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Where Will You Be When You’re 80?

Category: Retirement Planning

October 31, 2018 — A provocative question we hear from time to time is, “Where do you think you’ll be, and what will you be doing, when you turn 80 and move toward 90?” Forward thinking helps insure that you arrive at the place that you want to be, ready for the challenges that might be there.

The purpose of this short article is to solicit brief answers from our Topretirements community on this question – how will your lifestyle differ from what it is now in your 60s or 70s? Please refrain from saying you will probably be dead – half of us will live into our 80s – and we need to understand what we should be thinking about! Here are some of the points you might want to address in your answers:

– Where will you be living? Same or different home than where you are in your 60s/70s?
– What kind of home? In a single family, a condo, 55+, CCRC, independent living?
– Will you be near your closest relatives (children, grandchildren, siblings, friends)
– Anything else you want to say about your plans for life after 80, and how they might differ from what you are doing now. Will you still be working, doing the same activities, etc.?

We are hoping you will use the Comments section below to make your comments. Please try to be brief so we don’t have to edit them down. Our goal is to see lots of comments and build upon earlier ones.

To help get things rolling, your Editor will take a quick shot at his answers (you don’t have to answer all of the questions, maybe just the ones that most interest you). In writing this down it made us realize that so much depends – will there still be two of us, will we each have our health and mobility, will be able to drive without endangering anyone? Good planning means being ready to adjust to anything.

Where. Probably still snowbirding between Connecticut and Key West, although flying between them instead of driving. As we get closer to 90, live in one place.

What kind of home. Sell the single family home in CT. Either buy a one-level condo in CT or move into a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC). An outside possibility is to move to northern Flordia to be near sister-in-law. Keep Key West condo until it is too much trouble to go there, as it is not a good place for year round living as an very old person. If my wife or I have a serious health setback, the move to the CCRC might be sooner.

Near relatives. Our children live in California and Washington, D.C. Realistically, we probably won’t be close to them geographically. But if we are lucky enough to hit 90, or when we are widowed, we might move to be near one of them.

Please share your thoughts below!

Posted by Admin on October 30th, 2018


  1. Great topic!

    Where – Eastern Pennsylvania which is near our home state on NJ but much more tax friendly for seniors the NJ and culture and medical better than we experienced while living in SC. While able snowbird in the winter to rental unit.
    What kind of home – Single family house in a 55+ community.
    Near relatives – We dont have children but have lots of siblings and nieces and nephews, and old friends within 1 – 2 hours of this location.

    by Jean cowburn — October 31, 2018

  2. I hope I am still alive at 80! Hopefully, I will be living independently in an apartment or condo near my family and the Atlantic ocean in New England. The tough part is trusting that i have enough money by then because my retirement savings and career took a beating.

    by Maimi — October 31, 2018

  3. By 80, I will move into an apartment or assisted living near family for the simplest life (without a car) as possible. Like M Maimi, I’m worrying about having enough money. My 401K has lost 2 years’ of gains as of today, and inflation is at its highest rate in 6 years. I plan to sell the house when I get to 80, and use that money for final years,

    by Kate — October 31, 2018

  4. I will be glad to make 80 with my health intact! We have concerns about enough money, and must continue to work at some level. A reverse mortgage is another resource we may rely on. We will leave Southern California in the near future, despite having family here. We will take the money from the sale of the property, and get an easy-care, easy-living small house or condo. Clearwater, FL and/or Prescott, AZ will be where we land. Walkabilty, user-firendly living, and excellent medical care are priorities. If either one of us ends-up alone, moving close-by to one of the kids is likely. If alone, I would choose to be by my son. My husband would choose to be by his son, or granddaughter.

    by Barb — October 31, 2018

  5. At 80, I would like to be living in a condo within a 55+ community to keep engaged with social activities. We have 4 children scattered all over the USA, so will likely hope they come to us in our old age. I feel secure with our financial future due to a conservative asset allocation and saving more than we needed. We will live in the Midwest and winter in Florida for as long as we are physically able.

