Last November, a former Toronto couple began blogging about their real-life retirement in real time. By the time, they began their blog, Astrid and Peter Tobin had already moved from east-end Toronto to Kingsville, a small town on the north shore of Lake Erie, but they documented the path to their decision to escape the city and embrace a small-town Ontario retirement.
We’ve found their story interesting, in that it mirrors much of what we understand and have written here about a rich, rewarding retirement lifestyle.
When the Tobins started thinking about retirement, they took a hard look at their finances and realized that in order to remain in the home and neighbourhood they’d lived in for 12 years, they’d need to both get rid of their car and fully pay down their mortgage. Neither was an option. The alternative was to move out of Toronto, which was just too expensive a place in which to retire.
Starting to seriously think about retirement had been sparked by visiting retired friends in Bracebridge, Ontario and seeing the retirement lifestyle they were enjoying in a smaller Ontario community. So moving from the city already had attractions.
On top of that, they’d always seen their Toronto neighbourhood as having a small-town atmosphere, with shops and the Beach within strolling distance. They set out to find the same feeling in a smaller community.
Their priorities included affordable housing, a community on the water with a public beach nearby; proximity to a golf course; an active arts community; and walking distance to town. Hmmm, starting to sound familiar? You might as well describe Meaford Haven.
The Tobins’ search took them north to Muskoka, further north and east to the Ottawa area, and then along Lake Huron and over to Georgian Bay. They found Collingwood a great place, but not suited to retirees on their budget. (We wish we might have met them on their travels, and shown what Meaford Haven has to offer in a short while.) And in the end, they chose Kingsville, for all of the above reasons.
In their most recent post, they reveal how much they’re saving by living a small-town Ontario retirement lifestyle. Owning a more affordable house, along with other reduced costs, has freed up an additional $350 a month.
We’ll keep following the Tobins, and hope to hear more about their real-life retirement in small-town Ontario.