Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Retirement Choices: The Top 10 Best Places to Retire: plus Thomas Wolfe on Loneliness and a bit of Golf

Having turned 65 in December, I belong to the generations that are now already retired or soon going into retirement, so this posting was of interest.

Marc J. Soss has a list of best places to retire at Sarasota Florida Ranked as Best Place to Retire.

We have been to a number of these places in the past and the ones we know personally on this list are all good.

We have numerous Florida friends in places like Naples and I regularly did some law business there in my younger days, even playing a round of golf at the Blue Doral. It was terrific. Florida has hundreds of terrific golf courses.

I worked at Arizona State University Law School on a project years ago and played golf throughout Arizona on the weekends. The Oak Creek Country Club in Sedona, near Prescott, is one of my favorite golf courses ever, and I played in a tournament won that year by Ben Crenshaw with a closing round 65, if I remember correctly, who has a great quote at his home page:
"I've been playing golf almost all my life. From the time I was six years old when my father took me out to the Austin Country Club, through all the wins... and some significant losses, the one constant has been the enjoyment I've gotten from the game and people around the world I've had the pleasure of meeting..."
The great thing about Arizona was that you could also play golf in nearby Flagstaff if you wanted a change of pace and cool weather, although I must admit that I played a lot of golf in the Scottsdale area, heat or no heat, at Papago Golf Course, where my best undocumented round ever, not in competition, was a 66. It is hard to imagine that the course now runs 7,333 yards. It was already long in those days.

Asheville in North Carolina is a European-style community that attracts a lot of upscale people and we were there a couple of years ago visiting. The great American novelist Thomas Wolfe was born in Asheville (48 Spruce Street). Wolfe is famed for his novels Look Homeward, Angel (1929) and Of Time and the River (1935). He has one statement on human loneliness which I think explains much of the human condition, no matter who or where you are:
"The whole conviction of my life now rests upon the belief that loneliness, far from being a rare and curious phenomenon, peculiar to myself and to a few other solitary men, is the central and inevitable fact of human existence".
Read the background and commentary to Wolfe and loneliness at philosophicalsociety.com by Tim Ruggiero on an essay by Michele Carter, "Abiding Loneliness: An Existential Perspective", Park Ridge Center for Health, Faith, and Ethics, Illinois.

Successful retirement surely has a lot to do with intelligently handling this issue of human loneliness by staying active and remaining involved in human affairs in spite of "retirement".

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