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.
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.
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.
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