I wish I were. I like moving. It took me a long time to like moving, I stayed in my first apartment for 7 years. I had to move because no one would come to my apartment, the neighborhood had become a tad too dangerous. But once I started the moving thing I took to it like a duck to water!

Doing a quick count I have had about 25 “permanent’ addresses (probably more, I tend to lose track when I start counting them) since I was born and 3 or 4 temporary addresses, temporary housing between permanent addresses. Some moves were intra-city, some intra-state, some inter-state and some were international. Whew! Fun tho, really.

One move was a self-move. It was intra-city, just half a mile or so. My husband’s friend and my boss and his brother helped with the schlepping, everybody had vans. When I got to work on Monday my boss said to me “I bet you have everything unpacked and put away already” and I replied “Of course!. My boss knew me well.

Move in the morning, unpack in the afternoon, everything in its proper place, dispose of the boxes. The only things not unpacked and put away properly were books and art work. Books were put on shelves any old which way and organized at some later date. Art work was unpacked and stacked neatly, out of the way. It takes a few days to decide where art work will look best.

The longest I’ve lived anywhere was from 1955 to 1967, from ages 9 to 21. We have now been living 10 years in this place. 10 years! Way too long. Way past moving time but it’s not so easy when you own the place you live. And you live in a very expensive part of the world. Could we afford the mortgage on a $700,000 home? Yes but why would we burden ourselves at this point in our lives with a large mortgage? (And yes, that’s what a 2bed/2bath apartment condo would cost here.) Still – I SO want to move.

What I will never understand is why people retire to out-of-the-way places. Assuming retirement age is 65 (or older) why in heaven’s name would you situate yourself far from health care, grocery stores and amenities that will become essentials as you age and your health will certainly start to deteriorate? And your driving ability as well.

We live one mile, one stinking mile, away from where we should be. Choosing this place was mistake number 1, we were being pennywise and pound foolish. If we had upped our budget by $30,000 to $50,000 we would have been in the perfect location (and we could have afforded it then.) But we were younger (Ha! 65 is not so young) and more mobile,  easily used public transportation even after we broke down and bought a car, which we had to sell 5 years ago because of my husband’s disabilities (I don’t drive.)

But – we are just over a mile away from a top notch medical facility. Less than a mile to 2 grocery stores. Bus on the corner for a 5 minute ride to the Metro. These things we did take into consideration, just not enough. At first we walked to the grocery store and the Metro; took busses to other places we wanted to go but my husband got annoyed with waiting for busses and bought a car 5 months in.

Now my husband can barely get into an Uber without help (mine). I can’t walk that mile and back to the grocery store. Our illnesses aren’t particularly terminal (aside from Life itself being terminal) but they are limiting.

We made a semi-decent choice when we moved here; did take into consideration the future and how we would manage but we didn’t see the future unfold the way it has.

I want to move. Not just because I get bored easily (10 years!) and I think moving is fun but time and troubles have made it almost a necessity.

Before you retire to that lovely cabin in the woods – Think!

20 thoughts on “Moving

  1. I would never want a cabin in the woods… that’s the stuff of horror novels. We fell into purchasing this condo because we were renting and the owner wanted to sell. Luckily, it was right before prices jumped like crazy. It’ll be okay for retirement, but not perfect because of stairs (elevator is a bit inconvenient, tho will become more convenient as the stairs get more difficult, lol), and a car is a necessity. It’s funny, I always said I hate moving, and I do, but I have moved A LOT!

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    1. I’ve known folks who retired to “the country” from either an urban environment or the suburbs of a city. They had existing health issues which only worsened with time and then they bitterly complained about the inconvenience after first complaining about the loneliness. Well, Duh! We went from a house, with stairs to an elevator building knowing that stairs, already an issue, would become an even bigger issue, which they have. We wanted a lower floor so that in the event we ever had to use the stairs we could manage (possibly/probably?) Thankfully our building has a generator which keeps one elevator running when there is a power failure. And yes, you can live here, a car-centric area, without one but again, depending on a person’s health issues that can also become problematic. I wonder about folks who either have no car, or can no longer drive, manage in areas where mass transportation is either unavailable or not the best. And then there are the smarter folks, who having moved to the hinterlands in their 60’s, moved back to an urban area in their 70’s. I have no idea how old people who live in Bumfuck, Idaho manage. Obviously they do, right? But I can’t imagine doing it myself. I am a dyed in the wool concrete and carbon monoxide gal myself.

