Selling up at 60: Where do we move now? 113



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I have a question for Starts at 60 readers but it is at the bottom of the page.

The one who thinks he is boss and myself need to move house in about three years’ time. That is when he retires. I love my home, but not where it is situated. A creek runs through the front yard. It looked lovely when we saw it over 17 years ago – the trickle of water under the timber bridge that gave us access, gave our home a country feel. A week after we moved in there was a terrible storm and although water didn’t come into the main part of the house all the outbuildings were inundated, the fences washed away and we no longer had the timber bridge as it was somewhere out in the ocean. We thought we could claim on insurance but gave up after a year as only our insurance company and one other would not honour the claims, considering them to be flood not storm.

In the past 17 years we have had some near misses, but nothing like that first one. However, gradually the bank near the house had eroded away, until it was one metre from the corner. I became panicky every time it rained, thinking the house would end up in the creek. I checked our insurance policy (different insurance company than the first one) and found that they don’t pay if there is previous erosion. So, we set about getting the creek stabilized. Checked with Council – they didn’t want to know – said it is our responsibility as on our land (even though their actions have a lot to do with the flow of water) and that we’d need a Development Application as well as a lot of other approvals prior to commencement of work. That was 18 months ago.

So we got all these plans drawn up, surveys done, approvals etc. A very costly business that left little change from ten grand. Trying to find someone to do the gabion construction was the hard part, but I finally had 2 quotes, both being around the same amount. I had to draw on my super to afford it, but luckily I do have super. I wonder about people in the same situation who haven’t got any money to spare for such an expensive exercise.

Even though we are safe from floating away I still want to sell up and move. I keep telling the one that knows it all that if I’m really elderly I do not want to be flooded. But the amount we would get from the sale will be reduced because of the bloody creek . So there is no point in staying in the same area.

He says no villa, no retirement village. Where does he want to live? Out west on a few acres away from people is his answer. I reason with him that he has trouble mowing the lawn on our quarter acre block, and as we age we may need a hospital that is accessible. Besides dust makes me sneeze and ‘out west’ he would no doubt pick somewhere dry and windy. I’d prefer a town or small city with a community feel. Somewhere in NSW near (not next to) a river or coast. Where ever we end up it will be nowhere near a creek.

So, we will do some travel before he retires and see some places where we might call home in the future. No doubt there will be arguments and foot stomping over what we both want. He wants solitude, I want community. I don’t want to move too far as the family are in New South Wales.

Have SAS readers got any suggestions on towns in New South Wales that we might visit with a view to moving?

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  1. Sounds like my husband and myself!! If we ever move again we want to live right next to the ocean, go for walks along the beach in summer or on the path in winter. About 10klms to the shops, cinemas, parks.

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    • We are in WA on a farm which I love but if we move the water is where we want to go. I’m from Sydney and spent many holidays at Coffs Harbour and my parents were from Grafton – beautiful part of the world.

  2. I would be happy to move to somewhere in Tasmania but my husband does not want to. We currently live in a suburb of Perth, but I find things so expensive here, although housing prices have really gone down. I have only ever heard wonderful comments about Tasmania. I do have grandchildren here and I would miss them, but one day they will grow up and probably won’t even bother coming to see us.

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    • I hope you can persuade him to move to Tasmania, I moved from Perth 14 months ago at the age of 72. It was really hard work packing and moving but I’m so glad I did, I love it here. I’m in the country about 40 minutes south of Hobart and 15 minutes south of Huonville a decent sized country town with every convenience I need. The weather if cool and pleasant nearly all of the year, I’d got to the point I could no longer put up with the heat. I found that my country property is really living my dream and I have enough money to really enjoy life. I purchased a house for half the price I sold my property for in Perth. Good luck with your wish to move, there’s quite a few people in the Huon community who have moved here.

    • Thanks Denise. I don’t think I can persuade him at the moment but you never know. He has a niece who lives out of Hobart and we have friends who are in Devonport, and another lady I used to work with lives in Launceston. I know house prices are much cheaper, although you would be surprised at how Perth’s property prices have slumped. I still believe the cost of living would be a lot cheaper than here in Perth. I could be wrong.

    • Actually he did say Tasmania as well as out in the middle of nowhere, but also said he wouldn’t be able to stand the winters. We’ve had some wonderful holidays there.

    • Not if you are retired and I’m smiling as I’m writing this. Yes if you have to get up early for work and sometimes come home in the dark,that’s a mark against it. This year, I think it was August, we had three cold days and it snowed quite heavily where I live. I loved it, was snowed in and didn’t get out of my pyjamas for three days, also had the fire going 24 hours a day for that week. The dogs got to stay inside and I put the canaries under a night rug over their cage on the patio. I can’t tell you how much I loved it. Having worked long hours till just before 70 I’m really loving doing nothing.

    • What sort of fire do you have Denise? Is it a wood fire? Also, as you are from Perth, how does the cost of living compare?

