10 Ideas to Help with the “What Are You Going to Do When You Retire” Question

Category: Retirement Planning

April 2, 2013 — Congratulations, you are getting ready to retire. You’ve done the hard part – spent a life time getting out of bed and getting into work, took care of your family, and saved for this day. But have you thought about what happens if retirement turns out to be too easy for you (as in, not enough to do)? This article is designed to stimulate your thinking and get you started planning now, so that when your retirement finally comes you are set up for a happy transition from the working life.

In our experience the busiest people are usually the happiest. Call us old-fashioned, but we think human beings are hard-wired for some kind of purpose. Your job probably gave you that, and now it is history. We strongly recommend not retiring without a clear idea of what you are going to do to stay busy and engaged with life. Perhaps some people can manage a fulfilling retirement with only an idea “to do some projects” or “take a few trips”, but this approach doesn’t work for many. Without some kind of structure to your days you run the risk of becoming bored (or boring), depressed, or worse – turning into a grumpy old man or woman. If you have ever had to sit next to a person whose only interests were their medical complaints and gossip, you know what we mean!

Here are some of our top ideas for how to fill your new found freedom with fun, stimulation, and purpose. We would love to hear your ideas too; please use the Comments section at the end to share your thoughts.

1. Get a job. That might seem to be more than a little ironic, to leave the workforce only to come back into it. But for one reason, you might need the money. For another, retiring is often a great opportunity to start a new, totally unrelated career. We’ve written in the past about these so called encore careers, which many people find liberating and fulfilling. We have also profiled a dozen baby boomers on their interesting post-retirement careers – it’s fun to read about all the different ways they have found to enjoy their retirements.


2. Volunteer. This is an obvious route that many retirees find rewarding. From mentoring children, to helping a small business on a project, assisting at the library or hospital, trading work for free space at a national park, helping a local volunteer group, or even going into the Peace Corps – there are countless opportunities.

Some boomers don’t know where to start looking for a volunteer job. Our suggestion is to think in terms of what you would like to do and which organizations you would like to help; then contact those outfits and tell them you would like to help. In these days of cutbacks it is the rare non-profit or government body that couldn’t use an extra set of hands. Several of the post retirement careers we profiled in #1 above were volunteer jobs, and interesting ones at that. Those articles also have helpful links for finding volunteer gigs. See also the “Work and Volunteering” category in our Blog.

3. Take up a sport. As just one example, golfers don’t have to worry about what to do with their time – they’re too busy playing, practicing, and reliving their rounds afterwards. A lot of folks didn’t have the time to practice a sport during their working years. They often feel at a disadvantage trying to learn something that others have spent years perfecting (or at least trying to perfect). That shouldn’t stop you though – we have seen so many folks who have come to sports late in life and get so much pleasure (and other benefits, like fitness) from their new activities – whether it is fishing, boating, pickleball, tennis, bocce, biking, or water aerobics. Our best advice is this however – if you take up a difficult sport like golf or tennis – take some lessons! It is almost unheard of for even the most gifted athlete to develop good technique without a qualified professional. We believe in lessons – they can make the sport so much more enjoyable for those of us who don’t have what it takes to be shortstop for the New York Yankees. Many clubs or facilities have learn to play sessions – explore those!

4. Get a hobby. The best advice we have heard on hobbies is to start one while you are still working. That will give you time to explore different alternatives as well as you give you something to start on day 1 of your retirement. Whether it is quilting, bridge, mahjong, scrapbooking, knitting, raising orchids, gardening,woodworking, painting, crossword puzzles/sudoku, music, philately…whatever – start looking now for something that you can get excited about. It will give you something to look forward to as well as the chance to interact with others about something interesting.

5. Start a business. In this sphere you are only limited by your imagination, interests, and finances. People need someone to take care of their pets, watch their empty houses, drive them to the airport, fix their computers and bicycles. Tourist destinations need tour guides. Perhaps you have always had an idea for a product or service – now is the time to test it out. Our only cautions: do something you like, beware investing too much of your capital, and try to get good advice from someone whose business judgement you trust.

A Class A Motorcoach – Classy way to get around

Travel. By this we don’t mean taking a big trip or 2 and then forgetting about it. We are talking about people whose passion is travel. They save and plan for several big trips a year. They scheme for ways to exchange homes or work for extended stays in nice places. Or they buy or rent a camper and travel for long periods on a budget. When they are on the trip they savor the experience – when they are not they enjoy planning for the next. The Huffington Post has a terrific article outlining 7 Travel trends for retirees including: Glamping (more luxurious and creature comfortable), Voluntourism, Gap Years, International House Sitting, and Learning Vacations Abroad.

7. Take a bridge (gap) year. It used to be this was the plan for young people who needed an adjustment between high school and college, or college and their first job. But more and more folks are planning for a bridge year right after their retirement starts. They have many advantages, chief among them a chance to decompress after a hectic working career and gain perspective about how to optimize retirement. Perhaps you have always wanted to travel around the world, work for a relief organization, learn Italian in Rome, build a website, or learn how to repair clocks – this is your chance!

8. How about camp for adults. Camp isn’t just for kids anymore. There are camps for just about every kind of activity. Want to learn how to drive a car on the ice – there’s a Skip Barber camp for that. There’s golf camp, science camp, food and wine camps, cooking camps, sports camps, music camps, art camps, writing camps, adventure camps, etc. See this Wall St. Journal article for more.

9. Go south for the winter. Lets say you are fortunate enough not to have to work and you also live in a cold climate. Unless you enjoy cold weather, just why are you spending your winters shoveling snow and hunkered around the fireplace? Why not explore warmer climes for the winter months. There are plenty of inexpensive places to stay for a month or so, or rent your own RV. You’ll meet people, have some stimulating experiences, explore different parts of the country, and perhaps find a better, less expensive place to live. Oh, and you’ll also stay warmer!

10. Make some friends whose ages are different than yours. This is one of the favorite pieces of advice we heard from someone, not sure whom. Older people have different perspectives to offer. Younger folks have a different vocabulary and usually more energy. In the process of exploring the different, you’ll be keeping yourself younger and more interesting too.

Bonus: Make a commitment to connect with people. Perhaps their is a Men over 60 breakfast group. Or a Lions Club, or your old work colleagues. Make a pledge that you are going to get out and talk with people on a regular basis. It will keep you young.

For further reading
Summer camps for adults
Just What Do People Do in Retirement (Huffington Post)

Comments: Please share your thoughts and experiences about how to make the most of your retirement in the Comments section below.



