My wife and I started having semi-serious conversations about living in Chestertown. Initially we spoke of retiring there, but that seemed impossibly far off. In our 50’s, we have no plans — or means, for that matter — to retire any time soon. Truth is, I have a great job as a contractor at NASA, and would gladly work as long as my health and mental capacity permits.
2006 was a difficult year for me. My mother passed away in February, after a long series of health problems and a bad fall. My father had been suffering from progressive Alzheimer’s starting in 2004, was moved to nursing care in Fall 2005, and passed away in late August 2006.
Sad as that all was, they both had significant investments, and I inherited a 1/4 share along with my brother and two sisters. This, along with some other investments of our own and some company stock I had accumulated, gave us a good amount of potential cash to work with.
The one significant obstacle to living in Chestertown was the commute to/from our jobs. The drive there from our house is 60 miles and takes 1 hour, 15 minutes; from there to work would be a bit farther. We convinced ourselves that we could handle this, by leaving early enough to miss the worst traffic, and also working short days and/or telecommuting on Fridays (everyone knows that getting across the bridge on a summer Friday is a challenge). We already carpool to work most days, and at that time were ready to downsize the family minivan for something that gets better gas mileage.