Over 50 & Thriving Series

Thriving Over 50 In A New Location

May 11, 2018
Thriving Over 50 In A New Location

Thriving Over 50 In A New Location

How would you feel about retiring to a completely new location, away from family and established friendships?  It can be a daunting prospect, especially if you have lived in the same location for many years.  It can also be difficult if you are in a relationship and one partner is happy to continue living in the current location, but the other partner yearns for new surroundings.

My next guest in the Over 50 &  Thriving series has experienced all of the above and more. I met Tamara from My Retirement Project through link ups such as Wellness Wednesday and she and I have much in common, including our love of being near the ocean and keeping fit and active. Tamara shares her story with us and explains how she and her husband made the move are now enjoying and thriving in their new environment and home.

As you read her story you will see that it was not easy on so many levels, however, there was a positive outcome and message to us all about never giving up on your dream.

Tamara writes:

Thriving Over 50 In A New Location

Thriving Over 50 In A New Location

Photo courtesy of My Retirement Project

When my husband and I retired some six years ago, we assumed we were settled in our home for the duration.

Turns out we weren’t.

Let me back up and start at the beginning. I grew up in S. California within easy 30 minute access to the beach, and really never gave much thought to living any closer because in my part of the state the beaches were often foggy and cold, and the towns adjacent a bit too laid back for my tastes.

However, all of that changed when we moved 100 miles south to Orange County in the early 1990’s. The first time I set foot on one of Orange County’s gorgeous, sunny and full-of-fun beach towns I was hooked, and an intense yearning to live closer to the coast took root and began to grow and grow.

My husband and I had settled in Orange County in an area that was only about 20 miles inland, but traffic patterns were such that any trip to the coast had to be carefully considered in order to avoid getting stuck in traffic. So I satisfied my longings to be closer to the ocean with lots and lots of coastal RV trips after we retired. They were all lovely, but each and every time we headed back home afterward, my longings to live closer grew even stronger.

I’m not sure what finally flipped the switch, but one day after returning home from a series of oversea trips completely exhausted, I told my husband that in spite of having enjoyed our travels immensely, and in spite of having a beautifully fixed up home in which to live, I could not get over my desire to live along the coast and would he pretty please give the idea of relocating there consideration?

To my surprise, after years and years of communicating to me that he was completely satisfied in our current location, he changed his mind and said he would.

Well, that was all I needed to hear! Within 24 hours I had appointments set to interview two realtors. And shortly after that we had our realtor selected and were signing realtor forms.

Turns out that was the easiest part of the whole process.

What followed was stressful beyond belief – listing our home, keeping it tidy, and vacating it as often as possible for buyer walk-throughs, receiving multiple offers within days of listing, well before we’d even decided what coastal city we’d be living in, having the first accepted offer fall out of escrow within the first week, lining up movers once we went back into escrow with a second set of buyers, working with a realtor in our new location diligently, daily, for almost a month before finding ‘the one,’ a fixer upper within two miles of the ocean, the agony of going through home inspections on both ends, the sheer work involved in paring down our current belongings, arranging for all of the closing and buying details (so many details!), the emotion of saying goodbye to friends and familiar places, and the fear mixed in with the excitement of actually realizing a 25 year dream.

Looking back, I’m really not sure how we managed to get through it all. There were days that I was such a puddle of uncertainty and fear I wanted to cancel everything and just stay put. My dear sweet husband pulled me up and out of my fears each time, assuring me that it would all work out. Our realtors on both ends did same, picking me up and pushing me forward each time an obstacle that appeared insurmountable would arise. And there were many!

The lesson I learned during this process was to just keep trudging forward, even if I was full of fear and uncertainty, and to trust that if I kept putting one foot in front of the next it would all work out.

And it did all work out, of course, because everybody involved kept moving forward.

Moving day was exciting and nerve wracking. I’d never lived in a home as long as the 25 years I’d lived in the home we were leaving, and I had no idea how settled I’d become until it was all taken away. Even finding a location for our belongings in our new home created stress, never mind all the fixing up of it we needed to do. And finding our way around our new location was stressful as well, not the fun I’d imagined it would be. I also missed dearly not seeing familiar faces everywhere I went, something I hadn’t realized was a big and pleasant part of my daily life until I no longer had it.

Oh my, so many stressors in spite of having achieved my dream!

