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Adventurous Topretirements Members Getting Ready for Big Retirement Moves

Category: Retirement Planning

Update August, 2017 – We ran a new version of this survey this year. Here is a link to the results, which are similar but show even more interest in moving.

August 5, 2013 — Members at Topretirements are not fuzzy about their retirement plans. Instead, they are busy getting the old homestead ready for sale and packing the wagons for the move to an exciting new (and possibly very different) home. Both the response to the survey (with 1300 responses) and the quality of your insights into our questions on selling your home, what you are looking for in the next, downsizing, and moving were amazing. In this article we will summarize the results for each question. Just as important, since so many people shared their opinions on these important questions, we have provided you with summary document where you can read all of the responses to Question 11, where 830 folks were kind enough to share their concerns and thoughts about selling, finding a new home, moving and downsizing. We urge you to read them – these real world experiences have some wonderful insights and great pieces of wisdom!

Survey results show Topretirements members are much more mobile than typical retirees
In the survey we ran last week 48% of respondents “definitely” plan on moving to a different home for retirement. Asked about their intentions about selling the home they live in now, 68% have either already sold it or are definitely putting in the market. There was strong interest in moving out of state, where they hope to find a smaller home that offers lower maintenance and does not cost as much as their current one. These responses by Topretirements visitors are much different than what we see in the general population – you are much more interested in moving than other folks. For example, when we provided 10 choices to describe their future residential plans in retirement, the most frequent choice was to “move out of state”. This itch to move contrasts to a recent AARP survey, where 90% of people over 65 want to remain in their own homes and community as long as possible. In some ways these differences makes sense, as this website is all about providing resources to find the best places to retire; your community has a strong interest in moving.

Other results
Plans for retirement living
It’s clear – Topretirements visitors plan on finding greener pastures for retirement living. Only a small percentage plan on staying put. A small but significant number of folks intend to have 2 homes for retirement.
Definitely plan on moving
Likely will move
Not sure
Likely will not move
Definitely won’t move

What about your pre-retirement home?
About three-quarters of respondents have sold their pre-retirement home, have it on the market, or are thinking about selling it. Of those who chose “other option”, many are considering renting it out or letting relatives stay there.
Have already sold it
Have it on the market
Thinking about selling it
Definitely will stay here
Probably will stay here
Other option

Is this a good time to sell your home
If you need any corroboration that the U.S. housing market is improving, just check out the optimism expressed in these survey results: 44% believe that it is either definitely or probably a good time to sell their homes. There was a significant number of folks who believe that the market might be better in a few years.
Not sure
Probably not
Definitely not

Do you think you will spend more or less on your retirement home than what you get (got) for your old home?
We were interested in these results, which show that a sizable portion of retirees plan on using some of the equity they realize from their existing homes to improve their retirement lifestyle. A much smaller percentage plans on spending more on a retirement home than the value of their existing home. Many of the people choosing Other say they intend the proceeds to rent, while others hope to retire debt. At least one unfortunate person commented: “what money, (with the mortgage) our house is underwater”.

Will spend less
Will spend about the same
Will spend more

What are your plans for your next home?
For this question people were permitted to make more than one choice from the list. This is how the various choices stacked up, with moving out of state and to a lower maintenance home topping the list. By a large margin Topretirements visitors are interested in moving to a smaller, less expensive, and lower maintenance home in a different state (our previous polls indicate that Sunbelt states are most popular for retirement).
Move to another state
Lower maintenance
Less expensive
More expensive
Nicer than current

State of your downsizing
We wanted to see from this question how well our visitors and members are doing at downsizing. The answer – you are making a start at it, with 33% either having completed their downsizing or making good progress on it. There were 43 “Other” comments on this question, mostly having to do with “I wish I had started earlier” or “I am moving to a bigger home so don’t need to”. Some couples indicated that one spouse wants to downsize but the other doesn’t! But our favorite comment was: “Write plan now, setting month by month goals”.
Completed downsizing
Good progress
Made a start
Haven’t started/no intention

Moving plans
You are pretty definite on this question – most of you will hire a national or local mover, rather than do it yourself. Write in comments mentioned that many will either not have anything to move, or will move everything but the big stuff themselves.

Hire national moving company
Local moving company
Do it yourself

How much stuff will you move?
It appears that most people will be moving a lot of stuff when they move to their new home for retirement. Many are undecided, saying that they want to know what they are moving to before they decide. Others are having a hard time deciding what to keep and what to toss.
Will move 50% or more
Less than 50%
Will move everything
Will move nothing

Concerns, expectations, and experiences with selling your home, downsizing, and moving.
Thanks to all 830 of you who were generous enough to share your insights and experiences on this question – the quality of the thoughts are amazing! Since we don’t have room to provide more than the briefest sample of those comments, here is a link to a selling-downsizing-moving-1, which we recommend reading. Ipad and Iphone users, you might want to Selling-Downsizing-Moving comments – Aug13-pdf (you will have to zoom in to read the small type). Of course we also invite you to comment at the bottom of this article too.

