We also had to move to a different part of the country recently in order for both of us to be able to retire. It would have been impossible financially to stay in our continually gentrifying fancy pants city which coincidentally has become a destination for Californians. I guess being able to buy a house for less than a mil seems like a real deal to them. Anyway, in our new locale, our property taxes are now $783 a year vs the $8000+ we were paying. Everything seems to be less expensive and less crowded which is a huge plus. Haircuts are $15 and not $65, etc. Making this move allowed us to be able to buy a house for cash here. The same house in our old city would have been almost three times the price. It is slightly larger than we need but the basement is actually an efficiency apartment which can be rented out should we ever need to. The downsides are of course not having access to all the trendy things we had grown accustomed to. No more artisan groceries, no more hot yoga, only a few trendy bars, blah blah - boo hoo. We do get homesick and miss family and friends but you do what you have to as this lady did.
I think moving can be a smart solution to $ worries. OUr retiree health insurance just went up from 10k/year to 11.5/year. We are going to move to the PPO which costs half but pays less and keep track for a year to see if we save $ over the year. From taking a close examination I think we will. We pay 330/month for pet meds for 4 old dogs.
Wow, these numbers are eye opening. Thanks for sharing your stories and strategies. I guess I am fortunate to live in a lower income area of California. Things are very affordable where I shop for groceries. (I watch the flyers and buy what's on sale.) I can get my hair cut for $10.00. It helps to have cheap hobbies, too. I buy my yarn for knitting on clearance. The library has great books, and fortunately I am still able to get work with a local ballet company and sell my soaps and knits through etsy. Health insurance and property taxes are the largest expenses in my budget. I hadn't thought about meds for older dogs. I think I may have to just have one dog in the future.