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Town or country for retirement?

(84 Posts)
Menopaws Wed 16-May-18 20:18:16

We are not retiring yet but discussion happened today as we went to a funeral in what, I considered, was the perfect village. Pub, church, beautiful little stone cottages, brook running through etc etc. I said how much I would like to live somewhere similar but husband said he would rather move to a town. Now I did know this but that was years ago so no big surprise but still interesting.
We are happy where we are so not cause for a marital but what do others think if this was or has been a dilemma?
I do like a town and he likes country but it's a long term move that made us think.

tanith Wed 16-May-18 20:28:33

My husband would prefer the coast/country but he’s resigned to it being town as our family are all here and there are health concerns and he can continue being treated at his preferred hospitals. I’m afraid practicalities outweigh all other considerations nowadays.

Greenfinch Wed 16-May-18 20:36:09

What tanith says. Village settings are beautiful but it is good to be near a hospital if emergency treatment is required. Looking on the gloomy side.

Menopaws Wed 16-May-18 20:39:32

Understand Tanisha and greenfinch, my husband under treatment with hospital that is literally five mins away, I fully appreciate how lucky we are hence our discussion hypothetical but interesting to hear views

Menopaws Wed 16-May-18 20:40:52

Sorry tanith not sure how you became Tanisha!

sassenach512 Wed 16-May-18 20:47:31

We are in the same situation, we live on the outskirts of a city and since I retired recently, we're thinking of moving to the country.
My DH is keen to ship us off to the back of beyond to a small village as you describe but I have reservations. At the moment, we have hospitals, doctors and any kind of retail experience you choose within a 10 minute drive, where he wants to go, we would probably have to drive much further.
He keeps saying he wants to escape the 'rat race' which is all very well but you have to bare in mind that as you get older, there's a lot to be said for having civilisation close by. Also, dare I say it but unless you are lucky enough to find a friendly and welcoming community, villages can be a bit 'clannish' as well which could result in your wishing you had never made the move.

cornergran Wed 16-May-18 20:50:42

A small town on the coast works for us although we do have to accept any major medical needs involve travel most of our requirements are met here.

Menopaws Wed 16-May-18 20:53:06

Yes sassenach that was something i noticed today and just how friendly they were but there is that risk where you are not so welcome whereas a town might not care as much

Davidhs Wed 16-May-18 21:03:42

If you are young and active move to the country, buy your country cottage, enjoy it while you can but as you get less able it gets difficult.
Public transport is virtually non existent so you're going to need a car, maybe 2 if your partner has different interests, it is much more expensive and if you have medical needs it all takes so much longer.

Sunlover Wed 16-May-18 21:08:52

We moved last year to a small town near the end of the Metropolitan line. Our flat is 5 minutes walk from the station, Waitrose, coffee shops and pub. We have numerous country walks closeby. Best decision we have ever made. Love being able to wander into town do a bit of shopping and grab a coffee. We can jump on the tube and be in Central London in 40 minutes.

nanaK54 Wed 16-May-18 22:17:01

We live in a very small village, all good for now, however I do worry about the future, public transport forget it, I say 'one bus a fortnight' which is, of course an exaggeration, but you get my drift

Greyduster Wed 16-May-18 22:28:16

We had plans to retire to the coast until our grandson arrived and then we couldn’t bear the thought of moving away from him. We live in a large city and seven years ago we moved from a inner suburb, with lovely woods and parks, to its outer reaches, where we are surrounded by lovely countryside with miles of country lanes to walk, and two country parks. We don’t live “in the country” in the strictest sense of the word, but it is a farming area and so has a very rural feel. We also have very good public transport links to two major hospital and a dental hospital, and the city centre for shopping and entertainment. I think we have the best of both worlds.

M0nica Wed 16-May-18 22:35:04

We live in a country village in the leafy suburb that is South Oxfordshire. Co-op Self Service, 3 pubs, 1 Indian Restaurant and a snack bar that feeds office workers and passing lorry drivers and delivers to the big high tech estate a mile away and lots of buses.

We are 4 miles from 3 small towns with shopping centres with a good selection of shops and medical facilities and one has a mainline railway station.

