Many of our friends here in Albuquerque know. Both Dan’s and my employers are aware. Our family knows. So maybe it’s time to share our retirement plans here, on my blog.
The target date is February 1, 2012 – according to my computer count-down timer, just 358 days from now! I call it a target date, knowing that God, in his providence, might have other plans for us, and we intend to follow His direction. My prayer is always that the right doors be opened, and, just as importantly, that wrong doors be closed.
That being said, we are starting the preparations for this big event. Our first task is to get our house ready to sell. We hope to put it on the market this spring, giving us nearly a year to sell. If it should sell quickly - that would be wonderful! - we will move into an apartment for the rest of our time here.
The plan is to move to the Temple, Texas, area – about three hours from Chris, Kelsey and the kids. We feel this is a healthy and convenient distance from them. We could easily go there for any special event. It wouldn’t even be out of the question to drive over early in the morning, spend a few hours, and drive back the same day. And yet, we wouldn’t be “on their doorstep,” so to speak, assuring them of the independence they’ve enjoyed for all their married years. We are also aware that, at any time, an opportunity could arise for them to make a move, themselves, although, as far as we know, there is none in the works. We want them to know that we would understand and be supportive of their decision. Being near them is probably the number one reason we have selected the Temple area as our prospective home, but we feel there are other reasons that make it a good decision.
That area of Texas has a lower cost of living, and lower housing costs – all good for living on a retirement income. It’s a scenic part of Texas, just on the edge of what is known as “the Hill Country.” Temple is a small town, but has a wonderful medical facility (Scott & White) and is only an hour away from Austin and a little farther away from San Antonio. There are also some very nice recreation areas, many located on Lake Belton.
I’m not blind to the fact that the summers are hot and humid – not, however, as humid as Houston. We have friends who moved to Temple from Albuquerque some years ago. They have this to say about the weather: Whereas in most places you limit your outdoor time in the winter, due to cold weather, in this part of Texas you limit your outdoor time in the summer, due to the heat and humidity. But the other nine months of the year are beautiful, and the mild temperatures welcome you to spend lots of time outdoors in the fall, winter and spring. I realize that that's a glass-half-full way of thinking, but I’m buying it!
We have made two trips to Temple to check out the area and to look at housing. We’ve identified our favorite builder and, even, a favorite house plan that he builds. We’ll have to wait to see if he has one on the market when we’re ready; if not, we might contract with him to build for us.
There is one more detail that should be mentioned – a very important detail, named “Tim.” While we’ll be moving closer to one son, we’ll be moving away from the other, which is a little troubling to me. However, Tim is happily and successfully working here in Albuquerque, and isn’t interested in making this move with us. We'll make sure to see him every now and then, and will stay in close touch through phone, email, Skype and texting. (Won't we, Tim?!)