Where Should You Retire?

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At this time two years ago, Kim and I were in the final stages of preparing to make a cross country move from Pennsylvania to Utah to begin a new phase of life. Our dreams to move west to pursue a life of adventure predated discovering the idea of FIRE and thinking that early retirement was truly possible for us.

Ogden, UT

After more than a decade of dreaming, saving, and planning, nervous excitement was building to a crescendo. We finished loading the moving truck and started driving west.

About six months after making the move, I wrote how all of the change we took on in such a short time led to one of the hardest periods in my life. At times, I was overcome with doubts as to whether we made the right decision.

Now that we’ve been in our new location for two years and had time for the dust to settle, I’m confident that we made the right decision to move. I’m equally confident that we chose the right location for our family.

Many people will debate whether to stay in place or move in retirement. For those that decide to relocate, you must choose where to go. I’ve identified three key questions to help find the right retirement location, whether that means staying put or moving on.

The Three Key Questions

Honestly and accurately answering the following questions are critical to finding the best retirement location.

  1. How Will You Spend Your Time?
  2. How Much Will Your Life Cost?
  3. Who Will You Spend Your Time With?

Because this is first and foremost a personal finance blog, we’ll explore the financial implications of the decision. However, money alone can’t buy happiness, and finances may be the least important consideration of the three. I encourage you to think long and hard about these questions and consider the interplay between them.

How Will You Spend Your Time?

Jobs tend to dominate our time and decisions during our working years. A major decision is where we choose to live. Retirement provides a blank slate to design the life we want. Many people consider relocating. 

The obvious place to start is thinking about the most important things to you on a day to day basis. How do you want your life to look? 

We knew we wanted to move to the mountains. So we created our ideal early retirement mountain town checklist to guide our search.  We wanted:

  1. To live in an outdoorsy mountain town that matches our interests and personalities.
  2. To have access to skiing, hiking, and climbing all less than 30 minutes from our home, ideally living directly in a mountain town to give us optimal access.
  3. Convenient access to air travel. Traveling occasionally is a stipulation for Kim’s work which she plans to continue indefinitely. Also, we want to be able to visit our family back east and have them visit us.
  4. A neighborhood/small town setting in which to raise our daughter.
  5. A small, but nice home for the same price or less than we would sell our prior home (<$300,000).

You can read more about our process in this post from my original blog. Looking back at that post three years after I wrote it brings a smile to my face. Our ultimate location, Ogden, UT, has exceeded our expectations on all five of our key criteria.

How Much Will Your Life Cost?

Many people write about geoarbitrage, moving to a lower cost of living area where dollars stretch further, as a tool to enable an earlier retirement. This is a vast oversimplification.

If you find a low cost of living location that meets your criteria, that’s great. But settling for a lower cost of living area just to retire sooner can be a recipe for disaster.

Low cost areas tend to be cheap for a reason. Conversely, high cost of living areas are expensive for a reason. There is more demand for some areas than others because of economics, geography, weather, and culture.

We faced the challenge of wanting to move from an area with low housing costs to a ski town, where housing is notoriously expensive. As we compared areas, we realized this is an oversimplification as well. Home/rent prices are only one piece of the equation. 

You need to go deeper. Spend time to consider how your lifestyle will change if you relocate and the combined financial impact of this decision. This requires knowing your current expenses so you can make reasonable projections and comparisons.

If you downsize, will this decrease property taxes and utility expenses? If you live closer to desired activities, will it lower travel expenses? Can you eliminate a vehicle? Can you leverage non-financial assets like local relationships, volunteer work, and season passes to do more of what  you want for less cost?

The answer to each of those questions has been yes for us. Despite having moved to an area with house prices that are about double the area we left, our overall expenses have been about the same.

We’ve spent a substantial amount over the past two years upgrading our home and outdoor gear. Once we settle into our new lifestyle, our spending will likely be less here over the long-term.

Who Will You Spend Your Time With?

