Dear Abby: In response to “Contemplating Change in Rhode Island” (June 23), who is considering retiring with a friend to a city with a warmer climate, I would offer the same advice we have given our friends. She should know that she’ll need to be proactive in developing a social network in her new location.
My wife and I also moved far south when we retired. We wanted neighbors with a variety of ages so we could hear children play nearby from time to time. We purchased a house in a “normal” neighborhood instead of a retirement community. But we soon realized that, unlike us, our neighbors had jobs, family responsibilities and little time for us. More disconcerting was going grocery shopping and no longer seeing the three or four acquaintances we would see back home.
Without jobs to occupy our time and give us a framework for social contact, we found ourselves isolated. To solve that problem we joined organizations and did volunteer work to meet new friends. Our story has a happy ending, but it took some effort to make it happen. “Contemplating” should be prepared to do the same.
Mike in Sparks, Nev.
“Contemplating Change” asked if readers had experience moving far away at her age (late 60s). You, and many others, wrote to share overwhelmingly positive feedback. Thank you for it:
Dear Abby: For the women planning to buy a retirement home together, please tell them there are wonderful places everywhere. I have moved 15 times since the age of 70 and at 91 am moving again. (No, I am not trying to stay ahead of the sheriff.) I have sought more pleasant climates as well as the company of ambitious writers. For the last move, I am going to a retirement community where I don’t have to cook, wash dishes or clean house because it’ll be done for me.
Lifetime Writer in Sedona, Ariz.