Here are some comments among the themes we asked about:

Selling your home
– Pick a realtor carefully, one with a track record in your neighborhood
– Unfortunately the market is stronger where we want to buy
– Used a staging agent and sold our house in 3 days!

Finding a new community
– You are giving this question a lot of thought, evaluating the type of home and community carefully
– Many people are having a hard time finding a new home they can afford and feel comfortable with
– Do your due diligence! Don’t trust what any builder tells you – inspect it yourself
– I wish I had rented first
– Finding a one story house in this area is difficult

Downsizing and getting rid of stuff
– This is a challenging process. It takes time, and couples don’t always agree. Children don’t always want what you thought they would. The emotional element is big
– Many people gave away many of their belongings to Goodwill and other charitable organizations, gave it to relatives, sold on ebay and craigslist, put it out on the street (where it disappeared quickly!), and the dump as last resort
– Put everything in 4 piles. And if you don’t wear it or use it in 12 months, out it goes

– Hate the thought of moving, but look forward to getting there
– Worried about the expense
– I used my local handyman and his crew to move me from Alexandria to Williamsburg, VA…trying to save money. Big mistake! More work and cost me about the same if not more. Find a reputable moving company and don’t cheap out!

Bottom line: Great job everyone – each and every one of your votes and comments is greatly appreciated!

Comments: Please share your comments about these topics below.

More Topretirements Surveys:

This is a link to your suggestions about future article topics.

Posted by Admin on August 5th, 2013


  1. Hmmm. Clicking on link does not bring me to the pdf doc. I am taken to, which I can join via my wordpress account. This I accomplished, but I still couldn’t get the pdf. Any suggestions????

    Editor’s Comment: Sorry about that Judith. We didn’t realize that permission was needed for others to see the pdf at polldaddy. So we just replaced to the link – it now goes to a csv file you should be able to open.

    by Judith Keefer — August 6, 2013

  2. Curious about moving, and experiences you have had with long distance movers.
    How costly is it? Good and bad experiences

    by Sim — August 6, 2013

  3. Not sure if this attachment opens for others, but I can’t seem to open it on my Ipad. Any suggestions? When I try to open it, it goes to either something that’s call “Documents” wheich tries to put it in a spreadsheet? Or I can choose to open in something called “Dropbox” which doesn’t open it eother. Maybe it might work on an old PC.

    Editor’s note. Sorry about that, didn’t realize the csv file wouldnt work with iphone/ipad. We added a new link that you can use. You will have to zoom to read the small type though.

    by Bill — August 7, 2013

  4. We have moved a few times in all the years we have been married. Presently, our retirement move is August 21. Our last move was a little over six years ago and was from CA to TX. That move was typical, guy came to our place, looked over our things and gave us an estimate. We got three estimates, and we chose one. It went well. This time I was stressed. We have downsized considerably and were told that movers are not inclined to come out to our residence to give Nd in-person moving quote with such a small move ( about 3000 lbs). So, instead I filled out inventory sheets on line and someone would get back to me. I got three to four estimates, one company used cubic feet while another used pounds- it was confusing, and cut throat. Plus to move on a specific day was like asking a lot- some companies gave you a 24 hour window while others 48 hours. They bad mouthed each other and it became a nightmare! We chose the one company who did not bad mouth anyone else and without a hassle would pick up on our required day. I hope they do what they said they would do – will keep you posted!

    by DianaF — August 7, 2013

  5. 1 piano, 2 organs, lots of furniture – a friend paid over 15 grand – not for me. That was from CT to Lakeland. My other friend said ditch everything & buy new – much cheaper and FL has lots of tag sales and estate sales. I’m taking little furniture, all clothes and other items – intend to rent to see if I like the area – if not, pack and move to another – I want to be portable.

    by GAIL KUBIK — August 7, 2013

  6. We moved from PA to SC and used a pod. Worked great as we could load and unload at our pace. Got rid of most furniture and only took essentials and family items. Purchased new items in SC.

    by Gary — August 7, 2013

  7. We recently made our 19th move, nearly all of them military related. This one was totally a retirement related decision. We were living in a beautiful new HOA community that unraveled once the developer turned it over to the homeowners. The cost to live there skyrocketed, special assessments were prevalent, and having a say in most of what was done “to us” wasn’t an option–most meetings were closed to residents.
    Moving, regardless of how it’s done is an inconvenience, especially as we get older. Settling into a new community where we never lived is a challenge and oftentimes stressful. People tend to forget how many things must be re-established at the new location. For instance, utilities, phone, internet, medical providers, pharmacy, etc. However, learning your way around a new area can, if approached with a positive attitude, be a pleasant adventure most of the time.
    The bottom line is that moving isn’t for everyone, you need to do your homework when choosing a new location. At least spend some time there in what are historically the best and worst times of the year to see if you want to deal with it year after and year and can likely adjust. If not, continue the search, but remember that no place is going to be perfect, and going back to a former area once you’ve been gone for a while is never the same–it changed and so have you.

