Have you relocated since your retirement? What hints do you have for someone thinking about relocating? Do you have some suggestions for places to consider--or not to consider?
I'd suggest at least one year of living in an area before purchasing. We moved 2 1/2 years ago, purchased a beautiful home in an active retirement community, but have never felt 'at home' and are now considering a move back to our pre-retirement area. Think about how you'd deal with serious health related issues when you're far away from family, or how you feel about living alone in your later years - traveling becomes more difficult. And check out the quality of health care wherever you plan to move - our health plan covers very few highly rated physicians in our area, as opposed to where we moved from.
I have about 2 years before retiring and would like to re-locate. I'm considering the Pigeon Forge/Seveirville area but
am afraid to buy. I thought I would rent for awhile to see how I will like it. I'm up for any suggestions on places to
retire. There are alot of nice places in different states but I have not traveled alot to know of them.
Thanks for the information. If you find out anything all I would greatly appreciate it. This is all new to me, so I am up
for all options and help
Thanks for all the information. I'm just not sure where to start looking. I'm thinking the Tennessee area or maybe
South Carolina area, but not sure of the taxes.
My Hubby and I hope to put the "try before you buy" theory to the test in the future. Although we have not yet retired, he hopes to do so in two to three years. Of course, like many, we both lost value in our funds last year. We have seen some comeback, but not enough to completely compensate for the losses. Anyway, we'd like to move south from NJ to Tennesee or even North Carolina. We'd like to find a log home near a lake. I will be happy to downsize from a house too big for the two of us, and too much lawn care ,to a more casual living. I like the idea of trying it on for size though. Being sure we can stand the distance from children and family, and the family support system.
I'd love to hear from some who have done this, especially those who have found a small log community near lakes!
Hi, bj_hopeful. We are in a similar situation: Living in the north with unbearable winters, dreaming of a log home in the mountains of TN (still 4 seasons, but w/o the worst of snow and heat).
We were so sure of this locale, we bought land down there many years ago. Can't wait to retire and build! However, because of the market, it looks like retirement (at least from my husband's current job) may be put off a few more years.
Seems to me that the "try it before you buy it" is a good strategy. I've talked to several older folks who think that at least one month, and preferably two to even six months, is a good timeframe in which to decide if the community has potential. Because that's not possible for us (work takes precedence!), we've taken over 30 trips (about 1 week each) to check out our surroundings down there - and everything within a 50-mile radius. So far, so good. We try to go down to twice-yearly HOA meetings, too, where we meet other residents -- including a couple who once lived just 10 miles away from us.
Our land is not near a lake, so it wouldn't be right for you... but as you know, just doing a simple google search for "cabin for sale mountains lake TN NC" will bring a wealth of info. Also, check with real estate agents who specialize in relocation. Often they're not quite as busy as they used to be, so your "looking ahead" plan might be fine with them. Again, once you "discover" a community or locale, try to get your foot in the door, so to speak, by talking with other residents, getting on mailing lists, subscribing to the local paper, etc.
Thanks! Your property looks lovely, and woodsie, which is what we like also. Are there other Log Homes in the area?
We are still a few years off retirement as well. We made the mistake of getting into a large ranch home in place of a two story about 5 years ago. Now the property is worth barely what we paid, but we hope by the time my Hubby retires, it will bounce back a bit. We love the place, but the work it involves to care for it while working full time is just going to be too much, and the taxes in NJ are astronomical for property. We want a log home with two BDROOMs and two Full baths, in case of company, but not anything too big, under 2000 SQft if possible. If he retires and we sell the house, we may try a move to Tennesee for 6 months to see if we can manage and like being off on our own, (without our 5 grown kids nearby).
Oh, no - that's just a stock picture loaded in when I signed up for this forum! Our land is on the top of a mountain, overlooking a panorama of mountains. We'll have to load our bikes into the truck and take them elsewhere to ride!
