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Relocating after Retirement - pros and cons - has it worked out for you?



  • Savvy_SueSavvy_Sue Forumite
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    Savvy_Sue said:
    Savvy_Sue said:
    I realise that my response is also coloured by the fact that I found our move here traumatic, and swore I'd leave whatever we bought in a box (when the estate agent was explaining why house A would hold its value better than house B )!

    We should downsize, and whatever we buy WILL be our last purchase, but others may remain more open to moving more than once in later life. 
    Sorry to hear that.  What were your lessons learned?
    I'm not sure there were any specific lessons. We were gazumped on one property, and ended up renting with a friend because our house had sold. We were quite fussy about area, because we had school places and work lined up. There wasn't much on the market. Prices were shooting up. And the rental was 'cosy' for 3 adults and 3 children, plus lots of daytime visitors.

    The renting served us well in the end because we ended up buying with the friend we'd rented with - as another friend said, if we hadn't killed each other yet, we'd probably get on well long term. That meant we could afford something bigger.

    I fell in love with this house, DH not so sure. I had to point out that a) it was perfect, b) it was in the right place and c) THERE WAS NOTHING ELSE SUITABLE!

    Then we ended up in a bidding war, and a contract lockdown, which was quite stressful. I was job hunting, and DH had a long commute to his part-time job, which was financing the mortgage. Three youngsters to settle in new schools. And I couldn't find a decent supermarket!

    So, next time, I won't be job hunting, the offspring have left home (and are now buying themselves!), DH is semi-retired, and hopefully we'll feel able to walk away from silliness. But we want to stay in this area and we have some specific requirements which may make it tricky again.
    Gosh, a lot of stress there.  Also, buying with a friend is quite unusual!  There can't be many situations like that.  I must admit articles about groups of friends getting together and buying a large property with lots of rooms for separate accommodation and plenty of grounds seems a good idea to me. At least in our situation we don't have jobs to worry about, children to settle, long commute etc.  House purchase is all about compromise unless you have a big budget although certainly don't want to end up buying a property we don't love as a suitable property did not materialise so prepared to rent if necessary - another stressor! 
    Yes, a lot of stress! And I have known others buy together, and we've always preferred NOT being 'just us', but it does need to be the right kind of people, and you have to be prepared for negotiation and compromise. For example, I'm not territorial in the kitchen, which is just as well because every now and again our friend would decide that THIS arrangement is better than THAT arrangement - and just re-arrange! One example was moving the microwave from the utility room to the main kitchen - you could make an argument for either arrangement, but he just did it! 
    Signature removed for peace of mind
  • bjaichbjaich Forumite
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    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    We moved from Surrey to Cornwall and have not regretted one single day.
    However, we did a lot of thinking beforehand and played it very very safe. We had a long list of requirements requirement: eco friendly house, sea view, outside spaces, everything including supermarkets, Dr, post office, swimming pool within walking distance, so don’t require a car going forward, etc ..
    We did not have a location in mind so for 2 years I locked at Rightmove at all the seaside property until we found one in Cornwall, which met all the requirements and we could afford! 
    We bought the house 3 years before retirement as a second home with a mortgage to find out if moving to Cornwall is really what we hoped it would be. This gave us the option to cut our losses, if this lifestyle was not for us after all.
    After a lot of driving back and forth spending all our holidays and many long weekend in Cornwall, we sold our Surrey house in October 2019, stopped working and moved permanently to Cornwall. The only issue we so far encountered is that there are no NHS dentists in Devon and Cornwall who take on new NHS patients.
    We have never looked back😀
  • KxMxKxMx Forumite
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    .. I just remember one of them complaining how difficult it could be to get around - the buses weren't as frequent as they were used to, they never believed in paying for taxis etc. 
    I think a lot of people seem to begrudge paying for taxis, when in many instances it would work out far cheaper than running a car just to do a weekly shop and an occasional trip to the doctors surgery etc. Where my parents lived, which was quite rural outside of the main town, with infrequent bus services, they had a scheme where instead of a bus pass you could choose instead to get tokens which coudl be used to pay for taxis. I don't think they do it any more
    My local authority still offers this.
    However it's capped at £100 a year, not much at all, costs £11 each way to local hospital for example from where I live in a town. 

