A question for you

Diana,  Age 72

This isn’t my story so much as a question that I’d like to toss around. (Jane said that I could give it a try.) So, if you have any interest, please join in!

Are you staying in place, or have you downsized or relocated since you retired? And how’s that going?

When my husband retired five years ago we moved to a new state to be near our daughter. And we’re both truly enjoying having her in our lives. There’s a lot about being here that I like – an opera company and our own civic symphony, a superior library system, beautiful scenery with close access to a national park, a nicer house…..

I didn’t expect to miss the old place despite the fact that we’d lived there since we married in 1972, but I was wrong! I miss my friends terribly! And, to be honest, I haven’t found another woman to meet even for lunch or coffee. Making new friends at 72 isn’t easy.

If you’ve relocated, how did you handle it? Are you happy with the change? What do you miss?

And if you stayed in place, are you pleased?

There aren’t any wrong answers. It’s just meant as an opportunity for that girl chat that I miss so much!

This entry was posted in 70candles, Family matters, Networking, Older women connecting, Where to live and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to A question for you

  1. Patricia says:

    Hi Patricia here
    I turned 70 last week and my husband 74. We both are working realtors, basically full time and have to. We live in a beautiful Tropical county. Beautiful and expensive. Very populated lots of hustle and bustle. We are in our own home of 30 years with two large dogs that give us both love, exercise and lots of happy times.

    We think of the future and getting older. My son wants us to move near him 4 hours North of our town in a completely different political climate. The shopping and such are quite a distance and we know no one. My son and his family are very busy. However if we needed help he, as much as he could, and his wife would help.

    I wonder what it would be like to move to such a cultural change not having employment and needing it. We have always had our own business.

    My son points out that everything is less expensive and we would have family nearby at times. No pressure from him. His mother in law and her husband moved near him and she hated it. She lived in the same area as my husband and I do now. A lot of anxiety about leaving the known and making a huge change at this age. We don’t know what to do. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Fran says:

    I moved from my home (meaning place, not house) of over 50 years, because Southern CA was no longer a decent place to live AND because the cost of living was just too high. I like, for a number of reasons, where I live now, because the cost of living is so low, because it’s a great place to grow old, and because 1-2 times a year I can visit Southern CA for a couple of weeks. When I get homesick (I’ve been here 11 years now — not so homesick and not nearly as often), I remind myself that what I really miss is the Southern CA of about 50 years ago. 🙂 But friends are so important. If I had to do it all over again, I would remain in Southern CA and make it work. Friends are so very important. ON THE OTHER HAND, come to think of it, friends of mine have been dying off these past 11 years, and more and more of them die each year. In another 10 years, I could be living in a place I really don’t like (Southern CA) with just a couple of friends, and all three of us with health issues that impact our ability to get out and about. //// While I don’t think these criteria are for everyone, my criteria was weather (can’t stand humidity, and after 50 years of BORING Southern CA weather, I love the mild change of seasons here), healthcare (not primo here but I don’t really care), and what amenities does the city/state offer to its senior citizens — as for the last, I hit the jackpot in Albuquerque, NM. //// And you’re right, btw: making friends in older age is really difficult, and it’s even more difficult if we’re not church members. [Also, I tend to relate to women around 10 years younger than I am, and they’re all still working.]

  3. Mary Lou says:

    Hello Diana,
    I moved to Virginia about 11 years ago.
    My decision making was difficult and easy at the same time. It was impossible for me to afford to retire in the NJ area I came from. Also, all of my children were scattered all over the country and each had their own opinions on what I should do.
    I did my research for best retirement areas and decided to take the leap. I’m an hour away from one son and his family and also my sister.
    It’s turned out to be a wonderful decision and I’ve met friends through a part-time job I had and now through volunteering in the community. I’m 75 and still open to new experiences and new friends.
    I’m in a good place, both physically, mentally and spiritually. I’m renting in a one level garden apartment where I’m able to get to everything I need within a five mile radius.
    I know my children have my back, so to speak, in the event of emergency. Right now I love being independent.
    Mary Lou (www.meinthemiddlewrites.com)

  4. Kathy says:

    Diana I was in a similar position. In 2012 we sold the home we had been living in for 30 years. It was a very difficult adjustment for me. After 6 months living in an apartment in the same area, we relocated to a smaller house in Virginia Beach. We love it here. I agree it was difficult to make friends initially. About two years ago I stumbled on a Meetgroup that was specifically for our age group. We meet for lunch about two times per month. Look for a group in your area or start one yourself. Everyone needs girlfriends in their life. Hope this helps.

  5. Diana says:

    Thanks for the responses. I’ll be back to respond in a day or two. Monday night I made an unexpected late night trip to the ER with my husband. He’s home today and we’re both exhausted but no worse for wear.

    I do want to respond because your comments made me look at things from a new angle or two.