Posted by Admin on April 2nd, 2013

77 Comments »

  1. Retirement is one of the things that eventually everyone thinks about, some plan some don’t. Everyone thinks they are going to sit back and do what ever they want and that is rarely the case. My friend at work retired only to find out that he was now the offical day care baby sitter!! It was great in the beginning, but 3 years later it is a P.I.A. Five days a week, from 7AM to 6PM, he actually works harder now than he did working. Worst Part, he is not enjoying his retirement!!!

    Perhaps you should add another caption to the subject as to “What You Don’t Want To Do In Retirement.” I am sure that would be an interesting article!

    by Russ — April 3, 2013

  2. This is one of my greatest fears of retirement. 24/7/365 is a lot of free time to fill up. Never really having a hobby doesn’t help. Other than a few things I would like to try I am open to any and all suggestions or comments. I know I am not alone in this concern.

    by Larry — April 3, 2013

  3. :shock:I couldn’t disagree more with #1. If you can afford to retire and want to DO IT and if you can’t then don’t. Of course there are circumstances which can factor in but seriously aside from those why retire from a most likely good paying job to go start up another one for much less. In many cases you will be actually working against yourself in your financial situation and can even end up losing badly to the IRS for you efforts. If you aren’t ready to go then just keep maxing your IRA,(you better have one of those and a fat one) until you are ready.
    Sorry to burst anyone’s bubble but there hasn’t been one single day since I retired at 57 that I don’t feel very thankful for getting out. I keep asking myself” just one thing” and I can’t find a single one. I sleep normally for the first time in 32 years get along with the wife fantastically and feel fantastic because we work out every day. We never could do much of that since work always got in the way. Like one of my retired buddies said, you’ll be busier after you retire than you ever were before. The best part of it you will have the time and energy to actually do it.:lol: Color me gone and never lookin back…………………

    by Tom — April 3, 2013

  4. the other thing thats really helpful is to have a “transition” year. In other words, wind down by working a few days a week or a few days a month. I did it and it really helped me to prepare myself for no longer being in the thick of things. I worked as a consultant in the first year – post retirement. When it came time to renew and start the 2nd year – I said no. I found I was really liking the freedom to do what I wanted, when I wanted. We made a major move to be with grandkids and wished now we had just rented for a few months over a few years. By making this big move we gave up friends and a way of life we enjoyed. Now those grandkids are teenagers and we don’t see them very much. We have a new circle of friends – very important; we entertain semi-often. We travel, enjoy theatre, go to movies. I volunteer and my husband works a couple of days a week during the winter months only at a local hardware store. He has a number of hobbies he enjoys. As well, I’ve been involved in a book club, an environmental group, an international ladies organization and other local clubs. That allowed us to meet people and decide what we like and what we do not. Nothing is perfect and altho’ our locale isn’t to our political liking we also know that we couldn’t live as cheaply anywhere else. Altho’ we are only in our 60s, we have paid for our funerals and updated our wills as we want to ensure our children don’t have any burdens. They won’t have any money from us – as we plan to spend it while we can and are well! We are fortunate to have healthy pensions and good health and count our blessings. Retirement is wonderful!

    by sheila — April 3, 2013

  5. This is for Russ (Comment #1) Your friend should get a backbone and learn the word “No”. How dare his kids turn him into a 27/7 babysitter! I’m sure he has other things he’d like to do. I just hope they’re paying him SOMETHING to watch those brats! I know daycare is expensive, but they should be paying hims something. His kids are taking advantage of him. Lean to just say “no”.

    by Lucinda — April 3, 2013

  6. There are plenty of inexpensive places to stay for a month or so?

    Where?

    by Thomas — April 3, 2013

  7. Being a ‘half assed’ amateur guitarist I plan on getting much better, jamming with my ‘old fart’ buddies, occasionally sipping down a couple cold ones and dusting off that old bong, hoping it still works. 😕

    by Jerry — April 3, 2013

  8. To Larry: You’ve never had a hobby? Then it’s time to try different things. Do you have retired friends? Do they have hobbies? Ask them for information about their hobbies. Talk to retired people who are happy and busy with their lives. Enthusiasm and love of life can be infectious. Surrounding yourself with others who have have nothing to do can keep you down.

    by Loni — April 3, 2013

  9. I planned on retiring at 62. I had just attained my dream job and then cancer struck, not just once but twice. So here we are two years later after being forced to retire at 53 for me and 55 for my husband. I was lucky that my job paid for long term disability insurance. With social security disability and my long term disability, we have enough money to live a comfortable life especially since my husband is terminal in his cancer and on hospice. I don’t need to touch the retirement accounts until 65. We were able to sell our house in NY with a small profit and move to Florida near my parents. We found a lovely 55+ retirement community. The clubhouse has many activities and clubs. Although, I have not been able to make new friends due to my husband’s illness, I have my parents nearby to help. My son has moved in with us and my daughter flies down frequently. I look forward to joining more in the community and count my blessings for financial security due to my former job.

    by Joan — April 3, 2013

  10. I am not sure I will ever be ble to retire because I just lost another job 🙁 and have never been able to save much because of job loss and poor paying jobs. I have plenty of hobbies to keep me busy and would love to travel but travel costs money. I am amazed at the number of people who seem to have come from careers that paid well and can afford to trael or do things that are expensive. I have come to hate working because i have always had to take a job to survive not because I loved the job. So here I am looking for another job to get me to those retirement days when I can engage in activities that I love.

    by Jeff — April 3, 2013

  11. Tom – I’m going to steal your quote and change your dates to mine… I agree, if you can do it, then DO IT!

    “Sorry to burst anyone’s bubble but there hasn’t been one single day since I retired at 57 (57m me too!) that I don’t feel very thankful for getting out. I keep asking myself” just one thing” and I can’t find a single one. I sleep normally for the first time in 32 (36 fo me) years get along with the wife fantastically and feel fantastic because we work out every day (us too!). We never could do much of that since work always got in the way. Like one of my retired buddies said, you’ll be busier after you retire than you ever were before (MM – I’ve NEVER met a retired friend that wished theye didn’t!). The best part of it you will have the time and energy to actually do it.:lol: Color me gone and never lookin back………………… (The most plesurable thing for me was seeing Boeing in my rear-view mirror, as myself and my wife drove away the last day!)”

