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Retirement time is coming fast. Is GJ a good place?

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Retirement time is coming fast. Is GJ a good place?

Last year while on business, I stoped for several days and was totally blown away with the open attitude and warmth shown by total strangers. My business contact , a local family, has become totally immersed in the community and would never consider moving away. Exactly what my wife and I would like to do. We are currently involved in church and committed to volunteering in many areas but enjoy the arts. Our friends, children, and grandchildren are important but health is demanding a change. Is this a place 2 gray haired young at hearts can come and fullfull their dreams on a somewhat limited budget? PS. I enjoy biking, camping, and hiking, but my wife of 39 years is not able to join in.

Are clubs or orgainizations available for me with others of my age and interest?

Colorado Western...
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for Ouray, Outdoors / Adventure Travel, Montrose
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1. Re: Retirement time is coming fast. Is GJ a good place?

I think you'd find the Colorado Mountain Club (www.cmc.org) to be right up your alley. They have regional Groups, including one in Grand Junction (the "Western Slope" Group). They offer volunteer-led outings all over the state and beyond, including biking, camping, hiking, skiing, snowshoeing, climbing, etc, as well as slide shows and other presentations in town.

Glenwood Springs...
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2. Re: Retirement time is coming fast. Is GJ a good place?

Grand Junction appears to have a very large and active Senior population. There are a number of options for retirement living and they have a large number of health care providers to meet a variety of needs. You might check out http://www.beaconinfo.net and consider subscribing to their newspaper. It is geared to the 40+ crowd and highlights many ongoing activities, etc. I personally love all that Junction has to offer, but cannot take the heat in the summer. You have the college, dining, shopping, a great downtown, festivals, beautiful parks and the town is growing. I was surprised by the amount of new construction when I was there last month. And any time you want a change of pace or scenery, Delta, Montrose, Ouray, Glenwood Springs, Moab and Lake Powell are all 1 to 2 hours away.

Western Colorado
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3. Re: Retirement time is coming fast. Is GJ a good place?

Grand Junction is a GREAT place. I have lived here since 1968 and head the local literacy program. This is a fabulous place to get involved as volunteers. We have a local organization called RSVP (Retired Senior Volunteer Program) that helps volunteers find appropriate volunteer placements in our community. (I think our literacy program is the most fun place to volunteer!) One of our local newspapers the Beacon (http://www.beaconinfo.net/resdir.html) is an award winning newspaper with a focus on retirees. If you paste the above into your browser, you will see a listing of just about all of the clubs and activities in our community. This resource directory on the page lists them all with phone numbers! there are fabulous opportunities to bike, camp and hike. There are also absolutely breathtaking places to visit even if you aren't really active. I have severe arthritis but can still enjoy the mountains, viewing some of the fantastic canyons from the overlooks, accessing some of the over 200 lakes on our local Grand Mesa (largest flat top mountain in the world). If health is a concern, St. Mary's Hospital is the finest in many areas (especially oncology and neurology). I'm kind of biased, but this is really a nice place to live. Our winters are pretty mild. Good luck. Come see us at the library if you move here!

Chicago, IL
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4. Re: Retirement time is coming fast. Is GJ a good place?

My husband and I have lived in Chicago forever. Two years ago my husband shocked me and brought up the idea of retiring to a place with a better climate. I bought the book "100 Best Places to Retire" and began the search. Our first trip was to Albuquerque, Santa Fe and then up to check out Grand Junction. We had already booked our next trip to the Phoenix area to check it out. Long story short we fell in love with GJ and the people, bought a lot at The Seasons (young at heart retired community) and our house is now under construction. We have met so many wonderful people and are looking forward to the next chapter of our lives. GJ is a wonderful place with great health care, 25% reduction from the cost of living in Chicago, four seasons but mild and tons of activities. Check with the Chamber of Commerce and subscribe to the local paper on Sundays. You will find tons to do for us young at heart gray hairs. My husband is 64 and I am 54. If you want more info about our journey and those we have met let me know.

Fruita, Colorado
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for Fruita, Grand Junction
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5. Re: Retirement time is coming fast. Is GJ a good place?

I keyed in on a couple of key terms that you said in your piece. One is "limited budget" - housing costs are going through the roof here so you probably want to do some research on what it will cost you to buy or lease a place. We purchased our 1600 sq ft home 2 yrs ago and it already would cost $100,000 more to purchase the same home in the same subdivision today. Housing prices have far outpaced wages outside of the oil and gas drilling industry with the average home costing $190,000 today. The second key term in your piece was that your wife cannot join in. I'm not sure what you picture her activities being while you are involved with biking, camping, etc. but I would seriously ask around for things that would be of interest for her also. If you are into the arts be aware that there are limited options. One art museum, a few professional theatres and the rest revolves around the college - meaning nothing from them in the summer months. It is possible to drive to Denver or Salt Lake City but that is about a 4 hr. drive if the roads are not closed in the winter due to snow/accidents. I would also check with your doctors about the health issues. Is high altitude going to be a positive or a negative, will the inversions we get in the winter where cold air hangs in the valley for weeks at a time be a positive or a negative? One friend who is in love with the valley and one business trip is not enough input to remake your whole life and that of your extended family. That said, if you do move here, welcome. People here are very warm & caring - volunteers are always needed and appreciated.

6. Re: Retirement time is coming fast. Is GJ a good place?

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