Friday, February 3, 2012

Retirement Research ... or Vacation?

     Some people may say I'm going on vacation. No, no, no, no ... I'm doing research!

     I'm heading out to Arizona and Southern California, to visit my sister and my daughter. But I do -- I really do -- have it in the back of my mind that maybe, just maybe, this is a place where B and I would like to retire.

     It's a long shot, to be sure. B and I are really East Coasters at heart ... don't think we'd ever feel "at home" west of the Mississippi. Plus, at least three of our four children are located on the East Coast. (We never know about my daughter -- she's got a big case of wanderlust; as soon as she plunks down in one location, she's already thinking about the next place she's going to move.)

     I realize Arizona is nothing new for many retired bloggers, especially for people who live there, like Satisfying Retirement or people who take extended vacations there, like Thoughts from a Bag Lady in Waiting. Although it occurs to me that I haven't seen many retired people blogging from California -- maybe California is a place you relocate from, not to, when you retire.

     In any case, I'll be doing more traveling than blogging for the next few weeks. I'll check in from time to time, but not with my usual regularity.

     So yesterday B turned to me and said, "Gee, what do we do if we really like it out there in Arizona or California?"

     I laughed, because I don't think it's gonna happen. "Don't worry," I said, "I really don't see us falling in love with Arizona as a place to live -- we like to be near the ocean, not out in the desert. And as for San Diego? Well, maybe we'll like it and want to live there. But we can't afford it."

     So maybe that's why there aren't too many retired people blogging from California. Anyway, we'll see.


Nance said...

Our daughter is married to a career Navy man who has been stationed in San Diego for about ten years and will probably retire from there. Five years ago, "before the fall" and with the birth of our grandson, we were fairly certain we wanted to move there and rented an apartment overlooking Balboa Park. For three years, we lived on both coasts--two months per coast, back and forth, getting acquainted with the city and being a part of our grandson's life. By 2010, we decided we couldn't keep the apartment, but we were still ready to move there.

As real estate prices plummeted here, they only slid there. We've tried twice to sell our east coast house. The most recent try to sell this four-bedroom home near the beach was at a sales price that would translate to a one-bedroom, 700 sq. ft., very nice condo in a perfect location in San Diego. We were ready to divest ourselves of most of our belongings to fit into it, but we did not want to take a mortgage to get it.

Prices kept falling here, but stabilized there. So we're "motel" grandparents now, going out semi-annually for visits and managing our sorrow the best we can by continuing to upgrade this house, the better to be ready when and if the backlog of foreclosed homes ever starts to clear.

We've lived in Arizona, too, and I would happily live there again. San Diego has a very young, hip population. Check out Del Mar and Encinitas.

Olga said...

Have a great of luck with all that research.

Stephen Hayes said...

Mrs. Chatterbox and I went to Arizona with the thought that we might retire there, but within ten miles of leaving the airport we knew we could never be desert people. Like you, I need to see the ocean from time to time.

Bob Lowry said...

Thanks for the blog mention...yes, my wife and I are originally east coasters who have lived in Arizona for 27 years. We could never go back to winter weather and cloudy skies. Housing prices are excellent and food prices below average.

The desert takes some getting used to, but don't forget Arizona has a lot more than cactus. Flagstaff and the White Mountains area around Pinetop and Show Low are not that different from New Hampshire or West Virgina....snow on the mountains in the winter, losts of pine trees, cool in the summer, and no cacti.

San Diego is less than a 6 hour drive from our home. It is way too expensive to live, the roads are poor, and the traffic horrible. But, when we need an ocean break and a cool-down in the summer it is the perfect, quick escape. It is beautiful to visit but not to live.

Rubye Jack said...

A year ago I lived in San Francisco and loved it there. However, when I quit working it was simply way too expensive to stay there and that's why more people don't retire there. Of course you have the Central Valley but you might as well live in Oklahoma as in any of those places.

However, Arizona is close to California and the ocean, like someone just said, 6 hours to San Diego. Not bad. I live where I do because of family and low cost of housing, but if I had a choice it would definitely be California rather than Oklahoma. :)

Have a great trip!

Retired Syd said...

Don't forget about me! I'm a retired person blogging from California!

Mac n' Janet said...

We were Californians, born there, grew up there, mostly, traveled the world as my husband was in the military and then went home to California after he got out. Spent 13 years out there and knew without a doubt we didn't want to retire there, and it wasn't just the money. The California we grew up is gone. So we decided on Georgia having lived here before when we were stationed here, don't like to be landlocked so we bought near the coast. After 8 1/2 years here we know we made the right decision, still love it here.

schmidleysscribblins, said...

I auppose if we were going to move to the West it would be to San Diego where my son has had a property or lived for most of the past 30 years. He and his wife have decided they will retire in the home where they live now. The house is small with their two boys, but will be a perfect fit when they begin to age in place. Richard works for the Navy and can retire in about 5 years, although he will probably hang on until the boys finish college.

Meanwhile, we are hanging on in Arlington which is getting a climate like SD. We won't have to move to the South or West, it is coming here to us. Dianne

rosaria said...

Not only real estate is more expensive in California, but the lifestyle, doing anything cost more in California. We worked most of our lives in California, and when we retired we moved North to Oregon, where the beaches are prettier, the air is cleaner, and the prices are still reasonable. If we need to escape the rains, we drive down to California for a couple of weeks.

Chris said...

Just came back from 10 days in Santa Barbara (father Blair died) after staying with mom. Sister and nephew live nearby in Los Angeles and could make the 2-hr drive easily. While Karen and I ski, snow shoe, and generally enjoy winter, though a very mild one so far this year, it nags in the back of my mind that 70 degrees and sunny most days would be a great mood lifter. However, I would never become attuned to the Los Angeles live investment in time-on-the-freeway. It just is debilitating. Hope you're well.

Retirement Living In San Diego said...

Hi all,

Really, Southern California is the nice place for retirement vacation. A perfect storm has rocked Southern California’s cruise sector, prompting a pullback of capacity that has more than erased several years of growth. Thanks a lot....

Dick Klade said...

The best places to retire are (1) near family; and (2) near friends. If you can do both, it's perfect. Everything else is secondary.