Part 3: Even More Retirement Planning Stories – Christina, Nancy, Ben, Kent, Craig, and Dennis

Category: Retirement Planning

September 12, 2106 — We are very grateful to the many folks who agreed to tell us their retirement planning stories, along with suggestions for improving Topretirements and ideas for articles. Here in Part 3 are six more interesting and varied adventures! See “For Further Reading at Bottom” for links to Parts 1 and 2, which generated lots and lots of Member Comments.
Note: We edited down some of the comments to fit here but have tried not to change the sense of the input we received.

From Christina – Happy in Sun City Texas
Q: Where did you live before you retired, and how old were you when retired?

A: We lived in Southern California for 32 years. I was 54 and my husband was 63 when we became empty nesters. That’s when we sold our house and moved to Sun City Texas. We are still working part-time and will continue working part-time for a couple more years.

Q: How has Topretirements helped you in the retirement process?

A: I was able to read reviews and articles to evaluate and compare potential retirement locations. I travelled extensively for work in the past and was able to check out many of the communities in person after doing my online research.

Q: Where did you end up retiring, and why? Or, are you still looking?

A: Sun City Texas is where we ended up. This is a large retirement community that has three golf courses and a multitude of senior activities and clubs. We are located 45 minutes north of Austin and have the big city amenities available if we want them. Most of the time, we hang out in Georgetown, TX which is our local small city. We weren’t interested in small retirement communities because they have too few amenities; nor did we want extra-huge communities like Ocala in Florida. We also wanted a new house, so older communities already built-out weren’t on our list.

Q: Are you pleased with your choice of location and lifestyle?

A: Yes, definitely. The people are friendly here with lots of activities, plus the cost of living is 30% lower than California. I would have had to work another 8-10 years full-time if we had stayed in California. Moving to Texas has allowed us to make our retirement dream a reality now. We have a brand new house on the golf course.

Q: Anything else we should know about your retirement adventure?
A: It took us a full year between putting a deposit on an empty lot to having a finished, fully unpacked house. We’re glad that we made the transition at this stage of our lives, while we are both healthy and have lots of energy.

Q: Anything you would like to change about Topretirements, or things we should keep the same?

A: Overall, I like the format and topics on TopRetirements. I wish that there were some articles on the following topics:

– How to down-size and cut ties with the old location — it was a huge amount of work which we grossly underestimated.
– How to stay within budget — we underestimated the cost of the new house – it’s tempting to add all the bells and whistles offered by the builder and that’s before the landscaping and patio are built.
– How to work part-time but live in a retirement community — it can be challenging to balance the community clubs and activities vs. work obligations when you’re not 100% retired.

(End of Christina)

From Craig: Loves Watching the Manatees and Dolphins from His Pool!
Q: Where did you live before you retired, and how old were you when retired?
A: Colorado Springs and retired at 57.

Q: How has Topretirements helped you in the retirement process?
A: I read every story I could get my hands on trying to sort out how, when, and where to retire. I love hearing from others and reading their stories.

Q: Where did you end up retiring, and why? or, are you still looking?
A: After a lot of discovery we ended up in Marco Island, Florida. We split time between Colorado Springs and Marco. We rent out the Marco house when we are not using it to make ends meet. This gives me a purpose and helps me with expenses. I love that Marco Island is a destination spot for vacationers so it’s easy to rent when we want. Love to watch the dolphins and manatees from the pool.

Q: Are you pleased with your choice of location and lifestyle?
A: We are extremely fortunate, we count pot blessings every day!

Q: Anything you would like to change about Topretirements, or things we should keep the same?
A: Absolutely love reading it! It’s so fun to hear the positive and good things in life!

Q: Anything else we should know about your retirement adventure?
A: I choose a place that our kids would love to visit. It makes it that much better when family joins you!

End of Craig:

From Ben: From CT But Living in Greenville, NC

Q: Where did you live before you retired, and how old were you when retired?
A: We came fron Stamford, CT and I was 68 when i retired.

Q: How did you come across Topretirements, and how long have you been a Member/visiting the site?
A: Tripped over you on the web email. be reading for about 1 year.

Q: Where did you end up retiring, and why? or, are you still looking?
A: My wife will retire from the medical center in Greenville, NC in December and we are not looking to move to a different place anytime soon.

Q: Are you pleased with your choice of location and lifestyle?
A: We are happy in Eastern NC. The cost of living here is good. Not much snow although the summers can be hot and humid. Much better the CT.

(End of Ben)

From Kent: His Early Planning Included Setting a Date for Retirement

Q: Where did you live before you retired, and how old were you when retired?
A: I have lived in Ridgefield CT for all but 4 of the past 20 years. We have previously lived in suburban Detroit MI, Stamford CT, Boca Raton FL, Binghamton NY, Rochester MN, and Virginia.