    by MarkM — April 3, 2013

  12. Hobby or not retirement is great, as for 24-7-365. We seem to be busy every day. Having a new home built meeting new people, and having time to smell the roses along the way! Don’t plan what you have to do just get started each day! There are a lot of things to see and do! We all have busted our humps for years, be happy you have made it this far in life and enjoy each day
    It’s a slice of wonderfull out there. Make the best of your time! Brad

    by Brad — April 3, 2013

  13. Although I am glad to get out of the crazy school district I worked in, I found that I had to get another job if I only took my teacher’s retirement. I am 63 and want to wait until I am 66 to take my Social Security, but this economy has hit my investments hard. I also was really bored at home. I want to move to a state by the water. I can’t afford on the water, but near it. Before I do that I have to sell my house. I wish the housing market would move faster. I thought I was going to want everything slow, but now I want to move and make some changes that don’t include starting a new career. Also, where are those men who actually want an independent woman? 😆

    by Linda — April 3, 2013

  14. After a career doing sedentary work, I began going to a gym and, several years ago, got serious and hired a trainer with whom I met 1-2 times per week. I tell my friends who have done sedentary work that, having given up all those hours of cerebral work, it is a wonderful idea to begin to concentrate on physical challenges (something that most of us have not done during our careers). The upside is that my overall health is excellent and I am in better shape than I have ever been.

    by Michael — April 3, 2013

  15. Interesting subject, and it’s interesting to see the various outcomes of people’s lives. I was forced to retire because of health. I had someone in my life that was working and that got me through the health and financial issues. I have a few comments on work, retirement, volunteering, and hobbies.

    Work for me changed to the point where it was better for me to quit than to continue on. My last career was driving a truck locally. It used to be fun because I got to go places away from my point of origin. When the boss started using another trucking company for back hauls, I was stuck doing local hauls. When the total disregard for trucks and what they can do by local 4-wheelers started to really bother me, I felt it necessary to stop driving because I was sure I was going to kill someone because of their stupidity around a heavy truck. Synopsis: Few resources, health, subsidized jobs, volunteering, and an income from my lady’s job got me through for a while. Because of health, I had to take early Social Security, and thankfully, my time in the military got me a few extra bucks. When I worked at the Senior Center doing computer classes, I was paid minimum wage for 20 hours. Big whoop. After returning from trucking, I volunteered to keep the computers in the classroom working properly and cleaning the internals, but it became a chore. Several years later, I was asked by the manager of the Center to assist again, but I suspect the City employee doing the classes at the time didn’t want me there, because he never called. I volunteered at a US Recreation Area in Calif, and I had two jobs. I was appreciated in one and abused in the other. I left because slavery was outlawed, but somebody was not aware of that. So, volunteering can be an unpleasant event, but I still have friends from that experience, and the guy that wanted to abuse me has now left under questionable circumstances.

    I have been lucky to find two part-time jobs that pop up now and then. I don’t sit around waiting for them to happen. I get a call or an email asking if I am ready to go again. One is as an independent contractor, and I can work when and how I want to get the job done. I have twice used the money to buy new tires for a car, and the other job has taken me places I’ve never gone before, and it has helped me pay down some bills. The latter job doesn’t pay a lot, but if out of town, I get per diem, a motel room and a check every two weeks. Love it. I get to meet new people, and I usually work with one other person that keeps his or her eyes on a computer while I navigate the roads or landscape. I’ve driven what I call cow paths up mountains to see as far as the eye can see, and I’ve been complemented on my ability to backup on dirt roads in the dark (truck driving experience paid off). Because I am willing to give 110 percent, I keep being called back to work again. A lot of people won’t do what I do, but I have to admit it takes a toll on me. When I come home, I am greeted by my dog as if I’ve been gone for years, and, of course, my lady is happy, too. I get most of the taxes paid back, and I sometimes get a bonus check from Social Security for the work I do. I encourage everyone to find all of the tax loopholes you can to avoid paying money to a government out of control. My secret is everybody’s secret. My mortgage on my upside down house, my property taxes, my work and medical expenses and my age help me get most of the money paid back.

    I don’t have time for a hobby. I like having nothing to do at times. I sleep in, watch movies, get my coffee in the am or noon, go to the store, and walk my dog off leash after midnight. My dog and I are buds at that time of night. She is exceptionally well behaved, and waits for me at corners. So far, there isn’t a problem with other night life in my neighborhood, and my dog is an additional set of eyes and ears. She’s very protective.

    My lady and I are surviving. My extra jobs are helpful financially, but if something major comes up, we’ll have to deal with it. I have the VA to look after me health wise, but I am fearful of Obamacare for my partner. I have a feeling she will be put out to pasture by Obamacare. I have no use for Obamacare, and I can only hope it doesn’t screw me and other vets using the VA. A VA doctor confided to me that a lot of doctors will soon leave the profession because of Obamacare. So, if anyone thinks it is the be all and end all for medical care, you need to start wondering how you will be treated medically.
    (some edited here)

    When you go out to eat, order water with lemon or lime. FREE. Beverages are the profit makers for eateries. Gotta have that morning Joe? McDonald’s has a senior rate (so far, I pay 65 cents), while restaurants want $2+ for coffee. Ripoff. Have a sugar problem, investigate Stevia. Recommended by many.

    In the end, good luck to all in retirement and in your survival in your senior years, because age discrimination, good and bad, is out there.

    by Edward — April 3, 2013

  16. Substitute Teach. If you like kids, have a degree, and believe education is important, then sub. Schools are dying for good quality, substitute teachers to mentor and interact with kids in K-12. If you want to sit with your feet up, read a book, while kids do worksheets, you need not apply. Some districts have age requirements.

    by Mark — April 3, 2013

  17. Just returned home from visiting the Villages in Fl. Impressed to say the least. Cant wait to retire and get down there. I thought it would be a lot more elderly there but not true. Mostly baby boomers, visited the rec centers and very impressed. Took the trolley for the tour and walked around Market Square. Love it!!! Not sure about leaving family here in MD but I think they will visit. By the time we leave they will be teenagers. The houses are modest priced compared to MD. Cost of living seemed to be the same as far as gas and groceries. Any Villagers out there to comment.

    by vickie — April 4, 2013

  18. Being divorced, I am used to doing things with friends and family. I retired from a very demanding job at 64 – a year ago – since my second grandchild was born and I wanted to be able to help out with her instead of sending her to daycare. It has been the best decision I could have made. Being with a little one is so rewarding and fulfilling. I also have a 95 y o mother 80 miles from me that I visit with every week (sometmes overnight or two) and have encouraged to move in with me- so far she has resisted.

    In addition to caring for a small one and an old one, I have 3 dogs that I walk at least twice a day. I take part in water aerobics 2-3 times per week.
    I get together with my friends for lunch or dinner often also.

    Living in Maryland on the eastern shore, my dream is to purchase a second home (maybe a manufactured home or trailer) in Delaware near the beach as I love the ocean and would be close to my main residence. Two of my 3 children live in Delaware and it is very tax friendly and cheaper than Maryland.

