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.
We're thinking along the same lines and we only live on 3.5 Acres ! We enjoy the rural setting and our house but realize that, after 22 years here, the upkeep is starting to pile up. At age 74 and counting we no longer have the DIY energy to keep up with it.
Posted by: Wayne White | June 19, 2014 at 02:14 PM
Consider a place with separate guest quarters of some kind. One possible scenario of getting old is that you may need someone on the premises to help you with daily chores, driving, errands, cooking and more. Maybe one of you will become ill and the other is just not up to the burden of full-time care and would like a break or to get out on a regular basis. It may be cheaper to offer someone room/board and a modest salary than to move one or both of you into a groovy, vegan old folks' home that plays 60's music and is illuminated with black lights and lava lamps. These places can run $50K each per year or more, even ones that aren't groovy.
Another thing to think about is stairs. No big deal if you are healthy, but a potential big problem for someone who has had a fall, stroke, etc. What if? Really, this is something to consider for anyone. I don't much care for houses with flights of stairs.
I had surgery and had to be off that foot for 6 weeks and go around on a knee scooter. My house is a bi-level type with two or three steps here and there. They were a real pain to navigate with the scooter. A full staircase would have been much worse. And that was only for 6 weeks.
My older sister bought an investment house with lots of stairs to rent out and eventually retire in. Her knees were good when she bought it, but now her knees are bad and it would be difficult and painful for her to live there.
Of course we hope all this shit won't happen, but I think it is realistic and wise to prepare as you are thinking of doing. Why should we reasonably expect to escape what most elderly must endure especially if we live long enough?
Posted by: tucson | June 22, 2014 at 11:46 AM
I've lived in an age restricted community. Although I would never ask, by observation it was mostly John Birch adherents. I felt I was in an intellectual jail in spite of computer labs, golf courses, indoor pools, ceramics labs, and painting workshops.
I went from there to a gorgeous, water and mountain view apartment in Ventura that I could afford. I drove an hour each way every week to Santa Barbara City College for a printmaking class. Gave me my waterfront drive without the cost of living of Santa Barbara.
When age and physical losses meant no more flights of stairs I found a townhouse in tucson. Inexpensive HOA fees for front landscape maintenance with new road fully funded from reserves. Congenial neighbors, more liberal, although I would not enquire.
I am finding that 1600 square feet is much too much for one person. Looking at condominium and townhouse situations for both community and passively paid landscape help.
As usual, digging deep on net research. This is the most encouraging socially: http://dailycaller.com/2010/04/09/americas-top-20-most-liberal-friendly-counties/2/
It is not the most encouraging financially. I think it's come to a point in my life that being cheap is going to be damned expensive.
Posted by: jane stevens | January 24, 2015 at 11:17 AM
Three words: Kendal at Oberlin
Posted by: Lisa Gagnon | March 31, 2017 at 01:23 PM
Im 67 just want to live the rest of my life caring people.
No nursing home .
Im still functional i work fell like a teen😁
Posted by: Cathy Damico | September 25, 2018 at 12:38 PM