    by Dan — October 31, 2018

  6. I keep saying that my next move will be the last, but that’s probably not true. I debate moving back to the area where I grew up (Northern California) and that I know best (if I can figure out a way to afford it) or moving to someplace completely new and more affordable than the Bay Area. If I have to move into a CCRC or something more appropriate at age 80+ or 90+, I at least want to be living in the area where I want that last residence to be. I have an 80 year old friend here in SoCal who made a move at 75 back to the community where she lived most of her life. She’s in a ground floor condo in a development that is all ages, close to shopping, an airport, activities, and friends. It’s a perfect place for her. There are times I wish I could find something like that in Northern California, but with 3 dogs, I know that I need a single family residence with a back yard. When I no longer have dogs (probably 10-12 years from now, given the age of the dogs), it could be time to move. By that time, I’ll be in my early-to-mid-80’s and perhaps ready then to move into something easier to live in.

    by Joann C — October 31, 2018

  7. Where – Currently snowbirds between Ontario/Canada and Clearwater/Florida. Likely will stop being snowbirds as we get in our 80’s as out of country medical insurance gets too expensive. Will stay in our current community in Canada as we reach these older ages.

    Kind of Home – Sell single family home and move to a one level condo apartment.

    Our Kids are all over the place so will not be too close to them. Might move closer when one of us is no longer around!

    by Lynne — October 31, 2018

  8. Interesting article. I am 73 now and am healthy and active. Still working part time as a nurse. Husband and I relocated to a rancher in Viriginia Beach 6 years ago. He is still active with a small woodturning business. He is also a cancer survivor. My hope is at 80 we both can be doing what we are today. We have friends who are both 81 and drove from Arizona to Maryland this past summer in their motor home. We hope to be like them if we reach that age. I try to take each day as it comes.
    I thank God every day that I have lived this long and have been able to travel, work, and enjoy life.

    by Kathy — October 31, 2018

  9. I have spent many years thinking on broad sense of where I want to be by my 80s and 90s. This was brought closer to home seeing my parents and in-laws in this phase of their lives. I am widowed now, mid 60s, still owning my house in Conn., and renting in Florida for the winter. One daughter is working for a non profit in a third world country, and one daughter is a Navy wife moving every few years. Although neither is settled, I plan on being near to one of them so they will be able to easily care for me. They both know this. By then, I also want to have shredded my big house filled with stuff – a much more difficult project than I anticipated.

    by Carole — October 31, 2018

  10. By age 80, my wife and I plan to move to a condo with lots of amenities and close to groceries and medical or a continuing care facility that are close to our family in Virginia. We are still in our home and would need to downsize and simplify our lives. A lot depends on our health. If we choose the condo, there would likely be a second move to a continuing care facility. We would like to be as independent as possible for as long as possible. We think we have to be mindful of a age-friendly and safe community because of having more vulnerability with old age. We are 70 now with good health and we are active, but that can always change so your question is an important consideration for everyone.

    by Everette — October 31, 2018

  11. We are currently getting our house ready to go onto the market next spring and we will be headed to Phoenix. We have visited there for the last 3 winters. We are now ready to purchase our next home to live out our golden years in Arizona.

    by Wayne Brooks — October 31, 2018

  12. Since I’m already 76 and in good health I expect to be alive and well at 80 and look forward to continue living on my own (with my husband.) We have decided we are tired of moving between Baltimore and our summer home on Swan’s Island off the ME coast. We much prefer ME and are buying a house nearby on the mainland for winter living. This will be our first winter in ME and we are looking forward to it as a great adventure. If or when the time comes when independent living in the country is too difficult for one or both of us we will decide what type of arrangement is appropriate and where to relocate. We are fortunate to have planned well for retirement and are financially comfortable with no worries about money. In fact, life in retirement is less stressful than life working and child rearing ever was.

    by Ellie — October 31, 2018

  13. I anticipate the 80’s to be the turning point from single family house to CCRC or some form of independent downsized living near where I live in Arizona. I watched my parents transition around 85 so maybe I will be that fortunate. Giving up driving and having a medical advocate in place will likely be part of scenario – no children. I’m already beginning the process of ditching the possessions. I watch too people make the transition too late so I hope I do not make that mistake.