So when and how did it start to get better?

Well, in addition to working feverishly to turn our fixer into our dream home, we began to work just as feverishly getting acclimated into our new community. We joined a spiritual congregation, we signed up as volunteers at a nearby harbor, we joined groups for hiking and biking, two of our favorite pastimes, we joined a lifelong learning program for retirees, we invited all of our longtime friends over to visit, we continued to engage with our county-wide activities from before, and we worked to find and experience the many entertainment and cultural activities we were discovering on an almost-daily basis. It took a good number of months, but little by little we began to feel settled into our new community.

Thriving Over 50 In A New Location


And we had the ocean. The ever-changing, always beautiful and mesmerizing ocean. We could see it from our upstairs, from our backyard, when approaching our home in our car, when running errands, when hiking, walking, biking and kayaking, when dining, when volunteering. It was everywhere, and it soothed my soul each and every time.

Thriving Over 50 In A New Location

So now, almost one year in, it’s hard to imagine not living where we do now, in spite of the agony we underwent to get here. Each day I wake up excited and thankful all over again to be living where we do.

And I’ve learned that when due diligence indicates all fears to be unfounded, you just push through. Because what’s waiting on the other side just might take your breath away.

Thriving Over 50 In A New Location


Meet Tamara

Over 50

Tamara’s blog is My Retirement Project, where she writes about trying to make each day of her retirement as memorable and fulfilling as possible. ‘Just Do It!’ is the mantra she tries hard to live by, which I think you’ll agree she definitely does!

Connect with Tamara

Website:  My Retirement Project
Instagram account: WestCoastTamara
Twitter account: MyRetirementProject


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  • Reply samfiftysomething May 11, 2018 at 01:15

    Thank you for introducing me to Tamara 🙂 I can totally relate to this and feel so happy for Tamara that they have now settled and love that they made the decision to carry on with their dream – fabulous!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 11, 2018 at 07:34

      I loved Tamara’s story about relocation Sam. It can be very hard, especially if you have children/grandchildren to make the decision to move away to a new area. I only live 10 minutes from my grandson and not sure I could go for long periods without seeing him plus he will have a new brother or sister in June.

      • Reply samfiftysomething May 11, 2018 at 17:19

        I haven’t any grandchildren as yet, but totally understand you, it would be difficult to move away. My boys are the ones moving away & travelling etc so really not sure where they will eventually settle. For me it’s my elderly mother who I’m finding it difficult to move away from. I enjoyed reading Tamara’s story very much ?

        • Reply Sue Loncaric May 12, 2018 at 05:57

          Part of me would love to live in another country for a while – Italy -my husband was born there. However, the thought of leaving my family and a new grandbaby due in June plus we still have my 92 yo MIL to visit makes it difficult to make the break. Tamara is to be admired for going for her dream x

  • Reply Retirement Reflections May 11, 2018 at 04:35

    HI, Tamara – It is a pleasure to meet you here. I agree that sometimes we simply need to trust and continue putting one foot in front of the other. My husband and I had a similar far away move at the start of our retirement in June 2015. We moved from Beijing, where we had lived for 14 years, to Vancouver Island, where we knew no one within a 2+ hour radius of us. Like you, it is now difficult for me to imagine not living here on the island (where we now have heaps of friends and family close by). So glad that your big move worked out for you as well. Great post — I will be back to read more on your blog.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 11, 2018 at 07:37

      I admire people who can make major moves like you and Tamara have, Donna. You seem to have adjusted so well into the community on Vancouver Island and I suppose moving to a smaller community would be easier??? I’m sure Tamara’s post will resonate with many. xx

  • Reply Tamara / My Retirement Project May 11, 2018 at 07:35

    Thanks so much for your comment, Sam!

    Moving closer to the ocean was that one itch I just couldn’t make go away, no matter how I tried to distract myself – through travel, home remodeling of our current dwelling, new activities. I think I finally understood that I had to do it no matter what, or forever regret letting fear stop me in my tracks.

  • Reply Tamara / My Retirement Project May 11, 2018 at 07:36

    Thanks so much for your comment, Sam!

    Moving closer to the ocean was that one itch I just couldn’t make go away, no matter how I tried to distract myself – through travel, home remodeling of our current dwelling, new activities. I think I finally understood that I had to do it no matter what, or forever regret letting fear stop me in my tracks.

