The election is over and on January 20, we will have a new Commander-In-Chief. SpouseBUZZ is, and has always been, a politics-free zone, but something happened in one of the Congressional races that made me think about our lives, and how fortunate we are. A retired Army Colonel was a candidate for congress and his opponent accused him of being a carpetbagger. I found that a little insulting considering military life generally forces us to move every few years and we don't exactly have a say in the matter. What a great compliment to communities when service members choose to plant roots in their soil. Unless employment drives the decision, the decision is usually made out of a desire to live there, and only there. My husband and I have very few friends who have returned to their home towns after separation from the military. The majority of our friends have chosen to retire elsewhere.
Have you seen that show on HGTV where home buyers are allowed to spend the night in a house before deciding whether or not to buy it? What a great concept. Military families have an even better deal. For all the hassles that come with moving, we get to try out not just houses, but actual communities, regions and states. And for more than a night. We are able to get a good sense of what we like and what we don't like about certain areas. Where we would be happy, and where we wouldn't. And that's a huge benefit when it's time to decide where to live after military separation.
For us, we know that we could happily retire in Florida or Texas, states which neither of us are from, but states that we loved living in, mostly for the warm climate. We know that we wouldn't want to retire in Kansas (sorry Kansas natives, but it's just too cold there for our taste). We wouldn't want to retire in Oklahoma. We wouldn't want to retire in Washington, DC, either. It's a fabulous place to visit and live short-term, but too much hustle and bustle for the golden years. The list goes on and on. We've lived in numerous states (some more than once), and we have a firm idea of where we'd like to retire. Were it not for my husband's military service, the states in consideration probably wouldn't have made it on the list.
What about you? Do you and your family plan to move back "home," or settle somewhere else? Which states are on your retirement list, and which states have you firmly crossed off (and why)?