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Thread: Must read: I Don't Know a Single Person on this Earth Anymore

  1. #21
    Senior Member flowerseverywhere's Avatar
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    We left our northern Home at age 55 as soon as we could take retirement. We got over 200” of snow there and our kids had moved away. We had travelled looking for a place to live and settled on a large retirement community in Florida. We have over 60,000 homes. I can get anywhere, even to MD, movies, numerous restaurants and activities by golf car and many places by walking. Our grocery stores will deliver or you can pre order or drive up. You can walk outside almost every single day. we moved here because DH has multiple medical problems. No step from the garage to the house. Wide doors with handles instead of knobs. Roman shower you can roll a wheelchair in with a seat already in the corner. One floor living. Large screened lanai with a ledge (hurricane and flood requirements) that could take a small ramp easily.
    But the best thing is neighbors. Yesterday I had my gallbladder out. One neighbor stopped by last evening to see if I was ok. Two people called this morning too see if I needed anything. I got half a dozen texts and more emails from friends and neighbors.
    For my sense of purpose, I quilt in a group of 50 women, some of whom I have become friendly with. We make charity quilts for foster kids, and for habitat for humanity type houses (on a smaller scale, they refurbish trailers) and each bed has a brand new quilt on it when they are done. Next week I am going to a meeting that helps veterans who were disabled not in the line of duty obtain housing. We hope to raise $200,000 this year towards this goal. I volunteer in the library in the used book store and we raise money which goes to local school programs. Many of my neighbors tutor kids or volunteer in hospice.

    If if I moved near my kids they could move somewhere else They have their own lives and responsibilities. Their first responsibility is towards their spouses, kids and jobs like we raised them.

    Just be be careful on this route. There are some crabby old people here. Some entitled. Some heavy drinkers. But by and large a very nice community. Also, be very careful picking out a community. I did not want to see “site of future clubhouse” as I assumed what was not built would never be. . Or a place that touted 200 clubs without seeing for my own eyes what those activities are. Having a quilting meeting and two people show up to talk was one such group I ran across. Good management is the key or the cheap old people will vote down any improvements.

    I don’t want to be a burden on my kids. I want to live, love and enjoy life.

  2. #22
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveinMN View Post
    But it's not difficult and not a ridiculous idea to plan for the possibility.

    Pack up and send off as a protective measure? No. But make it possible through design and modification and services to allow people to live someplace safely and with what they need to live a decent life? I don't see anything wrong with making that happen.
    I'm not saying I'm not planning. That's a big reason we bought this little house in Vermont. We can easily retire there, and if we find we like it, we most likely will pull up stakes in NJ within a couple of years. It's one level living, 700 square feet, rooms all pretty open. Despite the fact that its a rural area, they have a lot of amenities and community programs for older folk--the demographics of the islands skew older. But honestly, barring an accident, I don't plan on NEEDING one level living for a while.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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  3. #23
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    I wish there were more affordable places for older folk with small, individual homes so that one could have a little yard and privacy. The thought of senior living with clubhouse, pool, gym, dining hall etc just doesn't appeal to me at this point even though having friends close by would be nice. This trip-level we are living in now ain't gonna work when we are just a bit older. Watching DH get creakier and creakier maneuvering all these stairs.

  4. #24
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flowerseverywhere View Post
    We left our northern Home at age 55 as soon as we could take retirement. We got over 200” of snow there and our kids had moved away. We had travelled looking for a place to live and settled on a large retirement community in Florida. We have over 60,000 homes. I can get anywhere, even to MD, movies, numerous restaurants and activities by golf car and many places by walking. Our grocery stores will deliver or you can pre order or drive up. You can walk outside almost every single day. we moved here because DH has multiple medical problems. No step from the garage to the house. Wide doors with handles instead of knobs. Roman shower you can roll a wheelchair in with a seat already in the corner. One floor living. Large screened lanai with a ledge (hurricane and flood requirements) that could take a small ramp easily.
    But the best thing is neighbors. Yesterday I had my gallbladder out. One neighbor stopped by last evening to see if I was ok. Two people called this morning too see if I needed anything. I got half a dozen texts and more emails from friends and neighbors.
    For my sense of purpose, I quilt in a group of 50 women, some of whom I have become friendly with. We make charity quilts for foster kids, and for habitat for humanity type houses (on a smaller scale, they refurbish trailers) and each bed has a brand new quilt on it when they are done. Next week I am going to a meeting that helps veterans who were disabled not in the line of duty obtain housing. We hope to raise $200,000 this year towards this goal. I volunteer in the library in the used book store and we raise money which goes to local school programs. Many of my neighbors tutor kids or volunteer in hospice.

    If if I moved near my kids they could move somewhere else They have their own lives and responsibilities. Their first responsibility is towards their spouses, kids and jobs like we raised them.

    Just be be careful on this route. There are some crabby old people here. Some entitled. Some heavy drinkers. But by and large a very nice community. Also, be very careful picking out a community. I did not want to see “site of future clubhouse” as I assumed what was not built would never be. . Or a place that touted 200 clubs without seeing for my own eyes what those activities are. Having a quilting meeting and two people show up to talk was one such group I ran across. Good management is the key or the cheap old people will vote down any improvements.

