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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: February 05, 2019 11:30PM

Except for her three grown sons, all her immediate family is deceased &/or moved away. Her parents. Her only sibling. No grandparents, aunts or uncles left. Not much of an extended family to speak of. There is an uncle, brother of our mothers still living and his wife. But he's the self-absorbed con artist of the family living out his retirement in Silicon Valley while more likely than not still dabbling in his life of crime because he loves the thrill of it.

He thinks himself smarter than the rest of us, so we don't have much to do with him these days. Typical trait of sociopaths.

For the first time today my cousin and I really shared in years, since we both lost our moms some years ago. For the first time she really listened to me about my uncle committing the bank heist where I live in upstate New York. That was how I learned of his double life when my children and I were the only ones in our metro area who could identify him from a Crimestoppers episode that aired after he'd committed his bank thefts.

Her brother that died several years back was in and out of penitentiary most of his life for theft or forgery of some form or another. His last stint in prison was for a DUI accident where he killed his girlfriend. He became a born again Christian before he died. He really tried to turn his life around until the cancer claimed him finally. And he was someone I'd written off a long time ago as a sociopath.

But as for my uncle, he is late 70's now. Do zebras change their stripes? Not likely. He isn't remorseful to this day that he got caught when my children and I ID'd him from Crimestoppers. He's only mad that we turned him into the cops. He wasn't arrested, mind you. His airtight alibi, years of being an expert witness, and knowing how to con people enabled him to evade arrest. The cops know it was him, but the photo ID wasn't enough to make a conviction.

Hence, no arrest. And the statute of limitations ran its course until my uncle walked. It didn't help that the same police who interviewed my uncle are the same police who give my aunt a parade on her birthday each year for her contributions to their community - she was mayor a couple of times in their hometown. They were seen as a sort of power couple in their community.

My uncle grew up in Utah as a never Mo, like my cousin and her brother (and my mom and her other siblings.) He moved away to go to college and only returned to visit family.

It's my cousin now who is really all alone, and suffering because she has no one left as in no family. And I feel guilty because I'm not there to befriend her. We were closer as children. But children grow up. I still have two years before I can retire and relocate. Even if I were to relocate, I'm not sure I'd want to move to be right there where she is. But it's where my mom and grandmother are buried. So that's kind of a plus.

And it's close to other family. I don't know if I'd be happy moving to be close to my cousin after a lifetime of living apart. My mom and her mom were close one minute and then fighting like sisters the next. They'd love each other, then fight and not speak for days or weeks or months at a time. I'd hate it if our relationship disintegrated into something like that. I just feel bad that she feels so alone and I do too. But I have a job and my health is more stable than hers is at the moment. Something I don't wish to take for granted or feel pompous about. I do wish there was a happy medium where I could be closer to my family without living so far away before I can actually retire and move back west. It's a dilemma for me.

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Posted by: exminion ( )
Date: February 06, 2019 02:19AM

I grew up in Palo Alto, and when my husband abandoned me and our children, I wanted to move back home, and, um, live in Silicon Valley on my income?

I did have a very good--but demanding--job offer there, but it was a woman's salary, in those days, and the commute would have been 2 hours each way, to leave no time with my little children, who needed me. Could I afford to one day send my kids to Stanford or UC Berkley? What about neighborhood jobs for my kids, which they needed in jr. high and high school, to get by? I did find a small condo with no yard in an "iffy" neighborhood in South San Jose, about 2 ½ hours away from my parent's house. We could not live with my TBM parents, because, ready to pounce on us, was my abusive TBM older brother, who was a bully and a pervert, who lived with them his whole life.

What's the deal about sociopath brothers????

There are other things to consider, besides family, in planning your life--things like safety, happiness, peace, a career.

