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Moving to a different area - what are the priorities?

(37 Posts)
andycor Thu 03-Nov-16 11:24:04

This may seem like an obvious question, but we are finding it hard to decide what is most important in our retirement move (both finishing work soon at 61 Yippee!). So here is our plan ... to move 100 miles or so further west (we are in Surrey atm) to be closer to daughter and family in Cornwall.
Other family and friends are in Surrey so we dont want to move so far that we cut off from them entirely.
We have done some visits this year - to Dorset, E Devon and Somerset and simply can't decide where best to put ourselves. Putting our house on the market in January 2017 and as it is centrally located we think it may sell quite fast. Our wishlist is .. on a bus route, not too isolated and with active community to join stuff..... any pointers gratefully appreciated!

Beammeupscottie Thu 03-Nov-16 11:45:19

Don't go down the "inbetween" road as this will lead to isolation in old age when you will not want to travel so much. Either locate near your daughter in Cornwall or stay close to Surrey. At the age of 60 it is difficult to imagine a time when you will not want to race round from one side of the family to the other but it will come. Are you looking to be near the sea?
I like to feel useful in my old age; who has the younger family (Cornwall or Surrey) where you can be of help?

J52 Thu 03-Nov-16 12:05:59

If you are going to visit one or another of the areas mentioned, I'd look to be near a train station. There may come a time when you no longer want to drive long distances.

ninathenana Thu 03-Nov-16 12:13:43

All those counties are quiet hilly, something to think about when choosing your new location. I'd want a shop within walking distance too. I wouldn't want to have a bus ride just to get a pint of milk.

Beammeup makes some good points

Granarchist Thu 03-Nov-16 12:57:36

Beammeupscottie is spot on. One end of the country or the other or you will spend your life on the road to friends or to family. Making new friends, not just acquaintances, is a tough one once you get over a certain age. Nowadays I would also look at NHS care!

Penstemmon Thu 03-Nov-16 13:07:53

We moved (to Surrey) to be near our DDs and but moved away from good friends in S London.
Our list was: Good access to London by road and rail

Easy to walk to a shop

Flat & manageable garden

I do tend to agree with Beammeupscottie you do not want to be away from everyone you currently care about. Also you do not want to be a burden when your family may have to travel to you because there are no longstanding pals to help out if you were unwell etc.

Either all the way to Cornwall or stay local!

Jalima Thu 03-Nov-16 13:18:05

Cornwall is quite out of the way for motorways, airports etc if you wish to do any travelling or visiting other parts of the UK. If your DD moves away from there for any reason you could feel quite isolated.

East Devon is quite a lively place for retirees (but I would avoid going as far as Torbay - so busy and built-up although packed full of retired people enjoying themselves!!

However, Dorset and Devon do tend to be hilly.

We live up a hill which we are both finding a bit of a trial as we get older.

Luckygirl Thu 03-Nov-16 13:20:31

I so agree with the idea that moving in between friends and family is a bad move - you finish up with the worst of both worlds.

At one time we were going to move away, but how glad I am that we did not! - I had a fall when I was 65, and the breakages limit my mobility still - I also had a hip replacement that did not have a good result. My OH was diagnosed with PD. The idea of us having to move to a bungalow (which we have just done) because of mobility problems would never have entered our heads, just as they have not entered yours! We were fit and active and nothing could have been further from our thoughts.

Honestly - either live near your friends or near your family. If you are a distance from your family your visits will still be an "event" - we are near two of our daughters and we are closely and happily involved with the GC. For example, One DD had to take her son to the doctor today, so she dropped by and left her daughter with us for half an hour.

The option you are choosing and the lifestyle you are hoping for are wholly dependent on continuing good health. As we get older that is in no way to be relied upon.

Sorry to sound gloomy, but that is the reality.

Jalima Thu 03-Nov-16 13:23:53

And another gloomy - or pragmatic - thought - check out the hospitals where you intend to move to for waiting times etc.

Penstemmon Thu 03-Nov-16 13:34:58

I would also add that if you can, buy a property with enough space for friends/family to stay comfortably.

yggdrasil Thu 03-Nov-16 14:15:18

I did that, and they never came. So now I have a bungalow with one upstairs spare bedroom, and it is much better

Lillie Thu 03-Nov-16 15:24:24

I'm not quite as old as you, but still consider 61 to be the new 51. You may well have another two or three moves in you yet, so I would go with your heart and choose somewhere you really like the look of. Also somewhere with lots going on for when you first retire. There's plenty of time to be worrying about the gloomy things later on and no point being old before your time. Exeter and surrounding areas is nice.

BBbevan Thu 03-Nov-16 15:33:26

We are both 71 and are moving next week from the S East to West Wales. We haven't bought a house yet so shall be staying with our DD whilst we have a look around. We would like something rural, but realise that might not be practical for long. At the moment we are both fit and well and do a lot of walking.So it will probably be within walking distance of a shop, and a bus route. Also ease of access to doctor and dentist. A small village would be good. Quite excited now. !

Charleygirl Thu 03-Nov-16 16:03:04

I agree, near a decent hospital, GP surgery, dentist, optician. You want to be close to shops and as somebody else mentioned, a train station. Country bus routes have a nasty habit of disappearing. You may not need these now but fast forward 10 years and a lot can happen.

