No one knows what the future might bring. But it doesn’t hurt to consider potential options. I’m in a weird place in life. Within the next year I need to make one of three choices.
- Stay living in Maine and continue working part-time.
- Move back to Washington to continue teaching full-time.
- Move to the Missouri/Kansas region and buy a house outright and be able to choose not to work at all.
At this time option #1 and #3 are the most probable. I suppose I could teach one more year full-time and retire at 62, but that would require a year of living back in Yakima. I’m not sure I can do that.
If my move to Maine has taught me one thing, it’s this: Sometimes the grass is greener on the other side, but there are costs for that greener grass. I love it in Maine. There’s a stubborn part of me that wants to buck up and do whatever it takes to live here comfortably. The problem is that I see more potential for toil and/or poverty and less comfort in that decision. Whereas, owning a home outright in a state with lower taxes and a lower cost of living would allow my retirement money to stretch much further. I’d miss the ocean but I’d also have more freedom to travel.
I have until next spring before any decisions need to be made, but looking forward is key. I won’t accumulate anymore stuff if I’m simply going to move again. I already have a storage unit in Washington that needs to be eliminated within the next 9 months.
Life gets complicated.
There is one thing that might help me with my decision: Creativity. I’m ready to spend more time creating and marketing my own creative works. That gets hard to do when I’m working two or three jobs.
I’d like to spend the time I have left on this Earth living on my own terms as much as possible. I might continue to teach part-time as I enjoy teaching. But if I feel I have to work so much that I can’t continue to write and create music, and have time to take care of my mental and physical health, I’m taking option #3.
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