    by ljtucson — November 1, 2018

  14. Thought provoking question. Possibly because I’ve never had kids and never been close to family thinking about what home or where relatives are isn’t something I do very much. I’m 69, in good health and still doing the things I’ve always done- both work and recreation wise. My most important hope is that, at 80, I’m still capable of doing almost everything that I’m doing now. And, that my friends are still around and feeling good and still sharing most of the things we love.

    by Tim — November 1, 2018

  15. If I make it to age 80, I want to be the same athlete I am now at age 68. Rigorous daily cardio and strength training is a top priority for me. Living in Southern California enables me to go outside just about every day of the year and enjoy a challenging workout.

    by Bubbajog — November 1, 2018

  16. I’m currently 75. Moved full time to SW Florida in my early 70s after snowbirding from Minnesota for a while. I live in a ground-floor condo in a complex with people of all ages. I’m on a lovely intersecting canal and enjoy my view. I hope to be able to stay here forever. Don’t like age-restricted communities or continuing-care retirement communities (too expensive). My daughter lives in Minnesota and my son has just moved to Utah. Who knows where he might move next? So no chance of moving to be near them. I have made many lovely friends here and have seen how well they respond when someone needs help. One of my sisters lives here. The other two are in Virginia and Vermont, so being close to family is pretty much out of the question except for my sister who is already here.

    by Linda — November 1, 2018

  17. We’re in our mid-60s. When we retired we sold our home in Seattle and moved to a 2 bedroom, one level condo in an elevator building in Chicago (we’re city people ) which is about a mile from our daughter, son-in-law and very young grandkids. We both felt that if we want to have them help us when we’re older, we should be involved in their lives and help them now. The building we live in is mixed age and we’ve made several friends here and in the area. We see this as our last home unless we need to move to a CCRC when we’re older.

    by John M — November 1, 2018

  18. John M, you have the correct mind-set and have made good choices for the right reasons. You have to be involved in the lives of your family if you expect them to hopefully help you when you are older and possibly need assistance. Chicago may not be the perfect location for a lot of people due to the winters, however, many people like four seasons too. Sounds like you have made a good plan. I live in a one level apartment which I purchased in a co-op. I do not have children, but I know that it was a good choice if I want to age in place. I have been here 22 years and hope to be here 22 more.

    by Jennifer — November 2, 2018

  19. So we don’t get off track and change the subject from Where You Will Be When You Are 80 to the pros and cons of living near your children, we have moved Susan M’s comment to a different Blog article for a better fit : Is Retiring Near Your Family a Good-or Not So Great-Idea?

    by Admin — November 2, 2018

  20. I’m 67 now and moved south of Tucson two years ago. My choice of this area was based on it being appropriate for the remainder of my life unless I decide to move to Latin America at some point in time. My present home is one level, in a very drivable community near the city, close to grocers and restaurants, and near my best friend. I see no reason to ever need to relocate, as I planned well. No family, so that is fortunately not an issue.

    by Pat Reynolds — November 2, 2018

  21. We are almost 60, hubby and I and are looking to sell our home and move to a new home in the CO area. We like our privacy and have dogs so a yard is a must and we want to be involved and near our grands. One daughter is within 40 minutes with almost 2 children . I agree that helping them now is important for relationships and to stay close. The PROBLEM is that we have to pay as much for a new home as CO is so expensive now. I do not want to move somewhere that is far and we have to fly to see the grands. I see the effects of not having grandparents near to your kids and I don’t want to live that way. Legacy and relationships are most important to us. Although, we do want to be able to travel when we are retired. So we are looking at a patio home with yard service snow service in the HOA. Does anyone have any thoughts to offer?

    by susan — November 2, 2018

  22. I am going to turn 70 soon and think about this subject often especially when I do remodeling or buy a new appliance, or any updating. My choices seem simpler than some since I do not have two homes to go between and I don’t feel the need to move out of the midwest. I enjoy the snow and with Uber and Grubhub I will manage nicely! Thanks to Topretirements I know there is at least one CCRC between my daughters family, about an hour away, and where I live now. And my other children are just a flight away and in great places to visit which I do several times a year. So I will look into a very nice and active CCRC when I am 80, but that is my plan, to stay put until I can see that a small one story home makes more sense and I do want to always be able to socialize that is key in my opinion. So although everyone wants to stay in a forever home I don’t think I would get many visitors. and don’t want to be lonely and age quickly I’ve seen that happen.