BUT all serious medical problems have to be taken 15 miles to Oxford, a busy student and industrial town with appalling traffic conditions. The hospital has recently said that patients should allow an extra _2 hours- to get there. 1 hour for road works and 1 hour to find a parking place.

I would HATE to live in Oxford (if we could even afford it!), but if circumstances dictated I would consider moving into any of the 3 small towns. My preference, however, is for our current village.

Jalima1108 Wed 16-May-18 23:10:52

We live in a small town but our local hospital is that in name only (not even a Minor Injury Unit) so our nearest hospital is 20 miles away - forty minutes there and an hour to park, too.

I think you have to think about the possibility that one day you may not be able to drive to the hospital, to shops etc and, if public transport is infrequent, you may need to use taxis, so having facilities not too far away could be a good idea.

Newquay Thu 17-May-18 07:39:58

Absolutely-definitely plan for the worst, as the saying goes, and hope for the best. Don't move away from everything you need, for example, when you can't drive, shops, decent transport, GPs, dentist, hospital, church, pub etc

Teetime Thu 17-May-18 08:59:14

Having lived and worked in both we decided for retirement that a small market town works for us. Just enough facilities, surrounded by lovely countryside and a short commute to a city when required. Transport links are very good here and the climate is good for us. House prices are very good too. East Midlands).

Panache Thu 17-May-18 09:30:24

A dilemna of so many and yes having lived in both I think there are "horses for courses" and in the end as long as you consider a few essential "pointers" it is down to individual choice.

We lived for 25 years,including part of our retirement in an idyllic coastal retreat, right on the edge of a beach and bay,the coastal footpath (of world renown these days) and an ancient bluebell wood.
It really was picture perfect,with peace,the lapping of the waves and bird song.

We could actually walk across the beach to the main shops, Doctors Surgery,Chemist,Bank,P.O. Hairdresser and yes, bliss was the word.
Then this resort started to change as Tourism gathered pace,the small Hotels had massive face lifts,all around were people taking advantage with B& B`s,every available habitable space became a Holiday home or let, and from Easter to mid september you could honestly start thinking this Village was no longer ours.
Traffic,noise and folk with no real regard of those actually living therein.
Time and circumstances changed,it got so busy ,so it got us thinking that the peace of the countryside would be far more ideal to rest our weary bones for this last chapter of our lives!!!.

We bought a very nice bungalow,making sure it had a downstairs bedroom/bathroom for later eventualities, but if anything it was the pastoral green setting,just ideally placed 3 miles from our main town with all the needful facilities, and 3 miles in the other direction was a plethora of lovely smuggler type coves............this ideal half way between town and coast position really sold it.
The added bonus being the bungalow sat on almost an acre of virgin soil............. land that had never been touched.
As now avid gardeners and for the first time having the time for both of us to work alongside one another, this was indeed a great draw.

The first 9/10 years were a peaceful haven,although we had not really taken into account the nearby road was now
slowly getting much busier!
However the setting may sound idyllic for retirement, but there is a big but.

The amenities,including our Hospital may only be 3 miles away, but the fact a car is needed for each and every journey is not ideal.
No longer the cheap and healthy walk to and from across a beach!
Again whilst we can drive it is not too great a problem.However already I can now no longer drive so it only takes something to also halt my DH..... and we are well and truly "snookered" two ways about it.
This thought,and the maintenance of now an almost mature fully established LARGE garden is simply playing havoc with my mind.

I have no peace that is for sure.
We have boobed.

Taking that into account a few years back we put our place on The Market and started sorting out exactly where we should move to and making certain this ..........hopefully final time........we get it right.

Yes the beautiful Villages,Village green,pond and quaint cottages is absolutely what dreams are made of...........however most idyllic villages within our area of Wales no longer have a shop,P.O,bus service ......the basics.... and so as one gets more and more decrepid with need increasing, this is not a wise move.
In fact, almost all our villages have had the elderly move into town for those simple reasons...........they are virtually full of second homes nowadays.

Sadly this final move, it has to be a town......offering every amenity one may need........and although perhaps not ideal in its setting, it is a time that it really has to cater and work for the pressing needs of two vulnerable folk whom are growing older and needier by the day.

