As I headed out to East Hampton (my first mini-vacation since I retired last September), I began to wonder what it would be like to have enough money to comfortably afford a small home in East Hampton. Of course, there is no such thing - but back in the days when I planned my vacations here every year, I enjoyed the antique shops, book stores, fabulous cuisine, and the peace and serenity this wonderful place offered.
Over ten years have passed and I have noticed a change in my surroundings. Now all of East Hampton and its surrounding villages have become the home of the rich and famous…. well, in some cases, not so famous.
As I drove into my favorite vacationing spot, I felt an immediate calm cover me like a warm blanket and it felt good to be home again. Even though my days spent here were not as long as they used to be, nonetheless, the room was the same; the patio was the same, but the landscape had changed somewhat. Although impeccably manicured, the lawn and the trees didn’t invite the species of birds I remembered, nor did the squirrels seek as many chances to come out into the open as much as they had before. Even the family of bunnies never showed their cute faces. As I sat on my veranda and looked out at the beauty of nature, it all seemed too familiar and offered nothing new, nor did it bring me solace as it once did.
What was missing? Perhaps I had outgrown this tiny town or perhaps it had outgrown me. I thought about ideal places to retire and I suppose if one could afford it, this would be the ideal place. More than that, however, I thought about other places I had been in my life and wondered if I could take that step and retire to another city, country, or island.
Most of the places I had been were just as expensive to live in, while there were other places which could afford me the opportunity to live comfortably and continue to participate in those areas of my life that are important such as reading, writing, music, and nature.
In researching the many ideal places to retire, I found college towns to be quite within my means. Quaint towns where neighbors actually greet each other, participate in community affairs, and take advantage of university classes as well as other activities which not only enhance but enrich one’s life. Coming from a suburb in a big city, one could very easily get lost if one wanted to. In college towns, however, I suppose you can hide, but not for long. The student life, the rich history of the city, or the close knit community is not only enticing but offers a glimpse into what can be and not what one merely settles for.
As I left East Hampton, I knew I would not return. I drove slowly through the town with all of the expensive shops and restaurants, antique stores, and specialty stores and thought while this is a nice place to visit – it is not the ideal place to retire.
As we grow older, (retirement is not mutually exclusive to age), it seems we should look for an ideal place to retire that feels like home, where we have no qualms about meeting new people or becoming interested in new things. Home is wherever you are; all of you – mind, body, and soul.
So for all future retirees who are thinking of relocating to an ideal place to retire, keep looking for that one place that when you arrive – you too feel the calm of a warm blanket cover you on a winter’s day. No whistles; no brass bands, just the comfort and serenity you feel as you settle into your ideal place to retire. Then you will instantly know you are home.
Ideal Places to Retire - Inexpensive to Exotic