    • We sold up from WA our children live in Perth . we went on the road for a few years then visited Tasmania .Love it here live in Sheffield small country town only 30 km from Devonport, House priced are cheap out side the big towns and we find cost of living are cheaper than Perth as more fresh food. Love it .

    • My family moved to Tasmania when I was much younger but we couldn’t wait to move back to WA because it was always so cold. When you’re older the cold seems to get into your bones too. It’s a nice place to visit though.

    • Wood heater, I get wood from one of the mills. The rejects, buy by the truckload, there was already enough wood stacked in rows along one fence line. There’s enough here for ten years now I reckon. I don’t have a problem with the cold, I might if I was still working. The cost of living is a bit more with petrol and weekly food bill. All other bills seem similar to WA. However, the fact that I’m on 5acres with a beautiful modern house at half the price of the sale of my home in Perth, I’m in front with whatever the cost of living is till I die. I also couldn’t cope with the summer heat in Perth any more, and I just love the green mountains and often four seasons in one day. To each his own though, I’m just very happy myself.

  3. I just opened up my Facebook & saw your dilemma! & very surprised no one has taken the time to ease your problem. I wish I could but live in a suburb of Melbourne so I’m not much use! Soon I’ll be facing the ‘ same’ when my daughter & fam .will find their own place. Our house will be too big to handle if not already. Husband as well is a bit of ‘ stuck in the mud ‘ so we’ll also have a problem where to go, I would love near a beach but he’d prefer inland! Oh no too dry I need the sea air, so I hope someone will be able to help you.

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    • At 60 I handed over the farm to my newly married son and bought a unit in a retirement village in a coastal area of Queensland. It is just beautiful. Plenty of gardens and trees (that I do not have to take care of!) 6 minutes walk to the beach – the grandchildren love to visit! I am a bit of a loner so can be as solitary or as social as I choose.

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      • That would be ideal for me, but not for him Alison. Also need it to be in NSW as all the family are here. I’m so glad you are happy where you are.

    • Thanks for your comment Hikka. We will take some time travelling around NSW when he retires but because I want community and he wants solitude it is going to be a battle – sounds much the same as you will face.

  4. Back closer to Family Made a huge mistake coming to live here True saying ‘ you can never go back ‘ & we did thinking things would be different. Made a huge Boo Booo

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  5. Husband has been retired 10 years and won’t move from where we are. I must admit I don’t mind it either as we definitely have nothing to chase us out, e.g. A creek

  6. Yes Helen the grandchildren and family will be missed by us too, however i believe it is time for us and really what is to say the family will not move away , time to wind down and enjoy life at a much easier pace I say .

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    • I have been staying where I am for the benefit of family (both ways), but now their children are getting older and will very soon be needing work and/or higher education, they are talking about moving closer to the city. I certainly do not wish to live in a city again, so will have to think about how I am going to decide where to live. At present I am living in their granny flat, so if they do move I will also have to.

  7. Always rent for 12months you wil then know if the area is for you or not

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    • Get friendly with the locals of the area too. They’ll know where floods come to and what area has the drunken brawls etc.

    • Yes Elsie that was the one piece of very usefull advice my mum gave – and something we would do. Good advice Leone – would hate to move somewhere where there are brawls or bad neighbours.

    • My brother and his wife moved from the country to the coast and their wish was to live as close as possible to the sea. Fortunately they rented a beautiful house, high up with stunning sea views. I was only in the house a few minutes when I knew I couldn’t live there and neither could they. The wind just about blew all the furniture to the back wall or you had the window open enough to let in some wind and the wailing sound it made was terrible. They built their house a few streets back from the ocean and away from the wind.

    • My brother and his wife moved from the country to the coast and their wish was to live as close as possible to the sea. Fortunately they rented a beautiful house, high up with stunning sea views. I was only in the house a few minutes when I knew I couldn’t live there and neither could they. The wind just about blew all the furniture to the back wall or you had the window open enough to let in some wind and the wailing sound it made was terrible. They built their house a few streets back from the ocean and away from the wind.

    • Over the years have become a lot more careful – next move wont be anywhere near bush (fires), creeks or rivers (flooding) or by the ocean (rising sea levels) or near a cliff (land slides). Am I looking for the impossible?

    • Come and live in my street. It is perfect – if you like being close to the main north railway line. The noise of the trains doesn’t bother me I’ve had that since I was born. So far no coal trains which are truly horrific for putting coal dust over everything but freight and passenger trains blow dust too.

    • So, where do you live Leone? We rented in Petersham once. Looked at the house when there was a rail strike – realised once we moved in that we were right next to an 8 line track – the 4am coal train used to shake the house. But we got used to it. Now live reasonably close to a coal mine and that brings a lot of dust also.

  8. I would not consider “out west” – that is where they are still trying to get adequate health care, education opportunities, and decent internet – and as opposed to flooding, most of the “out west” is prone to drought – just ask the rural people who live there!

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    • That’s not true for a great deal of out west, you would need to travel to the far west to experience that level of isolation.

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