Getting "Real" With My Followers about Retirement

As I write more and more I find that the comments I receive are more relevant to what I have written and in many cases heart wrenching. When people let me see into their lives, I realize that like me, they are searching for answers. They are hoping that maybe I have them.
Me at the Alhambra, Sept. 2000
Today a person commented from somewhere in Canada about retiring soon. They are from Korea and have accumulated enough wealth to quit work and move to the "location of their dreams" (my words not theirs.) Should they go back to a place where the language is their own or should they take a chance and choose somewhere outside their comfort zone. Those of us that are retired understand those questions entirely.

So what do you think? Do you jump ship and move to the far reaches of the earth to find a new life or do you just change the scenery but not the culture? Hmmmmm!

Someone asked me many years ago if I would move to Spain. My husband and I had just returned from a extended stay in the country. I fell in love with the music and the rhythm of life there. All I could think about for many months was paseo in the evening and a long nap in the afternoon. It was just heavenly.

But when the stranger asked me that question, I knew the answer and it was NO. If I moved to Spain, all I would do is go about recreating the life I have here and encourage my family to come with me. Why would I do that when the grass was very green at home? I don't speak Spanish, I am not totally in love with Spanish food and one can only visit so many historic sites and take so many naps before they are full.

My advice to the Korean commenter would be to follow your heart. Do what feels right. Don't burn bridges, get rid of your old life and abandon old friends. Dip your toe into the water, see how it feels and then stay or move on. I suppose flexibility is the key.

Be well.

b+

Comments

  1. We have found a good solution, for now, and we live in Tucson in the winter when weather in the Pacific Northwest is very gloomy. But we have burned no bridges. Our roots are here.

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    1. I would have expected nothing less from you Linda. You are such a realist with big aspirations in both places I suppose.

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  2. Dip your toe into the water is probably sound advice. Try it out for a few months before making a full commitment. I would love to make a significant change in environment in my final years. For those of us who have no children or siblings in our area that is not the anchor to keep us in place. I follow the old saying "things are never as good as you hope or as bad as you imagine". It just could be you are in love with the idea of living in "xx" but the reality might be somewhat different.

    For me I will stay put that is until I can finally convince my wife to take a leap in life. She is just not much of a leaper bless her heart.

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    1. I hear about this type of situation more that you would imagine. I often wonder if the spouse is holding us back or if we are just not strong enough in putting forth our ideas. I for one would do what my husband dreamed of at least for a little while. It doesn't require a leap at all. A tiny step is all it takes. Come to our park and visit for a bit. I will show your wife what a good time she can have. :)

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  3. When I retired from my job eight years ago, I also moved away.from Colorado to Washington state. It was necessary if I was going to be allowed to really retire, as my boss wasn't going to let me go so easily. I love Bellingham and have made a very good life for myself. Blogging is definitely part of the equation, too. :-)

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    1. DJan,

      I know so many people that have moved to Washington. The tax laws are different there for one thing. Escaping "the boss" may be another reason. Who knows!:)

      Thank you for stopping by.

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  4. I gave thought to the fantasy of living overseas. What changed my mind was the recognition that I would always be an outsider. I did move to another part of the country and have no regrets. However, I have moved many times in my life, so it wasn't too much of a stretch.

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    1. I see what you mean. Those of that like change are more likely to travel and even snowbird. You sound like one of those people.

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  5. So many considerations to weigh. I live where many people would love to retire to - Tucson. But a potential job on the East Coast would mean being much closer to the Grand Twins. Moving back to the Midwest, also an option we had not considered until recently, would put us much closer to our other daughter. I would move many places in the US, but at this stage of life, I would not be comfortable moving abroad, even to a city or region I love.

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    1. In the end I think family is a huge consideration. But I also believe that we can be too close for too long. It is a hard balance to find.

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  6. My husband I have talked about this very thing. I would be more inclined to pick up and start over somewhere new just for the adventure of it. He would not. That said, I love home, and I love going away from home, and I think as we age it will be nice to have our familiar supports to lean on. In the meantime, the world feels like a new book waiting to be read.

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    1. Deb, you have hit the nail on the head. The adventure is absolutely wonderful. I know!

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