    by Denny — August 7, 2013

  8. Remember that downsizing is ultimately a gift to your children (if you have any). Dealing with a house full of “stuff” when elderly parents pass away or move to assisted living/nursing care can be a real burden. Having been through this, it is very stressful to go through years of accumulated stuff, clean it out, and get a home ready to sell….especially if you live out of state. So in addition to making sure you have updated wills, powers of attorney, living wills, etc…..think of downsizing as a gift to your children or other relatives who may out-live you.

    by SandyM — August 7, 2013

  9. Hi all,
    We’ve made the move! Our Michigan house sold within a week; we did lower the price this time around selling it; (it has been on the market previously). I agree with selling it all; your northern furniture will not look right in a Fl casual living environment. We are renting a couple of ‘pod/cube’ where we stored our clothes, kitchen and personal treasures, then headed to Florida. We have been wintering for the last 10 years in various parts of Florida, currently we lease a unit is a great park – LaCasa DelSol, so we a holding up living here as we look for that ‘perfect’ house. Hopefully, we have found it, we were really sold on On Top Of The World, but looked at SummerGlen a community close to OTOW, and found there was a better fit for us. It is smaller and less expensive. It will be a bit before we can move it, but SummerGlen in Ocala seems good for us. My suggestion is to look at all the communities you are interested in and then narrow the list down. We looked at over 100 communities all over Florida; we’ve put over 25K miles on our van checking out senior communities. Many were mfg homes, my husband is DEAD set against a ‘strapped’ down house, so it was a ‘stick’ built community for us. And I didn’t want to be south of US 4; love the gulf side, can’t afford the beach life, had to have more than one way out during hurricanes, and the northern part of Florida is more like Michigan foliage. So, north of Tampa and the west side of the state was very attractive to us. Enjoy the hunt for a great location and house. Take advantage of the 3-4 day stay in a community that is of interest. It is a good way to see the ‘inside’ of the community. Most of all, look at it as a new adventure with NOTHING to hold you back.

    by sandy — August 7, 2013

  10. I know this won’t be an option for everyone, but for those who tow a travel trailer (or plan to buy one for retirement travel) I think it’s worth mentioning.
    When we started getting quotes of $10 to $17k to move our things from NV to FL, we started looking into other options. Since we already own a heavy-duty pickup truck that we use to tow our 5th wheel travel trailer, we decided to buy a large cargo trailer and move ourselves. It will cost us about $1,400 in fuel and $600 in food/lodging each way to get the cargo trailer to FL, so the total round-trip (we have to come back for the 5th wheel) cost will be about $4,000. We will hire local movers at both ends to load/unload the heavy items at a cost of about $500 per, bringing our total moving costs to around $5,000. Once we’re moved, we’ll sell the cargo trailer, hopefully for close to what we paid for it.
    This option will require more of our time and effort, but the $5k to $12k we will save is well worth it.

    by JodyB — August 7, 2013

  11. Happy to hear that 90% of AARP respondents don’t plan on moving. That means that my chosen retirement place won’t be overrun and prices driven up.

    by Steven — August 7, 2013

  12. PDF’s open for me and are blank….

    by Sandy — August 7, 2013

  13. Yes, PDF was blank. The file was just a few kb.
    Am very interested in reading the replies to this survey, though!
    Our house is sold and we are buying a house out of state. Every part of our lives are in transition. Any advice?

    by PamE — August 7, 2013

  14. PDF link is working fine now for me — thanks!
    Sandy — Did you click on first or second link? The first one worked for me on my PC. The second one brings up teeny tiny type on a normal sized screen.

    by Judith Keefer — August 7, 2013

  15. Some of you may think about full time RVing!!!!! We love it. We keep a “home” base and just travel when the urge hits us. Small ‘house’, low upkeep, and freedom!!!!

    by Claudia Viall — August 8, 2013

  16. He who dies with the most stuff has crabby heirs!

    by Sandie — August 8, 2013

  17. We are considering a move from IL to IN when we retire. Our family lives there and we would like to move closer. Looking for approx 2 hours from northern edge of Indianapolis. We like southern IN (away from Chicago) but…know that flooding can be an issue in some areas and desire a medium town with basic shopping options. Small house or maybe condo.(We also plan to Snowbird somewhere about 2 months per year.) Don’t even know where to begin besides just start driving… Suggestions????

