Retirement: Beauty or Family?

I can't believe where the time has gone! I still feel like my husband and I are in our 30's but the truth is, we are way past that age. We are within 2-3 yrs of retirement.

Retirement is something we dream of all our lives! No more working. No one to boss us around except each other. Freedom to do exactly what we want! But the fact is, retirement is scary. Oh the no working part sounds wonderful but the fact that we won't have the same income we have coming in now, is frightening.  So is the fact that we are living the last quarter of our lives.

My husband and I have a big decision to make. Where to live? We are not from Louisiana, we just live here because of his job. I hate the summer weather down here so I'll be darned if I'm going to spend the last part of my life suffering in this heat!

We are both from the same town, Edgerton, Ohio. The winters are brutal up there, at least for my husband as he hates the snow and cold. But that's where most of his family still live.

My dream is to retire someplace beautiful. I've always wanted a home where I could look out my back window and see hills, water, or trees. The view from our last few houses have just been the tops of peoples roofs.

We've contemplated and made a few trips to Tennessee between Chattanooga and Knoxville areas to look for a place to retire and found a few areas we love. It's certainly beautiful there with all the scenery on my wish list. And it's at least 8 hrs. closer to his family and mine. However, for the umpteenth time in our lives, we'd have to start all over from scratch. With no family or friends around. We've been doing this for 35 yrs. now because of his job transfers. And it's gotten mighty old.

Our dilemma is, do we want to do it AGAIN!!?? Today, we are thinking not. It's on our minds that we should move closer to Edgerton. Maybe 1 hr. or so away. That way whenever there is a Stotz family event...we can actually attend. Plus we both have people in the area that we still consider good friends and would love getting together with them once in awhile. knew there would be a but didn't you? But, I would have to give up my dream of hills and probably water, plus the mild weather that Tennessee offers. Ohio and surrounding areas are as flat as Louisiana. Pretty farm country, but we aren't farm people. And my husband would have to deal with freezing to death.

So although we are excited for retirement, we are also soooooooooo confused!

I'm curious to see what some of you would do. Would you give up your dream of beautiful scenery and gorgeous mild weather or would you give that dream up to be nearer family and friends?