    by Jemmie — November 3, 2018

  23. Susan, Move to Colorado can be done though expensive, try looking at Colorado Springs for a more affordable opportunity. Ok to be near your family and growing grandkids but might not be a bad idea if your not too close.My take is 1 to 1/2 hours is close enough for a relationship but space for their family.

    by Robert — November 3, 2018

  24. I am in my 70’s and know that making these kinds of decision will be sooner than I’d like. Right now we enjoy two homes and are snowbirds like many but just the thought of downsizing makes me procrastinate. What I am thinking is when we are too old or too dangerous to drive we will give the deed to our winter home to our children with the stipulation that they get us there with them every winter for the duration which I hope is into our 90’s and when we no longer can go they are left with the cottage and all the furnishings and accumulated treasures to take care of. Our other home is in a mild climate so we are hoping we can remain there with hired help when needed. Wish we had a crystal ball.

    by darla — November 3, 2018

  25. I live in a one-story apt in a high-rise (with elevators) in Chicago. Lord knows we have a lot of problems here, and some harsh winters. But I can take the bus or subway to my Doctors, a grocery store and drug store a 1/2 block away.
    I’d love to move to a warm climate, but at 69 years old, I don’t want to find all new doctors, and probably need to buy a car- which I don’t want to do. I take public trans or a taxi now. I’ll settle for 2 weeks in Florida during the winter, and then on to base-ball spring training in March to get away from winter for a while.

    by Paul — November 3, 2018

  26. DH and I are in our mid-60s. 80 isn’t that far off, difficult as it is for my inner self (who still feels 30) to believe.

    We will almost certainly remain in Southern California which is where we raised our children and they now make their homes. We’re purging possessions and started hunting for a smaller house in an all-ages neighborhood.

    Perhaps Assisted Living or CCRC sometime after that, if the need arises.

    by JCarol — November 4, 2018

  27. We are in our early 60s and still debating about where to retire to. I’m hoping at 80, I can still go for a morning jog or swim, play golf in the afternoon, and have a cocktail at night. We’ll probably downsize somewhere close to our kids in Texas. I think the bigger question is, since the baby boomer generation is getting older, there will have to be a change in the housing and care model, for us, since there will be so many of us. What will that model be?

    by Steve — November 7, 2018

  28. Steve, Great question; What will the care model be for the Boomers? I have no idea but love that just as we’re getting to that point in life pot is getting decriminalized and maybe fully legalized! LOL! Whatever it is I sure hope the places we end up loosen up – a forme coworker who is in an assisted living place got “yelled at” but the staff for taking a walk off the grounds. I know there can be a problem with memory challenged people wandering but staff (and family) need to stop making “care facilities” in to prisons.

    by jean — November 8, 2018

  29. Somewhere hot and dry likely Phoenis, Arizona area. 55+ one story, no steps, 3 bed, den, 2+ Bath, 3 car garage, pool. Near everything including Doctors and Hospitals. Near airport that has many non-stop destinations.

    by Lynn — November 8, 2018

  30. A wonderful thought provoking question that I have been thinking about for awhile now…I am 67..was living in NC 10 years ago but my aging parents needed me so I quit my job and went to be near them and it ended up being a good thing even though I promised myself I would never move back to a big city. I live in Houston, Tx where I was raised which is now the 4th largest city in the US..As child not the case..ever since both parents passed away I have been saying ” I am moving to it is 8 yes later and I haven’t done took 3 years to settle their estate and divide( quite mentally taxing and my will won’t be that complicated, trust me) in the meantime my 3 daughters have all had lots of babies in NJ, Alabama, and NC..I feel like I have been missing so much of their precious baby years, but have managed to visit each daughter twice a year and have somewhat a grandparent relationship…now it’s decision I take as leap of faith knowing it takes time to put down roots in new places. I’ve tinkered with the following ideas: being a reverse snowbird because I do not like Houston and it’s humidity.,moving to a a place with lots of nature because that’s my soul’s desire, and getting a small rv and traveling, and lastly, moving to my original destination Tennessee because of a slower pace, four seasons, and mid proximity to all 3 daughters. I have started downsizing recently to have the freedom of choice.

