Being an O50 (over fifty years old), answering this question is the number one reason that we moved to Ohio!
My last post I shared in depth our story of Bob’s health journey. If you have not read that post yet, this post may not make sense to you so here is the link:
What is THIS THE MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION?
Our timing to relocate was not calculated until………
After the shock of Bob’s diagnosis, we began to deal with the reality of how our future now would change almost all our plans. I will never forget us sitting in our living room at Cypress (what we called our beloved restored 1930’s home) having the hardest discussion of our married life. Understanding that decisions on many levels had to be considered, the toughest decision of them all was asking each other where you’d want to live alone? In other words, living without the other one.
Now realize we didn’t assume that it would be me living without Bob. Life gives us no guarantees so this question applied to Bob too. After listing our options of staying in our Wichita home, downsizing to a another home in Wichita, or relocating to another state. Since we have no family in Wichita, we decided to relocate.
Okay now where? We have 3 adult “kids” and their families in Colorado and Texas so everyone assumed that we would move to one of these states. This is where Bob and I had to get real with each other talking and talking and talking about the pros and cons of moving to either of those two states.
So then why Ohio?
Understandably, our choice to move to Ohio perplexed and actually shocked many friends and family. We were misunderstood and judged over why wouldn’t we relocate to be near our families who we love and adore?
However all six adults were working full time with most of our grandchildren who were now in junior high or high school and you know what that means……beyond busy lifestyles! They all can hardly keep up with their demanding schedules so where would we fit in?
We have always been long distance grandparents, spending most of our travel dollars and time visiting our families and this will not change. But we decided that this was our time for however long we were blessed to share together.
After many more discussions of where to move in NE Ohio, we concluded we wanted these goals to be met, but it wasn’t easy to find what we wanted and needed!
THE NEEDED HOUSING REVOLUTION
Our top non-negotiable goal was to find an aging in place downsized home. We wanted all outside maintenance included, like many condo arrangements provide. We chose to live in a villa as they’re often called to maintain our privacy and home like setting that we have always loved.
However, finding this home model option proved to be a major challenge. This is exactly is why I included this chapter in my Design Smarts book:
WE WANTED AN AREA WITH VILLAGE LIVING?
This is one of the hottest trends for several demographics but especially for the O50s. How cool is it to walk to neighborhood shops, restaurants, and even entertainment? We love this more and more since we never realized how awesome it is not to drive to these amenities.
WE WANTED TO LIVE WITH COMMUNITY
Our neighborhood fits this requirement with a clubhouse, golf course, pool, and walking options but what really attracted us to our exact home was the number of villas…only 26. This gives the opportunity to actually know our neighbors and we often socialize with them. We love this benefit!
But mainly, our community is of the very special connection to our extended families and long time friendships. I have a lot of family in this area, plus Bob and I met at Ohio University so there’s that wonderful attraction as well.
High school friends doing “our thing”
Girlfriends living in Salem. We all love getting together.
Our reasons to move to Ohio were for exactly this purpose, to have community and not to be solely dependent on our adults kids and grandchildren. We also did not want to add to their burden to make sure we were included in their lives. Only each unique family dynamic can make the call that we did acknowledging how extremely tough and heart wrenching this decision is for most of us.
Asking this extremely hard question has paid off in many other ways we could have not anticipated. Now after 7 months, we are finally settled in. We are having the time of our life meeting new awesome friends while reconnecting and savoring our precious longtime friends. I am also thrilled to be close to my extended families to celebrate holidays and family events together. I have sorely missed this for over 50 years since moving away after college and getting married.
WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS?
Now we all realize that life will take many turns, expected and unexpected ones, right? So whether you are single or married, I would advise you all to start contemplating these hard life questions for your futures. I would also advise you all to begin listing your wants and your needs in your “next life” living experiences. Because one thing is certain in life, change will indeed happen. Therefore, don’t be caught unprepared when your changes do occur. Be Design SMARTS by starting to prepare now, regardless your age or life stage. No one will win bigger than you will!
Next post, my life now after overcoming expected and unexpected challenges of our major relocation life transition.
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