This may be the most important question to the quality of your life. In my opinion it is also the hardest to answer.  Therefore, I’ll give it extra attention.

We decided to move from the town where we both grew up, where most of our families still live, and where we had 15 years of professional relationships. We moved across the country to an area where we knew no one.

We’ve managed to develop meaningful relationships quickly. Frankly, a lot of this was luck.  Hopefully our experience can provide insights for others who, like us, don’t know who you’ll spend your time with in retirement.

Matching Your Personality and Interests

The first factor that has helped us make friends goes back to the first question. We found a town that fit our personality and interests. In our old town, we knew no one  who shared our passion for outdoor adventure. 

That couldn’t be more different here. On our block alone we have bike and ski sales representatives and two ski patrollers. 

Most houses have garages. Few have cars in them. Instead they’re filled with campers, tents, bikes, skis, snowboards, golf clubs, kayaks, and paddleboards. 

It’s harder to find people who don’t share our interests than those who do. In addition to neighbors, there are multiple Facebook and Meetup groups for hiking, biking, and climbing. It’s a bigger challenge to find time to do all the things I’d like than to find people to do things with.

Neighborhood Characteristics

The second factor that has benefitted us is the type of neighborhood we chose. We moved from a development of newer widely spaced homes to a neighborhood where homes are older, smaller, and more closely spaced. The neighborhood is close to multiple trailheads which attracts people with shared interests.

Like many, we had bought into the idea that bigger, newer, fancier homes are better. In honesty, we didn’t love this house. It was what we could afford without breaking our budget. That has been an absolute blessing.

We lived in our prior house for over a decade. We considered one set of neighbors friends who we talked to and spent time with. Most of the others were people we waved to when walking or driving by. We knew most of their first names, but little else about them.

It’s different here. When moving in, our movers canceled on us at the last minute. A neighbor stopped over to introduce herself and see if there was anything we needed. 

I explained our situation and asked if her husband could help me move a couple of the heavier things that evening. Within a couple of hours, she organized a crew of neighbors. They showed up and completely unloaded the truck in less than an hour.

Since then, we’ve been helped in countless ways by neighbors. We try our best to reciprocate. It’s a rare day where we don’t talk to the neighbors or our daughter isn’t out playing with neighborhood kids. 

There was definitely an element of luck in finding particularly good neighbors. There is also a take home lesson to get a feel for different neighborhoods. Finding a neighborhood where we live in close proximity to many people with similar interests has helped us develop relationships quickly.

College Towns

Another key for us finding things to do, ways to do those things inexpensively, and people to do those things with was choosing a college town. Ogden is home to Weber State University.

Universities provide a number of perks to their surrounding communities. Most universities provide affordable programming open to the general public.

The university, in cooperation with local businesses, puts on the annual Ogden Climbing Festival featuring some of the biggest names in climbing, experiences for people of all abilities, and volunteer opportunities within the community. Last spring, I got the opportunity to hear best-selling author Ryan Holiday speak at an event hosted by the university’s entrepreneurship center.

The university also provides community education opportunities which provide affordable opportunities to learn new skills while connecting with others who share your interest. For example, I participated in an avalanche safety and rescue course sponsored by the university last December. Our daughter has regularly participated in their kids’ swimming program ever since we moved here.

FI Enthusiasts

Early retirement means you’re going to have a lot of free time when others are at work. In a society where few people save and plan, it also means if you’re reading this you’re probably a bit… weird.

I was intentional about seeking out like minded people in our local Choose FI Salt Lake City group. I joined that group on Facebook before we moved from  Pennsylvania. They helped us hit the ground running. Members helped find an insurance agent, shared opinions on the best places to find affordable groceries, and showed me local trails.

Book Signing

I’ve enjoyed meeting a lot of interesting people at group meetups since moving here. Scott Sherman, our local group administrator, organized an event at a Barnes & Noble to support the launch of my book last October.

