Florida, Retirement

Mother Nature’s Apology and a Retirement Epiphany.

person spreading hands against sun

After the polar vortex last week, this week has been a dream.  (Mother Nature – you are forgiven).  We’ve experienced sunshine and temps all the way up to 72 degrees.  Yesterday I started some 5K training on my 3 miler route and I felt amazing.

And then it happened.  My epiphany.  I NEED sunshine and warmth to feel good. Of course I’ve always known this, which is why I sit under a light therapy lamp every morning in the winter.  But this time the answer to my retirement housing conundrum came to me as clear as day.

I’ve been struggling with where I’m going to live in retirement.  My health and well being seem to improve with the sunshine.  Yesterday’s run (jog) solidified the answer.  I need to spend winters some place warm.  My pick? The gulf coast of Florida.  A single family home large enough to house family and friends.  There are two cities I already am familiar with and LOVE.   Of course I will need to research everything from taxes to healthcare before I dive into such a large investment.  My daughter lived in that area for over 3 years, so I will start with her insights.

I still want a place here in Virginia to be close to my family the other half of the year, and it has now become clear as to what kind of housing that will be.  Of course, in order for it to work, both homes will be have to be paid off before my husband retires.  I guess we shall see.

I’m happy to have a vision and a direction in which to move forward. It may not work out, but at least I have a clearer picture of how I want retirement to look.

Time to do some research.

If you live in Florida, please share your thoughts!



17 thoughts on “Mother Nature’s Apology and a Retirement Epiphany.”

  1. I am writing this from a few days in Clearwater, FL and I so GET what you’re talking about. We’re headed home today to ice and snow. I will say that, even more than the cold, the short days of winter are what affects me most.

    1. I’m sorry you have to head home, although the summers where you live are gorgeous. Thankfully we are heading into Spring and not the reverse. 🙂

  2. We were averaging near zero for a few days up here in Western NY, and I also have had it with the cold and snow. Last year we stayed on Marco Island for a week, and we are leaving in a few weeks for a longer visit, in a rental house. I want to take a look around the various towns on the Gulf Coast, from Sarasota, to Venice, to Bonita Springs and Naples. I think we will eventually rent for several months once my husband retires to get a real feel for what we like, before buying a house. May decide to just rent for a few months every winter and never buy. But honestly Sharon, a few of my friends have 2 homes, and forgetting the expense, they hate it. They say it is a huge headache worrying about two homes, and things are always breaking when they are away, etc. You can only be in one place at a time, so two homes requires constant worrying. In addition, going back and forth, having two sets of doctors, etc. is another issue. I am into simplifying my life, and so we need to really figure out where we will be happiest. None of my three children are ever coming back to this area, so that is not a consideration.
    Which two towns are you thinking of – keep us posted with any information and your thought process! Thanks, Ellen

    1. Ellen, yeah, that definitely is a turn off worrying about two homes. We LOVE Sarasota and Venice. I just don’t want to rent, I like my own stuff. We’ll probably do what you are doing, stay for a while to get a feel before we decide to buy. I do know that I prefer sunshine in the winter for both my health and sanity. S.A.D. is real, and I have a doozy of it. 🙂

  3. My parents had two homes. In the end, it was WAY too much. My sister rents for four months a year. She pays a bit more then the house payments, but less then the payments plus upkeep. She takes a car load of stuff with her- pillows, blankets, favorite pots and pans. She buys a nice IKEA door mat if the one she bought the year before is gone. This will be her third year. Something to think about.

    1. Hi Janette! Yes, absolutely. That was our original plan, but for some reason I’m thinking I’ll use it more than 4 months. But maybe not. We’ll have to do a bunch of research. 🙂

  4. Hi Sharon , a friend of mine solution was a tiny house with a roof with skylights for SAD where the kids were living and was lucky enough that one of them had lots of land for it to be located. Her reasoning was her son had a large enough home for Thanksgiving and Christmas family gatherings and she pitched in with cooking. She also created a large outdoor kitchen and entertaining lanai area where when she was there she could host barbecues for friends and families . They could watch over it and use it for in law visits when she was away. Another one got a beautiful new camper ($60000) and enjoyed traveling to investigate sunny places all over the country. She liked so many places and found the thought of paying year round taxes and insurances For two homes ridiculous and a waste of all the hard earned money! She did house swaps with her kids so they could go camping with it.
    I like renting vacation homes in different locations enjoying my time there and closing the door and walking away. As I get older I don’t want to spend my time doing housework and maintenance and am ready to buy all these services and instead spend time with the grandkids, do painting, photography, travel, and genealogy . There is way too much fun stuff to occupy the last third of your life. Sincerely, Lara

  5. I get where you’re coming from. Our goal isn’t necessarily another home, but just to afford to be able to get away for a few weeks of the winter. The older I get, the longer winters seem to last.

  6. Ahhh… I miss the sun and the warmth. February is dragging me down here, the weather has been horrid (lots of ice storms with another on the way) and cold temps. *sigh* I’m waiting for you sun!!!

  7. I feel energized by the sun, too. Summers where I live are beautiful and sunny, but winters can be long, dark and dreary. I think a couple of weeks in a sunny location every winter would be enough for me. Something to think about as I plan for retirement.

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