Do you ever have those long, rambly ‘what if?’ conversations? They’re our favourite kind, especially when we’re dog walking or (if the summer ever comes) out in the garden with a nice glass of rosé. We talk about our family, whether we’ll ever have grandchildren (not right now, please), our plans for the house (especially if we win the lottery), our future travel plans: bucket list destinations, places we still want to explore, ships we want to sail on, that kind of thing. Another thing that features heavily is where we’ll end up when we both retire. I know, I know, it’s a long way in the future, but we both want to retire to somewhere different – a smaller place, maybe by the sea.
Do you dream of yourself wandering around a sunny garden tending roses, or is that just me? I don’t know, though, with 50 being the new 40 (and hence 60 being the new 50) I suppose you might see yourself as a rock climbing, extreme sporting silver adventurer (I read somewhere that the number of pensioners injuring themselves doing sporting activities like rock climbing, diving and skiing has tripled over the past few years, so that’s pretty likely too).
Personally, I would go and live in America (I’d go and live in America tomorrow, frankly, I love it). The warmer climate really appeals to me, but for Mr E that would be a step too far, especially in the places I love like Florida (oh, a retirement by the gorgeous beaches of Fort Myers for me please) too hot for him. If you want to keep healthy and active into retirement, you want to be cycling along the seafront in the sun, let’s face it, not trudging along the pavement in the rain.
I know exactly what Mr E would say, as we’ve talked about it a gazillion times: France. Whether it be pretty Brittany, where we’ve spent so many wonderful holidays, (those beachfront houses in Le Vale André, sigh…) or further down the South of France, near Marseilles, we both see ourselves in a little house not too far from the sea, eating croissants and sipping coffee on our terrace in the morning, and wandering into the village to pick up stuff at the market for supper. I’d have to work on my French, though, and I’ve heard that buying a house in France isn’t easy – the bureaucracy being pretty full on, especially without any help.
I did a SunLife Direct ideal retirement destination quiz recently and got… Suffolk, which wasn’t really on my radar, but at least it’s by the sea. I’m not completely ruling England out of course. Like many people these days, our house will be our pension, so moving to a cheaper location will probably be a must. We’ve toyed with the idea of Cornwall (which I STILL haven’t visited – we need to address this very soon). My brother absolutely loves it there and the house prices are considerably cheaper too. Plus there are gorgeous beaches, dog walks and cycling, and all those lovely restaurants.
Pie in the sky? Probably, but don’t we all want to see our future in some sort of hazy, sun-soaked, toes-in-the-sea kind of way? I know I do 🙂