The group turned out in force and helped sell out our full allotment of books. They even bought up $100 worth of my daughter’s bookmarks that she sold to benefit the local animal shelter.

The group has also given me the opportunity to give back. I’ve met with younger people just getting started on the path to FI and with several other people considering a move to Ogden.

I highly recommend everyone find and join your closest Choose FI local group. You can find them here.

Finding Other Early Retirees

Something I didn’t give much attention to is moving close to a military base. The military provides two major benefits that are not available to the general public, pensions and affordable retirement health care.

Consequently, there is a disproportionately large number of early military retirees in our area. I’ve had some great conversations with military retirees about shared non-financial struggles that accompany early retirement, like finding meaning and purpose after your career is over. A few of those conversations have turned into lasting friendships.

Deep Meaningful Relationships

When we decided to relocate, we assumed we would be able to meet people easily. But we had genuine concern about developing deeper relationships. 

Who would we trust enough to leave our child with so we could have time for our relationship with each other? With whom would we feel comfortable enough to discuss our most intimate concerns? Where would we find relationships that provide deeper meaning?

Religious Organizations

I have never been religious. While Kim has a stronger faith than I do, neither of us had ever been involved in a church community. 

However, we decided that we wanted to spend more of this phase of life giving back to others. We sought out a church that shared our values and provided opportunities for service. 

In Ogden, we found an incredible church that has welcomed us with open arms. We were impressed by their clear commitment to serving the less fortunate, including giving second chances to those recovering from addiction or getting out of prison. They are also dedicated to serving Ogden’s homeless population. 

The church provides many opportunities for us to serve, and  it’s helped us develop a number of meaningful friendships quickly.

Other Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteering with other charitable organizations was another thing I was hoping to do more in early retirement. Like churches, there are good charitable organizations that need your time and money in every community.

However, I’ve found (maybe selfishly) I quickly lose interest if I’m not fully committed to an organization because I don’t share their mission. Living in a community that so closely matches our personalities means there are more opportunities to find the right match of our interests with other’s needs.

For the past two winters, I’ve spent Tuesdays at Snowbasin participating as a volunteer with Ogden Valley Adaptive Sports (OVAS). While I’m frequently told that they appreciate my dedication and insights as a physical therapist, I believe I take far more than I give to the organization. Every week I leave feeling inspired by the amazing administrators, guides, and clients who I have the honor to work with.

I had a great conversation with one of OVAS’s administrators (who is also a military early retiree) about plans to expand the program and opportunities to get more involved in the future. I also was planning to start doing more with the Ogden Bike Collective before COVID-19 threw a monkey wrench into everyone’s plans.

Going forward, I’ll continue to explore opportunities with these and other organizations in our community to help others lead happier, healthier, and more active lives while making meaningful personal connections and developing relationships.

Stay or Go?

Answering these three key questions will give insight on whether you should stay put or relocate in retirement. For those who decide it is time for change, it will also provide a framework for some key things to consider when starting the search for your retirement destination.

If you decide to relocate, there is  a world of possibilities from which you can choose. I’ll explore the process to find the best location for your retirement in an upcoming part two of this article

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[Chris Mamula used principles of traditional retirement planning, combined with creative lifestyle design, to retire from a career as a physical therapist at age 41. After poor experiences with the financial industry early in his professional life, he educated himself on investing and tax planning. After achieving financial independence, Chris began writing about wealth building, DIY investing, financial planning, early retirement, and lifestyle design at Can I Retire Yet? He is also the primary author of the book Choose FI: Your Blueprint to Financial Independence. Chris also does financial planning with individuals and couples at Abundo Wealth, a low-cost, advice-only financial planning firm with the mission of making quality financial advice available to populations for whom it was previously inaccessible. Chris has been featured on MarketWatch, Morningstar, U.S. News & World Report, and Business Insider. He has spoken at events including the Bogleheads and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants annual conferences. Blog inquiries can be sent to chris@caniretireyet.com. Financial planning inquiries can be sent to chris@abundowealth.com]

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  1. Great post Chris with a lot of things to consider, some that people might not think about. As you know I am a mapping geek and using geographic tools to help with a search is an extremely valuable thing to do.

