A Shift in Location

You might have noticed I’ve been absent from the blogging world for a couple of weeks. We explored and are making a significant shift in our retirement lifestyle.  

I had always said we would eventually relocate to Florida. I was thinking in the 8-10 year range.  That was a long time in the future.  I have a whole litany of my own “reasons” (fears?) for putting it off – 1) feeling secure/comfortable in Cincinnati with established friendships and established routines (things like long-term Playhouse membership and Impact 100 involvement); 2) the responsibility of my SIL (from managing the guardianship to regular caregiving) is a big deal to me; 3) worry about creating a support system in Florida. OK, it’s just 3 big reasons, but they meant we bought our downsized home in Cincinnati and invested in it (built the garage, did the gutter/roof repair work, decorated it with new furnishings) thinking it would be a 10-year investment.

Then my hubby’s younger brother died this past June. Two years after his (Irish-twin) sister died. And I started thinking: the only dream hubby has for his retirement is to live in Florida full time. How horrible will I feel if he never gets to realize that dream? Because all the reasons I listed above are mine. What really is keeping us in Cincinnati except my mind?

But I also know that realistically, the beach house we currently have in Florida is not big enough (storage wise) for us long term. Hubby needs more space for all his stuff; he is not a downsize kind of guy. (He kind of believes that if one of something is good, five are better.) And if we were there all the time, it would be so nice to be on water but still close enough to the beach for beach walks.   I’m not asking for much – hah!  

And so with my shift in perception on timing, this past Florida trip we looked at houses -with me thinking it would take time (like a year or 2) to find something that fit all our design criteria, including price range.   And there it was.  

We’ve bought a 1900 sq. ft. beach house on the inter-coastal waterway, 0.6 miles to the walkable beach, with enough property to build a 2+ car garage (aka a huge storage shed). Hopefully, it will be big enough to absorb both houses of stuff.  Not only does it have a water-view, it has its own private beach (the picture is of our inter-coastal view, but it’s the neighbor’s boat)! OK, it is only a 20 foot stretch of beach-front, but it’s easy to launch a SUP or kayak. No room for a dock, but we are not motorized boat people (and there is the neighbor!). No screened porch with fan (merely a wish for on the house design criteria), but I’ll get used to sitting under an umbrella on the patio with the off-the-water breeze in that amazing backyard.

So our restful yet active Florida time (biking, yoga, beach walks, seafood dinners, blogging) turned into a whole series of house-focused events: contracts, inspections, transition plans (house pictures and room measurements), and design meetings on a garage. I had no mind-space for blog creation!

I’ve still got crazy (and random) things going through my head about this move: What do I do with my northern clothes (I love my fur coats!)? Will all my favorite pieces of furniture fit? What will hubby willing get rid of (because the new space really can’t absorb 2 full houses & garages of stuff)? How do we set up the house’s main room so it’s both livable for us and OK for entertaining (my lifestyle vision!)?  How much of a loss will we sustain on the Ohio house for only having it 3 years? And of course, the big ones: How will we manage the SIL guardianship moving forward? Do we keep a foothold in Cincinnati – an apartment or a condo?

Yes, I will miss the close connections to long-term Cincinnati friends, the longevity of our Playhouse attendance, and the familiarity of the Cincinnati lifestyle scene. And we still need to work through guardianship, the downsizing of stuff, and all the moving logistics (new medical care team, moving company costs, Ohio residence), which could take 2 years. I’m still mentally working through what this shift in location means to our on-going lifestyle vision. 

I know many other people deal with retirement relocation, sometimes combined with significant health reasons.  But all the logistics and unknowns to make this whole thing happen are simply scary for this security-based gal. 

For the last few years, I responded to the regular “why don’t you just move here (Florida)?”  with a “Someday” response. Well, “Someday” has changed to “Next year”. And that is a major shift in my retirement vision.

How have you managed through major shifts in your retirement thinking?

 

Picture: our new view, neighbor’s boat (yes, we’ve met them already!)

 

51 thoughts on “A Shift in Location

  1. Hi Pat,
    I knew that you were contemplating this, but, just, wow. No wonder you have been MIA (like me, BTW). Sounds like the house ticks off the boxes for you.
    If you need any company on those beach walks (besides DH, of course!) let me know…
    We are enjoying our snowbirding back and forth at this point, but who knows. Still, NH tiny cottage is so special to us not sure if we will ever be able to let go.
    Congrats and best wishes in your new abode!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nancy, Yes, this is a definite Wow. For me it is a big mind-shift but I am looking forward to it… not all the details of the renovation work and move, but the next part of living there. I know there will be things I miss, but there will also be things I love.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, Pat, so proud of you to set aside your concerns in order to make your husband’s dream a reality sooner than later. I cannot remember but is your husband retired? I think he must be. The view from your new home is tremendous. Maybe if you put your fur coats on consignment, you can screen in the patio with the money they bring in!!

