Sunday, September 6, 2015

Summer Days Are Over

     There are a lot of people living on Cape Cod who (as B and I say when we notice a lot of heads with gray hair) are "in our demographic." In other words, there are a lot of retirees who live out here, not just in the summer, but all year long.

     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


Tabor said...

I would never retire to Florida...too many people in my demographic.

DJan said...

I visit my sister at least once in the winter. She lives in Florida. I miss the hills and mountains. Plus it's too hot for me most of the year. I am so happy that I retired to the Pacific Northwest. I hear you about our demographic. And you are WAY younger than me. :-)

Stephen Hayes said...

I've been in the Pacific Northwest for 35 years. I kike it, but I do dream about waking up to turquoise water and white sand.

Anonymous said...

Well, I enjoy my lifestyle here in Hawaii as well as the constant greenery. I have been around the world and truly prefer Hawaii to anywhere else.

Anonymous said...

I woke up to "turquoise water and white sand" for two years which were more than plenty since I also had to put up with stifling humidity for most of the year. Ugh!

To each her own!
Cop Car
P.S. I would really like to know how anyone convinces a spouse to move away from family, in retirement. My husband isn't going anywhere and he's been retired since 1993!

Anonymous said...

My neighbor Helene maintains a cottage at Cape Cod. She is spending more and more time up there. And she is spending lots of money redoing all the wires and pipes. This year she added AC. Summers are fine, but those New England winters are brutal!

Tom Sightings said...

DJan -- Just because I'm WAY less mature than you are doesn't mean I'm WAY younger than you are. Besides, you could out-walk me any day! And Gigi, I've never been to Hawaii. But I hear it's pretty nice out there. So who could argue with anyone who prefers Hawaii over anywhere else?

And Cop Car -- Our problem is that we have a son in Brooklyn, a son in New Jersey, a daughter in North Carolina, and another son in South Carolina. We have a brother in Mass., a sister in Pa, a sister in Florida and a sister in Arizona. So like a lot of retirees and near-retirees, we have no answer to the question: Where is family?

Olga Hebert said...

I love my winters in Florida and my summers in VT, close to family. I hope to never spend another winter in Vermont, dark and grim.

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

Oh, I agree with Gigi about Hawaii. It is my favorite place in the world, but I could never afford to live there. We moved to Arizona five years ago from L.A. I didn't think it would be that different, but it is truly hot -- we had a couple of 117 degree days this past month -- and it was humid because it's monsoon season. We're finding we have less and less tolerance for heat. About half of our community, a Del Webb active adult development for Baby Boomers, goes north five to six months a year. We have a lot of winter residents who are Canadians or from the upper Midwest, Washington and Oregon. Those of us who are full-timers rattle around our semi-empty community in the summer and enjoy easy access to all the amenities. But there are times when we wish we had cooler second homes, too.

Janette said...

Growing up in Phoenix was too much for me. Kathy, my sisters have houses in Santa Fe and Flagstaff for the cool off times.
Central Delaware -the skies are blue most of the year. Winters are easy enough to sell the snow blower. Summers can be in the 90's and humid. A good screened in porch is worth its weight in gold. We could be closer to the kids for my liking, but we are unwilling to pay the taxes to live in Maryland!
Can you still purchase a house at a decent price on the Cape? I looked at "beach cottages" this summer on the Delaware Atlantic. Prices were crazy. I will be watching this winter, but I think we missed the window of opportunity about five years ago.
Instead of buying I just put down a deposit for a house rental next summer. Like you, it will be summer beach living, one week at a time.