    Maybe I will look into Villages as a second home – sounds good

    by Carol — April 4, 2013

  19. I enjoy reading everyone of the different comments. My wife and I plan to retire next year. We hope to be able travel around the U.S. most of the year. We are planning to rent condos for a month or two at a time in various states. Traveling between the the states in a large SUV not a camper. We would appreciate input from folks who are doing this or have ideas on how to achieve this plan. We have boys in 3 different states and will spend a month or two with each family. We have a home base in MA to spend summer months. Thanks in advance.

    by Wayne — April 4, 2013

  20. I was in the medical field for many years, and was fortunate enough to be able to retire really young 50. I am a young widow, and I feel so grateful to not have to work, I moved to a new state, bought an adorable new home, and now I play..work out, walk, hike, go to wine tasting events, volunteer here and there, go dancing, travel often to visit my daughter in Calif. Looking into talking guitar lessons. You have to get out of the house and meet new people. Learn something new. It’s time to be a kid again. Woo Hoo!!

    by Loralee — April 4, 2013

  21. Those of you with such positive outlooks are indeed fortunate. I’ve been retired a little over a year now. At first it was a lark. I seemed to find plenty to do and people to do it with. In the past several months,however, those friends that I have had for years have either moved or in the case of two of them were lost to illness. I have two married sons so it might seem somewhat logical to move nearby one of them. My concern about that tho is that I would end up being the babysitter. Five grandkids, youngest only 5. Spending time with grandkids is a great idea but I don’t want to become their second Mom.
    So I then started checking out places that I’ve always thought might be a nice place to live. But being a widow and so setting off on your own seems a bit daunting. My sons think I’d be nuts to do that because I would have no support if something untoward happened. They also comment that it’s very possible what looked great could end up being otherwise. But isn’t that the way life is?? Makes me think of the second half of the Forrest Gump line about life being like a box of chocolates. ‘You never know what you’re going to get’.
    If anyone reading this has been in a similar situation and came up with a good plan I’d love to hear of it.

    by Anne — April 4, 2013

  22. Anne, of all the comments I found yours hit home with me more than any other. We are close to making the plunge into retirement – me at the end of this year (67) and my husband to follow in 2 more years (67 also). We won’t be rich, but I think we are positioned to live well and handle the occasional unexpected expense. Our biggest dilemma is do we move or stay? We have 3 grandkids (one disabled) 2.5 hours away and we’ve considered moving closer to them – they are a military family who will not be transferred (due to needed
    facilities for the disabled child) but deployments and lengthy training schools (up to one year) are a fact of their lives and my daughter could definitely use some help. At the same time, I always dreamed of moving the the Palm Coast area of Florida. I am a true water baby and never completely feel whole unless I can be near the water. Add to that, my husband is an avid volunteer on the historic square-rigged sailing ships located in Virginia and I know he dreams of living close enough to volunteer when he wants to and drive home at night. (Right now he drives 11 hours RT to volunteer on a weekend) Then, of course, moving to any of these places will mean leaving my husband’s aging father and stepmother, as well as selling the house we’ve spent lots of sweat and time remodeling and updating to our taste so that it is now very comfortable for us. It also means leaving behind some very good neighbors and everything familiar to us. It is a quandry that we are still working through and its becoming obvious to me that we’ll have to think outside the box to be able to accomodate multiple dreams and stillmeet family needs. That’s why I love this newsletter – lots of possibilities to consider and much needed information.

    by Genie — April 4, 2013

  23. To Anne: I too am thinking of moving since my significant other died and our town seems to be changing. I have a few places in mind that has warmer winters and more activities. Other folks have given good advice: spend time vacationing in these places to see if you really like them: the climate, the people, health facilities, the political climate, etc. I probably will spend this year checking out Sequim, WA, Las Vegas, and maybe Arizona. I think I make friends easily so I am not worried about “not knowing anybody”. Of course one’s financial situation has a lot to do with where to go or if you go; I am not rich but I live comfortably with my pension and 457. I am not of Social Security age yet, so I will get that in a couple years. My hobby is being a musician and it keeps me busy playing with other musicians. That will be a crucial requirement wherever I may move to — other musicians to jam with.

    by Loni — April 4, 2013

  24. Vickie- We usd to be live in the Villages and found it to be a great place (at first). Then the novelty wore off. With the houses being so close together, you culd hear all of your neighbors conversstions; dogs barking, lines at restaurants and classes (plan on getting there 30 min before the class starts..which is very early in the morning for some), lines at grocery stores, traffic, too many people during season, etc. If you need to see a doctor plan on waiting anywhere from 1.5 -3 hours to see the doctor (during season) I am sorry to be so negative! On the positive side, the grounds are beautiful, their is alot to do, friendly people, etc.

    by LisaJ — April 5, 2013

  25. I am excited about this next part of my life. I will retire end of this year and have already found a place in east TN. I am on my own but was a widow at 32 with two very young little girls and moved us back from Australia where we were living when my husband died. I think life is an adventure and nothing ventured nothing gained. I don’t have alot of money but feel quality is better than quantity and I cannot see staying in Houston with the weather and awful traffic. I may not have much, but in my new home I will have beautiful views of the water and mountains and I feel so blessed for that!

    by Barbara — April 5, 2013

  26. Loni, we are attempting to start a cooperative (large) called the Rock Til You Drop or RTYD for short. Here’s the vision…

    Looking for a little input here on an idea for a new kind of retirement community. Being a part-time musician and full-time lover of live music, I’ve been rolling this idea around in my head for the last 5 years and it’s time to set it free… Why not band together with other musicians, artist, and anyone who truly loves live music and the arts to build the ‘Rock Till Ya Drop’ 55+ community (RTYD for short).

