Friday, August 16, 2019

Retirement Update #58

The plan:

·       - Retire at the end of 2020 (might push it into the first couple weeks of 2021).
·      - Put our house on the market at the beginning of 2021.
·       - Move to Oro Valley, Arizona (just north of Tucson, at the foot of the Santa Catalina Mountains) as soon as our house sells.
      Rent an apartment or house in Oro Valley.
      -  Live life.

And to fend off the inevitable questions/objections that seem to come up whenever this topic arises in real life:

Q: Why rent?
A: Greater flexibility. Instant infusion of cash from the sale of our home that doesn’t have to be plowed back into another home. Desire to avoid home maintenance and let somebody else deal with it. Kids who have no interest in inheriting a home, any home.

Q: Do you know how hot it gets in southern Arizona in the summer?
A: Yes.

Q: Do you mean to tell me that you prefer 110 degrees to 10 degrees?
A: Yes.

Q: Have you ever really experienced 110 degrees before?
A: Yes. Its’s hot.

Q: Do you know anyone in southern Arizona?
A: Not really. A couple acquaintances.

Q: Why would you leave decades of relationships behind you to start all over again?
A: That will be difficult. But that should also tell you something about how much I dislike 10 degrees. And sleet. And perpetual gray skies for five consecutive months. And ice. And falling down and concussing my head. All of it.

Q: You can’t just move someplace else during the winter?
A: It costs as much to rent a place during the winter months in Arizona (or Florida; replace with the warm-weather location of your choice) as it does to live there year-round. And we can’t afford two homes.

Q: You really hate winter that much?
A: Yes. It’s gotten more difficult every year. I dread it. I get seriously depressed. I don’t trust my balance on ice. I fear for my concussed head. I have enough trouble walking on shag carpeting.

Q: Why Tucson instead of Phoenix? Phoenix is bigger, has more to do, better opportunities, etc.
A: If we were moving for jobs, we would move to Phoenix. There are clearly more opportunities for career advancement in Phoenix than there are in Tucson. But we are not moving for jobs. We are retiring and moving to Arizona. Why Tucson? Less urban sprawl. Five, count ‘em, five mountain ranges surrounding the city. A national park on the east side of the city and on the west side of the city. Cooler than Phoenix in the summer (because of the higher elevation). Lower cost of living. Ability to walk out into your back yard, see stars forever at night, and see a 10,000-foot mountain during the day. A large university, which tends to lend itself to a general “Blue State” culture versus the typical “Red State” culture of the state as a whole. Yes, that’s important to me.

Q: Are you moving for the golf?
A: I have no interest in golf.

Q: Is there anything you actually look forward to in Arizona?
A: All kinds of things. Completing the Great American Novel and working on the Second Great American Novel, which will be my fulltime job in retirement. Hanging out with my wife. Seeing more of my kids. New friendships. Heat. Comfort in the winter. Spectacular scenery right outside my door. Amazing Mexican food. Incredible sunsets. Saguaro cacti. Relatively easy access to dozens of national and state parks. Four hours to the beach (Puerto Penasco in Sonora, Mexico, for the curious). Speaking Spanish. The ability to slip past the border and head into Mexico in about an hour if the fascism continues and/or degenerates even further (think of it as reverse immigration, except where you’re actually welcomed into another country). All kinds of adventures, God and health willing.

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