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Law And More: Aging, Lawyers & Rehoming

As the years roll by, lawyers as well as other professionals usually find they have to downshift in their commitment to work or even retire. Because of myriad intersecting factors, they may decide they have to “rehome.” That is relocate.

Frequently that isn’t going all that well. The Wall Street Journal details the difficulty of retirees settling in where they assumed they wanted to live. We might call that “The Goldilocks Syndrome.” Those who purchase houses find themselves in a financial pickle given all the market fluctuations and transaction costs. Those not burdened by that face emotional exhaustion. Relocating takes so much out of an aging human being.

Here in the southwest, in January 2021, a Kirkland & Ellis retiree came to what she had envisioned woould provide a lower cost of living and moderate weather. On July 19th, she’s pulling out of town heading back to a part of the midwest that is less expensive than Chicago had been. The short version: Not enough to do here.

A retiree from the military returned to Sierra Vista, Arizona where a fort is based. He anticipated a feeling of coming home. After about four months he had left, taking a financial hit since he had to pay through the nose for breaking the lease.

To lower the cost of operating my two boutiques I pulled out of the New York Metro area in 2014. To my surprise, I remain homesick. But I can’t afford anything that far east. I will be relocating again at the end of November, this time from AZ. Since I had moved so much during my corporate career, including to the midwest, I assumed I wouldn’t have a struggle adjusting to life away from the East Coast. 

Perhaps a major takeaway is to try to remain in-place and not chase a dream of relocation to afforabilty and good weather with no emotional and social price to pay. Yesterday I spoke with an old friend in Connecticut where I have lived for three decades. Despite financial challeges, she is managing to stay-in-place in a house in Milford. If she continues to pick up two days a week of work she figures she can manage the carrying charges. I envy her. 

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