This blog is written by Lee Gale Gruen to help Baby Boomers, seniors, retirees, and those soon to retire find joy, excitement, and satisfaction in life after retirement. Her public lecture on this subject is titled: “Reinventing Yourself in Your Retirement.” Her memoir, Adventures with Dad: A Father and Daughter’s Journey Through a Senior Acting Class, is available by clicking here Amazon.com. Click here for her website: http://AdventuresWithDadTheBook.com
Now, on to my blog:
While working, how and where you reside is often dictated by considerations of employment, family, cost, etc. Once you retire, the options widen. Many stay put in the tried and true–their comfort level. The idea of moving from the family home is too distressing, and they may remodel to suit their aging needs: a mechanical staircase lift, lower counters and higher bottom cabinets and dishwashers, walk-in (or roll-in) showers, etc. Others who possess nagging wanderlust may venture out to explore different alternatives.
I recently heard from a friend of a friend about her choice. She has become a nomad. She sold her house of thirty years, and now moves between the West Coast of the United States, Mexico, and Europe, staying at each for long stints with travel interspersed. When she alights, she finds a short-term rental or stays with friends. She has carved out an interesting lifestyle. Her retirement may seem scary to some and exciting to others. I’ve heard (though it might not be correct) that the same Chinese character designates both danger and opportunity. Regardless of the Chinese alphabet, the metaphor holds.
I know of others who become minimalists, opting for the human version of turtles carrying their homes on their backs. These folks give up most worldly possessions, buy an RV, and continuously move about as the whim takes them.
Many downsize and find a like-minded demographic in which to settle such as an active senior retirement community. That was my decision. Still others strike out for distant and exotic lands, domestic or international, to pursue a passion–think Paul Gauguin.
A few friends have mentioned the idea of living with their children or other family members. They would have their own room in the main house. Or, they would occupy a small dwelling in the backyard, thereby creating a family compound. Many years ago, one of my cousins and her husband bought an apartment building with other family members, and each family unit lived in a different apartment. You have to like your relatives an awful lot to make this work.
There’s the story, true or not, of some people living permanently on cruise ships. They have a room, all meals, housekeeping services, a doctor available, and they get to explore exciting destinations.
There is no right or wrong choice. There is just the choice for you. The important thing is that you make it when you can instead of someone else doing it for you when you can’t.
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