    1. Thanks, and in part two I actually have some cool resources to help people narrow down their search, including yours. Stay tuned.

  2. Really appreciated this post. We are a 1/2 early retired couple, with my husband 2-4 years away. Our instinct has always been to stay in our expensive, New England college town and this article with your key issues outlined really helped us reinforce all the reasons we want to stay! Thank you for this terrific blog.

    1. Thanks for the feedback Laurab. I think relocating and nomadic lifestyles get over romanticized. For us moving was the right decision, but it came with a lot of stress. And even now, we’re not certain what we’ll do for the long-term. The current inability to travel both makes us really appreciate being in a place we love, but it also makes us miss family even more and realize how much we miss being able to travel to see them.

  3. We had almost the same criteria you did, Chris! We put top priority on our interests of outdoor adventure (hiking, skiing, trail running, cycling, camping) and the intellectual and cultural vigor of a university town – and, like you, we are now living in a western US college town. Unlike what many early retirement sites were recommending at the time, we did NOT want to leverage geoarbitrage to locate to a low-cost, sit-on-the-beach, “perfect”-year-round-weather, never-see-snow-again-in-your-life location somewhere in Central or South America. We were fortunate to be able to make our move 17 years ago, well before I retired, as I was able to get into the early stages of the work-from-home movement, and choose where we wanted to live, without being unduly constrained by job location.

    I retired 5 years ago, having done remote work for 12 years, and we see nowhere else we’d prefer to live in “retirement” than where we currently reside. That said, I still thirst for exploring new places, and we travel a lot, especially internationally – perhaps my eternal wanderlust comes from growing up in a military family that moved roughly every 3 years? When you write the second part of your article, what about addressing the concept that not everyone might want to retire to just one place, but continue to seek new experiences? We have found that early (or, at least, earlier) retirement gives us the opportunity to go and spend time in new places, and really get to know the people and cultures there. What suggestions do you have for those who want to be “eternally itinerant”?

    1. Thanks for the feedback GH. The idea of being nomadic vs. having a permanent home is one I will address. We really wanted to have a place that would provide some stability while raising our daughter, so I foresee us staying put for a while. But like you, I am curious about many places, have traveled extensively both domestically and internationally and understand the desire to be “eternally itinerant.”


  4. I really appreciated this article as my husband and I are currently considering retirement locations. We live in Northeast, and we’re evaluating where we want to live permanently (warm weather activities-tennis, pickleball)) vs. where we want to travel to for other activities (skiing)—or maybe vice-versa?! I really like how you’ve culled this to some important key components. I think it will be a tough decision, so we’re hoping to visit a few places for a month or so and work remotely (bonus) so we can make an informed decision and not just base it on an idealized notion we have in our heads.

    1. It’s definitely a hard decision. In the follow up, I’ll share how we filtered the options down to our finalists and then spent some time in our ultimate destination to get a feel for living here vs. a place to go on vacation. I hope you’ll find it helpful as well.

  5. Thank you Chris, for another insightful article. Although I don’t plan to move away from Seattle when I retire, I’ll employ your guidance on how to establish meaningful connections in my community since most of my friends are leaving the city for their own retirements.

    1. Thanks for the feedback Wendy. I framed the article the way I did because I agree that a lot of the lessons apply whether you relocate or not. Early retirement is great, but one of the things I think people over romanticize is that while your life is dramatically changing, life is going on for everyone around you. Even if you don’t move, you still have to figure out how to build new relationships. Hope this helps!


  6. Great post Chris.

    I do think people should also consider the impact of State & Local taxes as well since that can have a big impact. Granted we’re a little biased since NewRetirement let’s you model state taxes if you plan to move. 🙂

    We need to catch up!