    by Valerie — November 8, 2018

  31. Me 71yo wife 68yo. Help both our children buy their family home with preferably a separate cottage (Or large private in law suite wt separate entrance) so we have a place to stay when visiting. Travel in the U.S. and rent in Fl (winter) when not staying at either child’s home. Would prefer helping out our children significantly while we r alive and be there when they need us.

    by Don — November 8, 2018

  32. Will be leaving Washington for Arizona for a warmer and drier climate. Will be in a 55 community for recreation facilities, clubs and activities. Kids and grandkids are split between WA and ID so those locations will be on the agenda for summer visits when AZ is toasty warm. And summer is the best time in WA and ID. Looked long and hard at places, climates, taxes, health care availability and more. The only “perfect” climate areas are in CA which is too crowded, too expensive and too taxed. Compromised with AZ. Loking forward to retirement next ear.

    by steve crawford — November 8, 2018

  33. We are both 74 and live in a small community in NW Iowa in our own home. As long as we can care for the yard and home, we will stay here. Our next move will most likely be to a condo or 55+ apartment complex. I am hopeful that where ever we go I will be able to continue serving and singing in some sort of choral setting. Part of my “training” for getting older comes from singing at our local nursing home for a half hour each week with a small mixed ensemble of 15-20 individuals of similar age and talent. The residents say this is their favorite activity of the week and the music adds to the blessing we receive.

    by Dave — November 8, 2018

  34. My wife and I are 59 and actively planning to retire “early” @ 60 1/2 with the blessings of our financial advisor. We’ll be moving less than two hours north of our current home in northern VA to south central PA. We’ve bought a lot in a “Top Retirement Community” (Penn National) and plan to build a single level home in which we can “age out” (depends on whether we can sell our current home early next year for a sufficient price). The move keeps us reasonably close to family and friends in MD and VA, while enjoying PA’s 0% state income tax on retirement income as well lower property costs (could not afford to build a new home where we live now). Hope to snowbird in Az, depending on how the economy and entitlement reforms affect our IRAs.

    by Fred S — November 8, 2018

  35. No one has asked, so thanks for making me think about what seems far in distance but really isn’t! Hoping to still be married to my husband. Just celebrated 35 yrs. Hoping we both will be in good health, mentally and physically and being somewhat active. We have no children but do have loving nieces/nephews. One of our nephews is trying to convenience us to move where they live, in TN. My husband & I are considering and if happens, we would look for a small ranch home in an area not overcrowded but at the same time, close enough to our family, doctors/medical facilities, shopping, etc. As my husband says ‘getting older is very humbling”.

    by Nancy — November 8, 2018

  36. At 71 I’m sorting through possessions as I transition to a senior retirement community. I feel I’ve been blessed to be able to do this. I’ll go in as an independent, but there’s choices for assisted and/or memory care. My closest relatives are a sister and cousin in a retirement village in IN – no husband, children, significant other. Over the past few years, I’ve lost several friends – and others who have retired and moved away. I still have some good friends here in OH, so I’m going to stay. But I’m looking to build new friendships in my new community. I want to be around people. I’ll have that in my new community, as well as planned activities and friends who will hopefully choose to plan activities we can do together. I want to be as busy as I want while I still can – without having to think about home maintenance, paying individual bills (most are included in my “rent”), cooking meals (for one) and constantly cleaning my living area. I’ll have the help I need and the freedom I crave. My wish is for all retirees to lead healthy, happy and busy lives!

    by Linda W. — November 8, 2018

  37. You have said it all. It seems to me no matter how well we may plan the rest of our lives we cannot control it. No matter where we live the most important factor is our health. Like our parents, we thought living past our 70’s would be all we could hope for. I share many of the comments made. Staying busy socially, staying as fit as possible with daily exercise even when we don’t want to, and just doing nothing isn’t bad either! Not sure there a perfect place. Family and children and a variety of people keep all of us active and well rounded. The biggest negative I see and hear is how aging creates a very negative vision of just about everything. I detest it and want to always look in a positive light. After all why be any other way. What do we have to loose? I love your website. Thank you for sharing.

    by Constance M Ballard — November 8, 2018

  38. Been thinking about this issue for several years now. I’m 63 and wife is 60. No kids.

    Like us, many here are strongly considering a move into a CCRC, but one of the sobering considerations of such a move is the requirement that you be “healthy” at move in, which includes being able to pass a mental status exam. Wait too long and the CCRC door will be closed.

