Author Topic: Where should prof emeritus retire  (Read 5103 times)

Second Chance

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Where should prof emeritus retire
« on: October 29, 2019, 02:03:00 PM »
There was a thread on the old forum called “Where to retire”, so I thought I’d create one here. It looks like that one was started 10 years ago and perhaps things have changed as well. I have to take very (very) early retirement for health reasons. I always imagined myself as dropping mid-lecture or colloquium  at age 95 but looks like the opposite has happened. “Re invention” is hard because I was already doing everything the way I wanted the first time- a scientist, researcher, and around others who want to learn and share and lead a life of the mind. Heaven.
 
Ok, so that’s background. I also cannot stay put because the climate is hard on my health; am therefore in a temporary big city suburb and do not like it. (I also of course lost my status in the community as a professor. Had I been able to stay where I was, even as emeritus my status would have been fine.)  Hence looking for ideas on permanent place and I fear I am impossible to please.  Here is what I picture.

I wake up at 7 am after a completely uninterrupted night’s sleep where if I heard anything at all during the night, its nature, not neighbors or trucks. The uninterrupted night’s sleep every night is super important. On the other hand, I also do not want to be in the middle of nowhere, so to continue the day, after a light breakfast and an hour of computer writing, I walk outside 3 blocks and today I choose to go “to town”. So after those 3 blocks, there’s at least one store there where I can buy something – maybe a cup of coffee, maybe a loaf of bread (with a bench outside so I can rest before going back). If there’s a few more shops on the block, that’s great. But if it is so crowded and filled with loads of noise, then not good at all. And I should mention the 3 block walk should be pleasant and not be on a highway, or not require crossing a 4 lane road. Weather wise, the day was partially cloudy, but not too sunny, and there was no ice on the ground or snow cover…

I guess I can keep going with story but maybe you get idea. Things I need are quiet enough to sleep (during night and one afternoon nap), but conveniences nearby. Weather very important for both health and comfort and I don’t like climates that have a lot of sun -  nor a lot of snow. College towns or nearby make sense to me so I can be around like minded people (those  who are not in academia just feel like a different species to me. Sorry if that makes me a snob. I’m not rude or mean or anything, just feel more isolated when there’s no like minded person to talk to), not to mention youthful eager  labor I can hire for odd jobs… but that’s not a requirement I cannot be so close to the action tho that I am in danger of having college roommates living next to me (noise).

 Expense is an issue; have always been a saver, but my salary was never high enough to afford luxury retirement, I suppose this means if the idea is Hawaii, I might not be able to do it, but still would like to hear  all ideas (including international ones) and see if I can make it happen. Availability of food is sometimes a good test too. I like fresh food, dislike chain resteraunts, dislike heavy American food, like mediterrainean food, prefer quality to quantitiy  – not that I eat out a lot, its just a reflector of others’ mindset in the neighborhood.

. I’ve toured some suburbs which are basically suburban bedroom communities and have hated them. I also like nature, so I prefer a half day in the park to a half day at a museum or concert. I do not need any cultural activities (though perhaps I get along with others who do), love intellectual conversations, dogs, nature, the outdoors, science. Oh, there should be decent medical care nearby – preferably some non-mainstream but non flaky kinds as well - and delivery from whole foods market  would be a plus, but not required... Would a mid size town work for me maybe? I just don’t know.

So seems impossible. Quiet yet not middle of nowhere, like minded, intellectual, healthy, affordable. Sigh.

I should also add that those increasingly places/retirement communities affiliated with colleges are not a good choice for me. I looked in to a few of them and they are  mostly filled with people with bachelor’s degrees who did not lead an academic life but figure they can now do what they never had much of a chance to – take some courses and learn more. Not a former professor in site. For me, this is not a good fit because these are the people I might have taught, they are not my peers. Guess I’m being an elitist again but I’m out of their league and would do better among the toothless in west viriginia that wannabes (since that's apples and oranges, so no conflict). So that won’t work for me. I am not sure why I’m being so snarky in this message – sorry about  that -  am just tired and a bunch of things lately have gotten me on defensive and on edge- no sleep for example.
 
Which places do you love and why? Suggestions for me in particular? Any place you know of sound like it would meet these criteria?  Thanks.

ciao_yall

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Re: Where should prof emeritus retire
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2019, 03:10:59 PM »
There was a thread on the old forum called “Where to retire”, so I thought I’d create one here. It looks like that one was started 10 years ago and perhaps things have changed as well. I have to take very (very) early retirement for health reasons. I always imagined myself as dropping mid-lecture or colloquium  at age 95 but looks like the opposite has happened. “Re invention” is hard because I was already doing everything the way I wanted the first time- a scientist, researcher, and around others who want to learn and share and lead a life of the mind. Heaven.
 