    1. Thanks Steve and always happy to talk.

      I recently wrote about state income taxes. https://www.caniretireyet.com/tax-benefits-semi-retirement/

      I agree that state income taxes can have an impact, but I also think it’s an oversimplification to just look at income tax. For example, our state income tax went up about 2% moving to Utah. But our property taxes are about half on a more expensive house here.

      States need to pay for things, so they’re going to tax you one way or another. Also, so many states have liabilities that will be nearly impossible to meet. Taxes can change overnight and there’s not much you can do about it when they do, so taxation wasn’t a big factor for us in where to live.


  7. Great post. I am ahead of my wife in thinking about this and am torn by not knowing where my Son (In College) Will settle after he graduates in three years. That, and having my family in MN and my wife’s in NY. This might be a good trigger to start our discussion. Thanks again, Chris!

  8. This is such a wise post Chris! I truly wish I’d had a fraction of your clarity about what to prioritize when choosing a retirement home when I left the corporate world.

    We’d lived in Boulder, Colorado for many years but even 20 years ago knew we couldn’t afford to remain there living on a modest ER budget. But places like that – college towns with every amenity you’d want, vibrant cultural life and great outdoor recreation – do indeed spoil you (or at least me) for anything less.

    Ogden would never have been on our radar screen due to Utah’s well-deserved ultra-conservative reputation but I can see that It is in many ways the exception to the rule and clearly a place we’d choose over any ski town in Colorado or any other state if we had it to do all over again.

    Instead we tried our hand at living in any number of low-cost places with decent weather (Silver City NM, Cañon City CO, Port Angeles WA, plus 5 years in Mexico). Your comment about cheaper places being cheap for a reason sure hits home!

    We still enjoy traveling but my guess is that in the COVID 19 world that’s emerging it’s going to be vitally important to choose a place to live where you might still want to leave from time to time but you don’t feel truly compelled to do so by excessive heat or cold.

    Oh and on the geoarbitrage idea: I know that it works for a few folks who have the ability to really “go native” in their adopted home, but the most famous bloggers and travel writers in that space (several of whom I’ve met) either live under conditions no one I know would accept or have the money to live anywhere but do the perpetual travel thing for the adventure. As an example of the first scenario, a famous ER couple who trumpet the virtues of living on less than 30K a year in Latin America or Thailand actually live in a 400 square foot apartment on a busy Mexican street with a hot plate and a coil heater to cook on and zero privacy. Not my adea of an adventure.

    1. Thanks for the feedback and I appreciate your perspectives Kevin. I try to be transparent and share as much of our situation as possible when blogging without compromising our privacy or safety. My motivation is to help others and make a little money from a hobby I enjoy vs. trying to sell a dream that others will regret. The bloggers I’ve met all seem pretty honest and transparent as well, but I suppose the people I’m drawn to are in it for the same reasons.


  9. Hello Chris,

    Thank you for sharing your life experiences so we can in turn have a better life. I was please to read that you started volunteering at a church and your wife has a stronger faith than you. My faith has been a journey and I created a website sharing what I learned. You can decide if you want to post it or not. But my goal is lift other men up just like you have to me. https://www.shorterchristianhandbook.com/

    Soli Deo Gloria,


    1. Thanks for the kind words Bill. I suppose I would consider myself a person of faith as well. I’ve just been turned off by religion over the years. Your site looks good and I’m happy to share anything that uplifts others.


  10. Nice post – I have done some casual searching for a college town with fewer mosquitoes and lower humidity than the Midwest. Utah, Idaho and Wyoming are on my radar.

    1. Thanks Kathy. We were really set on living in a ski town, so that limited our options. If you ever come our way, I love to meet readers in person.

      Happy searching!

  11. Chris, we too are looking at Utah for our retirement location, but down in the Central Utah/Richfield area, ATV Heaven its known as. I have one question. Are you LDS. IF not then do you think it was harder being non LDS in Utah than being a LDS? I have nothing against LDS, we have gotten along great with local when visiting but what about long term?

