Evaluation of choices in retirement
At just under 75, I'd lived a few years ago in a 2-br. 3-level townhouse, basement unfinished, rental about $780./mo. on the edge of a city of over 1/4 million, at terminal point of two bus lines, where I'd lived for over 15 years (about the longest period of about 20 locations in my adult life), sharing with another man for the first three years or so.
When stepmother's brother's second wife died, we were worried about his safety, as he'd had 3 hip replacements and suffered major pain in back, hip and leg and, despite being in mid 80's, as a beef farmer, and in spite of having no kids for whom to provide a legacy, kept cattle in the barn. No wife ... no one to seek help if he didn't soon return from doing chores, and at that time he wouldn't wear one of those warning systems ... so I spent a couple of months with him till his cattle went to pasture: we didn't want him falling into a snowbank and finding himself unable to get out.
I had done nothing to help Dad and stepmother deal with life as they aged, though they didn't need much care ... and brother and wife helped as needed.
A couple of years later, when uncle died, his executors wanted the place looking lived in, so I travelled about 12 mi. out there almost daily, usually sleeping there, for upwards of a year ... for which I was compensated. And uncle left me a legacy (which I doubt that he would have, had I not stayed with him after his wife's death).
The well was too close to the barnyard and the water then smelled, so I wouldn't drink it or use it in cooking. The executors of the estate found that it was really bad for e Coli ... and not good for coliforms.
When the farm was sold to a sod farmer, he said that he'd heard that I might be interested in renting the 2-br., L R, D R, family room, bungalow with unfinished basement and pull-down stair to unfinished attic, where they'd stored some things on boards thrown over the insulation. When he offered it at $450./mo., I quickly agreed. I've hauled drinking water before in my life (and boiled all that we used that way in Korea) so that didn't trouble me.
There's another well that served the barn, and now serves my landlord's shop ... that failed coliform test three years ago, but was O.K. for e-Coli ... I've used that water for the garden and landlord said that he's drunk that water without ill effect ... and I did, last summer when watering the garden, also with no trouble.
I thought that I could live here as long as I could drive a car ... but then would almost certainly need to return to the city.
I had a couple of auto accidents about a year ago ... so the motor licence people require me, being over 70 and having been involved in a chargeable accident, to take a vision, written and driving test.
I have passed the vision and written test, and have taken the driving test twice, failing each time. I haven't heard how many more opportunities I get until they shut me down.
For the past month, carrying a restricted licence, I have not been allowed to drive unless I have a licensed driver riding beside me, which is not the easiest to arrange.
I am considering whether I can continue to reside here, should I not be able to pass the driving test. Some who have ridden with me have no problems with my driving (but they're not examiners).
Old uncle lived here without a licence, for a couple of years when his eyes were not good.
He made arrangements with someone to drive him on errands about once a week and occasionally otherwise, but that was a bit of a problem to arrange.
When I consider that there'd be well over $300. more to pay for similar accomodation in the city, I feel that I can arrange for substantial hauling around for lower cost than that ... and in the city, one doesn't ride the bus for free, so there is less net cost to my paying for transport here than appears on the surface.
As I'm in reasonably good health, I think that I could sometimes travel by bicycle for part of the year. There's an old man who comes to the old guys' coffee hour at church on an electric bike ... I'll have to ask him how far he can travel between chargings. I'm about 8 miles from the village and about 15 - 20 miles from the various facilities in the city.
I would have much more flexibility of lifestyle in the city, of course.
Another thing that's better in the city is that I could have high-speed internet (which is somewhat more expensive) and must deal with dial-up, here. I could have cable television there, as well ... but didn't, for several years when I lived there.
I'm planning to do some hitch-hiking these days, to get an idea of how well that would work, here. I walked a little over a mile the other Sunday morning and an aboriginal guy who's part of a group of runners (there's a settlement of aboriginals near here) picked me up less than a mile fom home, dropped me at the church ... and picked me up at the church and dropped me at home, as his 17 km. run was finished about the time that I was.
I'm not counting on such good fortune in regular hitch-hiking ... I've done that, before!
I'd not be happy doing that for more than half of the year, at most!
I don't know of how much interest these musings may be to your consideration of various options that you may be considering as part of your planning for your latter years of life, but hope that you may find them of interest.
Good wishes for continued health of body, mind and spirit as good as is possible for you, given the circumstances.