    by Marsha — August 8, 2013

  18. Hi Marsha,
    We currently live in NW Indiana, Laporte. Cost of living is low, and real estate is very resonable. We head south for 2+ months each winter, usually to Florida. Laporte is near Lake Michigan, Chicago, and the Michigan wineries. Lots of golf in the area too.
    We are about three hours away from Indianapolis. The only towns I know of that are within two ours would be Kokomo, Lafayette, and bloomimgton, the last two being college towns. South Bend/Mishawaka area is nice and is about 2.5 hours north.with the Kokomo bypass coming soon, that will cut out some travel time.

    by Bill — August 9, 2013

  19. Thanks Bill: Laporte, Kokomo and Lafayette are a no. We want to go more southern. Like Bloomington for many reasons but…worried about a few. (always, right?) We definitely want a good library system, biking, hiking, availability of restaurants – though Mom & Pop are good… Bloomington does give us some concerns, flooding and crime. The college town would offer sporting events and possible continuing ed for free or reduced prices.

    Where in Florida…that will be the next step!

    Thanks for responding.

    by Marsha — August 9, 2013

  20. Hi Marsha and Bill:

    I was born in Indianapolis and have relatives in both northern and southern Ind. My Aunt has a lovely lake home on Sweetwater Lake in Brown County approx. one hour south of Indianapolis and Greenwood near Columbus, Indiana. They love Nashville and I too am considering going home o retire. We took a trip to French Lick Indiana in Orange County and I fell in love with the lovely rolling countryside new Amish settlements there as well. The resort was FABULOUS–a best kept secret (the Greenbrier of the Mid-west). My Aunts attend I U games in Bloomington and the crime is not any higher than in any other college town. Bloomington has a lot to offer in fact. As far as the north–my Great grandfather owned farms in Northeast Indiana near Elkhart and in LaGrange County. I have fond memories of waking up and hearing e clip clop of the Amish buggies on the road down the lane from his home. I would not retire in the north–too cold and too much snow in the winter.

    My Aunt also has a home in Naples Florida in the winter–so she gets the best of both worlds. I like Columbus Indiana. After living in Washington DC, I have realized how nice people are in Indiana and with the Internet shopping is just a click away. It has been years since I actually went to a mall for shopping. I could just drive up to Indianapolis if I wanted to shop at Trader Joes (one on the North side or Whole Foods Market–same location. Carmel Indiana has a lovely concert hall and Michael Feinstein even has a home there. He collects and performs vintage 1930’s and 1940”s music and brings in lots of great entertainers. Please feel free to email me about Indiana if ou have any questions. It is a reasonably priced option, but one must choose location in Indiana very carefully.

    by Jennifer — August 9, 2013

  21. Jennifer- It’s a small world after all – I was born & raised in LaGrange County where your great-grandfather had his farm. We lived in the country outside the tiny village of Howe. Yes, very bucolic but also, like most of northern IN, very FLAT, rather isolated, and somewhat prone to tornados.
    The other places you mention in Indiana are very nice indeed — French Lick, Brown County, Bloomington and Carmel — quite an artists colony in Brown County, too.
    Marsha – Muncie is a nice little town about an hour from Indianapolis & two hours from Bloomington. It’s the home of Ball State University and is pretty civilized in general. It was also the subject used in the original “Middletown” studies (so you know it’s All-American!).
    The Mishawaka/Shipshewana area used to be great. Largely populated by Amish folks. Had a fun livestock auction & small adjoining flea market every week. Well, let me tell you that the area is now over-run with tourists not only from Indiana but also Illinois & Michigan & beyond. The auction is now huge, very crowded, with multiple auctioneers going at the same time. The flea market is also out of control – huge, crowded, and difficult to browse. Both auction & flea market are full of junk. The flea market in particular has gone downhill. From antiques to Chinese-made trinkets in just a few decades.
    “Downtown” Mishawaka is now just a mishmash of cutesy little shops selling “genuine Amish” goods at ridiculous prices. I guess I don’t blame the Amish for taking advantage of the tourist influx, but the community isn’t what it used to be. In other words, maybe worth a visit just to check it out but definitely not recommended (at least by me) as a retirement location.

    by Judith Keefer — August 11, 2013

  22. Jennifer…would love to email you but…I don’t see your email link or address. Daughter went to school at Ball State so know that area a bit. Daughter has been resident in IN for about 7 years. They have plan to leave the area due to good jobs but…we know we won’t necessarily follow if that would happen. We are only thinking southern IN to get away from the Chicago feel. We LOVE Brown County and looking at towns in that area that offer enough basic shopping, entertainment that we could stay without another move. At retirement we do plan to be able to drive to Indy, etc. for what we need if it is not close enough as long as health would allow but…need to think ahead. Looking at the map…. Avon, Greenwood, Columbus, Bloomington… don’t know anything about the eastern side of Indiana. You caught my eye with the “you have to be careful”… that is the information we are searching. Though, we could possibly move again…we would like to move once and stay there with our winter change for as long as we can. We HATE Chicago, don’t mind Indy though travel into the city would be for healthcare, events, etc. . We are used to living close to a town of 55,000, close to Target, Walmart, grocery stores, etc. but drive 20 miles to a village for church where our children went to school – just getting a grocery store but….neighbors, cornfields, low key. As I said before, I NEED a library, we like sporting events, concerts without 100,000 people!, … let me know how we can connect… THANKS so much.