I retired at age 57 in 2013 after 35 years with IBM. My savings and pension allowed my wife and myself to be financially secure in retirement. This took a lot of saving and planning during working years to be in this situation.

Q: How did you come across Topretirements, and how long have you been a Member/visiting the site?
A: Topretirements was referenced in a newspaper article. Have been following for 6 years.

Q: How has Topretirements helped you in the retirement process?
A: Ideas about where to live, how to explore options, ideas on work and activities post retirement. I am currently volunteering for a few non profits (Habitat for Humanity and the Community Action Agency). Both serving low income working people. I also joined board of directors of a few non profits.

Q: Where did you end up retiring, and why? or, are you still looking?
A: Have a summer home on the NY Finger Lakes region. Still living most of year in CT but would like to find a warmer location for winter months. For now, my situation fits the needs of myself and my family. However, I expect it will change as it appears at least 2 of my 3 children will have careers in Washington DC area so we will likely want to move further south in years to come.

Q: Anything else we should know about your retirement adventure?
A: It began about 2 years into my career. for over 37 years I have maintained a personal balance sheet, income statement as well as a set of goals for the future. Goals always included target date for retirement. I have used many financial projection models to help predict retirement income and when I was confident I could sustain the lifestyle I desired I retired. (Fidelity has some that tools that are excellent). Watching my financial wealth grow was helpful in delaying gratification during working years. As my children start their employment I enjoy seeing that they have also starting planning for retirement in their 20s. I think it rubbed off.

Q: Anything you would like to change about Topretirements, or things we should keep the same?
A: More focus on activities, jobs and volunteering in retirement. Most of my happiness comes from what I do with my time and less from where I am located. Staying active and involved in a community is key to happiness in my view.

(End of Kent)

From Rev. Nancy – Officiates Weddings in Vieques But Hope to Return to States
Q: Where did you live before?
A: I decided to move back to Atlanta, GA where I knew I could live on less money. There it came to me that I could go back to school and become a minister. At age 50 I was still disabled but able to attend classes and was ordained in 2000. I did not actively work as a minister until 2001 when I moved to Vieques, Puerto Rico to help the peace movement. I started writing and officiating weddings for people who came from all over the world. I have been able to assist many people without having to actually work which is the best I feel as a disabled person can do. At age 69 I hope to move either to Missouri or Georgia for easier healthcare and conveniences. I hope this is my last move.

Q: How has Topretirements helped you in the retirement process?

A: Topretirements has given me the opportunity to explore areas and find resources about other areas and has really helped me narrow my search for a new retirement place down to two areas.

Q: Where did you end up retiring, and why? or, are you still looking?
A: I am considering the Columbia, MO area for great healthcare or a place in Georgia because the weather is less severe and still has great healthcare.

(End of Rev Nancy)

Dennis: Part 2 of Retirement, Living in a College Town, Has Been a Great Experience

Q: Where are you from and when and where did you retire?
A: My wife (73) and I (75) have been retired 12 years. Shortly after our retirement in 2005 we moved from NJ to CA to be closer to our grandkids. Prior to our retirement we sold our home and downsized to a condo, also in NJ. Our oldest son lives on the west coast which got us to CA in 2005.

We spent 10 great years in CA in a retirement community in northern CA, place called Rossmooor in Walnut Creek, CA. Our other son and family live in Chapel Hill, NC. About 4 years ago our CA son was transferred to Portland, OR so we were frequent flyers with Southwest Air traveling to Portland, Chapel Hill and a summer “get-away” in Ocean Grove, NJ (we sold NJ place last year).

Two years ago we moved from CA to Chapel Hill, home of the Tar Heels. Spending 10 years in a retirement community where the average age was 75 (population 10,000) and now living in a college town with a nice mix of retirees has been a GREAT experience. During our 12 years in retirement we have visited about 25 countries. Fun trips with Road Scholar and now into cruising. We are off on a cruise to Alaska in 2 weeks.

Health care facilities both in CA and NC have been a top priority in our moving decisions.

(End of Dennis and Pat)

Comments: Isn’t it great that everyone seems to have such different stories? Would you care to comment or add to any of them? Please feel free to add your ideas and experiences in the Comments section below.

For further reading
Part 1: How Robert and Jan Planned Their Retirement
Part 2: Vic, Karen, and George



Posted by Admin on September 12th, 2016

2 Comments »

  1. Dennis,
    My husband and I are considering moving to Chapel Hill. Do you have any recommendations regarding communities or areas of Chapel Hill that would be preferable? Thanks Brenda NH

    by Brenda NH — September 14, 2016

  2. I enjoy international traveling and would love to connect with other women with similar interests so that I can reduce expenses by sharing a room such as on an Alaskan cruise or a Cosmos tour of Turkey.

    by Sara — September 15, 2016

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