I guess you could call us tweeners. Senior citizen variety.
At 65, my wife and I are beginning to find that the joy of maintaining our large 1970's era house on ten rural acres is beginning to wear thin. So we've started to think about where we'd like to move when and if we really want to.
As noted in my "I'm 65. Where's my 'Aging Hippie' retirement community?" post, we wouldn't fit in with any of the senior-oriented planned communities we've looked at. Not in person; via the Internet, brochures, and such.
Our impression is there's a considerable difference between the retirement desires of baby boomer flower power love children like us, and folks even just ten years older -- who would have come of age in the late 1950's rather than the late 1960's, a whole different time.
So we cringe when we get a DVD/brochure from a "continuing care" community, or something similar, and see mentions of bingo nights, prayer groups, shopping trips in the community bus, hot dog party on the fourth of July, and such.
Hey, we want science talks, organic vegetarian food, progressive political discussions, dancing to classic rock (or at least modern swing music).
Since we haven't found any planned community in Oregon that fits our desired retirement lifestyle, and we don't want to leave the obviously-best-state in the country, we've been rethinking how to handle our tweener status.
When we feel like we're too old for our non-easy-care ten acres and 3,200 square foot house, almost certainly we will still feel too young for a typical retirement community. So we need a halfway house, so to speak.
Which could, of course, be our final destination. Meaning, an easier to maintain home in an urban setting -- where it would be much easier to keep on doing what we need to do if, Tao forbid, one of us were to lose the ability to drive.
Out here six miles from the Salem city limits, there's no public transportation. When folks in our neighborhood can't drive, they almost always end up moving.
For a long time we figured that we'd stay on our beautiful, quiet, nature-filled ten acres until it was obvious that the time to move had come. But now it's making more sense to me to start thinking about that "tweener" move into a smaller house in town while we're still enjoying ourselves where we are.
I came across this philosophy in several retirement community web sites. At first I viewed it as part of a sales pitch, "It's best to think about moving now, rather than later." Well, even if it is a sales pitch, there's good reason to follow that advice.
Say one of us got some sort of serious illness or condition which made it tough to stay in our current house. Then we'd have two stressful situations to deal with at once: dealing with the health problem and dealing with selling our home and finding a more suitable new one.
Thus we're becoming more enamored of gradually starting to plan for a move that we're too young for now, but will come our way one day, since we're not getting any younger.
We'll keep looking for Oregon retirement communities that fit our needs and desires. Most likely, though, we'll focus on finding an urban'ish neighborhood somewhere in the Willamette Valley where we'd like to live.
Hey, it could well even be in Salem, nothwithstanding my 37-year-long griping about the blah'ness of the area where I've lived since 1977. (Thirteen years in the city limits; twenty-four years with a rural Salem address.)
There are some appealing neighborhoods in Salem where my wife and I could be happy. I spent some time this morning browsing Zillow, having a good time pretend-house-shopping in various parts of south Salem.
Maybe one day it will be for real.