There are a blue-zillion log homes in the Smoky Mountains area, as well as in NC, mostly in developments. Some of the developments are decades old, some are new. Right now, some cabin prices are waaaaaay down; maybe their owners can't afford more than one? Or maybe they're not renting them out as frequently? Those who are residents, though, are just like you -- they realize they have a good deal if they can hold on until the market returns, and it will!
Some of the developments include Smoky Cove, Waterstone, Smoky Mountain Retreat, The Homestead, Highland Bluffs (which is between Knoxville and Nashville, I think), and Rarity Communities. That's just a fraction! There's Headewaters, Catawba Falls, and Chinquapin in NC (again, just a minor sampling). Developments such as these usually have several to plenty of land parcels for sale (some on flat land, some on mountainsides, some near water, etc.), as well as lists of homeowners who are either selling their land or have built and now want to sell their homes. As you can imagine, some of the prices are reasonable; some are astronomical.
We've never lived pretentiously (often frugal but definitely not cheap!), having saved for what we call our "Second Life" for many years. Our goal is to live off of my husband's pension (government) and use my own pension for travel and any emergencies. And hopefully never touch our investments (which would be for some unbelievable catastrophe or a nice parting gift for the kids!).
Like you, we also don't want a McMansion or something that's too much trouble to take care of. We're looking for quality over quantity, simplicity over complexity, a cabin that's "just right" for us. Our land is rather "in the boonies" and we like it like that. (We're both afraid of getting stuck in "Oldster" mentality, such as building our lives around proximity to the grocery, hospital, doctor, pharmacy -- egads! Why invite old age closer??!!)
Last spring, when we were in TN for a visit, we ran into a nice couple from Florida (you will find that ALL folks are nicer once they come to TN/NC!!!) who were doing just what you said: They'd come for a "trial run" for a few months, renting a cabin a few miles outside of Gatlinburg, to see if they liked the area, could make friends, maybe start up a small home business (I think he repaired driveways or something... ). They were so excited just during their first month! Even though they were about our age (early 50s), they had "had it" with being rats in the ratrace - and with Florida, too. Now they were discovering new things about themselves and each other - and also figured the drive back "home" was about a day (for their grown kids).
Our kids are also grown - one's across the country from us and one's in the Middle East. Once he returns, it's likely he won't settle where his sibling is... We're thinking of solving the "get-together" problem by living a good portion of the year in TN (not exactly central, but more so than the coasts!), then having an RV to criss-cross our beautiful country between the "kids." (I'm not sure how I'll like that, but it's a dream of my husband's, so what the heck?)
My husband and I live on a lake in Tennessee. We don't have a log house, but our neighbor across the road does. We built our house when we were in our fifties, and planned it for retirement. We have everything we use all the time on one level, with workshop and guest quarters downstairs.
Tennessee is a good place to retire. We not far from Knoxville snd Oak Ridge where good health care is available. When we were younger we enjoyed the plays and concerts in Knoxville. We have a wooded lot with no grass, but there is still outside work that we can no longer do. We have been able to hire someone to do housework very reasonably, and recently we have found someone to help with the outside work.
Be sure the garage or carport and the laundry are on the same level you will live on. A lot of homes put the laundry in the basement.
Good luck. We love living where we do.
Sounds perfect, Ursa! I love TN, including the tax benefits and COL, but especially the people and the mountains.
Your advice to consider having the laundry and garage on the main level is wise -- for anyone of any age! Boy, how I would have loved not to climb three sets of stairs with clothes when the kids were little! And I also like to have the garage connected to the house, so the groceries don't get wet. :)
We're so glad to hear you're happy with your decision to live there. Hope to join you someday!
Agree with everyone re: try it before making a permanent move. We have just had to address issues associated with this with my husband's uncle. The short version is that he and his partner of many years retired and moved from their home area. They had visited and liked the area they moved to. Unfortunately they didn't plan very well. They bought a home in a bedroom community 20 minutes from the nearest service. They made a few friends, but ended up fairly isolated and when Uncle's partner died it became even worse. At 80 years old, in failing health and alone it became necessary for his only living relatives, (my husband and sister in law), to move him to a more supportive location. As you can imagine, this was not a happy situation.
