We tried out a lot of places before we chose this. I'm from Pennsylvania and my wife is from New York, and we've lived in 14 different places.
We've owned properties in Florida and North Carolina and tried them on for size but decided they were not where we wanted to be. We loved the true Northwest. I'm the Neil Diamond "Forever in Blue Jeans" type.
This place has great views of snow-capped mountains, the quiet marina and shipping lanes. We get fresh salmon and great local wines. There's great hiking and kayaking nearby.
We live in a 55 community called Bayview, where we feel secure and free to travel. We're going up to Whistler in British Columbia this week and we were in Australia and New Zealand last year. We've also taken a South American cruise.
We downsized when we bought a three-bedroom place here two years ago. It was a fraction of the $700,000 that we sold our house in Virginia for. It has a community club with a swimming pool and health club. There are lots of activities, from woodworking to fly tying, and it's very near malls and farmers' markets.
My wife was right (again): I should have retired earlier!
NEXT: Bellevue, Neb.