I decided to stay in SLC, where I could afford a decent house in a good, safe neighborhood (except for the Mormons who harassed us), relatively safe for a woman to be alone. My kids could walk to school, and get good after-school jobs, and earn money for a car, and get better jobs when they were older, and they all put themselves through the University of Utah. I worked very hard, but could be home if a child was sick, within 15 minutes. I paid off my mortgage, and helped pay their tuition. I had a great job, which I jumped into, rather quickly, when the opportunity came along. My children learned to ski, took piano lessons across the street, went camping with the non-denominational Scout troop, my daughter danced, and we all played tennis, rode bicycles, and they had a lot more freedom, than they would have had in Northern California.

Maybe your needs are different than mine were. If you want culture, meaning the symphony, ballet, operas, plays, Broadway shows, art galleries, "this is the place!" The U of Utah puts on great plays, has lectures, and classes at a discount for Senior Citizens. Wherever you choose to live, live in a town with a university! Even if you don't ski, or any of that, you can still take scenic drives, enjoy the change of seasons, ride the ski lifts, winter and summer. Restaurants in SLC are affordable! So are the other events. If you can't drive, there is good transportation everywhere, in a relatively low-crime environment. Many of my old California TBM friends have retired here to Utah, to be with their children and families.

I highly recommend Salt Lake City!!! Remember, it's 60% non Mormon, and counting....

My children are married now, and live in our same neighborhood. Unlike California, houses are still (semi) affordable here. Their children walk to the same schools that they went to.

When you're in a "dilemma", there's usually a third way out. You and your cousin could both choose another city or town that is compatible with retirees on a fixed income, and where you could each find a nice place to live. How about two separate abodes about, say, 5 miles apart? Depending on how old you are (and you mentioned health problems), you could be in or near good health care facilities.

Your cousin might be "feeling all alone in Utah", but you're not alone when you really need someone. Mormon shunning is fake, in that it makes you feel like you are isolated, but you're isolated only from the Mormons. When you're sick, you need a good doctor, not a priesthood blessing. You can have food delivered, instead of waiting for the RS to bring cookies to your door. (Money can buy much more here) If you have no money, other religions come through more than the Mormons do. I've volunteered at the Jewish Community Center, and they do a great deal to help those in need. If you're ok, it's a great place to volunteer and make new friends.

In the meantime, you and your cousin can get to know each other better, through Skype or Facetime, or e-mails, or whatever. She is lucky to have you in her life!

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: February 06, 2019 03:36PM

Thank you for all that insightful information. I finished high school in Palo Alto @ Gunn High School. Then worked for one year at the Palo Alto Cultural Center before moving back to Idaho after two years in Palo Alto.

My never Mo grandmother was raised in Menlo Park after she was orphaned, and sent there from Salt Lake City by her Jewish grandmother to be raised by Protestant aunts. She was six then. Then after grandma grew up and got married she moved back to Utah of all places. Never became a Mormon, nor grandpa. She did kind of go full circle though because her mother and grandmother are buried in SLC's oldest Jewish cemetery. My grandmother's buried in Ogden where she lived the last 40 so years of her life.

It's good you were able to afford a nice decent home in SLC. Housing prices have really spiked there for middle class. A median price home there now is around $350,000. I could probably find something for less because I don't need a large family house. Salt Lake does have good medical facilities. That's a huge plus factor for this aging baby boomer!

My cousin is worse off than I am financially. She has COPD, and is living on SSDI. She isn't able to work, and is divorced. I can only imagine her options are very limited. I hope she and I can renew our relationship whether I move back closer or not. Because I could go and visit even if I don't move back. If she's really not well, I don't know if she has a lot longer to live?

Our aunt (both our mothers other sister,) died only two months after my mom did dragging herself to her oxygen machine. She died from COPD. My cousin told me she was in disbelief at the time when she heard it from her mother - like how could that even happen. Now she is dependent on oxygen herself.

I do have some guilt for living so far away. I feel like I should be closer to keep an eye on things. As Summer mentioned, she does have three grown sons. But I don't know how close they are since her divorce from their father. It's possible they're closer to their dad than their mom. I just don't know. Maybe if we can communicate more I'll learn more about that.