  • Reply Tamara / My Retirement Project May 11, 2018 at 08:34

    Hi Donna, and thank you for stopping in and commenting. Moving from China to Canada? Now that is a relocation!

    In my case, I think my biggest surprise was discovering just how settled I’d become being in one place for 25 years. I really had no idea how deep those roots went until I had to remove each and every one. But I think I knew to my core this was one of those areas of fear and discomfort that I had to push through or forever live to regret.

    Practically speaking, getting out into our new community as quickly and frequently as we could moved us fairly quickly down that road of getting to a place of comfort and belonging.

    Have a great day!

  • Reply mommyhon333 May 11, 2018 at 12:51

    It doesn’t get much better than this in the blogging world…two of my favorite women in one place!! I ‘met’ you both about the same time. Just as Tamara was jumping into this move. What an adventure it has been for this reader to get to know you both and follow in your incredibly well-lived lives!!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 12, 2018 at 06:05

      Aren’t you a lucky girl! 🙂 Yes, I’ve noticed Tamara’s blogs through your link ups and so pleased we connected. You could say your brought us both together! have a great weekend. x

  • Reply Lee MacArthur May 11, 2018 at 15:18

    I loved reading this. I have ideas of wanting to retire somewhere a bit warmer where I can garden but that is a dream for the future. Its nice to know you can start again at any age.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 12, 2018 at 06:03

      Oh that sounds like a lovely dream Lee. Thanks for visiting and yes age is no barrier to realising your dreams. Have a great weekend!

  • Reply Debbie Harris May 11, 2018 at 17:36

    A fantastic read Sue and Tamara. I’m always interested in reading how others cope in this situation. Thanks for sharing Tamara’s story.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 12, 2018 at 05:55

      Yes Deb, I admire people who can move away from family and friends and can make a new life. It can be very daunting x

  • Reply leannelc May 11, 2018 at 18:14

    We moved house several years ago, after being in the same home for 23 years. We only moved a short distance, but I remember the pain and stress of buying and selling and packing and unpacking. To move a larger distance on top of that and leaving all you know behind would have been a hugely stressful process. Good on you for soldiering through and not giving up. Once you’re settled and at home in your new house it all seems worth the struggle doesn’t it? Lovely to see you on Sue’s blog and to read about your Midlife transition.

  • Reply Tamara R / My Retirement Project May 11, 2018 at 20:34

    We are quite the group of diverse, interesting women out here in the blogosphere, Leslie, aren’t we? 🙂

    I’ve learned so much from Sue here, and from the women she features, including the terrific post you did not to long ago on transitioning from full time work into full time retirement. The collective wisdom we all have is pretty impressive I think, and I’m honored to be part of such a wonderful group of women.

  • Reply Tamara / My Retirement Project May 11, 2018 at 20:43

    We are quite the group of diverse, interesting women out here in the blogosphere, Leslie, aren’t we? ?

    I’ve learned so much from Sue here, and from the women she features, including the terrific post you did not to long ago on transitioning from full time work into full time retirement. The collective wisdom we all have is pretty impressive I think, and I’m honored to be part of such a wonderful group of women.

  • Reply Natalie May 11, 2018 at 21:20

    Hi Tamara, Bravos and bravos again for making your coastal living dream come true through hard work and determination. Thanks, Sue, for sharing Tamara’s story here.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 12, 2018 at 05:51

      Hi Natalie, yes Tamara has shown what determination can do and also I think she is brave to move somewhere new where you need to make new friends. Such a huge adjustment!

  • Reply Kathy @ SMART Living 365.com May 12, 2018 at 01:44

    Hi Tamera! Good for you for moving through your fear and making the change. It sounds to me like you’ve “rightsized” your home. Of course, changing homes at any age can be stressful, but just think how complicated and unnerving it would have been if you’d waited another 5 or 10 years. I do believe making those changes while we still have the energy and focus to do it is a good idea. And I also agree that making the effort to reach out into your community is so very important. Enjoy your beach and your new home! ~Kathy

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 12, 2018 at 05:50

      Hi Kathy, thanks for stopping by and it must have been a huge decision for Tamara and her husband. I believe it all has to do with attitude. Once you make the decision you have to go with it and having a positive attitude to becoming part of the new community and enjoying your new home is the key – not always easy though if you are leaving family and friends. Have a great weekend x

