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AIBU?

Would you prefer to retire to the countryside or city centre?

218 replies

Faciadipasta · 15/10/2022 16:02

Inspired by another thread on here I'm just curious to see people's thoughts. I'm not due to retire for another 20 years or so but really hadn't considered doing so in the centre of London (or maybe another big city) but now after the other thread I'm thinking what a bloody brilliant idea!
I'd always just thought people tend to retire to the seaside or countryside before. So what do others think? City or countryside? And why?

OP posts:
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Am I being unreasonable?

54 votes. Final results.

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You are being unreasonable
31%
You are NOT being unreasonable
69%
Nowisthemonthofmaying · 16/10/2022 12:02

Definitely city centre - I loved London in my 20s, don't want to raise my family there but would happily go back later in life. Nice central flat, good transport and health care, lots to see & do even if you have limited mobility. I do also love the countryside and occasionally dream about a rural manor house but the practicalities of that just don't work once you're elderly.

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Zipps · 16/10/2022 12:05

Fuuuuuckit · 16/10/2022 11:48

40 minutes drive to the nearest hospital? I've just spent 6 months ferrying my mum to twice-weekly appointments, and a 40 minute drive is very often doubled on public transport

Yes you're right I'll live right next door to a hospital for the whole of my retirement just in case 🙄
No travelling for us just in case there is no hospital on the doorstep. Projecting are we?

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drpet49 · 16/10/2022 12:08

CuriousCatfish · 15/10/2022 16:06

City centre. I'd be bored within a week in the countryside.

This

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StripeyMow · 16/10/2022 12:15

Semi rural. A little village, village pub and shop, but not a million miles away from a hospital and amenities. Grew up in the countryside, but faced the inevitable crisis of having to move far away to seek decent employment. I hate city living, and living in a small town just isn’t the same. I miss home.

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Scrowy · 16/10/2022 12:32

Are you opposed to people having the freedom to live where they want?

no but we've massively undervalued the importance of it being the norm to have close family and social bonds because it doesn't suit the capitalist dichotomy.

women are in the majority now expected to work, often full time and also be the primary homemaker/child carers. That leaves little time for all the social/community stuff that used to be carried out by stay at home mums/ housewives.

women who did work aren't retiring in their late 50s early 60s any more, the last cohort of women who did that as a norm are there now still doing the coffee mornings and the volunteer driving and the looking after of the grandchildren, but the next cohort following them will be working until they are 67 at least.

you used to be able to move away from your family and if necessary pay for the help you needed couldn't be provided by family, be that childcare, cleaning help or elder care. There's a shortage of people for those kinds of jobs now, mostly due to Brexit, and what is available is increasingly unaffordable.

The unseen often unpaid network of women 'in the community' to keep an eye out for the vulnerable in the community are disappearing rapidly. The very fabric of society and the societal contract has been broken systematically in recent decades and we are finally seeing the implosion.

It's extraordinarily naive to think that working age people currently are going to be afforded the same kind of retirements they saw their parents and grandparents having.

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alongtimeagoandfaraway · 16/10/2022 12:33

We live in a suburb and the plan was always to retire to the centre of London for all the reasons other have given - theatres, galleries, dancing, restaurants. And the river, that was quite important too.

Then Covid happened and we learned to appreciate our large garden and the extensive ancient woodland just 5 minutes walk from the house. I know people managed without all that during lockdown but I felt very fortunate to have it.

We’re only 5 minutes walk from the supermarket, other shops and cafes/restaurants, maybe 15 mins from doctors and dentist, 5 mins from the tube into London and regular buses locally.

I think we’re staying put.

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etulosba · 16/10/2022 17:21

Only because I’m nosy and we’re discussing it but if you need care what will happen then @etulosba ?

I have plenty of elderly neighbours. They get cared for.

I would argue that the support network for the sick and elderly is often better in villages than it is in towns. When I was very ill with covid, groceries and prescriptions were delivered to my door by the good neighbours scheme. The same group also ensure that people without transport can get to hospital appointments etc.

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Cuppasoupmonster · 16/10/2022 17:27

@etulosba but you can’t rely on charity on a permanent or high-needs basis, what if you need personal care? Washing, toileting etc? Who are these volunteers, are they retired? I agree villages are helpful but you can’t expect neighbours to bathe you or make you a nightly meal etc.

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Scrowy · 16/10/2022 17:30

Cuppasoupmonster · 16/10/2022 17:27

@etulosba but you can’t rely on charity on a permanent or high-needs basis, what if you need personal care? Washing, toileting etc? Who are these volunteers, are they retired? I agree villages are helpful but you can’t expect neighbours to bathe you or make you a nightly meal etc.

and yet this is exactly what often ends up happening for longer than it should because such people have completly failed to plan for a scenario where the state can't or won't provide when they need it to.

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GOODCAT · 16/10/2022 17:35

I want to sell up and travel when I first retire, then move to a remote country location to start with, but later move to somewhere near a swimming pool and a hospital. If I can't afford to do those three steps at the time I would have to go straight to the last option.

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Cuppasoupmonster · 16/10/2022 18:03

Scrowy · 16/10/2022 17:30

and yet this is exactly what often ends up happening for longer than it should because such people have completly failed to plan for a scenario where the state can't or won't provide when they need it to.