    My husband’s job is moving to the east coast. We do not want to leave El Paso. So here we are at 55 and 61 looking for jobs to allow us to remain in our home here in El Paso. Never thought I would be in this position at this age. He has even applied for jobs at Wright Patterson AFB in Dayton, which would mean he works there and comes home about once a month. He has a brother and both parents in the Dayton area. Changes at our ages are difficult but can be exciting and can keep us young. I look forward to follow along in your adventures. Congratulations!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Leslie – I think I lost my response… so typing it in again. I’m so sorry to hear about PC’s job shift… especially after your daughter just moved back to El Paso! Hopefully things will work out for you all.

      My change is a choice. Scary, but still I am choosing to do it. I’ve been playing with furniture placement on floor plans. Better to do it on paper than move heavy stuff 3-4 time in the room. The physical move isn’t until January (interior renovation work), but I had fun – I think I’ve got the living room set. Of course Hubby says that it’ll be different when we actually place pieces in the room… that will make the whole move feel more real too. We are starting with just moving the beach cottage stuff to the new house, recognizing that when we move from Ohio, some furniture placement will have to change. But it’s giving me a sense of what will move from Ohio and what will not…I’m definitely going to need to figure out consignment shops – for winter clothing and furniture.

      Like

  3. Oh wow, that is a drastic change! Someday to now…are you ever really ready for that? And I do understand after people close to you pass, you really realize that tomorrow is not promises. So if not now it may not happen at all. It’s wonderful you understand your husband’s wants and needs and sort of sacrificed for him to make this happen. Although living in Florida sounds pretty fantastic.
    Sounds like you are making progress and I wish you the best! Keep us posted! #MSTL

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m still trying to wrap my mind around the whole shift…someday’s it is easier than others. I’m also beginning to feel like a cliche… moving to Florida in our retirement! Ah well… no more below freezing mornings (like the last 2 days), no more day’s on end grayness (typical winter weather here in the Ohio valley). I will figure out all the logistics… taking it one-day-at-a-time right now.

      Like

  4. My cage would be well and truly rattled by all that change too Pat. I know you’ll be really happy when it’s all settled and the move is made and all the loose ends are tied with a bow. In the meantime I think you just need to take it one day at a time and not let the enormity of it all get to you. I’m sure you’ll be glad you made the move in a year’s time and hopefully your husband will let go of some of his hoard of stuff and that will be a silver lining for you. Good luck with it all xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Leanne, How I wish that last statement is true… hubby letting go some of his stuff. That will be a cause for celebration if it happens. But, it is not something I’m going to put on the “successful move” list! I am trying to think one-day-at-a-time for sure. Right now is getting the house ready to move in – the minor renovation work that’s easier to do before there’s furniture in place. And playing with design boards for ideas about furniture placement… so it’s not moving things around 3 times when we get in. And not thinking about the 10-15 other things that need to be done…. they will all have their day!

      Like

  5. I couldn’t agree more with your above comment Pat. Sounds like an excellent chance to move to a warmer climate. Life is far too short for many of us not to take calculated risks in life. Have fun. #MSTL

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Suzanne, I had not looked at it as taking a calculated risk, but you are correct in that perception. I’m assuming we will find a strong support network and regain a feeling of community. But short term, it’s a logistics nightmare!

      Like

      1. The way I see it good friends will always be there no matter the distance between you. As we age death is another factor so making new connections is always a must as we age. Have fun sorting it all out.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Jennifer. I know things will all work out, but the short term feels very overwhelming. And a bit cliche… moving to Florida in our retirement! But it is hubby’s #1 dream… so here we go.

      Like

    1. Sue, We downsized 2 years ago into this house…I didn’t think I’d have to do it all again so soon. But things change. I know it will all be OK, but yes, it feels overwhelming for sure!

      Like

  6. Congrats on the new home purchase! Funny about those mental time horizons. We keep talking about ten-year timeframes too, only with moving away from Florida. It’s all on a theory that we’ll tire from running from hurricanes as we begin to approach our eighties. It’s theory only, but it’s a continual conversation anyway. However, then we have those days when we go to the beach or cross a beautiful bridge and realize how happy we are here, and that we never want to leave. So it’s very much a mental tennis match.

    Enjoy the new home! – Marty

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Congratulations on your move! All I can think of is 1,900 sq. ft….. wow, just wow in comparison to the type of space you’d get to a similar property over here in London! I’m sure you’ll have plenty of space for all your things, and if not I’m sure you’ll have a decent clear out along the way! Hope you have “the time of your life” in Florida.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, It probably sounds huge to you! But we were in 3800 sq ftt just two years ago. Unfortunately stuff seems to expand to the available space, so yes we will need some good clear out.