    Here’s the vision…

    Build a small community (800-1000 residents) of various types of dwellings (single family homes, town homes, row homes, lofts, commune homes, and rental apartments) around an old-fashioned town square. The square would be built around a multi-purpose performance venue (concerts, plays, movies, readings, worship, etc.) where we’d bring artist in to perform. Around the square would be restaurants, shops and little studios where members of the community needing to work or simply wanting to pad their retirement savings could be employed. I don’t know if you’ve been staying on top of the looming retirement issues that will be facing our country in the next 5 years or so but there are going to be many baby boomers who will need to work until they die, which isn’t a bad thing if you have a job you truly love. With this being the case, why not have them work in a community of wonderful music-loving, open-minded people like themselves.
    …(a lot edited here)…
    Anyone interested in learning more about the RTYD idea I mentioned above can contact me at gmyroup@digitalfreehand.com

    by Jerry — April 5, 2013

  27. Lisa, thank you for your input. I was hoping someone would reply. I meant to say my grandkids would be teenagers by the time we leave. The other prospect is NC. We know we want to live on the east coast near the water. New Bern is where we are checking next. I have some reservations about the villages as well as New Bern NC. Villages too many people, New Bern not enough to do. Our main concern is not to just exist. We want to keep it going and the Villages seem to offer it all. I also want to stay connected with family. I think the villages would encourage all to visit We went during spring break and I think it was kids camp there which offered a lot of activities for grandkids. We seen a lot of kids and families did see waiting at restaurants and a lot of traffic but all and all it was fine. I just want to make sure we do the right thing and don’t regret our decision. We too currently have an RV but also have considered selling it and buying a small villa at the villages for a second home until we can retire fully. The idea of buying a second home and then deciding we made the wrong decision and then trying to sell is also a concern.

    by Vickie — April 5, 2013

  28. Barbara, I moved to a little town outside of Denver, Co about a year ago to be closer to my daughter. I am a widow – lost my husband two years ago. I’m looking to move again in about a yr, to a more tax friendly state. I do love the beautiful scenery but its expensive here. Renting a lovely townhouse but I can find a nice place like it for hundreds less in Az. And Fl. Little hesitant about these states because I spent the last 30 years in Houston and know what hot weather is! Originally from upstate New York and loved the summers there. You sparked my interest when you mentioned east Tenn. Would you mind sharing the name of the town and what drew you to it. I’ve been using an app. by Truila and checking out different cities and rental properties.

    Like everyone else, I don’t want to make a bad move. I wouldn’t say my move to Co. Was bad – needed to be closer to my daughter for a time. Since I signed a two year lease I will be here another year and may decide to stay – but meanwhile searching other places. Moving was a horrendous undertaking – next move will be final.

    This for listening, linda

    by Linda — April 5, 2013

  29. Genie, glad to know I’m not alone in my feelings about kids, grandkids. I’m always afraid to voice an opinion about that because it makes me feel like some kind of curmudgeon. We also have several other things in common. We’re a military family too. One son just retired from the Army. Was a helicopter pilot, did 2 tours in Iraq and 4 tours in Afghanistan. He has some flashbacks now + then. The worst at Disneyworld on space mountain. If you’ve been you know it’s all in the dark with flashing lights etc. He said it made him angry that he couldn’t enjoy it with his kids because it it put him back in country flying night missions. My other son is an xp pilot with the army also. So he flight tests helicopters. It’s a wonder I have any fingernails left. HA!!
    Whoops, all that a bit off subject, sorry about that.
    I also feel the need to be near the ocean. Used to live at Rye Beach, NH. but things got so pricey we had to leave. Now near Ct. shoreline altho not true ocean to me because it’s Long Island Sound. No waves, no soft sand . I like some places in Fl but do wonder about the hurricane threats. Have two friends who live at the Villages. One for a long time. She tells me it has changed and not for the better. She thinks it’s just gotten too big. The other friend likes it immensely. I feel like you do. Why go to Fl and not live near the beach.??
    I like the St. Augustine area. Too reasons. The area has some history and it has had very little hurricane impact. I also like the keys because it reminds me of the 60’s.

    by Anne — April 5, 2013

  30. Vickie, regarding your comment “We too currently have an RV but also have considered selling it and buying a small villa at the villages for a second home until we can retire fully.”
    This would be something to seriously consider now while property values are still a huge value in most areas of Florida. Beyond being able to “buy in” at well below replacement costs, if you can live in the property long enough to obtain a Homestead Exemption (up to $50k) you would have the additional advantage of being able to lock in your tax basis under Save Our Homes which provides substantial protection against potential property tax increases for as long as you own the property. There are resources on this site and others that explain these benefits. Good luck!

    by Clark — April 5, 2013

  31. Sat April 6, 2013
    Hello Neighbors:
    My First Entry, though I have received and read this website for months.

    I have been overseas in a cold climate for 22 years. Male, ethnic minority (relevant, to me) 67, all VA Med, Medicare. Solvent. No family at all. Health is fair — except a bout of osteoarthritis this month now worries me, as NSAID took longer to eliminate it.
    Therefore, I am looking to enter into a CCRC, though I may be one of the younger ones, and one of the more fit ones. Without family, I need the security. Bought a condo in Seattle 4 years ago, did some doctoral study there, knew it was ethnically favorable, visit twice a year, May’ish and October’ish — beginning and end of baseball on TV, which I love. BUT did not realize, Pacific NW is COLD. [LOIS, APRIL 4, 2013 mentioned SEQUIM, outside Seattle… it is cold there].
    Am considering Northern & Southern California — for ethnic mix. If S. Calif, should be near LA, but I worry about what I see on TV — firearms, gangs, any carjackings?
    If Northern Calif, will it be cold there? Some in Oakland, not as expensive as San Francisco itself, but then I stereotype it as LA — was there not a campus shooting recently?
    I would like a CCRC at least nominally operated, founded by a mainline denomination, in a college-like area. I would vol as counselor-chaplain-student advisor, etc.
    Well, I have jabbered for long enough. I am just gambling there may be folk among you who can share some insight, for which I would be very grateful.

    by Michael — April 6, 2013

  32. Vickie and Clark- The Villages as a second home could be a great idea. From my experience, if you could leave when you got tired of the crowds, lines for healthcare, etc (see above post) it would work. The Villages has alot of great things about it and may be the answer for many. Vickie- I would love to find a place that is like TV but not as large somewhere in TN or NC. Does anyone know if it exists?

    by LisaJ — April 6, 2013

  33. WOW….Thanks for the comments. I have a lot to check out and consider.

    by vickie — April 6, 2013

  34. Thanks to Lisa for another insight on The Villages. I certainly do not want to spend my retirement waiting in lines! I do like the idea of a retirement community for instant social circle and activities, especially since I will be leaving current friends and family and do not have years to develop new circles. The traffic in this small town is getting heavier so I am definitely looking at less congested area. I am amazed at people who are bored or lack things to do! I do not want to sound preachy, but are we living 30 years longer to have endless vacation? We need more money because we live years after retirement. But for me it is an opportunity to give back. I started community work because it was (relatively) free and it has meaning. The bonus is that it puts you in contact with all kinds of people and all incomes, but generally people who share your views. I never had a job that was fulfilling as far as improving the world, so having more time to volunteer is fulfilling for me. There is so much that needs to be done! As the economy tanks there is more need for people who are able to do jobs free. What would our churches and libraries do without volunteers? Meals on Wheels, Homeless Shelters, Retirement Homes, Community Boards, all need people with time. Our government needs people who can monitor and lobby. As the gap between very rich and the other 98% widens, we can advocate for change of laws and programs. Young people today both work and are busy with youth activities. A democracy can only thrive with citizen involvement and we have the time and wisdom to change things for the better! I love not needing to get up early and be at a job, I love napping, and gardening and living alone! But volunteering can be done a few hours at a time and is sometimes discouraging and sometimes rewarding!