    1. John,

      We’re not LDS. I had heard negative things about non-LDS feeling excluded in Utah. That could not be further from our experience.

      We tend to approach everyone with an open mind and heart. I think that helps a lot. We’ve always felt welcomed and accepted here.


  12. Chris-

    Excellent article. When planning for retirement, which occurred ~5yrs ago, we considered these same factors among a few others. When you suggest ‘considering the interplay between them’, I think it’s important to be open to options that might (at first) seem counterintuitive. For example, in our case while living in an eastern Tennessee university town, our criteria had led us to either remain there in retirement or return to a small Florida beach town where we’d lived two decades earlier. We were being driven by “What do you want to do?” & “How much will it cost?”

    However, the more we discussed it, the more we realized that “Who do you want to spend time with?” was extremely important to us. So, we left beautiful, inexpensive Tennessee & returned to the more beautiful but outrageously expensive San Francisco Bay Area where our closest friends are. Why? Because we realized that dramatically downsizing & economizing elsewhere was a smaller sacrifice than being separated from our closest relationships.

    This is a somewhat dramatic application of your approach but, one that still results in the maximum total happiness for us. Our lesson: Be brutally honest about what’s important to you and open to where that takes you.

    1. Mark,

      Thanks for the feedback and for sharing your experience.

      We struggled with the fact that we are both very close to our families who all lived in our former hometown. That said, we didn’t see them as much as we would have liked when working. When my wife cut back work and we had a child, we didn’t spend any more time with our families with the exception of my parents. It would be unrealistic to expect that things would change when I quit my job. If anything, we would probably have felt bitter for staying there to be close to family who was all busy living their own lives. It was hard for us to form other friendships there, because we didn’t have much in common with anyone we knew. Our closest friends all lived an hour plus away. We decided to move on and start our own lives while building in the ability to travel back to see family and having room to host anyone who wanted to come spend time with us any time they wanted.

      This wasn’t a perfect solution, as nothing ever is. It was working out reasonably well until COVID. My parents were staying with us a couple of weeks in the spring and fall and we headed back east for the holidays.

      Hopefully we’ll regain some normalcy soon. The pandemic has both made being away from the people we love more challenging while simultaneously reinforcing why it is so important to live in a place where you have access to the things you want to do on a daily basis.

      As both your situation and mine demonstrate, these are complex decisions. Thanks again for sharing.


  13. My wife and I have been exploring our “retirement” home destinations for the past few years. We both love the water and sailing, so we are thinking of a two part plan. The first is buy a small but spectacular home someplace tropical that we can spend 5-6 months a year at, then also have a nice sailboat we can travel around the world slowly on. Both the boat and home though capable of being locked up and left for months at a time without us having to worry about them. We are probably one of the few that have had a little good fortune come our way due to the COVID19 virus, my wife who was working in the airline industry has accepted an early retirement package that at 42 years of age gives us both free flights for life. That is one hell of a benefit as we use about $100k worth of flights per year traveling the world, this number will probably go up I’d imagine once this whole virus thing has passed.

    If I were not worried about potential inflation, we’d forgo having a home all together while we sail, but seems like a good safety net to have a paid for home(s) to come back to in case of an emergency. We plan on doing a few longer term rentals once we narrow things down. So far we really like St. John in the USVI and the outer islands of the Bahamas. I love the mountains as well, but the wife not so much…I’m guessing it will be fairly easy for us though to do a house swap on occasion with somebody with a ski chalet looking to escape to paradise for a few weeks here and there. I sort of lean towards owing a place that’s on U.S. territory though vs. a foreign country.