    Great question but not an easy one to answer.

    by dave — November 9, 2018

  39. I moved to a +55 retirement community in Amherst, MA 2 years ago. I am now 63 and retired for just a little less than a year now. I am an avid golfer and pickleball player – so why am I in Massachusetts and not Florida or Arizona? Well, I do like the four seasons (I lived in Honolulu for 13 years so I know what perpetual summer is like and it isn’t hard to take) but I also like the variety and community found in this Western Mass. college town. Plus, we have excellent health care – I am too young for Medicare so I am taking advantage of our state’s version of “Romney-Care”. If that weren’t available at a very reasonable cost, I would still have to work for another 2 years, I think.
    Some folks loathe the idea of snow, but here I don’t have to worry about snow plowing or shoveling, and of course the landscaping is also covered. Amherst, Massachusetts (home of Emily Dickinson) is a lovely place and my prediction is that I will be here until “the end”.

    by Janet — November 9, 2018

  40. This is hard. At age 69 and 73, we are happily living an active country life in a very rural area. Everything we like to do centers on the natural world that surrounds us. This has been our way of life for 45 years and we want to continue this lifestyle for as long as possible. Will we be able to grow our vegetables and hike our hills at age 80? Maybe. Should we make an alternative plan? Maybe. But since we don’t know which calamity might afflict us in the coming decade, it’s hard to think about how we might want to live “if.”- Anne

    by Anne — November 14, 2018

  41. It may be hard to think about but we all need an alternative plan, I wish my parents would have planned, they had the resources to figure something out and their minds were always sharp, but like all of us didn’t want to think about the future, so after my mother fell which was totally unexpected of course, everything went downhill quickly which was totally unexpected and both parents moved in with us which made them very unhappy but there was no time to starting thinking about that now, the day to day issues was a whole new world to all of us. Have to have a plan

    by dennis — November 15, 2018

  42. Dennis, I agree. Make a plan (maybe more than one). Have options you at least consider. Ours include sell out now, in 4 years, or at 80 as well as age in place with our long term care. Also, what if one of us passed tomorrow? Stay local or move away and where? What type dwelling? Takes lots of discussion, lots of online reviews, site visits for vacations and planning. But while almost constantly in focus, doesn’t take all that much time and, taken as vacations, is very enjoyable. Probably a week or two dedicated to consideration each year, but seldom more than an hour or so at any time. Rather than tedious, we’re enjoying exploring and thinking of what might be (not always quietly). Our resources are very middle of the road at best — work with what you have.

    by RichPB — November 15, 2018

  43. This is hard. At age 69 and 73, we are happily living an active country life in a very rural area. Everything we like to do centers on the natural world that surrounds us. This has been our way of life for 45 years and we want to continue this lifestyle for as long as possible. Will we be able to grow our vegetables and hike our hills at age 80? Maybe. Should we make an alternative plan? Maybe. But since we don’t know which calamity might afflict us in the coming decade, it’s hard to think about how we might want to live ‘if.’

    by A S — January 23, 2019

  44. Well, my wife has health issues and is 5 years older than me. I hope she is still with me and if she is i will probably be taking care of her ( hopefully in our home) and if not hopefully in an assisted living so i can limit what i have to do outside of being a caregiver. Based on my past health i think i should be in reasonable good health for someone 80 and if i am not lucky enough to have my wife i think i would like to spend time in our home in Virginia mountains when the weather is best and then snowbird during the cold weather , hopefully playing a lot of pickle ball , staying active and making spending some time on the beach and spending time on the water.

    by Colonel Mike — April 16, 2019

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