  • KxMxKxMx Forumite
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    My Dad and his wife have an 11 year age difference, he is retiring from Gov job soon at 62 and plans to look for pt work. They have just bought a property to retire to in a remote location and to use as a holiday home in the meantime. 
    This is despite his grumbles about long journeys to get to PIL's to help them out, because they live in a remote area and can no longer drive themselves...
    This is in the USA where remote areas tend to have zero public transport.
  • Sunnylifeover50planSunnylifeover50plan Forumite
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    We moved to Spain 9 months ago. On the whole it's been quite exciting especially with being timeboxed on having to get in before the end of the transition period. 

    Covid has meant that we've not been able to do many of the things we wanted to and most importantly it's kept us from seeing family but we were sick of living on a family estate in the South East of England after doing the same kind of things we'd done for years.

    I'd encourage you to try something different, given you are already considering it, as long as you are clear on what's really important on your list of "must haves"

    You can always rent somewhere for a year, we didn't and instead bought but you will have your own view on the risks you want to take.

    Cornwall and Devon have a lot to offer.

    Good luck, do your sums, plan and run a risk register  ;)
  • We moved from London to NI, to the deepest darkest country, 15 years ago , and its the best move we ever made

    As a Londoner, who had a hopper bus come down the road every 30 mins taking me to the tube, train or nearest town, I never learned to drive

    We now live 8 miles from a shop. learning to drive was imperative.

    Living out of town ( ours is a market town ) means there is NOTHING. We have no curbs, no street lighting and there is certainly no takeaway deliveries. Some supermarkets ( not all ) will deliver . Up until a few years ago we had to rely on the mobile shop

    For all the conveniences I was used to in London, Id have to drive 50 miles, but after a few years, got used to not having them and can no longer be bothered :)

    We swapped a 2 up, 2 down mid terrace with a tiny garden backing on to a garden, to a 5 bedroom detached on a 1/3 acre over looking farmland that will never be built on. I wish we had more land really, now we are settled. Front is drive and lawns so that doesn't take much looking after and a ride on helps :) We aren't out on our own, we are in a hamlet of now 10 houses ( was 8 ) and our neighbours are fantastic. We are all there for each other, as you need to be when living remotely, but we dont twitch curtains :)

    Country living isn't easy, took me about 4 or 5 years before I felt at home, and takes a lot of planning - we have to make sure we aren't going to run out of oil during a bad cold snap, we have back up heating in case of power failures ( which are common with overhead lines ) we have a septic tank so we have to ensure thats looked after ( no putting anything nasty down the loo or sink ), ensuring we have a fully stocked larder ( can be snowed in for a week or more) and if the weather is really bad, the supermarkets are empty anyway as nothing gets through

    I personally wouldn't change anything for the world and we were talking tonight about us getting older and how we will cope in our 80s, but hey ho, we have 20 years to be worrying about that hopefully and then no doubt we will be looking for our care homes :)

  • seven-day-weekendseven-day-weekend Forumite
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    We retired in 2004 in our mid-50s and moved to Spain. It wasn't however, intended to be a permanent move.

    We moved from a terraced house in the inner-city and bought a house in a village in the mountains.  There was a bus once a day to Granada (and also get a bus back the same day!).  There was a shop in the village, selling everything from chain saws to jars of olives and jamones.  The bank opened one morning a week, the surgery and pharmacy twice a week.  There were more facilities in the little town forty minutes drive away (and you did have to drive), or on the coast an hour and a half away.

    The village was very traditional, only two people spoke English (and neither of them was the Doctor or Bank Manager), so we had to get fully immersed in both language and culture.

    We had eight happy years there, but we were relatively young for retirees. It wasn't a place for elderly foreigners to grow old in (due to the terrain and lack of services.  The Spaniards all had family to look after them)..

    We came back at the end of 2011.  We hadn't sold our terraced house in the inner-city, so just moved back into it and in 2015 moved to a bungalow in the suburbs.  This has a large garden which is beautiful, but there will come a time when we have to hire a gardener.

    My advice is, go for it, but don't burn your bridges if you don't have to.  Keep your options open.
    (AKA HRH_MUngo)
    Member #10 of £2 savers club
    Imagine someone holding forth on biology whose only knowledge of the subject is the Book of British Birds, and you have a rough idea of what it feels like to read Richard Dawkins on theology: Terry Eagleton
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