    by Moving South — April 6, 2013

  35. […] – Are you prepared for what is going to be a major adjustment. See this article: “What are you going to do now that you are retired“?) 14. Have you thought about what you are going to do the day you retire? __Y__No 15. How […]

    by » Quiz: How Ready for Retirement Are You? Topretirements — April 6, 2013

  36. Fascinating look at retirement comments from across the U.S. love reading how others are doing. Me? I’m fine! I retired at 62, grabbed my SS check, and other monies and am travelling, volunteering, and doing some teaching, just to keep my mind active. I love my retirement life, but not my property taxes here in one of the most expensive states in the East, so I’m moving SOUTH. As long as I can move to a state that has an international airport,within driving distance, I’ll be fine. This time should be our reward for ALL the hours we put in making money millions for the corporations/people we worked for. I hope more of you Boomers reading these blogs understand time is NOT on our side, so take advantage of what you have, feel blessed,and for God sake, have some fun!!!!

    by meme — April 6, 2013

  37. For Loralee

    Yes…my friend needs to grow a spine and tell his kids no…but first he has to tell his wife…for she is the one who first volunteered his services…and now to end them could/might end in a divorce!!! Of course, there might be light at the end of the tunnel…for his wife just found out this month that she could retire or get laid off before the summer…so perhaps she can now become the new child care provider!!!

    by Russ — April 7, 2013

  38. well I live in gulf shores al but not retired yet move here because of family I don’t think this is the place to retired to either it is busy during spring break ant then the summer oh sure it is great for
    snowbirds they are here off season I can’t go to Walmart unless it at midnight it is always busy
    plan to move when we retired

    by Janice — April 7, 2013

  39. Snow Birds have been part of Florida for as long as I can remember…when my god-mother was a snow bird she would go down after Thanksgiving and stay till sometime in April…each year she would go down earlier and stay longer until she finally became a permanent resident…and guess what…once there permanently…she to would witch about snow birds…

    Remember, snow birds that own pay year round for services that they use for only a few months…keeping the expense’s for those that live there lower…

    by Russ — April 8, 2013

  40. Linda/LisaJ – when I drove into TN from NC, I was amazed at the scenery! I like it better than NC although both places have their good points. There are two places in TN – Fairfield Glade and Tellico Village that I visited. Both have lots of activities and what I liked was the houses were spread out and not cookie cutter in rows street after street. Lots of walking trails, clubs etc. People very nice. Fairfield is near Crossville – mid size town but no mall etc. Tellico Village is 30 minutes from Knoxville so occasional shopping trips there wouldn’t be too bad. But again, the lakes and Smokey Mountains are just beautiful! I have been in Houston for a long time and I am tired of the traffic and concrete everywhere – I want something pretty and relaxing to look at!

    by Barbara — April 8, 2013

  41. Another possibility has been mentioned to us for a retirement community. Stonecrest in Fl. 2 miles from the villages. I looked at their website and noticed the pre-owned homes said “deed restrictions”. Can anyone tell me what this means????

    by Vickie — April 8, 2013

  42. Barbara-Thanks for the update. We looked at Tellico Village too and found it to be beautiful. We have not looked at Fairfield Glade however, feel it would be to remote for us. Did you look at the Del Webb community in Mt. Juliet (just outside of Nashville)? Chattanooga is a beautiful area too!

    by LisaJ — April 9, 2013

  43. “I looked at their website and noticed the pre-owned homes said “deed restrictions”. Can anyone tell me what this means????”

    Vickie, deed restrictions could mean any number of things, and you would need to talk to the Realtor to find out. Some things that I have seen in deed restrictions include materials you can use for your roof, colors for your house, no right to have pets, age restrictions on residents, no right to rent, max length of grass…it goes on and on. Most tend to be due to the HOA, but any owner can restrict a deed if the buyer is willing to accept the restrictions. Make sure you can live with them. They are legally binding.

    by Julie — April 9, 2013

  44. I totally agree with Tom. Retired at 57 and turn 59 soon. Before we did not have time to be healthy because so much time was spent on all the things you do outside the school to make school work for the students, especially students with disabilities. Now we have time! The gym is a regular event which resulted in losing 40 lbs each along with other improvements in health!
    We are having a house built in a 55+ retirement community about 15 miles from a relative. Once there, the pool and gym will be a daily routine. We have already found an elementary school to volunteer at as well as making some friends before me move there. Retirement is what you put in to it just as life is what you put in to it. Keeping a good attitude is a must! No one makes us do anything unless they have a weapon on us. We control our emotions even though many of us say, “You make me feel ….” We own our emotions, so we choose how we feel. If that were not true, then money would be the root of all happiness instead of all evil. Money is not the answer, it just greases the axle so it keeps turning. Being involved in life instead of just being there is the answer. Our best wishes for everyone approaching retirement, enjoy!:razz::lol::razz::lol:

    by Bobby — April 10, 2013

  45. Thanks for all the great comments. 😀 Going bag the corporate rat race soon and retire at 57. Focus on getting in better shape, volunteer , & hope my prostate cancer stays manageable. Time to enjoy life as it can change in a heartbeat.

    by Dom — April 13, 2013

  46. I read a few comments here and one is different. He enjoys not working for its own sake.
    I’m 56 and have worked since age 16. I think it’s ok to put it in idle. I love reading. Not thrilled with groups. I need time to bike and exercise and I always feel better then.
    A puritanical work ethic may not be the only philosophy to follow in the end game.

    by G Walsh — May 15, 2013

  47. G Walsh,

    You are thinking about this all wrong. You won’t be idle, you will be working hard…at play that is. We see lots of kayaking, fishing, hiking and traveling in our future.

