Friday, June 19, 2009

Where to live?

One of the big topics between my wife and I is; Where do we retire? This has been the topic of many deep discussions. We have a beautiful one story home, on a small lot, in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Some would say it is ideal. But I see problems. First of all, maintaining the house is becoming overwhelming. It takes all of my energy to mow the front and back yard. Yes that includes trimming, edging, and cleanup. But after that, I am wiped out! I can imagine in the near future it will be a two day job. Then there is the expense of keeping the house up. In the last three years I have put a new roof on, replaced the heating and cooling system, refaced some bathroom cabinets, a new garage door, and some other needed replacements. I can hear you now, "It's all done, what more do you need?" Well, the kitchen needs remodeled, new carpet, paint inside, and the vinyl siding is 20 year old builder's grade. All in all, there is still much to do. and to be honest, I don't want to spend the money. Then there is the everyday maintenance like clogged drains, dripping faucets, and caulking! Then there is the inconvenience of the occasional hurricane! They are an ever present danger for those who live on the east coast. Yes, I love the ocean, but it has it's cost.

So, what do we do? I have decided, yes I can still make decisions, that we should live in a rental unit of some type. This will completely relieve me of any maintenance issues. We have agreed to live in an over 55 complex. I think that will be good. It makes sense to live around people of like interests and abilities. The area has not been as easy a decision. As I said, we really like the Hampton Roads area,. We have been here for 25+ years. Our friends are here. Doctors that we trust are here. Our Church family is here. All of my Navy benefits are here. I enjoy being around the Navy. I like to look at ships. But, other areas are less expensive than the Hampton Roads area. Another idea is to move to a retirement village owned and operated by the Grace Brethren Church in Winona Lake, Indiana. It has many appealing features. But no Navy benefits, and it SNOWS! Yes, they do all the maintenance, including SNOW removal. But the fact that there is SNOW is a major detractor.

My wife and I have looked a a number of over 55 communities in the area and plan to look at a few more in the near future. I know we need to make a decision, and we need to sell the house, even in this down market. Time is wasting and I would like to make this move while I am still able, mentally and physically. So, the search goes on and so does the frustration and uncertainty. I pray that we will find our future home soon.

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