Observing all this from an 'in-law position' has given me the opportunity to understand and make notes about planning more thoroughly for my own retirement.
Yours are definitely words from the wise. It's terribly sad about your uncle... When one of my husband's relatives was 70, she was moved by her eldest child nearer to him -- but into a house that needed work, was situated on a terribly busy street, with a steep climb down to the sidewalk, no easy place to walk, laundry in the basement, and a kitchen that wasn't suitable. (And yes, the clueless "child" - age 40 - did this without consulting any other family member!)
Maybe what my husband and I are considering for our "Second Life" should be called "First Retirement": what we'd like to do and where we'd like to live for the first 20 years after leaving the current rat-race (with an entirely different plan for the following 20 years - "god willin' and the creek don't rise"!
I can see why needing certain services very close by might not pertain to some of us at, say, ages 55 to 70 or even 75, while we're (hopefully) agile and active and healthy and probably still highly involved in the community, family, and likely another type of work... But I have also learned how (by reading of situations like your own, and looking within my own family) the older we get, the more important it becomes to have Plan B at the ready (for the second 20 years - or earlier if necessary).
Where we hope to "retire" is somewhat remote. This currently sounds great to us, as we're sickened of the city and are craving nature and privacy. However, we're still in our 50s, love to drive, can fend for ourselves, have no intentions of slowing down, etc. Yet, what you write is absolutely true: There's an excellent chance that we won't be living there when we're 80 (if only because we might get a little tired of mountaintop living by then - every living arrangement has its compromises and hassles).
One of my concerns is that we'll make decisions at age 55 out of fear of what might happen when we're 80. That's a 25 year span! I hope we can "live young" and not live in fear during that time...
In the end, maybe it's a matter of health, ability, and desire (to each their own). And always having a workable Plan B!
I have come to the conclusion that the bravest and wisest make painful pro-active choices, ie , like moving into a retirement community before it's necessary. I think this is very difficult to do as we always have a greater estimation of what we are capable of than is borne out in reality.
You reach a valid conclusion, and I agree - particularly for those who might feel they are getting up in years (so to speak). Some people are old in heart and body when they're still young! Some never seem to grow "old."
It pays to know oneself and one's limitations, along with realistic expectations, I think. I'm sure we're not ready for a retirement community (in our 50s)! And, given our health, lifestyle, and history, plus our parents' lengthy, healthy lives, we will no doubt tackle the first 20 years of retirement prior to taking the leap into "what if."
Best to all as we each look at and redefine our own personal "retirement"!
It is good if you have a Plan A that can seague into Plan B. Access to medical care can be of great importance if you have a heart attack at 60. It is possible to find wooded acreage in many places that has the feel of being remote without being too isolated. You may need Plan B sooner than you think and reorganizing your life in a time of crisis is inconvenient to say the least.
That is certainly the truth.
Land-Between-the-Lakes (LBL) is in KY near the Tennessee border. Many yankee retirees LOVE IT. Withing easy driving distance of Nashville, TN and Vanderbilt University Hospital. Top notch healthcare.
Also, Kentucky Lake has many lakeside lots available. Private living, but close enough to society.
Many "vacation homes" now for sale.
I just want to find someplace I can afford to live in relative comfort and be reasonably close to my kids and grandkids. I just don't think it's going to be possible. My retirement assets are still 30% lower than they were in 2007. My house is worth $10,000 less than what I owe on it. I have $200 in the bank and $140,000 in student loans to pay off.
Any ideas where I can buy a 2,000 square foot house, own a car no more than 5 years old, and still afford to EAT on Social Security income alone?
Just for context on cost of living, what were they paying for rent for the cottage?
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