    Don’t let “work” define you. We’ve earned recess.

    by Julie — May 16, 2013

  48. Just joined my political party at the township level. Very rewarding as I transition to retirement. Also started to write a play; it’s difficult but really enjoyable.

    by Brian — June 6, 2013

  49. To Vickie and others…I retired to The Villages 4 years ago at 62 as widow without knowing anyone there. I had no problems making new friends and the activities are incredible! I missed family and grands though and wound up buying a studio in NY so I could stay independent and still visit for months at a time. It’s been great but now I’ve had a few health scares (nothing horrible thank goodness) and I’m wondering if this was such a good idea to retire so far away from family. It’s also impossible for me to afford having two places much longer. I’m in the process of trying to find an ACTIVE retirement community in NJ or PA nearer my children. It’s been so difficult because I’m spoiled with all the activities of the Villages and the lower expenses. I plan on renting in the Villages as a snowbird one in a while if I find something in the northeast. Anyone know of any communities they could suggest?

    To answer some Villages questions — the taxes are 1 1/2 percent of your purchase price and the homes are so much cheaper than Long Island NY…there is a homestead deduction and a widow discount. The value of the homes there have not gone down in this economy as the rest of Florida…it actually has gone up – my home value has increased $12000 since i bought it 4 years ago. It also was surprising to me that my supplemental health insurance (AARP) went down $100/month when I became a Florida resident. The house I own is completely electric, 2000 sq. ft. And has 10 foot ceilings in the main rooms –my electric bill has never been over $120/month and I like to keep it cold…my townhouse in NY cost me an average of $250 a month for utilities.

    If I could just move my family to Florida I’d be in paradise but without them as you age and health problems occur as a widow it’s a very big concern. My family has visited and they all say its wonderful but they also are concerned about the distance. I welcome anyone’s thoughts….

    by Char — June 7, 2013

  50. Char,

    Since proximity to your kids is high on your list, I suggest looking near them. Having not too long ago dealt with the long term demise of my parents, I know that even a “short” distance, relative to where you are now, can make visiting on a regular basis very difficult. And just how sure are you that your kids are staying where they are? I helped my parents look around south eastern PA, but had to be frank with them that we had no idea if we would be here 10 months or 10 years. And I will caution you that if you are looking for a continuing care facility, they are very expensive up here, unless you can get into a facility with religious affiliations.

    IMO your best bet is to have a frank talk with your kids, find out what their long term plans are, and start exploring the facilities near by on line.

    by Julie — June 8, 2013

  51. Hi Michael – although I’m not in the military, I have lived in one of the places you mentioned which is the Northern California area. Around the San Francisco area, it never gets cold enough for snow although the city itself is chilly, meaning one needs a light jacket, most of the time. What it does offer, however, is racial diversity but it is an expensive city. I don’t know much about Oakland but you should check out the crime rate on city-data website. I’m afraid Oakland’s reputation is not a good one.
    You might want to look into Virginia where it’s warmer and still has that diversity you’re looking for. I’ve lived in Northern Virginia for 20 years and really enjoyed the weather and the people. Good luck!

    by Lana — June 8, 2013

  52. We wrote up 101 case studies of people who retired and didn’t like it and/or wanted to do something different. They are amazing people involved with profitable hobbies, home based businesses and interesting voluntary work.

    by Jilly — August 12, 2013

  53. It’s cool to read the comments from our southern neighbors, my wife and I are 55yo Canadians and have the plan to retire next year, but are deathly afraid of being board out of our minds, it’s VERY encouring to hear first hand experience from others…Thanks!!!
    The plan, well here it is, my wife is going to retire first, to unwind, then we are getting rid of our family home of 55 years (inherited) and moving to our place up north in the snow belt we have being building for the past 13 years, and buying a 5th wheel and travel to places we have never seen from the ground, although this is going to be hard as we are currently taking care of my 93 yo mom….this really makes it hard as this has been our motivation for staying in the work force, we have prolonged/put off retirement for 5 years because of this. I guess the “line in the sand” was made from the past 2 funerals we have attended…depressing or motivation, your preference to choose. So I guess the search for a NEW look/view at life and ideas other than work in the public sector.
    Thanks so much for putting your ideas/experiences/views… Like one of the comments above was …where do these “communities” exist?
    Do they allow us “snow birds” or “frost backs” to stay at for less than 3 months?

    by Steve Skinner — January 19, 2014

  54. OK 2014 beginning of another year for our exploration RV trips. Plan to visit Fl again first 2 weeks in April. I have printed about 20 (55+) communities to check out. Still think Fl is the place but you never know. We will be traveling mostly from Orlando, Ocala to Tampa and Sarasota. Also, plan to check out VA hospitals in the Villages and in Tampa. Since we are retired military and it was told to us from our Dr here in Maryland that Tampa has one of the best VA hospitals around. I agree with others. Funerals and health issues within family and friends as we age sometimes brings depression or motivation to get it going. Life is little Life is short. Knowledge is powerful as long as you know how to use it and mistakes are ok as long as you learn from them. We realize retirement is at least 6 years from now but making an smart decision is priceless. This is why we are looking now instead of jumping into a wrong choice and possibly regretting it later. Also, enjoying different places to visit along the way. Next year will be looking extensively in NC and SC.

    by Vickie — January 20, 2014

  55. Having access to educational classes can be a great way to stay mentally active.

    Many states offer free college classes to seniors 65+. As an example, in CT, at least at community colleges, seniors can enroll (no credit) in courses that haven’t filled up by the day before class begins. In Florida, I believe all state schools allow seniors to enroll in unfilled classes. You can find out about these programs by calling the registrar or admissions office at your local state college.

    Also, since I’ve been known to push the community I bought into in Ocala (On Top of the World) (OTOW) check out this website (masterthepossibilities.com) It is OTOWs on site educational facility. They put on hundreds of classes on a myriad of topics, often taught by college professors. Most are free to OTOW residents.

    by Jim — January 20, 2014

  56. There have been some wonderful posts to this Blog article with fantastic ideas. Thanks to all.

    We ran across a couple of things that are relevant. One is an article about “legacy lists”, as opposed to “bucket lists”. With the latter you basically consume, with a legacy list you build something, big or small, that makes the world a little bit better. See http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/high-octane-women/201311/why-we-should-live-we-were-dying by Sherrie Bourg Carter, Psy.D.

    The other is a charming movie, “It’s About Time”, by the makers of “Love Actually” and “Notting Hill”. In “Its About Time”, Tim is a young time traveler who ultimately learns that making the most of every moment is the secret to happiness. A wonderful realization. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2194499/

    by Topretirements Editor — January 20, 2014

  57. For me it is not a matter of what to do but taking the time to do what ever I please. I used to have to hurry but no longer do and that makes everything easier and better. I make fewer mistakes and enjoy the process more.

