Where to Retire

by Kay Lynn

Once in a while Mr. Boomer and I talk about where we want to retire. (Watching Househunters International probably influences our thoughts). What triggered it most recently was a few hours at the beach.

We live in the U.S. city with the most perfect weather: San Diego. Many people move here for their retirement so you would think we’re set, right? Well, maybe it’s a case of the grass is always greener on the other side, but we are talking about relocating for our golden years… at least part of the time.

Why not San Diego or what’s the beach got to do with retirement?

Our afternoon at the beach a few days ago was gorgeous with temperature in the low to mid 80’s, clear skies and gentle surf. That perfect picture came to a screeching halt the moment one entered the ocean water. Brrrr! We love the beach and have enjoyed many vacations over the past 10 years on cruises or land trips to Mexico or Hawaii. We now realize, the enjoyment is diminished without the ability to actually enter the water let alone linger.

Another reason to look elsewhere is the size of our fine city. For those that haven’t yet been here, San Diego is not a compact city. The city limits range from South Bay (South San Diego) to Rancho Bernardo which is at least 30 miles apart. A major consideration is making plans is traffic. Unfortunately, although public transit is getting better, we don’t have a train system for the inland corridor where we live and bus stops are infrequent.

Due to the traffic and it’s impact on quality of life, Mr. Boomer and I sold our 4-bedroom ranch style home 23 miles from my work and bought a 3 bedroom townhome condo 3 miles from the office. Our commitment to this home is until I retire in approximately 10 years.

Location, location, location

So, with the whole world as an option, how does one decide where to retire?

1. Decide what’s important. One thing that is important is family so where my kids are at the time will influence our decision. As I mentioned earlier, the beach (with warm water) is also a want along with a medium-sized city and reasonable real estate.

2. Be flexible. One of our thoughts is that we may split our time between two homes. This is primarily driven by what’s important to us which is family in San Diego and the warm water. We can’t get both in one place. This option means we’d replace our current condo with a smaller one and then use the rest of the proceeds to buy something at the new destination.

3. Start researching. Start weeding through candidate towns way before it’s crunch time. Research online and then visit the potential communities to understand the flavor and the neighborhoods. Use a list of important community criteria; this move is about more than the house.

Do you plan to relocate with retirement?

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