I have been considering Salt Lake City as a potential retirement destination. Also though concentrating on southern Utah like around St George area. My son is worried about me there because of climate warming. I think as long as I'm in an AC building during the summer I should be okay.

Another place I've been looking into (do you have any ideas about this?) is Colorado Springs, CO. It's really high altitude. But it looks like a decent place. Lots of military there. It has a decent job market, housing market, and 277 days of sunshine a year.

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: February 06, 2019 04:39PM

Colorado Springs is very pretty, but you have a lot of evangelicals there.

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: February 06, 2019 05:47AM

I personally wouldn't count three grown sons as "no family." It's nice if you have a sibling or close cousin nearby as you get older, but not everyone has that. My mom was one of the last born in a large family, so she watched almost all of her siblings pass before her, one by one, along with many of her friends. As they say, if you live long enough, that's what happens.

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: February 06, 2019 03:40PM

Yes, that is true. I need to find out what's going on with her sons.

A 93 year old woman I cared for in college had outlived all of her friends except for one, by the end of her life. Her brother was younger by a few years so he outlasted her.

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Posted by: exminion ( )
Date: February 06, 2019 07:32PM

Amyjo--I know the Palo Alto Cultural center! Nice place to work! I spent a lot of time at the library, and Rinconada park for tennis and swimming. I went to Paly. I went to BYU (did not like) and University of Utah (loved it). Starting in the summers and Christmas, I would come home and work at a new electronics company in Mountain View. The company grew rapidly, and I grew along with it. It was an exciting time! Then I got married, at 26, and moved to Southern California, then to SLC.

I have a good friend in Colorado Springs, who is divorced and single and retired at age 63. Her children and grandchildren all live back East (sons are doctors together), and they want her to live with them, but she refuses to leave her great life and friends in Colorado Springs. It is a beautiful place, and I've enjoyed visiting her there. Most military towns tend to be more conservative. My friend thinks evangelicals are annoying, but no worse than the Mormons. Probably the air is better quality there, than in SLC.

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Posted by: mel ( )
Date: February 07, 2019 06:09PM

Amyjo,

I think you should live where you want. Because kids are still moving around because of their jobs and you would not want to move someplace and then they move away.

I have a cousin who moved from Co. Springs to Seattle area (price was no object) and he moved because the winters were rough. But you might not mind them. It IS very pretty there.

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: February 07, 2019 07:18PM

The crime rate is very high in Colorado Springs. That's definitely a turnoff. It does look pretty there in the southern Rockies. Not as Mormony as Utah is. Mormon Utah though has a lower violent crime rate. Maybe I'm watching too much Investigation Discovery? You know Joe Kenda, where it's shot on location in Colorado Springs?

Where I'm living if it weren't so far away from my roots and extended family would be better financially. New York doesn't tax social security or pension benefits. The states I'm looking at retiring to does. Colorado actually taxes on a sliding scale ie, pensions and SS. Whereas Utah has a flat tax across the board, including on SS and pension income.

If I were buying a house in either state rather than renting I could write off much of my taxes on interest and property taxes.

Having just filed my taxes today, I'm feeling the pinch and I'm not even retired yet. Ha! "The IRS has got what it takes to take what you gots!"

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: February 07, 2019 07:21PM

You're right about the kids too. I couldn't live overseas. Too old to want to assimilate into a new culture. When I was younger I wanted to live in Switzerland, or Austria, or Belgium for graduate school. Switzerland was the most recent. That was close to twenty years ago already. Now I could see myself visiting there but not living.

My children are in the Middle East and the Far East. Neither is someplace I could see myself retiring to.

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Posted by: mel ( )
Date: February 08, 2019 03:20PM

Amyjo Wrote:

> My children are in the Middle East and the Far East.

Wow! Far shores, indeed. Though your retirement dollars would probably stretch a long way in those countries, I'm with you, assimilating when older is a tall task!!!

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