  • Reply patwdoyle11 May 12, 2018 at 02:59

    Hi Tamera. OMG, yes. For so many reasons. We just rightsized our home in the town my husband has lived in forever and I’ve been in for 30 years. Moved 6 miles, dropped from 3800 sq ft to 2000 sq ft. That required getting rid of tons, so much planning & problem solving, and yes, even learning new things like where to food shop and go to yoga.
    And through it all, we were asked, why we were not just moving to our cottage two blocks from the beach (and 900 miles from our home town). I understand your love of the water. Maybe our next move will be there, but I needed to stay with the friendships I have here in town…at least for now. What this downsize allows however, is we will snowbird! And learn more about the beach location for long term living.
    You are right about pushing through on changing location. We just hit 8 months in new home and I’m loving it.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 12, 2018 at 05:48

      We will be moving about an hour away from my family probably next year, Pat and I feel the tug already, especially as I have a new grandchild due in June. It is a huge decision and I admire Tamara and her husband for taking the leap. x

  • Reply Michele @liferedesign101 May 12, 2018 at 03:32

    Hi Tamara, I loved your story. We have been struggling with whether we stay here and retire to a different home or go elsewhere. I feel the pull of the ocean also. We just spend a week in Newport Beach and it was wonderful to be near the water. I don’t love the Orange County traffic however! The thought of moving is daunting, but you are right, it will always work out in the end!

  • Reply Victoria May 12, 2018 at 05:47

    Tamara good for you getting to retire close to water. I would like to move back to another state but husband is totally against moving. Right now I am willing to stay where we are but have hope for the future.

  • Reply Candi Randolph May 12, 2018 at 06:39

    Selling a home and all that goes with it, then buying another home with it’s challenges is a very stressful time. But you got through it, Tamar, and approached your new life with enthusiasm. And…what do you see every day?? Your ocean! That makes it all worthwhile, doesn’t it?

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 12, 2018 at 09:17

      It is a huge adjustment isn’t it Candi but yes imagine looking at the Ocean every day – bliss!

  • Reply amy May 12, 2018 at 08:07

    Wow! You’re so lucky to live by the ocean. I have found that getting involved in your community is key to help make a new place feel like home no matter what your age.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 12, 2018 at 09:19

      The ocean just has that magic pull doesn’t it Amy? You are so right also about becoming involved in your community – they become your new family. Thanks for stopping by and have a beautiful week! xx

  • Reply Karen Hume May 13, 2018 at 04:06

    Sue, what a great choice for a guest poster. Tamara, a pleasure to meet you and thanks so much for sharing your brave adventure.
    Lately, I’ve been wondering about where I will move when I eventually sell my home. I love where I live – 33 acres of pond and streams, forest and meadows in rural Ontario, Canada with a house that fits all of my dreams including tons of light from many large windows, width and a half hallways, and plenty of room to display art.
    Right now my mother lives with me and life is good. But when she is gone and I’m that much older, I think that I’m going to feel the same pull to experience a whole new life.
    I so appreciate you talking not just about the magic of life by the ocean, but the difficulties that come with changing your whole life. I’m going to head over and check out your blog. You’re someone I think I’d like to know better.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 13, 2018 at 17:41

      Hi Karen, I’m crossing my fingers you get this reply. Your home sounds so beautiful and peaceful and yes I love large windows to let in the light. You will love Tamara and her blog. I’ve only just met her but enjoy all of her posts. Thanks for stopping by and have a great week! xx

  • Reply Sue Loncaric May 13, 2018 at 06:07

    Great to read your story Tamara and it is wonderful to have you as a guest. Your post has certainly resonated with many of my readers. Thank you!

  • Reply sizzlesue15 May 14, 2018 at 10:25

    Such quality posts in my Over 50 & Thriving series.

  • Reply Tamara R May 14, 2018 at 20:56

    Hi Lee, I think the biggest impetus for moving was that it was an itch that simply wouldn’t go away. So I had to address it or, I think, forever regret that I didn’t. And if for any reason going forward it stops feeling ‘right’ we’ll change again with much less fear than this time around as a result.

    (Thank you so much for commenting, and please forgive my delay in responding. I was having massive computer challenges on my end!)