      Like

  8. Hi Pat! Whoo Hoo! You DID it. Not that every step will necessarily be easy…but still, what an adventure. And besides, list maker that you are you will surely get everything done. I suppose the challenge will be just to take one step at a time, consult the list once, and keep breathing. As you said, this was one of the BIG hopes you’ve had for retirement (and a HUGE gift to your husband.) I know after reading your book that you know everything to do to make this transition as smooth as possible. And all of us (your fans!) will be reading and cheering you on! ~Kathy

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Kathy! I think the key thing is to keep breathing… as the list of things to figure out & do grows. I keep saying, “It will all work out”, and I do believe that. I am still adjusting to the mind shift… blogging about it helps!

      Like

  9. Congrats on your move. We relocated from NY to PA two years ago and found that, yes, you do have to make an effort to find new friends … and to keep up with your old ones. (But we’re only a 2 1/2 hr. drive from our old neighborhood). The advice we got from my brother-in-law, who had moved a few years before, is to say “yes” to everything and everyone, until you sort out who you like to spend time with and what you like to do. One benefit to Florida: Lots of people are new, so they’re open to new friendships. Anyway … good luck, and I’m sure you’ll love it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tom, You are right about Florida with many other folks also being new… or remembering when they were new there. With our snowbird time, we’ve made some connections that I hope will continue to grow into friendship. I know it’s been a key element in my mind shift. Keeping up with old friends will be a challenge…it’s 1000 miles. I’ve already sent the new Allegiant cheap airfare info (Cincinnati to Tampa) to some friends… and we will have a 3 bedroom waterfront house to visit!

      Like

  10. My husband has always wanted to move “home” to Idaho (currently we live in Delaware). Next year he turns 70. We went out and looked at land. Now we are in the process of building a house.
    I can see a split life coming to the future. A condo next to my daughter in Maryland will be coming into our lives as well. I don’t look forward to trying to gain a community again, but it will happen. He deserves to live his dream.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Janette, you get it totally. My hubby is 64. I thought we had a lot of time until his siblings started to pass away (at 62, and 57). So someday is today. Gaining community takes time, effort, and perseverance. After our two-month snowbird last year, I felt like it was more doable. I know it will still take time and effort, but right now the logistics of downsizing and moving 1000 miles is more of a worry!

      Like

  11. Congratulations! We did that when we shifted here. I wasn’t ready & Grant was & even though it was 1000kms from friends, family & support network one weekend in January there was this house & the rest is, as they say, history. The logistics were a nightmare, but also great as a distraction against overwhelm & fear. All the very best with it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jo, Hmm. Interesting perspective that the logistics nightmare (which is 90% mine to manage) will distract from the fear! And yeah, it is a logistics nightmare…. I keep thinking of new things to worry about that need planning. I wonder if there’s a checklist on line for moving long distances…. hmmm. Need to check that out!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I had to do it all. In fact my husband and daughter moved north (into an interim rental) 6 weeks before I did so I was left to deal with the house sale & packing up 18 years of our lives plus work fulltime. It was stressful but to be honest the hardest part was the logistics of getting 3 cars up there. Plus we were flying out to Vietnam less than a week after we moved & the day we flew out (leaving Sarah in the new house alone) a cyclone hit. I remember getting on that plane & just collapsing.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Wow, Pat! Looks like you and I are in similar boats! I’m uprooting next year and the downsizing has already begun – I sent my sister home yesterday with some of my furniture.
    Unlike you I have no idea where I will end up living…yet. And may not until I get to Vancouver Island. I’ll crash with my daughter initially, and then find a place from there. Unless I manage to find something online (and have my daughter check it out IRL) before I get there.
    It’s kinda scary but mostly exciting! I’m a planner too, and for the first time in my life I am OK with all the unknowns associated with this major life change for me. I feel like a born-again hippy 🙂
    Looking forward to reading more about your change in location!

    Deb

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Deb, I do not think I’ll be able to get to “OK with all the unknowns”! I keep putting new to-do things on the list – planning out everything that can be planned. However I am saying “it will all workout” as that list gets longer and longer! There’s my positivity.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Congratulations, Pat! I can feel the excitement and the worry from here. On your listing of pros and cons, I agree that you made a great decision (and a very selfless one).
    I would love to be able to move to a warmer climate and remain in Canada. Sadly, Canada’s warmest location (especially in terms of winter) is where I currently live. Our December to February temperatures averages a high of 6 degrees Celcius.
    I look forward to reading more about your Florida move and lifestyle. Know that I’ll be jealous!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Donna, Hubby adores the warm weather. The hotter the better for him. Me… I love a pulling on comfy sweater, wearing my fur coats, and snuggling under a quilt. I’m going to miss the cooler/cold weather…. but I also love how much more time I spend outdoors when we are down there. So that is where I will focus.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Wow Pat. I appreciate you sharing your experience. For different reasons my husband has now said he could see moving to Florida!!😵 We are at the stage of needing to make major repairs (new roof, carpets, etc.) to our northern home. So I expect that we may also be house hunting during this winter’s. I have the exact same concerns you have about moving so I’m looking forward to how you build a new social life in a new state.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I started the connections creation last year in our snowbird time. Two months made things much easier to start the beginnings of friendships. It took effort – asking folks to do things with us and making the plans. I did a lot of planning – couple dinners, a night at the museum, a food tour, shuffleboard. I joined a book club. I asked other women to do things more spontaneously – meet up for wine, go for a bike ride, go to get our nails done, go for a beach walk. Not everything worked out, but things started. One person we met keeps asking us to go to concerts – we’re not into that… but we have food, museums, and shuffleboard in common!