Ok, so that’s background. I also cannot stay put because the climate is hard on my health; am therefore in a temporary big city suburb and do not like it. (I also of course lost my status in the community as a professor. Had I been able to stay where I was, even as emeritus my status would have been fine.)  Hence looking for ideas on permanent place and I fear I am impossible to please.  Here is what I picture.

I wake up at 7 am after a completely uninterrupted night’s sleep where if I heard anything at all during the night, its nature, not neighbors or trucks. The uninterrupted night’s sleep every night is super important. On the other hand, I also do not want to be in the middle of nowhere, so to continue the day, after a light breakfast and an hour of computer writing, I walk outside 3 blocks and today I choose to go “to town”. So after those 3 blocks, there’s at least one store there where I can buy something – maybe a cup of coffee, maybe a loaf of bread (with a bench outside so I can rest before going back). If there’s a few more shops on the block, that’s great. But if it is so crowded and filled with loads of noise, then not good at all. And I should mention the 3 block walk should be pleasant and not be on a highway, or not require crossing a 4 lane road. Weather wise, the day was partially cloudy, but not too sunny, and there was no ice on the ground or snow cover…

I guess I can keep going with story but maybe you get idea. Things I need are quiet enough to sleep (during night and one afternoon nap), but conveniences nearby. Weather very important for both health and comfort and I don’t like climates that have a lot of sun -  nor a lot of snow. College towns or nearby make sense to me so I can be around like minded people (those  who are not in academia just feel like a different species to me. Sorry if that makes me a snob. I’m not rude or mean or anything, just feel more isolated when there’s no like minded person to talk to), not to mention youthful eager  labor I can hire for odd jobs… but that’s not a requirement I cannot be so close to the action tho that I am in danger of having college roommates living next to me (noise).

 Expense is an issue; have always been a saver, but my salary was never high enough to afford luxury retirement, I suppose this means if the idea is Hawaii, I might not be able to do it, but still would like to hear  all ideas (including international ones) and see if I can make it happen. Availability of food is sometimes a good test too. I like fresh food, dislike chain resteraunts, dislike heavy American food, like mediterrainean food, prefer quality to quantitiy  – not that I eat out a lot, its just a reflector of others’ mindset in the neighborhood.

. I’ve toured some suburbs which are basically suburban bedroom communities and have hated them. I also like nature, so I prefer a half day in the park to a half day at a museum or concert. I do not need any cultural activities (though perhaps I get along with others who do), love intellectual conversations, dogs, nature, the outdoors, science. Oh, there should be decent medical care nearby – preferably some non-mainstream but non flaky kinds as well - and delivery from whole foods market  would be a plus, but not required... Would a mid size town work for me maybe? I just don’t know.

So seems impossible. Quiet yet not middle of nowhere, like minded, intellectual, healthy, affordable. Sigh.

I should also add that those increasingly places/retirement communities affiliated with colleges are not a good choice for me. I looked in to a few of them and they are  mostly filled with people with bachelor’s degrees who did not lead an academic life but figure they can now do what they never had much of a chance to – take some courses and learn more. Not a former professor in site. For me, this is not a good fit because these are the people I might have taught, they are not my peers. Guess I’m being an elitist again but I’m out of their league and would do better among the toothless in west viriginia that wannabes (since that's apples and oranges, so no conflict). So that won’t work for me. I am not sure why I’m being so snarky in this message – sorry about  that -  am just tired and a bunch of things lately have gotten me on defensive and on edge- no sleep for example.
 
Which places do you love and why? Suggestions for me in particular? Any place you know of sound like it would meet these criteria?  Thanks.

Cousin and her husband retired to Spain on a retirement visa in their early 60's. Between both their SS's they have a million dollar lifestyle: 5 acre farm, horse, etc. Cost of living is very low. They decided not to do the national health but pay only $250 per month. They can stay until they die, basically, which is kind of the plan.

They live near Malaga in a community filled with Dutch and British expats so not speaking Spanish isn't a big problem. There was a LOT of paperwork, but Spain as well as Portugal want to make it easy for retirees to bring their pensions and generate a lot of VAT tax.

We went to visit them and almost didn't come home to the USA.

pedanticromantic

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Re: Where should prof emeritus retire
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2019, 03:29:16 PM »
Maybe Oregon outside Portland is the right climate if you want to move inside USA.
You don't tell us citizenship or languages which might help people steer you abroad.

Puget

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Re: Where should prof emeritus retire
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2019, 03:33:53 PM »
Not too sunny/hot but also no snow suggests pacific northwest. How do you feel about rain all winter? If you're OK with that you might like my eponymous region.