  • Reply Tamara R May 14, 2018 at 21:46

    To all kind responders to this post – I am having major challenges in being able to get my replies to embed properly, and I am so, so sorry for the haphazard way my replies are showing here as a result.

    So, instead, let me try this:

    To SamFiftySomething, RetirementReflections (aka Donna), MommyHon333 (aka Leslie), and Lee MacArthur: I did post replies, though they did not embed properly, but if you scroll a bit you should see them.

    To Debbie Harris: Thank you so much for your kind words! It was cathartic to write, and I’m ever so appreciative to Sue for allowing me the opportunity.

    To Leannelc: So you’ve been down this same road as well! And yes, once we unpacked and got adjusted to our new space, and then to our new neighbors, and then to our new community, things smoothed out and a definite upward trajectory began. The ocean, I should say, was an instant high . . . we just had to wait for everything else in our lives to catch up!ld

    To Natalie: You followed my journey on my blog, and left many encouraging words, for which I am forever appreciative!

    To Kathy @ Smart Living: Energy and focus, oh my . . . yes, absolutely! The thought of having to do it again is almost impossible to imagine, though of course I now know I could. And that, I think, is the lesson for me in all of this. ☺

    To PatWDoyle11: Even six miles means new neighbors, new businesses and new routines, so still a tremendous change! And I agree on the importance of longterm friendships, hence why we stayed in the same county. And it helps that we moved to a vacation destination, meaning our friends love to come and visit! And now that we’ve fixed up our home, like with you, we absolutely love it. And our ocean views? There are no words, and that indeed makes it all worth it.

    To Michele: Oh so you know my little neck of the woods? I’m so excited! The traffic where we are, near Dana Point, is not an issue, truly. If you are from a rural area with little to no traffic, then yes, I totally understand, but if you deal with it at all, trust me that you can find pockets of tranquility all over OC. (And isn’t Newport Beach amazing??? I’m about 20 minutes south of it. ☺

    To Victoria: Well, it took me 25 years to convince my spouse, so don’t give up hope! At the end, I think my husband finally understood that moving to the ocean was such a big dream for me, he needed to help me make it happen. Now that we are there he says he wouldn’t return to our prior location for any reason whatsoever. He loves being near the ocean just as much as I do, which makes me so, so happy.

    To Candi: You understand perfectly!!! ?

    To Amy: I am lucky, and believe me when I say that I am thankful and appreciative every single day. And yes, absolutely, getting involved in our community was the most important thing we did (and are still doing!) to become connected.

    And, finally, to Karen Hume: Your current home sounds absolutely beautiful, but like you, I try to see life as an adventure, and to be mindful of fear not holding me back without my realizing it. And we still have dreams yet unrealized, so this will not be the last time we deal wuth change, I am quite sure!

    And a final, final to those of you reluctant to leave grandchildren: Ours left us! Meaning a work-related relocation to the other side of the USA put us 3000 miles apart. Had that been in the mix, it might have created a different outcome, but it wasn’t. We visit regularly however, like right now, which is likely why I’m having so many issues commenting here. So thank you all for bearing with me, and to Sue of course, for letting me be her guest!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 15, 2018 at 05:45

      Thank you so much Tamara for writing responses to the comments and I’m sorry you had such a difficult time. Your post was resonated with many and I’m still struggling to think about moving away from my family. You have inspired us all though to go for our dreams and not settle for less. Thank you for being a wonderful guest. x

  • Reply mrsluvit02 May 14, 2018 at 21:48

    Sue and Tamara, thanks so much for this post. Tamara, I felt every pain and joy that you went through. It is such a blessing to live near the ocean as you both know. We went through some pain and ended up here near the beach and sea breezes and I would not change a thing.
    We will feature your post on the next Blogger’s Pit Stop
    Blogger’s Pit Stop

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 15, 2018 at 06:35

      I’m torn Kathleen as I love being near my family in Brisbane especially with a new grandbaby due next month but we also want to retire to our apartment on the Gold Coast. At least that is only an hour’s drive away. Thanks so much for featuring Tamara’s post and supporting my blog. Her story resonated with many of us. xx

  • Reply Grammy Dee | Grammy's Grid May 25, 2018 at 15:37

    Hi Tamara! I understand the stress and frustration you went thru but sounds like it all worked out for you and your husband with the move. Wishing you continued happiness in your new place. Sue, I shared this post x 4 ♥

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