    I don’t want to be a burden on my kids. I want to live, love and enjoy life.
    So much of what you wrote is true for me as well. When DH passed away, I moved from my dream farm into town into a perfect one level home with small private yard close to all the amenities that I need. Friends and activities are diverse and treasured. Basically, for me, the weather didn't change a thing from the experience in Florida. We had almost record snowfall and I loved it. Help for the small jobs is readily available, the home is well-built and easily maintained so I plan on being here as long as is feasible. I, too, did not want to be clustered with a group of just seniors. I love walking and seeing families of all ages. When I can no longer care for myself, i will move into a facility with services but I don't expect that to happen for the next 25 years. Life is good!
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

  5. #25
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    I wouldn't mind a retirement community here similar to what Flowerseverywhere described--it sounds lovely. There are a few around, but fewer of them and less well-designed.

  6. #26
    Senior Member Gardenarian's Avatar
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    There's a great retirement community in my town, but the fees - over $700 per month! Which gets you an inexpensive and excellent restaurant, a gym, indoor pool, exercise classes, regular community parties, a nice 4 acre park, and all landscaping - as well as your own vegetable plot.
    And other people - a social whirl - which may be a plus or a minus. Also excellent security and access to prompt medical care.

    Maybe in our 80s we'd consider it...
    It's not near downtown or shops and is close to the freeway.

    In the meantime, I've slowly been creating my circle of friends through my dancing group and a local progressive political group to which I belong. I'm not much of a joiner and very introverted, but I love dance, and I feel taking part in politics is a duty, and a privilege. We've lived here three years and its only lately that I've been finding people that I'm fond enough of to want to get to know better and add to my contacts.

  7. #27
    Senior Member Gardenarian's Avatar
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    Also, our house is laid out so that it would be easy to convert one section to a private apartment, and we've talked about getting live-in help in our old age (whenever that arrives.) Just another option. And, our house is all on one floor.

  8. #28
    Senior Member flowerseverywhere's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gardenarian View Post
    There's a great retirement community in my town, but the fees - over $700 per month! Which gets you an inexpensive and excellent restaurant, a gym, indoor pool, exercise classes, regular community parties, a nice 4 acre park, and all landscaping - as well as your own vegetable plot.
    And other people - a social whirl - which may be a plus or a minus. Also excellent security and access to prompt medical care.

    Maybe in our 80s we'd consider it...
    It's not near downtown or shops and is close to the freeway.

    In the meantime, I've slowly been creating my circle of friends through my dancing group and a local progressive political group to which I belong. I'm not much of a joiner and very introverted, but I love dance, and I feel taking part in politics is a duty, and a privilege. We've lived here three years and its only lately that I've been finding people that I'm fond enough of to want to get to know better and add to my contacts.
    you hit the nail n the head with the fees. Wherever you live, money plays a big part. It does cost money to have a nice clubhouse, activities and generally houses with such amenities cost more. We have beautiful pools, beautiful landscaping, lots of outdoor courts and three times a day a community watch drives by every house looking for anything out of the ordinary. We were the recipients of generous 401k matches and a roaring stock market. I do believe saving for retirement is much more difficult today, and therefore much more important. I have a friend who lives a half hour away in a 999 home community. Cheaper, but way less to do and they bear much more fiscal responsibility for the community and it’s upkeep. Seems like more crabby old people. There are different rules for communities with less than 1,000 houses in Florida I have been told but I never looked into it.

    A small town town can be very tricky for an outsider unless you find a way to fit in. If you come to work or bring something to the town, ie. Yoga instructor, some type of craft and so on you can fit is a little easier. It does take years to build true friendships. But building community is important. I know many people who go to church specifically for the fellowship.

    But one thing I know for sure. Sitting home wondering why you have no connections won’t make them happen. It is up to you to keep connected and not become a crabby old person. Continually talking about how much worse you had it when you were growing up, how bad parents or kids are today or your aches and pains are no help to forming relationships. I remember listening to the Simon and Garfunkel song “the force can’t do a decent job, the kids got no respect for the law today” and that was 50 years ago, criticizing things that have changed through the evolution of society is not helpful. Times have changed immensely in my lifetime.
    Volunteering, joint plant clubs, craft groups, a group which supports your political beliefs, going to a gym or church. Deliver meals on wheels, learn a skill or craft, tutor ESL, Just do it. And if the first group does not work, find another. Social media can be comforting but tremendously isolating.

  9. #29
    Senior Member Williamsmith's Avatar
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    Its difficult for me to read comments like these. Every life has so many variables yet similarities can help you make good decisions. Yesterday I went to a wake for a friend of the family who died unexpectedly at 84. I expressed my condolence s to the family in line. I related how my own father was in this very spot and their father came to express his condolences. His son, who I went to school with and who was in and out of my life growing up said, “This really brings it home to you doesn’t it?.”

    Its hard for me to express what Im getting at here. Watching people make their choices at the end of their lives is very instructive. Some will remain in their large houses even after it becomes untenable. I’ve been convinced that people make a conscious choice to either approach the later years with purpose or out of fear or simple ignorance act as if their not making choices doesn’t effect others.

    The biggest mistake is not realizing just how reliant you are on others. And not taking steps to minimize that reliance as much as possible while you are able to make choices. If you wait too long, the choices will be made for you.

    If I could make an analogy. Life is like a beautiful balance beam routine with graceful movements, impossible flips, headstands and handstands. Nearing the end the gymnast prepares for dismount. The dismount signals the end of the routine but in itself is perhaps the most important move. An otherwise stunning routine can be ruined by a poor dismount. But the gymnast visualizes it in their head and executes it. It compliments the entire performance when a powerful but graceful person sticks the landing and bows to the crowd.

  10. #30
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    That is an awesome analogy

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