I grew up in Olympia, WA-- State capitol, mid-size town with a (very alternative) state college (Evergreen), plenty of nature (on the sound, lots of parks, hiking nearby), and culture if you change your mind about that (good local theater and music scene, lots of fun home-grown events). Coffee shop culture where you could strike up conversations or sit for hours with the crossword or a book. High tolerance for quirkiness and different types of lifestyles. Generally very liberal (lots of Greeners who stayed), but not universally so (also lots of ex-military). Reasonable cost of living at least compared to large cities. You really have to be OK with rain though.

[Modified to add: Also plenty of restaurant choices that would fit your preferences and a great farmers' market].

Per pedanticromantic, I love Portland but it has gotten VERY expensive and also may now be bigger than what the OP is looking for.

I do think you're being way too snobby for your own good though-- I know lots of folks without PhDs who are educated (sometimes self-educated) about all sorts of interesting things and who I learn from. Why deprive yourself of the chance to experience those interactions by preemptively deciding a degree is required to be on "your level"?
« Last Edit: October 29, 2019, 03:39:21 PM by Puget »
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spork

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Re: Where should prof emeritus retire
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2019, 03:41:02 PM »
If you retired earlier than expected because of health problems, you might want to live in close proximity to an academic medical center -- e.g., Durham, NC; Des Moines, IA; etc. But since you don't specify what kind of climate is hard on your health, it's difficult to get more specific.
It's terrible writing, used to obfuscate the fact that the authors actually have nothing to say.

Hibush

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Re: Where should prof emeritus retire
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2019, 05:03:49 PM »
It sounds like a mid-sized town in the actual Mediterranean would hit the spot.

Padova has been a college town since 1222, so there must be some intellectual life. Decent apartments rent for around a thousand euro a month. There must be an espresso bar within three blocks of any of those apartments.

If you prefer Spanish dysfunction to Italian dysfunction, Valencia or Bilbao (Biscay, not Med) also have universities, coffee and bread within blocks, good food, beaches, reasonable living costs and other English-speaking retirees.

clean

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Re: Where should prof emeritus retire
« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2019, 12:12:32 AM »
I have been thinking about places to retire.  I was near Celebration and Kissimmee Florida last fall for some time. I was doing research there, and lived in my camper at an RV park. It was near Disney World. I worked in the morning and in the afternoon, I would go to either EPCOT or Disney Springs to walk.  It is paved and has plenty of people around in case I had any issues getting around.  As long as I left by 7, I would beat most of the crowds.  (Avoid EPCOT on the weekends as that was Food and Wine season, and weekends are invaded by drunks trying to drink at every country around the world showcase).

As the 'season' got going, the RV park hosted getogethers for the residents.  Many were 'snow birds' , but there were plenty of people around. 

There seem to be many such condo areas in Florida that cater to seasonal residents.  The comradeship seems to flow from October to April or so.  Then they return to whence they came.  Similarly, you may want to consider a 'best of both worlds' situation.  Avoid Florida when it is hot and hurricane threatened from April to mid October, and live somewhere like where you are now, or where you once lived, and live in Florida the other part of the year.  You can do it in an RV or  condo.  Some condos are rather reasonably priced, though not necessarily near the theme park areas of Florida, but closer to Tampa and Sarasota.  Im sure that there are plenty on the Atlantic coast too. 
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lightning

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Re: Where should prof emeritus retire
« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2019, 12:17:06 AM »
It sounds like a mid-sized town in the actual Mediterranean would hit the spot.

Padova has been a college town since 1222, so there must be some intellectual life. Decent apartments rent for around a thousand euro a month. There must be an espresso bar within three blocks of any of those apartments.

If you prefer Spanish dysfunction to Italian dysfunction
, Valencia or Bilbao (Biscay, not Med) also have universities, coffee and bread within blocks, good food, beaches, reasonable living costs and other English-speaking retirees.

Ha ha. The dysfunction is real, although I'll take Spanish dysfunction over Italian dysfunction, any day.

Second Chance

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Re: Where should prof emeritus retire
« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2019, 06:30:15 AM »
Thanks much and am reading thru them all.

To answer a question, the climates that are too hard on my health include too much sun. There are a few websites that give the data on amount of sun over the course of a year, either as number of days of sun, or percent or sun. So 80-85 percent sun (often works out to over 200 days per year of sun) is way too much. 55-60 percent sun (100 days? ) works out fine. This is the most important climate condition i need to avoid- too much bright sun. But if i can have more, I also do not do well in too much snow. I think i can tolerate up to about 14 inches on average a year, though would prefer less (since with averages, some years that's an awful lot). And finally, i prefer too humid to too dry. So climates wih lows of 7 percent humidity are out. Often i can tell if  like a climate by looking at the highs and lows during the day. if there's too much climb in the course of one day, that means the humidity is too low. (but if its not sunny and not to omuch snow, at this point i'd be willing to risk this).