A manageable house, small garden and a bungalow if possible but not a house with eg 3 floors.

Do not be so far away from friends that it is an overnight trip to visit.

Do you have hobbies?

you do not want to be too isolated that you cannot get anywhere if eg it is snowing. It should be easy to buy a newspaper and a pint of milk.

Luckygirl Thu 03-Nov-16 16:09:46

Lillie - we did not choose to be "old before our time" - it just came and bit us on the bum!

Charleygirl Thu 03-Nov-16 16:17:59

Luckygirl I could not agree more- I retired in 2002, had 3 casual jobs until I broke my ankle in 2009, had to have it internally fixated and life has never been the same since. Not quite what I had envisaged.

andycor Thu 03-Nov-16 16:38:45

Thank you all for such useful and helpful comments and suggestions. I so agree about not being too isolated and we do want to be part of a community. We both have hobbies and interests and will not be idle. I think the problem is that we are trying to please others with our location and being accessible rather than really looking at what we want ourselves .... yes we are fairly fit and active now and it is hard to project to a time we are not, so this is another good reason to choose to be within walking distance of amenities. My late parents moved to Cornwall in retirement and although it was lovely while they were still active, it became too isolated in the end and I am afraid of following suit. I do like the idea of siting ourselves in an area that has lots to offer so that the family/friends will come to us, rather than us go to them when it gets more challenging. More thought required I feel! Appeal is countryside and a slower pace rather than seaside for both of us. Decisions, decisions!

M0nica Thu 03-Nov-16 20:30:57

Check out what is going on locally. Make sure that any interests you have will be easily met in the new area

40 years ago, when my parents were retiring they went to the Library in any location they were thinking of moving to, and checked out what was going on locally. They found a lovely house, put an offer in, checked the library and withdrew the offer.

The house they eventually bought was not perfect, but there were lots of organisations in the area that interested them. Within weeks of moving in they had become part of several groups and by the time they both died nearly 30 years later the church at their funerals, was packed with all the friends and acquaintances they had made.

Jayanna9040 Thu 03-Nov-16 21:22:59

Dorchester. Loads to do for retired people, mainline train, great market, nice people. Best place in the southwest!

granjura Thu 03-Nov-16 21:30:50

Excellent public transport, as J52, we won't always be able to drive, easy access to GP surgery, and market- and also 'culture' cinema, adult courses. Beautiful countryside.

Eloethan Fri 04-Nov-16 01:33:37

I tend to agree with beammeupscottie that being an "in-betweener" might not be a good idea as you won't be that near your daughter or your friends.

I'd want to be in an area with very good transport links - railways and buses - so that I could easily visit friends and other relatives. I personally wouldn't choose a village but a small town, with access to shops and other facilities. I would check the area out properly before looking for a property there to see how friendly the people are. From my own experience, some places are friendlier than others.

I think Truro and Fowey are rather nice.

rubylady Fri 04-Nov-16 03:30:14

I agree lucky, it's not an age thing. I'm only 52 and have serious health problems, making me a virtual prisoner in my own home at times, for days on end until I feel slightly better for a ride out. But then I can't go far or I get too tired and in too much pain.

I didn't anticipate this neither, not at such a young age but it's the cards you are dealt.

My concern moving here two years ago was a shop nearby for essentials including our gas and electric at the time (now on a smart meter) and shops nearby for me to be able to get to for a break every now and then. I will have to use my mobility scooter for this though from now on but at least I have somewhere to visit and a lot of variety where I am, which is good. The area we came from was took over by Asda and all the small shops closed down, including the library. Somewhere to go is essential, a library is a wealth of opportunity for finding things out in the area. Do a recce first.

NonnaW Fri 04-Nov-16 09:52:40

We are toying with the idea of one last move. Our essentials would be nearby doctor, dentist, shop, bus route, pub (great for getting to know people!) and close to major roads for ease of visiting family. We would live to go to Devon but it's not practical - I have one son and a granddaughter living there, but 2 other sons elsewhere and my husband's children are all within one hour of us. As we do one day a week grandson sitting for one of them we would not want to go too far away.

Lillie Fri 04-Nov-16 10:12:45

I am sorry Luckygirl and Ruby, I didn't mean to be flippant. None of us know what is round the corner at any age.

I just feel the expectations on the next generation of retirees is to live longer and to be fitter for longer, so at 61 I felt there was no point in andycor moving to any area full of elderly people and becoming old before their time.

Actually, andycor seems to be caught in that middle area both in terms of age and health, and also in geographical terms of wanting to be in between family and friends. I guess that was my thinking about choosing a place they liked, and forget all the practicalities for once. Nothing is forever, and I would suggest that maybe 5 or 6 years doing that would give them breathing space before they make the final move.

thatbags Fri 04-Nov-16 12:46:04

Priorities when one moves house are whatever one decides are one's priorities.

When we moved to Argyll from Oxfordshire, my priorities were a fireplace and a primary school for Minibags, who was five at the time, within walking distance. As for the rest we would just wing it. Ten years on we're still winging it smile.