I would feel like a right cheeky fucker assuming all my needs would be met by my neighbours Confused the odd hospital lift sure, but personal care/lifting should not be the domain of 70 something year olds or put-upon neighbours.

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Cuppasoupmonster · 16/10/2022 18:15

Plus @etulosba do you do any regular caring for your neighbours at the moment?

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etulosba · 16/10/2022 18:35

Plus @etulosba do you do any regular caring for your neighbours at the moment?

Not regular caring, no. We do invite people who are on their own to dinner now and again and do help with deliveries etc. It is part of the good neighbours scheme but pretty ad hoc. I do regularly mow lawns and verges for people who can’t do their own during the summer months. Not sure if that is “care” though.

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etulosba · 16/10/2022 18:39

but you can’t rely on charity on a permanent or high-needs basis, what if you need personal care? Washing, toileting etc

Who provides this service in city centres?

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Cuppasoupmonster · 16/10/2022 18:45

etulosba · 16/10/2022 18:35

Plus @etulosba do you do any regular caring for your neighbours at the moment?

Not regular caring, no. We do invite people who are on their own to dinner now and again and do help with deliveries etc. It is part of the good neighbours scheme but pretty ad hoc. I do regularly mow lawns and verges for people who can’t do their own during the summer months. Not sure if that is “care” though.

But that means you can’t expect more than that in return. If you need more help you’ll have to organise your own taxis and carers which is a bit of a nightmare when you’re out in the sticks.

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pinkhousesarebest · 16/10/2022 18:50

If I had to live in a city again, I would die of despair. Lived in Paris for years before moving to the French countryside - albeit give minutes away from a train that goes into a large city in 30 minutes. I hope to finish my days here.

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pinkhousesarebest · 16/10/2022 18:52

My parents have lived beside their neighbors all their lives. None of them have done anything to help each other in their old age, apart from attending each other’s funerals. It’s family that does that. Plus paid caters.

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InCheesusWeTrust · 16/10/2022 18:54

Is anyone who is over 20 years from retirement actively planning as well? I already pinpointed 4 places in country I want to retire to and have investment plan in my head ffor property etc😂

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etulosba · 16/10/2022 18:55

But that means you can’t expect more than that in return

I don’t expect more. Some people in the village are happy to do hospital trips but would rather not do dinners, deliveries or gardening. The load is spread. It seems to work well enough in our village.

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ButterYourMuffin · 16/10/2022 19:18

I do wonder if those who say city centre is better for those with limited mobility have any experience of navigating London with a disability. I am not a wheelchair user although do use a mobility scooter and find London exhausting and very expensive when I go for a weekend. I cannot use public transport as cannot walk enough for the tube or stand at a bus stop. This necessitates taxis from door to door which costs a bomb. Also theatres, museums and galleries are not all that accessible, require forward planning and can be v tiring. I live rurally and it's true that I rely on my car but should I be unable to drive in the future, I cannot see City living being the answer at all.

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shinynewapple22 · 16/10/2022 19:20

Jessiesthedog · 16/10/2022 08:23

I think Covid massively highlighted the issues locally to us if you didn’t drive or you couldn’t get a delivery spot there’s absolutely no way I would retire to the countryside following that I want to be near ammenities and I want to be less than 15 minutes from the hospital.

It also highlighted the complete shock of being unable to move around the UK normally - particularly the issues around the Wales / England / Scotland borders . Much as I would extremely doubt this would happen again - I suppose none of us knows what's in store - and once the unthinkable had happened once, it's always a possibility in people's minds .

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Fuuuuuckit · 16/10/2022 19:34

Zipps · 16/10/2022 12:05

Yes you're right I'll live right next door to a hospital for the whole of my retirement just in case 🙄
No travelling for us just in case there is no hospital on the doorstep. Projecting are we?

Perhaps projecting.

But still, 40 minutes drive in a car vs 80 minutes on a bus each way is no fun if you're a bit unstable on your feet or actually needing health care. My great aunt once told me that the biggest shock about old age was when she realised she shouldn't be driving any more. It absolutely took her freedom away, she became reliant on lifts and taxis, as her home was not close to public transport. It really reduced her world to the hairdressers, the supermarket and visits in her home.

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shinynewapple22 · 16/10/2022 19:44

@ButterYourMuffin But London isn't the only City. In fact when I said earlier in the thread that I didn't like Cities, I thought immediately afterwards of the much smaller cities which would probably be brilliant places to live - although probably rather expensive .

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ButterYourMuffin · 16/10/2022 20:11

@shinynewapple22 - no of course it isn't but I am a born and bred Londoner who did, in fact, escape to the country, so I guess it's what comes to mind for me. Smaller cities would probably be different but again they're not necessarily as accessible as people without disabilities may think. Obviously not all retirees have mobility issues but equally not all 80 year olds are able to do all the wonderful things that pps have attributed to a more interesting and enjoyable life in the city.

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Cuppasoupmonster · 16/10/2022 20:40

It’s fine moving to the arse end of nowhere if you are genuinely prepared to shell out significant sums of money and plan ahead for taxis, shopping, gardeners, carers when the time comes, adapt your house etc

However it seems few are, rely on charity from neighbours, their stressed adult children and the ambulance service.

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