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Retire in Two Places and Double your Retirement Pleasure

home for winter and different home for summer

by Brenda K Oswalt

If one place is good, then two may be better. A change of scenery can be just what the doctor ordered to get the zest for living flowing. Adventure calls, why wait?

Why Live in Just one Location?

Some of the happiest folks I knew when I was a kid in Ohio were our neighbors the Hendersons. Why? I think a lot had to do with the fact that each year, they retired to the Sunshine State for the winter months. They always came back tanned and delighted, full of pictures and stories of their “snowbird” adventures. The occasional pink plastic flamingo , chrome viewing ball or brightly carved coconut tree house made the way onto their front lawns; ornamental reminders of the traveling Henderson’s enjoyment. They also had a couple wreaths made of glued-on seashells; the shells were handpainted to resemble spring flowers or autumn pumpkins, which they proudly hung on their front door in the spring and fall.

Memories are Made of This

It can sometimes make perfectly good sense to pick a couple favorite places to plunk down for a few months instead of viewing the same old backyard. Let’s face it, Americans love to travel and road trips were what memories were made of in our younger years. Why not revisit the road today and get the same pleasure out of stopping at a roadside café or discovering a new attraction on the way. After all, the sometimes hidden and out of the way places bring the most pleasure. When we were busy working, we often had to rush along. What a joy it is to kick back and simply soak in the scenery along the way. Life is good!

second home in floridaPick Your Places to Plunk Down

My husband and I so enjoy the road trips on the way to our winter destination and back each year. We go to the library and pick up several audio books. Of course, we sign the “long term check out” form so we can keep them for a while – like until we return them months later when we swing back around for the summer. We make an adventure out of it and simply drive and stop along the path to see whatever seems to catch our fancy. My husband likes fishing and poker. I like nature, conferences and theater. Before we leave I make sure to know what’s playing in some of the priceless small burgs on our radar. Yes, we take longer to get down there but the fun we’ve had on the way makes it priceless, plus we don’t get dead tired from driving like a locomotive the whole way.

travel in rv when retired or buy second homeMake a List and Check it Twice

Make a list of your collective intense likes and dislikes. For us, weather really matters. We both are alike in that respect. No cold for us. Everyone is different. Life is a compromise of course. Our good friends, the Fornwalts, find the cold invigorating. They live in Colorado. Suffice it to say we visit them in the summer. They visit us in the late fall. We live in the Gulf Coast Region of Texas for the warm months. Preferences really help you narrow down your choices. If you hate the humidity, then the West is calling. If you love the sun and Jimmy Buffet tropical atmosphere, grab the Florida map like we did. It’s really simple and so exciting you’ll wonder why in the world you hadn’t thought of it before. Like a lot of simple things, it was simply overlooked.

Like RVing?

If you guys are recreational vehicle type folks then the idea of living in more than one place is in your blood. It's one of the best ways to take advantage of the best of life with a rotating view. Just be sure to pick the inexpensive and scenic places to park the motor home so you can be free to enjoy all the regional comfort afforded of semi-permanent road warriors. Luckily, there are so many good parks across this great land of ours you don’t have to rely on that trusty Wal*Mart parking lot unless it happens to overlook some goodlooking foliage. And, if you haven’t tried RVing, maybe now is the perfect time.

To Sell or not to Sell

If you are happy in your hometown for part of the year, then you probably won’t want to leave it. But, if your house is just too “too” for you these days, perhaps downsizing is in order. With a smaller house or condo you’ll save money and there’s much less work to do, leaving more time for semi-permanent travel destinations. This is part of the thinking it out process. To move or not to move sometimes needs intuiting. Almost every area of the country has nice condos to choose from which permits you to enjoy your friends and loved ones where you feel comfortable, like in your own hometown. But that second home, someplace you’ve dreamed of visiting or living for a while, might just be the perfect compromise all around.

Every State is Famous

My theory is that everywhere is famous for 15 minutes. Like the Texas Hill Country in March and April, Maine in August and September, New England in the autumn, south Florida in December through March. Just pick your desired destination and get rolling. Short term rentals are usually available in most places now days and if you are very budget conscious, you’ll be able to find a nice economical place close to the beach, river, lake or the action if you like night life. Perhaps you’ll want to rotate your destinations. The Hendersons mentioned above, made their snowbird pilgrimage each year to the tropical west coast of Florida, known for its sunny warm climate and white sandy beaches, but perhaps you will decide to “wing it” in a different way by traveling to different places that you’ll never tire of. It’s easy to double your pleasure, especially on a retiree’s budget. Enjoy.

More Articles for Baby Boomerinas:

Retire in the Texas Hill Country: The Natives Are Friendly

Baby Boomers Want to Retire in Southwest Florida

Reducing Expenses for Retired Baby Boomers

Where would you go if you could retire anywhere? Leave a comment at the bottom of this page.

Brenda Oswalt is a French-trained cook, writer, businesswoman and inventor who holds several medical patents.

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3 Comments

  1. Tina

    Brenda, I'm serious. I'm coming back as you in my next life. You're so cute and you're also smart. That's a scary combination, girl!

  2. Brenda Oswalt

    Speaking of travel...heard you are going on a riverboat cruise Tina... speaking of cute...can't wait to read your article and see what kind of hats you wore. Don't forget the pictures, for sure. Enjoy-life is good!

  3. Ollie

    Great common sense here. Wish I'd thhougt of that.