Retired in the Country

Some people want to move to the country after they retire. I think that many of these folks may be operating under some illusions about this lifestyle. Let me share how I have experienced these myths; perhaps it will save you some grief.

Myth 1: It’s quiet in the country
Could it get any noisier? Everyone is mowing, trimming, edging, sawing, welding, wood-splitting, and hammering with their big gas-fired lawn tools. We listen to the roosters sounding off early in the morning, the sound of tires on the newly asphalted road much of the night, and the dogs that everyone seems to own barking all night long. How many times have I been awakened by the screaming of some small animal just below my bedroom window, fighting off the owls or the coyotes?

Myth 2: It is healthy in the country
This is another big one. While there are some terrific organic farmers here, the homeowners that I know are very into landscaping by chemicals. They would rather dump a gallon of something labelled ‘Scott’s” or “Montsanto” than bend over to actually pull a weed. Fertilizing is another thing – enough with the 20-20-20 already. The worst offenders are usually the ones who continually declare their love for the land. And I think it goes without saying that we all drink well water.

Myth 3: I can dial into all my meetings remotely
Yeah, um, for those of you who are thinking you can a jump on the retirement lifestyle early, don’t count technology to help you. 10 Mps down, 0.872 Mps up isn’t even enough for one of us never mind two. And out here the utility companies just politely “put your name on the list” when you call to demand a greater share of access.

Myth 4: I will spend my days gardening, cooking exotic meals, or reading all those books I have saved up
Maybe. It’s more likely you will spend your time driving back and forth looking for ingredients (anyone know where I can find some fresh fennel?) or waiting for your daily Amazon order to arrive. Or waiting for vendors who promised to swing by, but are too busy to even prepare bids on smaller jobs.

Sure its beautiful sometimes, and the weather can be dramatic. But you might consider transitioning slowly, until you understand the real costs of giving up your urban or suburban lifestyle.

It’s your journey. Choose carefully.