leave their partner/family. There is often a period of YEARS of degraded health from strokes, heart attacks, blindness, loss of mobility, and so on. In that regard, you’ll want to engage the network of services that begins with a robust Senior Center, and then connects with Home Health and finally on to Hospice care and end of life services. For example, my 85 year old Mom is thriving in her next door (to us) home, and is picked up every weekday and goes to the Senior Center for lunch & crafts, then on to Senior Aerobics, shopping, or whatever she needs. LoL – for about $1 per day, she gets around! Likewise, the local Art & Theater agencies tend to donate all their excess concert & venue & trade show tickets to the Seniors, so she often gets to attend Symphonies, Plays, and other Theater Acts for free. Golf courses nearby and hiking trails by the dozens in the mountains, no problem. Ski resort 19 miles from my front door, and 3 casinos and a horse racing track within 10 miles. I’m not much on Gambling, but they do have a 4 star restaurant, big game hunting, sports bars, and lots of concert venues (etc) for the taking. It’s not as glamorous as life in the big city, but my preference is for peace & quiet way more than glamor. I have wireless internet, DSL, Cable (60-100 MB down), and of course 4G LTE cell phone internet & streaming video with an unlimited plan. Plus Ham Radio! Pretty much everything is available including a hospital (3 miles), but you will have to make some minor adjustments to the local climate, culture, standard of living, and so on. The litmus test is that I still travel at least 1 week per month and sometimes 3-4 months in the Summer to visit my children & grandchildren, and I haven’t in 15 years wished I lived anywhere else but here!

  10. My comment which doesn’t mean much is to create your own heaven where you are.

  11. Amos 8:5 falsifying the balances by deceit. Charts look back and as long as the deceit of the fed is in play

    • Which is 115 YEARS now… which is why we have 4 cents on the dollar of buying power…

      • isn’t that the truth.. sheesh just the difference in the last twenty years is amazing

      • With respect George, I believe you meant to say 105 years. That implies that the Fed is even better at depreciating the dollar.

        If you ever did decide to move from your current Uretopia to sunny New Mexico, I’d be glad to help you move your gym and similar items. No point in leaving good stuff behind if the transportation makes sense. I’m in a similar situation to yours, but I don’t(yet) have my own beautiful wife/playmate/workmate to share the load. It can be done, but it’s a full plate. I do think you’ve got a good situation, and from experience, being physically close to the kids is no guarantee that they have time for you. I’d be in no hurry to bail out unless there’s a really good reason.

        Like others, I eagerly await the Peoplenomics Manual!

      • “4 cents on the dollar of buying power”

        Help me understand, what am I missing?

        Quick math thought of in terms of silver…

        2016’s median income was 59K annually. -1

        A silver dollar was a ‘true’ dollar 105 years ago. This means we can use today’s Silver Eagle price (value) to the authentic silver “dollars” of that time.

        Today silver can be had at $9,805.09 for a monster box. – 2

        59K/9805 = 3000 Silver Eagles +/-8.

        The third link shows the 1912 average annual salary was around 700 Morgans. -3

        The fourth link reinforces the third link, in 1915 “you were doing about average if you were making $687 a year”

        This means the so-called ‘median’ of today has about 4.25 times more purchasing power than 105 years ago.

        1 -“Median household income rose to just over $59,000 in 2016, up 3.2% from a year earlier, according to data released by the U.S. Census Bureau Tuesday.”

        2- https://comparesilverprices.com/

        3- https://ahundredyearsago.com/2012/09/17/average-salaries-1912-and-2012/

        4- https://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/articles/2015/01/02/a-glimpse-at-your-expenses-100-years-ago

      • My God that’s complicated!
        How about we follow the Ure philosophy of “Simple Just Works?” (Sorry the term has been appropriated by another cause, lol.
        Go to https://www.minneapolisfed.org/ and lower right find the inflation calculator.
        Put $100 in 1913 and calc 2017. Answer? $2,476.72.
        Add 2% for 2017 inflation (which won’t be reflected until the calculator is updated, usually in about March, or so.
        Now the purchasing power is $100 required $2,526,44 (reminds me of the yaeger and Evans song “In the year 2525…which is now, lol. Except no one else sees the humor in $2,525…but I digress).
        To figure it into a percent, divide into 1… so the purchasing power is?

        3.958%

        For this, our houses are a bit larger and our food is less nutriend dense. We have less freedom and we have raped the Earth of resources.

        Keep it simple!

  12. Couldn’t agree more about the 40$. Shows these “news” sites, that they need to create content that is unique and well thought out instead of just parroting the latest headline and political party directive. People will pay for content they see has value. Cutting the cable tv cord later this month, for this very reason, low value content and high annoyance factor with the volume of commercials. Very few other sites have me engaged in the content, keep up the good work George. Keep in mind for you location, the value of high speed internet options and having at least 2 options it is the 2nd most important factor after school district in many folks’s decision trees.

    • Well said. Being out in the sticks, we have three onramps to the web: Two HDSL lines (which cost a phone line each because the centurylate phone company won’t unbundle) and a satrellite that will down 8 mb down. Problem with that is, I hit my 12 gb limit in 4 days this month. They are promising an unlimited data plan, but these don’t mean much during thunderstorm weather…

      • J B says he wants to tip a few “cold ones” with you again! Does Prescott have any allure for you?

        If I could somehow retrieve my Ripple Account Info..that one I put the $$ in back in Dec 2014..the one Ure friend J B flagged as a “must invest in”..well, I would be dragging my Old Arse out of the freezing Midwest towards the swaying palms and warm Pacific waters of Kauai!

  13. This is indeed a dilemma and it’s getting very real for me as my spouse of 35 years has been diagnosed with liver cancer although the treatments have come a long way reality is staring me in the face. I think about Cabo but it now being in the bullseye of every big golf community developer the pricing as gotten more expensive. I like the small town expat community there are over 50k Americans and Canadians as well as Costco what I don’t want I don’t want to be in a 5k house by myself at least here. I have interests wildlife rehab gardening cooking and I want to find a place where I can continue these so if you find nirvana let me know and I hate being cold. I also would never consider living away from the ocean

    • Forgot to add we lived in one of those fancy big golf club communities and I hated it. If you are a golfer nobody speaks to you if was very isolating. I truly felt imprisioned

  14. I can’t see any war developing in NK or elsewhere now that we have an administration willing to stand up to these thugs. Since the threats are getting them nowhere, they will need to change from chest pounding & threats to talking about getting along. As Trump starts cutting off the US dollar give away to all these bullies, see how fast they mellow. Remember, everything is a Business Model and the thugs don’t want theirs to sink so they will change the model to benefit themselves.

  15. Really looking forward to the release of the Peoplenomics Manual.
    As far as moving, my bet is that after all your research you end up staying where you are for at least another couple of years. Keep up the great work and thanks for all the mind stimulation. Best $40.00 investment I’ve made.