    Slow down. Enjoy the moment. No need to hurry. Take your time. Enjoy.

    by Jim — January 23, 2014

  58. Hi Micheal, I am also alone, no family member , only few friend from work. When I retired 2 years ago I moved from sacramento to vallejo, north bay about 40 min to San Francisco, house are cheap here and weather is perfect and all kind of ethics . Crime is hight here but I have no problem yet. I suggest you do some research on line .

    by Jerry — August 17, 2014

  59. I really loved to read all the information and communication from participants. I am new, so I got a lot of information and ideas.

    by charanjiv kaur — May 26, 2015

  60. Try Family History, a great way to visit where your ancestors came from and what they did. There are so many things to learn and meet some interesting people also searching for their roots

    by Kris — July 20, 2015

  61. All the personal experiences quoted above are from the American perspective what about other nations perspective/ experiences? I am taking retirement in my 60s due to personal circumstances. Been trying to research on British experiences of retirement. I would love to hear what the British experiences are like.

    by Emma Muparadzi — September 2, 2015

  62. Has anyone researched Coeur d’Alene, Idaho?

    by Liz — September 3, 2015

  63. Liz – we have not looked into Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, but my husband and I are taking a close look at moving to Spokane, Washington (the two cities have a connection according to the local Spokane newspaper). Spokane, or the smaller towns we are actually interested in, sound appealing however temperatures are already dipping into the higher 30’s at night, so we are going to keep an eye on what they do all winter long before deciding whether or not it is worth a visit. We retired a couple of years ago to the Charleston area, but it is so hot and humid here in the summer (and it goes on forever) that it makes spending time outside (at least for me) almost impossible for a good half of the year. Please share any thoughts you have about the area. (Incidentally, Washington has no state income tax. Not sure about Idaho).

    by Alice — September 4, 2015

  64. Easy, move to The Villages, FL. There are over 2300 clubs and activities, over 600 holes of golf, over 100 pickleball courts, 23 recreation centers, 3 town squares with free live entertainment 365 days a year, and the list goes on and on.

    by Bart — September 4, 2015

  65. Bart – I was more interested in The Villages until I read Leisureville. I also check out some of the Villages websites on occasion, and the pictures of all the old people having fun actually depresses me a little LOL. I have the same feeling sometimes when I visit other established 55+ communities and see people with walkers or other problems. I’m excited about retiring in 2 years or so, but I’m still on the fence about getting old….

    The Villages and the surrounding 55+ communities are on my list for a visit though. I really like the idea of being able to get around everywhere with a golf cart, and the fact there are so many other widows, singles, relocated people from my state(s), etc. makes it seem likely that it’s possible to build a very satisfying social life in that area.

    by Kate — September 5, 2015

  66. Kate, Leisureville is an interesting and fun book to read, but, it could be viewed as an alternative reality too. In other words most people who live in The Villages have no experience with the side that the author portrays. He is not of retirement age and likes to look for the seamier side. Like you say, see it yourself, then decide.

    This discussion about TV is still relevant to the original thread in that if you can’t find anything to do there you aren’t looking. But for more about TV see our many Blog posts on the subject, starting with http://www.topretirements.com/blog/active-adult-communities/why-the-villages-is-the-best-place-to-retire-for-len-and-ann.html/

    by Admin — September 5, 2015

  67. hey Kate, couple of things as you start your adventure.
    Trulely the older the community the older the residences and facilities. Stay with a newer community and definitely try the stay/play the community offers. the longer the stay, the better the feel of a community. I strongly suggest getting a weekday and weekend in as that will show a truer perspective of what’s happening.

    by alexmac56 — September 5, 2015

  68. Kate and Admin, Regarding your comments about The Villages – Working as the registrar for our local school district, i met a woman this past March who was returning from The Villages in Florida to NYS. She hated it there; felt it was not a good atmosphere in which to raise her son. Reported an extremely unhealthy ‘social and, shall we say, active’ lifestyle between many of the older single adults. So, if this is what you were referring to upon using the phrase, “seamier side,” this woman verified the same with no prompting. As i’m not considering Florida for retirement, i did not go ‘fishing’ for this information; it was freely offered. Of course i do realized that there are thousands of people at The Villages, and lifestyles (and moral values) widely differ. I am not writing this to be unkind. Just felt it would be wrong of me to with hold what i had been told.

    by ella — September 7, 2015

  69. Ella, why would anyone want to raise their child in a Senior Community? And, don’t they have to be 19 to live there anyway? Just asking, more of a rhetorical question.

    by helene — September 7, 2015

  70. Anyone know of any relatively new 55+ communities in New Jersey to explore?

    by Mary Ann — September 8, 2015

  71. Does anyone know of any relatively new 55+ communities in New Jersey?

    by Mary Ann — September 8, 2015

  72. Helene, Excellent question! I’ll look into and post a reply.

    by ella — September 8, 2015

  73. Very interested in hearing more about the Nashville area for retirement. Not wanting to be in a flood zone obviously. Also heard taxes are extremely high.
    Thank you,
    Cathy

    by Cathy K — September 8, 2015

  74. Mary Ann, a friend of ours moved into a community called Heritage Point in Barnegat NJ. They originally contracted with the builder for a new home for over $400K but decided to opt for a pre-owned. They were able to get a three bedroom with a loft for around $350K and move in ready. I have found that resales just about always beat the new homes since when you talk to a builder everything you want is an increase in cost. The RE Tax was a little high, $7100 but the HOA was probably the cheapect I’ve scene, $125 which includes lawn maintenance and snow plowing

    by Mike M — September 9, 2015

  75. Thanks Mike but I was recently there and found the ride down to be grueling with shore traffic. The community was already established and the facilities shown worn carpeting in the club house and needed updating. Does anyone know of any relatively new 55+ communities in northern NJ?

    by Mary Ann — September 10, 2015

  76. Helene and all, Regarding my post about The Villages (Sept. 7), after doing some research, i do believe that the family i referred to did actually live in The Villages. I received documentation from the Villages Charter School upon registering the family’s son, so i began there.
    This is what i found: “There are three subdivisions in The Villages that do allow children under the age of 19 to be permanent residents. Overall, about 40 percent of the residents are between the ages of 45 to 64, and over 57 percent of the residents are age 65 and older.”
    So, at this point, i’m trusting that the comments made to me about The Villages were made by someone who actually lived there, and were (subjectively) reliable.
    Hope this helps!

    by ella — September 10, 2015

  77. Here is a great idea for a hobby! Loom knitting. There are lots of books out there to learn how to do different things. Look at this man in the video. He has made thousands of hats for the homeless! How great is that!

    http://mashable.com/2016/08/09/knitting-hats-homeless-hospice/?utm_cid=mash-com-social-huffpo-partner#9tnnF.0kF8qm

    by Louise — August 10, 2016

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