    by Marsha — August 11, 2013

  23. We live in Madison Indiana which is located on the Ohio river and is 90 miles south of Indy. 45 miles northeast of Louisville and 60 miles southwest of Cincinnati Oh. It is a small town of 11,000 with the town of Hanover(pop 3,000) setting beside Madison. Hanover College is located there also. Madison is on the National Historic registry with over a 1000 historical buildings. The town has been in 3 movies because of the scenery. One was called “Some Came Running and another was called Madison. The town has several events every year that attract visitors. In the spring they have a musical festival with folk singers, Bluegrass types and then on the 4th of July they have the Hydro plane race which was what the movie Madison was about. On the 3rd weekend of August they have the Ribberfest which is BBQ and Blues on the rivefront. They have some top name blues players performing in the park on the river. Then on the 3rd weekend in Sept. they have the Chautagua of the arts around the Lanier Mansion where they have artist from all over the country come and display their wares. They also have the tour of Homes where you can take tours of some of the mansions that are in the downtown area. They have some nature trails that lead from the river up to the hilltop and there is also Clifty FAlls state park which is located in the town. The park has trails one of which is 11 miles long and goes past the numerous waterfalls that are in the park. Just couple of miles north of town is the old Jefferson Proving grounds of which 50,000 acres has been turned into “Tall Timbers” nature preserve with miles of trails and designated hunting areas. The winters here are not too bad compared to other areas of Indiana. I’m not prejudice but this is the best of Indiana here around Madison. We used to live in Northwest Indiana in the Portage,Valpo area. and have relatives in other parts of the state as well as in Illinois so I’m familiar with both states.

    by Edwin Flowers — August 12, 2013

  24. Hi Judith and Marsha:

    Please email me about any questions about Indiana @

    I know Howe very well and the military academy borders one of my Great Grandfathers farms. My grandparents on my fathers side used to live in Indianapolis and came back to Sturgis, MI to live on Klinger Lake until they died. They both went to high school in Goshen and my Grandmothers family had a home near Emma Lake. I too love Shipshewana (Ship-see) to locals and I now feel the flea market is too geared to tourists. If I can get there I shop where the locals shop for noodles and things.

    As for the suburbs near Indianapolis, the North side is the best. Carmel, Zionzville, Geist Reservior. In the city limits, Meridien Hills and Broad-Ripple are the best. Greenwood is great but VERY flat. I avoid the east and west sides entirely. As for me, I will consider moving back if it it is in the cards and will probably go to the north side or into Nashville. I loved the drive to French Lick and Orange County is lovely rolling countryside with lots of lovely corn and newer Amish settlements that are not so exploited as in Shipshewanan and Middlebury to the north. There were even buggy lanes on the road to accommodate them.

    I love Indiana for many reasons. The people are VERY nice and everyone is genuinely polite. I am proud to be a Hoosier. It really hits me after living in DC for so long.


    by Jennifer — August 12, 2013

  25. Jennifer — Just one more coincidence — My Dad was head of the science dept at Howe Military & varsity club adviser for many years. I remember those surrounding fields well. If you ever get to Howe again, they now have one of the BEST ice cream parlors in the area.

    Marsha — Besides Muncie (which I still recommend), thought I should add Terre Haute as another Hoosier possibility. It’s a pleasant town with several schools including Indiana State University. It’s a few hours west & slightly south of Indianapolis — and as a bonus, it’s also just a few hours from Champaign-Urbana, where there’s always a lot to do and see & is the home of the University of Illinois.

    by Judith Keefer — August 12, 2013

  26. Having just traveled to and from Bluffton Indiana from Wisconsin, mostly on Hwy 30 in Indiana (thus slower travel and easier to look around), I was VERY impressed with the pride people take in their properties all along the route!

    by Penny Leusink — August 12, 2013

  27. Hello Everyone…I was struck by the mention of Clifty Falls State Park. Indiana has lovely State Parks. I have been to many of them–mostly in my childhood. My favorite is Spring Mill State Park. The stone gristmill was amazing and I remember we could buy ground cornmeal. I also remember the cool spring water that runs through the park and the historic buildings as well. One hot summer day my family went there for the day and a picnic and my brother fell into the Spring–we were just wading, but he got soaked!! I still remember the lighting there at dusk and the Inn. So idyllic.

    Indiana also has a covered bridge festival. Covered bridges are so romantic and we got to see them in Indiana–Also Cole Porter was from Peru, in Northern Indiana and there is a Cole Porter festival there each year in early June on and near his birthday–with great music and singers. Indiana has so much to offer.