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      1. Maybe they have family who help? I’m with you, not necessarily in the heart of a city, but definitely more urban than suburban. I want medical offices, shopping, and restaurants nearby!


  2. I am the exact opposite. I set down roots and they dig in deep. I’ve lived in my house 34 years now. I moved out of my dads house when I first got married and then with my first husband moved two other times. I hated every single time I had to move.

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    1. There was a time when stability was everything to me and change scared me – but I got over it and once I did, well, wherever I hang my hat is home.


  3. Wise words about where to live when you retire. I cannot imagine moving far away from people and civilization right about the time you need the amenities/help of civilization, but people do. Not you, of course. We’re planning to age in place for as long as we can, then we’ll see what comes next.

    [I watched an episode of Gerald McBoing Boing & it’s adorable. Thanks for telling me about it.]

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    1. Better to follow your dreams when you are young enough to enjoy them! Yeah, Gerald was my favorite and I still talk in sound effects…don’t know what about that captured my child imagination.

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      1. Yes, l have been moving since the day l was born. I was thinking about the moving itch only a few days ago funnily enough.

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          1. Observed well, l happen to love this house, but a few of the downshides can at times prove a little taxing. I am here for a while yet.

            I think it’s more along the lines that something is missing from my life and l am searching for that.


  4. 10 years already? I remember when you moved there! Boy how time flies but yet I do recall you posting about the Beatles song ‘when I’m 64!’.

    We’ve been having the discussion about where do we want to live when J retires. Homes are expensive here and although we don’t have a mortgage, the property taxes are nearing $7k a year which means they’ll be much higher in 4-5 years when he plans on retiring. I keep saying we should get an RV and go wherever or however long we want but he nixes that idea because of pets. I don’t know where we’ll end up or if we’ll stay here but I am getting the house ready to sell if necessary!

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    1. That’s young to retire (J is the same age as you, yes?) So he would be about 60 when he retires? I realize you were 50 when YOU retired except you didn’t, you basically changed careers. So what y’all have to look at in the next few years is – what are you going to do with the rest of your lives. As for the RV idea – the usual advice is to rent one and take an extended ‘vacation’ – see how it works for you. And then think about that lifestyle as a permanent thing…or at least a permanent thing for a certain number of years. Because as you get older priorities change faster than you might think.


  5. I happen to be in the process of moving right now. Moving day was day before yesterday. I am now sitting amid a sea of cardboard boxes which are being opened as need arises. I did find my laptop. We moved from what many called an idyllic subdivision in smallish city to an apartment tower downtown in the nearby big city. I have repeatedly had to explain why. It’s kind of a futile exercise. It boils down to I’m a city boy and you all don’t cotton to my kind. But I love it here. Yesterday morning I needed milk for my coffee so I took the elevator down to the lobby, said hi to the night staff, walked a couple of blocks, bought some milk and came home. I saw lots of people, got some fresh air and a little exercise.
    Signed the closing papers on the house yesterday and I feel about a thousand pounds lighter now.

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    1. The suburbs were never on my list of places to live. As I said (and have been saying for years, nay, since forever) I am a concrete and carbon monoxide gal. When folks would ask why I never escaped to the ‘country’ for a weekend I would say “I have Central Park, what else do I need?” City energy overwhelms some people, for me I feed off that energy. Small cities can be charming and even convenient but big cities are MORE convenient, have more energy. I lived for a short time in Baltimore, MD and when I got back to NYC it was “Ahh – I’m alive again”. You can imagine the culture shock of moving from NYC to a US/Canadian border town in the north of Vermont. Living for 2 years in the Bahamas was less than wonderful – I love living by the ocean, or indeed, a large body of water of any kind, but when that’s all there is? All that said, I wouldn’t move back to NYC even if I could afford to – it’s not the best place to be old and immobile.


      1. I must add that the “big city” I live in is no New York City, but on a smaller scale, you might say, it is what you say. We are old but mobile enough. Not that I feel real mobile right at the moment, after the process of moving house.

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