Random ramblings of a mind damaged by years of disuse and abuse. Also a place to go to be bored to tears.
The Random Cartoon
Words to live by...
"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."
(The right to looseness has been officially given)
By the way... there's a crossword at the bottom of this page
Friday, March 2, 2012
Go away! (please?)
I was looking at an article on MarketWatch [link] that claimed to be a list of the "best" places to retire in the US.
I was happy to note that my little town was not one of them. We have enough problems with seasonal residents, we don't need to double or triple our year-rounders.
A few years ago, when my sister suggested I bring our mother to this area, I fell in love with it. I was not alone. This was a time when people were bailing out of Broward and Dade counties on the southeast coast of Florida. Crime, crowding, and the rising cost of living was destroying what had been a wonderful place to live. What had once been a great place to retire. People flocked to south Florida in the 60's and 70's. And it grew. And it cost more and more to live there. Because of that growth, because it was seen as a great place to retire. One of the best, as they say.
Unfortunately, few places can absorb the numbers of retirees along with the number of people who come to serve them, to profit from them, to get in on the growth. You know who I mean; the real estate people (sales and developers), the medical industry, the lawyers, the restauranteurs, the chain establishments, the department stores, and so on.
I learned what happens when others discover what you have discovered. I saw it all around me when I was growing up, I saw it in San Diego in the 70's and 80's. I saw it in Los Angeles after it had already happened. And it almost happened here in my little town.
You see, at the time I fell in love with it, people were flocking here from the aforementioned Broward and Dade counties. They were buying up houses, buying up property, building restaurants and stores and shopping centers and strip malls and hotels and motels. And starting the process which would end up with this place looking exactly like the places they were escaping from.
Real estate prices went up, business were happily making profits they not thought possible, speculators were moving in. As my house was being built, I began to have my doubts. Was I just getting in 10 years before I would hate the place? Would it even take ten years before Paradise fell yet again?
Enter the financial collapse of 2008. I survived it, even profited from the bubble before it burst and caused the collapse. Just pure luck. I am no seer. I did not see it coming. At least not that soon. But I did know it had to happen. I had seen it before. I had read about it, it is a natural part of economics; we have boom and bust cycles. The longer the boom, the deeper the bust.
The collapse has reduced the value of my home. No matter, I am not going anywhere. It has kept prices down. This has helped me. It has stopped the rampant growth of 2005-2007 in its tracks. We might have experienced even some negative growth in the last 3 years.
I am hoping it continues and the unrestrained growth never returns.