    So good to take a sentimental journey on this forum. I can’t wait to get back home and to Sweetwater Lake.

    by Jennifer — August 13, 2013

  28. Thanks everyone for your generous input and destination recommendations. I never realized it would be so hard to veture out on my own, but knowing others are succeeding in their quest has helped a lot.

    by Karen M — August 14, 2013

  29. Thanks Edwin, Jennifer, Judy, etc.
    This is why I love this site. Madison…sounds wonderful and we will definitely check out the area. Like that it also is not far from Cincinnati & Louisville. Fits our desire to be not much further than 1.5 hours from Indy. Our daughter lives in Noblesville so we are familiar with Carmel, Fishers, etc. We like that area but it isn’t exactly what we think we want and we don’t fell the necessity to move right where she and her family live. Though they are pretty set in their jobs, nothing is forever and don’t want to move there ONLY to be that close. Nashville… have visited that area a lot but haven’t really thought about relocating there…will consider. Columbus area?? Interesting..not East or West of Indy as per Jennifer…
    Love this site… opens up so many new ideas or considerations. Thanks everyone… keep the ideas rolling.

    by Marsha — August 14, 2013

  30. Marsha, Madison is a wonderful community and there are a number of people who have retired here from Chicago and other places. Even have people move here from California. They love the beauty or the place and the people are nice. They just opened the new Hospital this past April. But if you visit the area check on line and spend a couple of days at one of the Bed and Breakfast houses. Check with Madison tourist info and maybe you can visit when one of the river boats comes to town for a visit. You can get an idea of the area if you watch one of the movies they have made here. Some Came Running with Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin and Shirley McClaine had some nice scenery in it as well as the movie Madison with Jim Caveasel had some.

    by Edwin Flowers — August 14, 2013

  31. Edwin… just went online and ordered a brochure from the Chamber of Commerce. Heading to that area in the next month or two so…will at least do a drive through… Yes, always stay where you might want to live….we have learned that. and….ask lots of questions from the people who live there! Thanks again

    by Marsha — August 14, 2013

  32. I think Madison is lovely as well, but it has been a while since I have been there. My parents drive to Tell City to buy furniture pieces which is another place is southern Indiana not far from Cincinnati. Indiana has so much to offer. I am eager to hear how others feel about taxes on retirement income etc. in Indiana. Overall I am not sure, but I know that the cost of living is reasonable.

    by Jennifer — August 15, 2013

  33. I have mentioned before that the Bullhead, AZ and Laughlin, NV area is not expensive, but it is hot about 3 months out of the year. This link is for a LARGE local entertainment magazine that gets published every WEEK. Lots of things to do in the area, including water related activities. Lots of RV parks and inexpensive housing, and within 1.5 hours of Las Vegas, NV.
    e.g., We had Willie Nelson last weekend.

    by Steve — August 22, 2013

  34. […] surveys from Topretirements: Our Members Getting Ready for Big Moves in Retirement Best and Worst Things about Your Retirement (also, see list at end of this […]

    by » Topretirements Members Report High Degrees of Compatibility and Retirement Happiness Topretirements — September 17, 2013

  35. […] See the fascinating results of this survey in “Adventurous Topretirements Members Definitely Ready for Big Moves in Retirement“. […]

    by » Wanted – Member Input on Selling Your Home, Moving, Downsizing Survey Topretirements — December 23, 2013

  36. RV lifestyle. I recently purchased a motor home. I’m considering RV lifestyle for a couple of years, before I settle in a new area. Question; what do full time RVers do about mail. Does anyone have recommendations on RV clubs. What are good ones, and ones to stay away from.

    by Marvin — May 14, 2014

  37. That is something I also have been thinking about. There are many sites on Facebook, such as “Living the RV Dream”. Very informative with every question you can think of. Have fun!

    by svenska — May 15, 2014

  38. Marvin, people who full time have a mail service. I think one is called Americas Mailbox. But here is the name of a really good blog, full of data. You can go ack in the archives to when this woman started full timing and find pretty much everything you need to know. It is

    by Ginger — May 15, 2014

  39. Marvin, You will have fun in your new RV. Subscribe to Motorhome Magazine, Go online and get updates from Good Sam Club and Passport America. Also, on the AAA website you can do free triptiks. (directions) Talk to RVer’s at the campgrounds. You will get a lot of good info. Look around at what other campers have for their rvs you will say wow gonna get that. We did it for 5 years. Yeah gas is expensive but the experience was worth it. RVing really opened up a lot for us as far as getting out there and doing something and figuring where we want to settle down for our retirement. Our kids, grandkids, were able to experience it too. Loved it!! We were never on the road for more than 2 weeks at a time so as far as mail —-my neighbor

    by Vickie — May 15, 2014

  40. Marvin – regarding RV = look up / hope I spelled it correctly.


    by Robert — May 15, 2014

  41. Thanks everyone for your info. I’m finding out just driving a 29′ vehicle is an adventure. Even pulling into a gas station requires planning. But I’m getting the hang of it. Just got a car dolly, pulling a car will no doubt be interesting. Any tips from RVers out there, on towing would be appreciated.

    by Marvin — May 15, 2014

  42. Marvin – My husband and I are thinking of doing the same thing. Our plan is to travel a few months out of the year to our targeted areas that we are considering for retirement. It is an inexpensive way of scoping out places to live before making a big investment.

