B and I drove home from vacation yesterday, and on the way we wondered: would we ever consider retiring to Cape Cod? There's an allure. It's a beautiful place out on the seacoast -- peaceful and removed from the world. The summers are on the cool side, and the winters not as cold as the rest of New England.
A few years ago B and I spent a weekend here in November. It was fun to walk the windy beach and watch the waves scuttle to shore. The air was bracing, and the fire at the local restaurant very inviting. But it was also gray and raw and blustery, and seemed lonely with the vacationers long gone.
And yet, thousands of retirees call Cape Cod home. Most of them come from New York or New England, but some from farther afield. A lot of them go away for at least part of the winter, usually to Florida. But there's another reason besides the weather: If you stay in Florida at least six months, you're considered a Florida resident, rather than a Massachusetts resident. There's no state income or estate tax in Florida as there is in Massachusetts.
But there are always exceptions. We met one couple that spends the winter in Aruba rather than Florida. Another fellow chuckled when he told me with undisguised happiness that he and his wife had just retired last year. They moved here from Connecticut. He said people think they're crazy because they don't go south in the winter. They have a house on the Cape, then go Vermont for the winter. Why? They are skiers.
Personally, I wouldn't want to winter over in Vermont. I used to do some skiing. But I gave it up six years ago after I fell and broke my arm -- and realized that skiing is not a good thing to do for people "in our demographic." At our age, when you fall, you're more likely to get hurt, and it takes longer to heal.
No. I don't think we'll retire to Cape Cod. We'll be back. But for now, the summer days are over on the Cape.
|September sunset over Bass River on Cape Cod|