    1. That sounds like an amazing situation. I’d be envious except for the boat part. I’d be seasick 10 minutes in. LOL!

      We actually briefly considered St. John. It is one of my favorite places on earth, though not sure what shape it’s in after getting wiped out by the hurricane a few years ago. We were looking for a more stable home base and so imagined that a place so small would feel claustrophobic quickly. That sounds like an amazing home base for someone in your situation though. And if you’re ever looking to house swap with someone close to skiing, feel free to throw it out there to us. I’d love to go back to the USVI and we’re 20 and 30 minutes from two of the best resorts in the country.


      1. The islands have definitely been hit by a double whammy of Irma/Maria and now COVID19, so recovery is super slow. But that also creates some opportunity. I totally agree that the island would feel small after a little while, but we are thinking that because we travel so much already for fun, it will lesson the affect of island fever. That coupled with my wife’s family having a nice home on a Fjord in Sweden to escape to makes it seem like a decent plan. I’m very cognizant though that life is what happens when you are busy making plans and this could all change in a heartbeat! We will definitely reach out to the mountain folk for some home swaps!

  14. Chris, great info as usual. My wife and I paid a visit to Utah a couple years ago and thought it was beautiful. But going to a restaurant felt a little strange in that it was hard to find one that served alcohol. Then our Air B&B actually asked that there be no alcohol in the room. We’re not heavy drinkers but like to have a beer after a long day’s hike and this didn’t seem normal to us. Are we the only ones who felt this was a little strange? Although being from PA as well the liquor stores in Utah reminded us of home!

    1. Yes, Utah’s alcohol laws are odd compared to anywhere else I’ve been in the country, even PA. We’re not big drinkers and so it doesn’t bother us.

      Also, not sure how long it’s been since you’ve been here either. Things may have loosened up. I don’t know of any restaurants where you couldn’t get a drink if you wanted other than some family oriented diners.

      Ogden may be more liberal than some other areas of the state as well. We have several breweries in town as well as some distilleries and wineries in the area.

  15. I’ve struggled with deciding on where to live. Retirement is a good chance to improve surroundings for the quality of life improvement. Your post an excellent review of your decision making. I spent a summer with my brother in Denver while gaining work experience credit for my major. Fond memories of the weekend mountain retreats and like-minded vacationers. Similar experience in Virginia. We eventually realized that we were midwest people and felt more at home with that crowd. We both enjoyed level ground, open space vistas, lakes, rivers, streams, tree diversity, kettle moraine geology/topography, and midwest mindset. We came to appreciate home status and chose not to go through the moving or relocation burden. We finally realized the benefits of our lifestyle. We love adventure, so to that extent, our travel trailer has been the pivot point to embark on such. The trailer is customized for maximum enjoyment for two people and is functioning well as a tiny house good for weeks and months of habitation. We do rent cabins when relatives or friends come to visit and usually split the cost.

    I do appreciate a comfy home with a large lot and attached garage for low-stress living. Having a deep knowledge or history of people, shopping, and services. This area is a great retreat from traveling with a great cooler summer. We will have to relocate close to kids upon old age but for now, enjoy the upkeep and remodeling. We have a unique lot being next to a bird sanctuary and our back yard is an open area close to the wetland. Tons of wildlife viewing upon a large deck and under beautiful tree shade. We have a long history with a large church and find that often is a hard find and valuable resource not easy to give up. We have given up a large garden but do enjoy the challenge to improve our small container gardens. We do buy, store, and preserve local fresh produce as well as good buys. Our pantry, freezer, and canning are rated a fun cost-saving activity. I do all vehicle repair and maintenance and home repair remodeling. Rental property is maintained, repaired, and improve mostly by personal labor. Our financial concerns are low, given our cost of living is low. We do biking and waterway travel with inflatable catamaran (Sea Eagle) that easily packs and enjoyable ride for lakes and streams. Electric trolling motor more than enough for the quiet propelling craft. Some fall hunting and spring fishing. Lots of hikes. We like historical places, avoid peak tourist activities, and occasionally travel to foreign countries taking one month to fully enjoy and lessen stress.

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