When we decided to retire, it was a quick decision too.
We had not spent months and years in preparation.
We figured out that if we sold our Cal. property we'd be able to move anywhere in the world.
We thought of moving to Italy, my homeland, after a visit of a few weeks.
Hubby was all for the idea. I kept thinking that our grown children wouldn't be visiting us too often if we moved so far from them.
So, four elements should have guided our thinking, in retrospect:
1. Finding a place we loved, and not too far for the children to get to us, affordable in our new status.
2. Identifying the things we wanted to do with our time.
3. Accessing service providers.
4.Live well within our means.
We did extremely well on the first element We sold our house in a couple of days, and moved to a small apartment close to my work site, until the retirement process was completed. All our belongings went to our children who appreciated the stuff they could select and keep. The rest, went to charity. We planned on purchasing what we needed for our new digs later. We kept a few things and these too were given to charity on the day we left California permanently
We chose a place in Port Orford because if was just breathtakingly beautiful. All the other problems paled by that beauty. We had looked on the coast for months for something affordable to us; and we didn't find anything in California. Oregon is much more affordable. One reason, no sales taxes, and a laid back life style.
On the second, not really. It took us a couple of years to figure things out.
People gave us gifts of golf clubs thinking with all the links in our new area, we'd pick up the sport. We tried. We didn't like it. The same with fishing. There isn't much to do in some places. And, the big AND, we didn't really have hobbies besides our work.
THIS CAN BE A BIG PROBLEM!
Our mistake is one most people will make, not thinking of how they will spend their time in retirement, before health issues will immobilize you. Traveling, shopping and dining are not hobbies or creative activities. They will just drain your dwindling resources. Yes, you can do them. But, they will not keep you engaged mentally and physically for the long run.
In the next post I will outline some of the ways that would have helped us prepare for this eventuality.