      I kept in connection with a few folks via text when I was up north and let them know when we were coming back down. Now, a year later, I’ve got a few things already planned for next January/February. Our new house is only 1.4 miles from our other place, so hoping all the initial connections will continue to grow.

      When I’m there full time, I’ll link into more things I’m interested in (gardening, local theater)…and hopefully find others with similar interests. Net, time and effort. Choose things you like to do!

      Like

  15. I understand it is scary. I know I would feel the same way, even though I’d be excited too. I think it’s so much to think about that it’s tough not to be overwhelmed. But I know you’ll love it once you’re there and settled in. We joke about moving there but we also have things keeping us here – my parents, our grandkids. Who knows – maybe we’ll bite the bullet someday ourselves. Good luck and I can’t wait to hear more about your transition!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I had a chuckle… yep, another retirement transition! We don’t have close family keeping us here except for my SIL, which is more responsibility than relationship (that’s reality). If we had parents and grandkids, it would be very different choice… more the continued split we are doing now. I’m sure the next few months of my blog will be highlighting all aspects (ups and downs) of this major transition.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Janis, This is a big shift (mentally) and I’m still adjusting to it. The planner in me is in over-drive for sure. Writing it out (this blog plus more to come I’m sure) is helping!

      Like

  16. It looks like a lovely area, Pat, and sounds like you are making the right move. I know it’s scary, but sometimes you just have to take a deep breath and leap. Larry and I had a similar experience this month–though not a full-time relocation. We went to southern Utah to see where we might like to build or buy a winter home in the future and ended up purchasing a lot. We meet with the builders next month. My head is reeling a little, but both of us just felt in our guts that it was the right choice.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Christie, When I saw your lot pictures on your blog, I realized … you’ll understand! Head reeling is a good description. To build the garage and do some minor renovation inside… In two days before we headed back north (it’s 1000 miles difference in location for us) we met with our general contractor three times, and then, the architect, electrician, tile-people (picked tile), roofer (picked roof material), garage door guy (picked door), and landscaper. The painter and plumber couldn’t make it so the general contractor will deal with them, with our input over the phone, but I did pick room colors (interior stuff). I’m hoping to see first set of garage plans next week. And yeah, the more I think about it, the more my gut is saying yes. But still, so much to do!

      Like

    1. A further thought: I look forward to you sharing your ideas and experiences for engaging with and integrating into a new community. This winter my husband and I are headed back South to a community where we have wintered many times before, but always with me working remotely full time. This time we will be retired with our sights set on finding a place of our own for what we hope will be many winters to come. That means establishing connections, finding friends to walk, talk and wine with, looking for a yoga studio that is as welcoming as the one I found here at home, friends to invite to dinner – in other words, a life. I’m not much of a joiner and not good at chatting up the person on the neighboring yoga mat or at the next table int the coffee shop. I suspect that I’ll have to push out of my comfort zone to build relationships, and that patience will be a necessary virtue.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Liz, I completely understand it being out of your comfort zone to chat with the person on the next yoga mat! But I’ve made a few friends in Florida just that way. I made the overture at yoga and invited a couple to join us (hubby & me) for an evening of shuffleboard… and now I consider them friends. I think more folks in Florida are open to meeting new people as many are either new themselves or recall being new to the area; and many are snowbirds as well. It does require effort, which I started during last years snowbird time. I joined a local book club (and read the books even when I’m not able to join the discussion), went to yoga and chatted with folks, and even found out about a neighborhood woman’s group. I asked some neighborhood ladies to join me for a wine evening, invited folks to play shuffleboard with us, and asked one woman to go for a pedicure with me. What I’ve found is more folks down there are retired and looking for things to engage in, or will ask you to join in. Up north, it’s taken me longer to find a retired group of friends as so many of my friends are still working full time. Good luck. Yes, creating new friendships will take time and some effort. But link in with things you like to do (your interests) and the effort will feel less cumbersome!

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s