We have traveled all over with the Forest Service. We have been some pretty amazing places. Just recently one of our most coveted places, Grand Marais, MN, had an opening for exactly what my husband does here in Montana. It would have been a lateral move, not all bad. Unfortunately when you are in high gear for those last ten years before retirement, your dream location takes a back seat to smart financial moves. Together we looked at all the pros and cons of taking this move.
Reasons for Going to Grand Marais
- At the end of the Gunflint Trail, need I say more
- Mr Ranger would have to to spend time in the BWCA as part of his job. The BWCA inspired him to have the job he has today.
- Being right on Lake Superior, my favorite Great lake
- Being back in the hardwood forests. If you’ve been there you know there is no place like the Northshore.
- They have an established art colony to nurture my creative soul. It started back in 1947, so they have a long history of supporting folks teaching and exploring all sorts of creative mediums.
- We would be less than 4 hours from Mr. Ranger’s family, both his & my best friends and only 12 hours from my family.
- Over 100 inches of snow!
- Lots of cross country at our back door.
- BWCA at our “backdoor” so we could access it during the shoulder season when “everyone” has gone home.
- It has a longer growing season, but then almost every place could say that.
- Access to lots and lots of hiking and biking trails.
- Voyaguers National park and Quetico Provincial Park are just a short jaunt away.
Reasons for not throwing our name in the hat to go to Grand Marais.
- Retirement – It is much less expensive to live here, so we are mega saving for retirement.
- Our house payment is tiny and we can see the end of our mortgage
- Limited amount of affordable housing in Grand Marais, and we would have to start over with a mortgage.
- Few job opportunities for me, even fewer that would replace my current salary.
- An economy skewed by tourists and second homes.
- No mountains
We spent hours talking about it. Our wants, dreams, wishes and what retirement meant to both of us together and individually. When it was all said and done we without a doubt knew this was a matter of timing being everything. Something is perfect only if the timing is right. It must be a balance of financial and emotional desires. This was not that. So we passed. We know when it is the right move the stars will align it will feel right in every way. Enough said time to let it go, but it was sure fun to play with the idea.