I know there are plenty of non phd folk who are just as intellectually interested etc as I am and I always judge folks on their own merit and don't care what their degrees are eithe rway once i meet them. (indeed i know many ph.d.'s who are utter idiots) - the cool thing tho about other academics is the vetting process is done for you. if you don't have alot of time, then odds are higher youll find like minded amont those. Plus often other liberals, others interested in good health and so on. its statistical is the advantage. Plus it gives a whole culture of academia, not just a scattered one or two folks. Had a great childhood, but when i found academia, I knew I was home. Don't want to give up being on my home planet, if i can help it. (and if i can't, i'll go entirely in a different dirrection - community of dog lovers or something)

ok, hope i didn't get off topic- was just trying to clarify. Thanks again for input.

(oh, on other questions, language wise fine with spanish, tho not fluent. only thing about international is how long it will take to solve the logistics. hard for me to travel to even check things out for example. )

simpleSimon

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Re: Where should prof emeritus retire
« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2019, 06:39:38 AM »

Second Chance

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Re: Where should prof emeritus retire
« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2019, 07:12:50 AM »
A quick p.s. since it doens't look like I can edit.
I also cannot tolerate structure-borne noise any longer, so big buildings with lots of units are out of the question (unless something super unuusal for insulation, in which case no higher than one flilght up). So likely a stand alonge single family dwelling makes most sense.

If i didn't make it clear enough from the original post, at the moment, primary motivating for moving as soon as possible is noise. Mostly its the structure borne noise from a buiding with zero insulation (I've spoken to sound engineers who tell me my bldg is a lost cause and was built with zero insualtion or noise remdieation,), but have also gotten sick of constant intrusive noisy "improvements" that management brings to hedges and walkways and the like- constant noise. And  seems to be a banner year for non stop leaf blowers, and chain saws.

guess that doesn't help pick the town? So the noise is driving me to move, but where i move to has to be constrained by weather, and as long as i'm moving, like minded neighbors seems like a real bonus if can swing out.

mythbuster

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Re: Where should prof emeritus retire
« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2019, 07:34:43 AM »
Based on your not too sunny and damp requirements, I'm voting for Oregon. Eugene, Corvallis, or Newport if you want to be on the coast. NOAA has a big outpost in Newport, so they do have good educated contingent. As for Europe, maybe Belgium or the Netherlands?

mamselle

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Re: Where should prof emeritus retire
« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2019, 07:59:40 AM »
Southern France, maybe Toulouse, or Aix-en-Provence? Southern French dysfunctionality is a blend of the Italian and Spanish versions with a good variety of all those foods thrown in.

A friend's family has part of a castle in Taulignon. That was cool. Lavender grows quietly nearby, and yet you're not far from Grenoble if you want more activity once in awhile.

Grenoble also houses several "student-abroad" and "intensive French language study" programs. So there are academics there; there are several other smaller but congenial university towns dotted around the region (or a bit away) like Lyons, too.

If your Spanish is OK, someplace outside Barcelona might include Santa Maria del Mar, where some of the very early Romanesque basilicas are (they may be under conservation sometimes, but even that tends to be quieter, has been my experience, than in the US...the testosterone-fueled yelling at each other and pounding hammers loudly to make the point that they're working soooo hard seems less predominant, and I thiiinnnkk (not sure) there are more limitations on leafblowers than we have (I hate the things, too, and am often heard saying, loudly, "Get a broom!"...)).

More pondering after I finish the next step on the paper on 13th c. French processions that I have to give on Saturday upcoming...

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spork

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Re: Where should prof emeritus retire
« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2019, 09:10:25 AM »
Little snow, too humid better than too dry: upstate SC -- Clemson, Greenville -- or Columbia, SC? Don't know how many sunny days per year there, but probably less than places in Colorado, and closer to sea level so somewhat less UV radiation than at Rocky Mountain altitudes, although SC is slightly closer to the equator.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2019, 09:15:01 AM by spork »
It's terrible writing, used to obfuscate the fact that the authors actually have nothing to say.

Volhiker78

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Re: Where should prof emeritus retire
« Reply #14 on: October 30, 2019, 09:59:53 AM »
Maybe check out NC mountain area.  Even if it is sunny,  there are plenty of locations that don't get a lot of direct sunlight.  Asheville NC is popular among retirees - UNC Asheville has a pretty large learning program for non-students.  It does snow in Asheville but it is usually light.  Other college towns in NC mountains are Boone and Cullowhee.  On the Tennessee side,  Maryville is popular among retirees - small college located there and very close to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and also Knoxville airport.