Tuesday, January 27, 2015

California dreaming - lovely vacation & family visit plus scouting retirement location

We just returned home from an 11 day trip to California to visit family and take a short vacation on the coast. The weather, scenery and family were all perfect! Now as I sit here catching up on laundry, bills and planning a big grocery shop for later in the day I am contemplating what was so great about this trip beyond getting time with and hugs from my loved ones which was the main highlight to be sure.

The two day drive from Los Angeles up the coast to Santa Cruz was definitely a winner. My hubby used to be a surfer and we both love the ocean so the views and walks were perfect for us.

The realization as we took a coffee break in the Santa Barbara area that we would rather live there than in the hustle and bustle of Pasadena was a surprise. We don't know if it makes sense as the whole point of moving back is to be near our children and they are in Pasadena and Berkeley but finding a spot that felt right to both of us helps in thinking this through.

We really love the California lifestyle and diversity. We need to go back there for our next phase of life no matter how overwhelming the process and implementation seem at times.

So with those three points firmly in mind its on with our daily life here!

By the way, any of you who are aging in place in CA please tell me where and how it is working for you! So far we are considering South Pasadena, Santa Barbara and unknown parts of the East Bay in N. CA.

14 comments:

  1. I have lived in Alhambra, which is located next to South Pasadena, since the late 1960's. But I do not want to live here much longer or in retirement. It no longer has that small town feel and way too much hustle and bustle. I have been looking into relocating (before retirement) to Valencia, CA. Its about an hour's drive north and would not be that far away from my Kid or my job.

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    1. I hear you about the hustle and bustle. We felt that way about Pasadena although I love the arts and other things available there. My DIL sent us out to see Monrovia which I liked but my husband doesn't want to go further east especially with his father in Thousand Oaks. I'll look into Valencia though.

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  2. I know next to nothing about Calif. -- but still, it sounds like it would be hard for you to be wrong.

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  3. Rent a VRBO in each place for a week. I spent three weeks in my choice areas. It helped a great deal.
    How was the traffic during the time I'd be out? How close did I want to be to the beach ( Atlantic for me)? What time of the day could I count on the sun being out? Could I walk or take an electric small car to the grocery store? All these things mean that I can stay in my house longer.
    I have ended up 90 min from my daughter and will be five hours from my son. Works for us- at least for the next fifteen years.

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    1. I was just thinking about a VRBO vacation rental for this summer in Santa Barbara and have the kids all come as much as they could! I think I am perhaps over weighing in physical closeness to my kids because my Mom died last spring at 93 and after needing much help in the last few years. We will be 68 (me) and 65 (Hubby) when we relocate.

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  4. I love Santa Barbara, but unless you've got a spare million or two to buy I don't think that's an economical retirement place.
    Santa Cruz is expensive to, but you might find something to buy under a million.
    I live in the sierra foothills and it's beautiful. But, we will see if we stay after my husband retires in 3-5 years. We do not have much in the way of retirement so...

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    1. I love the Sierra foothills and would consider that if my husband didn't want to be near a major university so he can continue to work/consult part time. We will have to see what our current house is worth of course.

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  5. Ventura ca is on the coast. A small town with access to a freeway towards pasadena. Santa Barbara is lovely but it is very very far from anywhere and there is only one road in and one road out. The traffic is horrendous. I like to go there for lunch

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    1. Good points about the traffic. We need to take a closer look at Ventura and Oxnard too.

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  6. I think that proximity to your kids could be very important in the future but maybe not right now. You could move several hours from them now and move closer when you start needing more help. I work in an ED and it is always nice when the families live in the same town as their elderly relatives. It sounds like you have quite a few years ahead of you before that becomes a consideration. If you want to make this your final move and your kids don't plan to move it might be smart to move as close as possible to them.

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    1. That is our thought Karen but they are at both ends of the state so we are challenged on that front and who knows what their future may bring. I certainly never thought I'd live in Atlanta for 20 years. We will be starting over on friendships although have extended family in the area is we pick S. CA. Tough but we have time to make decisions.

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  7. We live in San Diego (me, my entire life... so far) and we love it. We will probably stay put even if it is getting rather large. It would be hard to find a home or neighbors that we like better anywhere else. Santa Barbara is beautiful but extremely expensive. Try San Louis Obispo. It is a beautiful college town and not crazy expensive (I think). Sort of in the middle of Pasadena and Berkeley.

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    1. I love San Diego. We lived there in the early 80's and then moved back to LA for 13 years before heading to Atlanta.

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