Now that I’m on the precipice of “real adulthood,” (you know–health insurance, a big girl job, investments, etc), I am often asked what kind of place I would settle down in if my options were unlimited. I always reply the same way: “Ha ha ha, give me another forty years and a solid retirement plan before I’m ready to look at the real estate I truly desire.”
I rattle off this answer for many reasons. First of all, I’m what people call a workaholic. I define myself by what I do, not where I live, and I have a feeling that until I’m ready to join the 40 million strong legion of Americans over the age of 65, where I live will be pretty incidental compared to the company I work for and my job description.
This also means however that when I do retire and possibly move into a new home not so tied to my occupation, I’m going to have to do so very carefully. Every AARP member will tell you that staying busy is the key to happiness post working age. This not only means getting at least two and a half hours of exercise a week, but filling up one’s time with a few activities that are both productive and enjoyable.
For me, a retirement that meets all these requirements basically spells out “lakeside community.” If I’m smart with my money over the next four decades, I will without a doubt be buying a home in a lakeside community that facilitates access to every opportunity the fresh water and wide open space provides.
Ideally, this lakeside community will be chalk full of like-minded retirees who are all about impulse kayaking excursions to Pirate’s Cove or whatever other sand bar happens to exist down yonder. We will fish, and hike, and camp, and grill the fish we catch on the beaches in front of our homes. Maybe I’ll take up gardening like I’ve always wanted to, but because I’m me, it will be the most colorful, best thought out garden you are ever going to see. I’ll leave my door unlocked and take afternoon naps and maybe I’ll adopt a rescue dog to watch the sunset with me over the pine trees.
The trees, like the dog, the lake, and the sunset, will calm me. They will remind me that mine has been a life worth living, and they will shelter my memory after I am gone.