Tom and I are thinking about retirement...well, I'm thinking about it, Tom has already done the deed! (lucky him). I, on the other hand have one year to go before I think I'll be ready. It's a big step and I'll be 62 years old when I do it...frightening, but in a way, it will be a relief! I've just about had it with the workplace ethics (or lack thereof by coworkers).
At first, we thought about Canada. Tom is a Canadian citizen, we could live there. It has the sort of climate and weather we like and perhaps we could find a nice retirement community. We looked around and we found one, only to realize when we started adding it all up that my getting into the country, the move there, and all the incidental expenses would leave us totally broke. That's not the way it's supposed to work. Canada is out and that was a bit of a letdown. We were looking forward to it.
Plan B...stay in the USA but find a place that will allow us to have a decent lifestyle-not fancy, no big trips or going overboard on shopping, etc. We will probably be entitled to subsidized housing as our pensions are pretty small, so, to find a location that won't relegate us to the ghetto and eating cat food. We've looked on the East Coast and the outlook is dismal at best. Public Housing in most areas=roach infested apartments in inner cities. No thanks! We don't like hot weather, so the ever popular idea of the old folks moving to Florida is out as well. I think we'd both be tired of that in two shakes of a lambs tail even though my kids and grandkids live in FLA. So, last week Tom was surfing for different locations and he found a very nice solution to the problem and hopefully it will work out for us. At first I was hardly enthusiastic because I had been so disappointed with the Canada fiasco. Just protecting myself. I think Tom was too so we're still both a little wary and trying not to be upset if this doesn't follow through. However, it seems to be something that could work if we've started the process soon enough.
Here's the BIG PLAN as it stands ~drumroll~Friday Harbor, San Juan Island, Washington. It's a small village with ferry service and air service for medical emergencies, everything within walking distance but quiet. It has a knit shop and local wool available, plenty of picturesque places for Tom to paint, galleries, a market if we want to sell (something we could not do in Canada was sell things/have a job) some of our handiwork. The Ferry goes to mainland several times a day if we want to go to Seattle, etc. There are two Sr's only apartments there (condos) that are subsidized by the gov't and I think we will qualify, utilities are included and the cost is more than reasonable. They look like they're nice and well kept. It would leave us money to live comfortably without worry about making ends meet. I never thought that we'd be able to afford a nice place in a nice area. The views are picturesque and I've never been to the West Coast-I do believe I would love it and grow quickly to call it home. I am almost afraid to get my hopes up, but it would be so wonderful to know that I could retire at 62 and we'd get to spend a few years together without a lot of stress on us.
If it falls through, I don't know what we'll do. I'd very much like to have a nice retirement with Tom.
This is Friday Harbor, WA