7 Replies Latest reply on Nov 18, 2010 8:19 PM by Don49

    Relocation without a Car

    portlandapd

      One aspect of downsizing and getting ready for retirement for me is getting to a place where there is good public transportation and not a need for lots of driving. When I lived in Beaumont, Texas, it was impossible for me to live without a car and still get to work or even get to the grocery store. Everything was laid out assuming cars. I have now moved to Daybreak Cohousing in Portland, Oregon. One of the reasons is that it is right on buslines and close to the light rail system. One of our members is in an electric wheelchair, and she goes all over Portland because all the buses are wheelchair accessible. I know it is hard for me to think about not  having a car, but I know one day I will not be able to drive. I think this is an important consideration to take into account when deciding where to land after retirement.

      Laura

      www.DaybreakCohousing.org

        • Re: Relocation without a Car
          SAM2
          I am thinking the same thing. My husband vows that he would never use public transport. He wants us to move to a fairly remote small town where the closest hospital is 30 miles away. He has had one stroke but is likely to have another. I see myself isolated with a house I will never be able to sell and no way to stay as "a little old lady."
            • Re: Relocation without a Car
              portlandapd

              There was an article in the Oregonian newspaper a few days ago here in Portland, Oregonabout a push in Oregon to get people sharing fewer vehicles. The idea is to make available some different kinds of car insurance so that the individual owning a vehicle can rent it out to others for short periods. We already have Zipcar here which is a short-term car rental option (like for a few hours a day). I'm sure Zipcar is not happy about the new competition they will get, but it is a move to encourage something like Zipcar, but at a more personal level. Someone who maybe uses a car twice a week could arrange to rent the car out on the other days rather than just having it sit in a garage.

              I live in Daybreak Cohousing in North Portland, and I was very interested to read about this possibility coming up. It will be another way that we as a community can cut down on cars. I would like to have a car when I have to go completely across town to my doctor (who is great and I don't want to give up, even if the medical office is located so far away), but on most days I take public transportation to work, so I dont' use my car that much. I am happy to share my car with others in my cohousing community, but I will say that I am a little concerned about what would happen in case of an accident. I think I would be penalized for my generosity by having my premiums go up. I'm hoping the new insurance terms would be able to spread that risk out a little.

              When I retire I expect I would use my car even less than I do already, so hopefully by that time, a group of us can co-own one vehicle and not have individual  cars. The nice thing about Cohousing is that when I get to the point where I can't drive myself, there will be someone else who will help me get to where I need to go with transportation.

              Laura

              www.DaybreakCohousing.org

               

                • Re: Relocation without a Car
                  Chuck9
                  Any suggestions where to move to on the East coast?
                   
                  In many urban areas around here, public transportation is quite good. But once I try to escape the penumbra of an inner city, public transportation simply disappears. I currently live about 30 miles outside of Boston. We don't even have any listings under "taxi" in our Yellow Pages in this town. From what I've heard, you're very lucky to be in Portland as it's a real jewel, perhaps the best in the US.
                   
                  As part of a very local program in this town, I drive other senior citizens to their medical appointments all the time. Talking with such a variety of people older than me is enlightening (if not always pleasant:-). The number one complaint I hear all the time is "I feel trapped since I've had to give up my car".
                    • Re: Relocation without a Car

                      This past August I visited a couple who retired and move from Los Angeles to South Carolina, I think both Norht Carolina and South Carolina are great places to relocate and retire at. Recently webnews reported they are on the top of the best states as far as driving experience and expenses concern. This is my two cents.

                      hh

                    • Re: Relocation without a Car
                      Cori
                      Daybreak Housing looks wonderful and Portland is a super place.  There are other cohousing developments.  I'm investigating Altair, being developed in Kimberton, PA (west of Philly--altaircohousing.org) because it's going to be green and affordable.  They are seeking more potential members and have a workshop on 11/20/10 that's open to all.

                      Cori
                        • Re: Relocation without a Car
                          Don49
                          From my limited experience both Portland and Seattle and many areas in western Washington have fairly good mass transit.  I am currently looking into Toronto.  I am aware how expensive it is but it seems to have  wide spread and dependable transit. 


                          Any insights into moving north ?
                    • Re: Relocation without a Car
                      seacottagelife
                      I think relocating to a place where the need to drive is minimal or non-essential is key to being independent in later years.  Having grown up and worked and lived in major cities in the U.S., Europe and South America all my life, I am used to using public transportation, and just walking to shops sometimes to do my shopping.   You need to find a city or town that provides the level of cultural, banking, healthcare, and social life you feel comfortable with, and that is also easily and economically accessible to countryside or seaside, to balance a healthy lifestyle.   There are many great places to relocate to, but then sometimes the best place can be where you are, with friends and relatives, or where you grew up, or where you went to college.  In other words, where you have connections and know the ropes.  And check to see what new public transportation may be provided nowadays.  I know many people who have no idea of the public transportation available in their areas, or of where the walker-friendly communities are, because they are so used to driving.