    I hope you keep posting on your adventures!

    by LIz — May 15, 2014

  43. Marvin we used a car dolly too. My husband was very cautious about it and when we first pulled off about every 10 miles for about 2 or 3 times he would stop and check to make sure all was good and tightened . Then every rest stop he checked. With a dolly you cant back up so some of the gas stations were challenging. We would scope the ones out with easy in and out access. Enjoy.

    by vickie — May 16, 2014

  44. This is something you may want to check out, Marvin. I hope the link posts correctly. Its a Good Sam’s Club trip planner, giving you certain routing options, i.e. avoiding tunnels etc

    by Godsgirl — May 16, 2014

  45. Marvin,our situation is similiar,our motorhome is 31 ft and we also have a tow dolly. We just finished a long trip from Wi to Ga and you have to be careful out there on the road. Many times you will come upon road construction and it’s challenging to get slowed down and in the right lane so give yourself time to do that. Watch your gas gauge as sometimes those gas stations are further apart than you think. The interstates best bet are stop at travel centers,LOVE’s/Flying J etc.,plenty of room to move around. If your travels take to to a state park, the cost is cheap,aroung $20 a night, but you will not have a full-hook up capability all the time,usually elec and water only. Some have dump stations on site somewhere in the park. If not, your black and gray tanks will hold around 35 gals and that should get you by for 3-4 days until you need to empty them.Before taking a long trip,longer than just a weekend, have your maintenance done,oil change,tire pressure,those kinds of things.There are so many more things we learned on our trip i could mention but you get the idea. Go out and use your RV,explore and most of all,have FUN.

    by robert — May 16, 2014

  46. We considered using an RV for visiting potential retirement locations, and just “camping out” – but decided that the initial cost, fuel, insurance, big vehicle driving hassles, plus high campsite charges, were just too expensive for us – So we bought a Small SUV for travel and just stay in moderate priced motels. We believe we cover more ground for a lower cost with just about as much fun. Although, we’d love to have an RV, we’re fine with our SUV.

    by John H — May 16, 2014

  47. I retired two weeks ago. And our story is just starting. We will now sell our suburban Chicago home, and every stick of furniture in it. We bought a home in Mesa, AZ last summer for a very good price. With all our big stuff sold, we will load-up a POD and drive our two cars to AZ, unload the POD, buy some new stuff and settle in!
    I’ll only get what I paid for my Illinois home ten years ago (despite $50K of improvements), but that is my tough luck—I retired, the new place is purchased—it’s time to pull the trigger and move on.

    It’s a huge deal. We’ve lived in Illinois for our whole lives, but my kids are out-of-state with no plans to return. I’m only 62, but 7-months of bad weather, a good deal on a nice home in a small 55+ gated community and 12-months of sun helped us decide. We’ve visited AZ many times and love the desert. If I can get over my fear….it’s actually kind of exciting! We’re downsizing like crazy, selling our home, moving across country and starting a brand new adventure. Wish us luck….we’ll likely need some!!!

    by Dave C. — May 16, 2014

  48. Dave C., here’s wishing you the best. Like you I’ve lived my whole life in Illinois. I know the winters are brutal and the state’s fiscal health is poor, but I’m not ready to pull up stakes yet. I retired 10 months ago and am still getting a handle on this retirement gig. The house is paid for and despite the high property taxes in the Chicago area, having a paid off house makes it somewhat affordable and the state doesn’t tax SS and pensions. (Though that could change.)

    by Leonard — May 16, 2014

  49. Dave C – you are my hero! Good luck in your new home!

    by Liz — May 16, 2014

  50. You Go Dave….. you make me smile. Thanks for sharing your story. You wont need luck its sound like you have already been blessed.

    by Vickie — May 17, 2014

  51. Dave C, good luck to you, sounds like a great plan. We’ve been retired three years & we can’t seem to get enough courage to sell the house in NY even though we rent in florida for two months in the winter and we think a 55+ would be good for us. Our kids moved close to each other in CA in the past 3 years and we’re thinking of looking there? Can I ask why you didn’t move to the state(s) your kids moved to?

