Time to get serious about answers to that pesky question:
How and where do I live a good life at this late age on a sustainable basis?
As I approached and passed the retirement point, the where question was the most urgent one for me. I’m still working on the more elusive how, and I’ll leave that one for later.
For many retirees, where is not an issue. If you live in a home that you love and can afford to keep, AND there’s no strong attraction to a different location, then case closed. For most folks in that situation, proximity to children and grandchildren might be the only reason to consider relocating. I had never in my adult life established a permanent home, and I have no children or grandchildren, so I was free to move or stay put.
Two issues convinced me I badly needed a change of geography.
I didn’t mind the weather in my home state of Maryland until my fifties. But after 50 I came to dislike the winter months more with each passing year. Even so, I might not have moved for climate alone. I liked Maryland in most respects, and I have siblings, nieces and nephews, and friends living there.
The deciding factor was cost of living. As job prospects deteriorated in my fifties, I moved to smaller and smaller apartments. Income declined and debt increased. It became obvious that I couldn’t AFFORD the Washington-Baltimore region of Maryland, where I’d lived most of my life. I began researching the alternatives long before I would qualify for Social Security at 62 or Medicare at 65. I started the research close to home, in the different regions of Maryland, and gradually expanded outward.
In a day or three, I’ll pick up the geography story.