Every time I go to Manhattan, I think it is my soul mate. Like I was meant to live there. Loud, smelly, exciting, stately New York City, I feel comfortable there, like being with an old friend I’ve known for decades.
When I was much younger, I remember dreaming about marrying my soul mate someday. My wise step-mom told me, “You marry whomever it is you’re in love with at the time you’re ready to be married.”
I think it’s the same with where to live in retirement.
We just finished up a three-week home exchange in that city that I love. Now we are on a week-long swap in a beautiful, 1790’s home outside Brattleboro, Vermont. Of course now I’ve been fantasizing about living here. Life is slower, more casual, and there’s so much history here. I love the way the women here look; they look their age. I mean that as a compliment, the casual fashion, the apparent lack of makeup and Botox, the natural hair colors. I wish it were so back in My Suburbia, CA.
The truth is though, I wouldn’t last a winter in New York or Vermont.
Some people fantasize about retiring to a wooded, remote village, others to a vibrant, diverse city, others still, a hammock on a distant tropical isle. But if you didn’t live there before you retired, there was probably a reason for that, maybe the winters, maybe the absence of friends and family, or maybe the cost.
The reality is, to paraphrase my step-mom, you’ll probably be happiest retiring wherever it is you live when you’re ready to be retired. Luckily, unlike marriage, it’s ok to “cheat” on the place you live from time to time to go visit your soul mate. You know, when the weather’s nice.