  6. Iris says:


    We retired in 2010, made a move to northern Michigan and left behind our children. This is a move I have had a hard time adjusting to. I know I needed something to do so I decided to volunteer at our local hospital – it was a blessing. I love volunteering and look forward to it. I still miss my family and hope some to make a move to be close to them again.

  7. Diana says:

    Again, thanks for the thoughtful responses.

    Patricia, I sympathize with those who move and then don’t like it. My parents did that. And they never stopped complaining about the new community. So at least I learned to keep my mouth firmly shut! Aging parents can be a comfort or a burden; I guess it’s up to us.

    Fran, you’re as smart as Thomas Wolf – you can’t go home again. The past is done. And places and people change. I’m going to remind myself that many of my friends were moving away from the old place. It was the people that I liked; not necessarily the place.

    Mary Lou, that garden apartment does sound good. And a part-time job is a great way to meet people.

    Kathy and Iris, I took your responses to heart. I need to keep trying. So far ‘senior’ gatherings haven’t worked for us – no one really wants to talk or meet new people. So this year when the YMCA community garden starts up, I’ll be there. It’s up to me to find more active people with common interests.

  8. patricia frame says:

    Diana, my story is very different. I am staying in Metro DC where I have lived for over 30 years now. Not so much because of friends – around here many folks move away when they retire. But because I love the amenities of life here. I still work because I enjoy it and as a consultant can control my time. I live in the same condo have been in all these years -we have good services and buses at front door and short walk to library, grocery stores, restaurants. A few years ago had master bathroom redone in case I develop mobility issues.
    We do not have children but then I know parents who move to be near a child and then the child moves…. so I have never been so fond of that idea when friends mention it.
    When my mother-in-law was 83 she moved here to be near us as she lived in a southern town she loved but which had no public transport or senior services. She transitioned amazingly well because she was a birder and she connected with birding groups here immediately and got active. When she retired from nursing at 65 she said she had looked for a hobby that involved 3 things – meeting people, mental exercise, physical exercise. I have always thought that great advice. And when she needed hospice care at the end, I just had to move her a few blocks from her apartment into my living room and her friends could visit easily.
    Hope this helps. And hope your community garden offers some good networking so you can develop new friends.

  9. Diana says:

    Patricia, I do envy your access to public transport. That’s such a big issue for those of us in smaller communities.

    btw, we’ve assured our daughter that she and her family are free to move whenever they choose; we’ll follow along and downsize a bit more. But I do hope it’s somewhere interesting.

  10. Pam says:

    In response to moving out of state. I moved to a warmer state, downsized and love it. The beach is near, so I walk the beach Sunday mornings. I do miss my northern friends, but have made new ones. I moved to a community that keeps me independent and moving. I also volunteer which offers an opening to make new friends. After many years of marriage and years nursing my husbands addictions I finally realized I needed to just get out. I was the only one responsible for my happiness, so it was up to me. I believe the only problem I have is family, they just don’t understand why at this age and time in life I need to be me. I welcome any response!

    • Mary Lou says:

      Pam ~ This is exactly how I feel about my move! I gave up having anyone understand my decision. It was time for me to enjoy the time I have left in the way I chose to do it. I wish you much joy. Walking on the beach on Sunday mornings sounds wonderful!!

    • Patricia says:

      Pam how exciting that you finally get to breathe fresh air. I had a psychologist who told me of one of her patients that waited until she was 84 to move to Italy and leave her husband and she couldn’t have been happier. 72 is young I feel since I am 70 and feel terrific except for that energy thing. I want to do so much but the body says whoa “take it easy”
      Anyway mazel to you and Enjoy! Yes, you are correct, it is Your Life!

      • pam says:

        Hi Patricia,
        Thanks for replying to my post. I’m actually 73 and feel great after starting over.
        Take care!

  11. Patricia farber says:

    73 is still young!

    • pam says:

      I purchased a new home in a gated community, small and one level, near the Gulf of Mexico. The weather is like living in paradise, expenses are very reasonable. The yard is small, so I can still garden. Wine time is at 4:00 each day. Please believe me when I say “I could never have lived like this in Minnesota, the cost of living would not have let me.”
      Take Care!

  12. Ilene Miner says:

    I’m 73 now and 8 years ago, I picked up and moved across country. Both my adult children had moved to the West Coast, and although I am and was healthy, I was thinking about the future- also I wanted to be near grandchildren, and one son who has health issues.

    I was working full time when I left and after a few months, I started working 4/5 time, and am still working. I can’t imagine living without work and it helps to pay the bills.

    I left NYC and am now in Los Angeles. I still miss close friends on a daily basis, get to NY at least twice a year for a week each time, but it still feels that it’s not enough.

    I have made some friends through my profession, one or two are particularly close, and they are both transplanted east coast people!

    It’s been a challenge and fun and I love being outdoors whenever I want… Life is good although I wish air-fare were cheaper!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *