Retired and Moved from NY City to Key West, FL
Born in Manhattan, and having a career in retailing in New York City kept me in life’s fast lane.
I never would have imagined spending my retirement years living in Key West, Florida, the laid-back Southernmost City in the Continental United States.
Friends with a second home here invited me to visit them for a week in January, a welcome relief from the Northeast’s brutal winter. Sitting by their pool, under the shade of a bougainvillea bush aflame with fuchsia blossoms, I was hooked.
The thought of returning to the winter was so upsetting that I rented a cottage nearby and stayed for several more weeks.
I had no responsibilities at home, being divorced, no children, so before the next winter came, I arranged to rent a small apartment in Key West for two winter months.
The next year I rented a condo for three winter months. By the end of the third visit, I knew I loved the funky little island city where it was easy to make new friends, safe to walk the streets, with an amazing arts community, breathtaking flora and fauna and lovely weather.
Okay, so it’s in the storm path for half the year, but the hardy locals are willing and able to help newcomers with advice and labor. With proper preparation, and a little luck, I put that negative on the bottom of my list of why not to move.
But first I wanted to spend a tropical summer, so I did. It was humid, sure, and hot, but the famous trade winds always blew a soft breeze around, which made it bearable.
I sold my Northern home and bought a duplex in Key West that I could afford, not easy in an expensive tourist town, but the rental apartment helps pay the mortgage.