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By Roz Rogoff

About this blog: In January 2002 I started writing my own online "newspaper" titled "The San Ramon Observer." I reported on City Council meetings and other happenings in San Ramon. I tried to be objective in my coverage of meetings and events, and...  (More)

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Moving to Maine, Maybe

Uploaded: Sep 16, 2014

On Saturday I went to the Emergency Preparedness Fair at Central Park. My friend Sally drove. She reminded me to take my walker. I don't like to use the walker, but she knows I get stiff when walking a few blocks without it.

She parked at the Iron Horse Middle School, so we had to walk a couple of blocks to get to Central Park. Walking around to the exhibits added another couple of blocks.

It was very hot and even though I wore my Tilley hat and used the walker I was tired and stiff after a couple of hours. I tire more easily now and I'm getting more forgetful. I've always been forgetful so that might not be due to aging.

I don't like aging. I'll be 72 next month. I've always been independent and I don't like the thought of being dependent, but I guess I have to prepare for that.

My mother is 98 and doing well for her age at the Piper Shores Retirement community in Scarborough, Maine. She would like me to move back there. Mother has a large one bedroom and den with two baths. It's 1100 sq. ft. which she considers "small." My house is 1121 sq. ft. which I consider a nice size.

I would not need an apartment as big as hers. When I visited her last year I looked into what it would cost to "buy" a studio or one bedroom apartment in that facility. The deposit for a "traditional" one-bedroom or studio in 2012 was $16,000. A Deluxe one-bedroom was $24,000. I'm sure it has gone up since then.

I wrote a blog last year about my visit. I looked it up again and I wasn't very enthusiastic about moving. But as I get older, it makes sense to move into a Lifecare facility, and I might be better off in one with family living nearby.

The amortized fee for a one bedroom apartment in 2012 was about $160K with a monthly fee of $2000. This covers two meals a day, cleaning service once a week, heat and air conditioning and building maintenance. Phone bills and cable TV are billed individually.

I wasn't interested in moving last year, but now I'm considering it. I really love living here, but most of my family is back there. My sister and her husband live in San Francisco, and I see them a few times a year. They were very helpful when I had my auto accident in January, 2013.

My brother, Martin, lives in Portland. He and his wife, Linda, help my mother write checks (she can't see well enough anymore), and visit family. Martin's oldest son, Ben, bought a beautiful house in Freeport. Ben's wife was elected to the Maine State Assembly last year. She's a political up-and-comer.

Martin's youngest son lives in Europe, but he and his family come to visit in the fall. The middle son lives in Wrentham, Mass. I haven't seen him since his wedding 12 years ago.

I've been visiting in September or October most years, but I skipped this year. I don't like to fly anymore, but if I moved out there I wouldn't have to fly ever again. So I am considering moving back there.

It wouldn't be quick. There's a 3 to 5 year waiting list for apartments in Piper Shores. Waitlisted applicants get three chances to accept, so I would not have to accept the first or even second offer. Still I figure by the time I'm over 75, I might be ready for a place like that.
What is it worth to you?


Posted by Peter Kluget, a resident of Danville,
on Sep 17, 2014 at 9:32 am

Change is the only thing that stays the same. Whether you're 15, 25, 55 or 75 - your life is going to change somehow. It's good that you are keeping an open mind about your future.

When thinking of retirement lots of folks talk about amenities, recreational opportunities and the weather - and we do become more and more sensitive to temperature extremes as we age. But if you really think about it the most important factors in where you'll want to live in your latter years is - family and friends.

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Sep 17, 2014 at 12:34 pm

Whatever you decide it will be the right decision. Best of Luck!

I've had to create my own family because most are deceased or disappeared.

I could easily live in the UK/London but prefer not to return to the Basque Country. If the the Basque Nation became a separate nation, then that's where I would head...Pronto! That's not likely to happen in my lifetime.

I like the USA and Americans and one can't say enough about the rights that I have enjoyed living in the good ole USA! VIVA! The US government is not likely to put senior citizens into camps/mass graves or throw us out of airplanes. That still scares me about Argentina.

I also consider returning to the French side of the Basque country as it's so beautiful and I have older friends there.

Anyway Roz, you're right about wanting to be near helpful family. Not all are helpful or cool to be around.

Whatever you decide, it's not a race. VIVA ROZ! VIVA!

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Sep 17, 2014 at 6:10 pm

A word of advice: Be careful who you allow to do your hair in a retirement community...just anybody won't do.

Web Link

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Sep 21, 2014 at 7:12 pm

Maine Baked Beans: Web Link

I don't know if you've ever tasted the above dish but if you do, DIG IN BIG TIME!

I love to cook so next week I plan to try out the above dish...yum yum plenty...


Posted by Ms. bunny, a resident of San Ramon,
on Sep 22, 2014 at 8:09 am

I see where you're coming from Roz and you're wise to consider all factors. I too, have looked down the "roadway" of my life and am tucking away bits and pieces of information about future possibilities.

A bit of what concerns me here though? Is that it was my understanding I believe from a post last year or so, that you had/have a contentious relationship with your mother. Perhaps if you weren't sharing an apt? This would be somehow mitigated. Don't know. Other than that factor, if indeed, I'm right?

Maine is a lovely state. I hear Acacia park is stunning. All else that you say makes complete sense. The retirement places in the bay area are bloody expensive, that's for sure!

Posted by San Ramon Observer, a resident of San Ramon,
on Sep 22, 2014 at 7:53 pm

San Ramon Observer is a registered user.

Ms. Bunny,

I don't always get along with my mother, but she's getting older and so am I. I would not be sharing her apartment. I'm looking into getting my own one bedroom apartment, probably in another part of the facility. Since the waiting list is rather long and I don't plan to apply for another year, I don't expect to relocate for another five years at the least.


Posted by San Ramon Observer, a resident of San Ramon,
on Sep 22, 2014 at 8:12 pm

San Ramon Observer is a registered user.


The baked bean recipe looks interesting. I've made traditional Boston Baked Beans and even have a bean pot.

B&M Baked Beans, which are the only true canned baked beans, are made in Portland, Maine. Once I got lost in Portland and wound up driving in circles around the B & M company on Bean Pot Circle. I must have been hungry.

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