When the sale appeared imminent we eventually opted for the next stage.
Ideally it was a simple 2 bed/2 bath Apartment in a retirement Complex, and the one chosen offered every amenity right on the door the most magnificent bay and beach view from all its windows.
There would have been a certain "community" around us making up for the family we no longer have,and there by it offered a safety net, yet allowed us to live our own lives independently.

Sadly our sale fell through and so did these great plans.

So back to the drawing board and start all over again!

However yes,it will still be a similar Apartment in a Complex within a Town setting.................more by need than perhaps totally choice.

Personally I would always now say get your priorities and needs met before choosing the exact spot.

hildajenniJ Thu 17-May-18 10:32:30

My DH would love to live by the sea, but I'm not bothered. I like wherever live at present. It's a small town of about 4000/5000 residents, we have two small supermarkets, chemist, hairdressers, barbers, Chinese and Indian takeaways, 2 fish and chip shops, cottage hospital. Our nearest A&E is 17 miles by road, and takes about 25 minutes to drive there. We have lovely walks right on our doorstep, plus the Hadrian's wall path just a couple of miles away. It's ideal really.

Witzend Thu 17-May-18 10:37:43

I once used to think I'd like to move to the country - until we started visiting friends who lived in rural Devon. Lovely for a visit, but they needed the car for just about everything - village shop open for very limited hours was still a half hour walk away, up a steep and very narrow lane. They had to drive even to take the dogs for a walk anywhere they could safely let them off the lead.

Best of both worlds IMO is what my sister and BiL have - right in a small town in the Dales, tucked away in a quiet location, but still only a 2 minute walk to shops etc., and a 5 min walk to open country. If they had to, they could manage quite well without a car.

Personally I wouldn't move to any location where we'd be completely dependent on the car, but then we're rather spoilt here with fantastic public transport which we use a lot - no faffing around parking, and at least locally we don't need a non-drinking driver!

pollyperkins Thu 17-May-18 10:39:48

We live in a tiny village (hamlet really) and love it! But there are no facilities (pub closed after we moved here, no shops, no buses, only a church and village hall.)
We have discussed that when we are older and driving becomes difficult we need to move to a town with public transpirt, shops we can walk to etc. But not just yet!!

TellNo1Ok Thu 17-May-18 10:42:50

We actually did move to a very rural area at 64 and love it.
Now almost 80 and discussing our future.
If we have to stop driving we’ll move into town... question is should we move within the next few years and enjoy a new area whilst still strong or wait and then look for sheltered accommodation... that’s still under discussion... we so love it here. Both prospects have pluses and minuses... ah well... just toddle on till descision forced on us...

Kim19 Thu 17-May-18 10:49:11

I love my set-up. Rural and pretty with all the needed facilities and the big city with all it's facilities only an hour away in the (free!) bus. It is so important to give huge thought to the prospects of potential lesser mobility and a car perhaps not being an option. Quite a hard thing to do when one is fit as a flea. I rather liked the sentiment I read before which said something to the effect 'prepare for the worst and hope for the best'. Pretty much says it all. Wish I had thought of it.

Grampie Thu 17-May-18 10:52:33

Our funds determined our choice.

...but it resulted in an excellent bus service and three public libraries within walking distance.

mabon1 Thu 17-May-18 10:58:36

Don't move away from friends and family. It is not easy to make new friends in later years.

maddyone Thu 17-May-18 11:00:23

We live in a small town about ten miles from a much bigger, though not particularly nice town. There is also a lovely market town 20 minutes away in the other direction. Our local hospital is huge, but only 15 minutes drive away.

When we retired my husband wanted to move to the country (it’s actually only a short drive to the country or the coast, whichever is preferred) and he suggested just about everywhere we went on holiday, including Slovenia! They were all beautiful places, but I had no intention of isolating myself from everything familiar, including facilities, family, and friends. I had already done that over 40 years ago when we moved 250 miles away from our parents and all that was familiar then, and it is not an easy thing to do, it takes a long time to feel like home. Plus there is all the driving in order to keep in touch with family and friends left behind. Also as you get older, how will your children cope if you need help and support if you are so far away?

Think carefully before isolating yourselves from all that is familiar.