    by Virginia — May 17, 2014

  52. Well, I made the big move in April. I was upside down on my home in NY, so I rented it. I spent 2 months sorting, tossing, packing. Left Albany on April 5 driving a 16 foot moving van and towing my little Toyota. Drove from N.y to Tucson in 5 days. I had previously done a lot of Internet research, made a couple of visits, then flown down in February to buy myself a park model home in a mobile home park. When I got here I unloaded everything into my carport, then spent a week painting my new pace and putting in new floors. Then I started moving in. I’m not done yet. More stuff has gone to goodwill, sone has gone to storage. My little place is only 400 sq ft. Tiny. But that’s what I wanted. When I finally get fully settled,this will be perfect. Easy to clean and maintain. Cheap to live in. The park has a pool, spa, clubhouse. It’s all very clean. It is pretty quiet in the summer but October thru April are packed with activities when the snowbirds are here. In the e anytime I have found a coffee club I am part of…we get together two mornings a week. I am hooking up with new doctors and doing other chores related to this big move. We have aqua aerobics here in the park. So far, I have really enjoyed my new environment. Yes, it’s a big change..,east to west, cold to hot, big (2300 sq feet with 3 garages) to small….but I totally think it’s worth it. My next goal is to save up for a small travel trailer so I can spend the hot summers traveling. That will take a few years, but I’ll get there.

    by Ginger — May 17, 2014

  53. Ginger, I am in the same boat. Big house, 3 car garage, love my house but tired of mowing, weeding and cleaning. Want to go aqua aerobics, sit and read and not feel guilty, travel when I want to. So as soon as the house sells here I come.

    by svenska — May 18, 2014

  54. Lets put our hands together for all the brave people among us.

    by Godsgirl — May 18, 2014

  55. Ginger: You did all that on your own? You are an inspiration to all us women living on our own and wondering what we should do with the next phase of our life. God bless!

    by Stacey — May 18, 2014

  56. Response to Viginia:
    You asked why we did not chose to move, in retirement, to a state where one of our children now live. Lots of issues to consider in such a move, but the overriding one is just this…..young people and young families move, sometimes to better neighborhoods and sometimes to other states. One move for us is enough. We’ve picked a a warm southwestern state, a home with a little extra room for visitors and a gated community with a pool and rec center.
    I would rather draw my kids and grand kids to us by offering an inexpensive place to stay and swim….than try to follow them as the wind blows.
    Every family has different dynamics, but the scenero described above fits my family like a glove! 😎

    by Dave C. — May 18, 2014

  57. Thanks Ginger. One step at a time. We are on the first steps but you remind us to keep moving forward and that’s a great message.

    by deb — May 18, 2014

  58. Thanks Dave, I hear a lot of stories like yours. And thank you all for your encouraging stories, please keep them going as it really helps 🙂

    by virginia — May 19, 2014

  59. I hired a couple of people at the end to help with packing, sorting, loading truck, cleaning house. Then a girlfriend, who is a professional house painter, rode down with me. I did all the driving. She painted mostly. Two other friends came and helped for a week, putting in floor and unpacking. I paid everyone modestly and provided food and lodging. And I have a real estate broker managing my house rental in NY. So I did have help, but the major effort was mine. And I am walking around on a bum knee scheduled to be replaced June 10th. So you can totally do what you need to do, you just have to want it bad enough, and be creative.

    by Ginger — May 19, 2014

  60. […] further reading: 12 Steps to Downsizing Success Downsizing Checklist and Tips Topretirements Members Getting Ready for Big Moves eDivvyup – a Web-based tool for dividing property How to Run an Estate Sale About Home […]

    by » 6 More Downsizing Tips from Here and There Topretirements — June 17, 2014

  61. […] to Previous Surveys Topretirements Members Report High Degrees of Spousal Compatibility- 2013 Our Members Getting Ready for Big Retirement Moves- 2013 Retirement Living Preferences – 2013 Medicare Survey – 2012 Best and Worst Things About […]

    by » Florida and Southeast Top Your ‘Where to Retire’ Preferences Topretirements — June 24, 2014

  62. […] to Retire Preferences Topretirements Members Report High Degrees of Spousal Compatibility- 2013 Our Members Getting Ready for Big Retirement Moves- 2013 Retirement Living Preferences – 2013 Medicare Survey – 2012 Best and Worst Things About […]

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  63. […] Members Getting Ready for Big Retirement Moves Is Your Town Ready for Your Retirement (Aging in Place) It Takes a Virtual Village to Stay in Your Home The Case for Staying Right Where You Are […]

    by » Retiring in Place – Part 3 - Topretirements — September 23, 2014

  64. MRV has been a great help!

    by Chelsey W — June 18, 2015

  65. […] Compatibility Survey Results Florida and Southeast Top Your “Where to Retire” Preferences Our Members Getting Ready for Big Retirement Moves- 2013 Retirement Living Preferences – 2013 How to Handle It When Only 1 of the Couple Is Retired […]

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