10 Quick Tips About Retiring in St. George, UT
Are you looking toward retiring and thinking about moving to St. George, Utah? Here are 10 quick tips that will help you feel more at home.
Leave the stress of big city traffic and confusion behind. St. George offers the small town feeling of comfort and security with the amenities of a larger city. Many who have considered retiring in St. George, like resident, and president of SunRiver’s bicycle club, Art Miller said, “There are none of the big city traffic problems.” Other comments from new residents include, “There are so many cultural activities in St. George,” and “We can take advantage of all the shopping and entertainments only an hour and a half away in Las Vegas, without having to live in Las Vegas.”
Enjoy your new surroundings. If you are retiring from somewhere else, and will be new to Southern Utah, you might have some adjustments to make. If you are like many 55+ retirees, and you enjoy being outdoors, St. George has miles of paved walking trails, and hundreds of miles of open desert to walk, hike, bike, and 4-wheel.
St. George is in the desert. That shouldn’t come as a surprise. It is dry, which translates to clean air, blue skies for about three hundred days a year, occasional rains, mild seasons in spring, fall, and most of winter, a few icy cold days, and hot summers.
Accept that even though you can’t see the air, it’s there. Our dry climate and desert surroundings stimulate cleansing breezes from the mountains, across the open desert, and through St. George, keeping the air clean and fresh. If you are moving from a big city, it might be a little disconcerting when you can’t see the air, because it’s clear all the way up to the cloudless sky, but, don’t fret, even though you can’t see it, there is plenty of healthy air.
People are friendly. Because St. George has become home to so many people retiring from so many different places, the folks already here expect new neighbors. Don’t be surprised when residents come by with “Welcome to the neighborhood,” greetings. They will probably invite you to join them at the next community event. That’s one of the impressive facets of moving into SunRiver, there is always a community event coming up. A dance, concert, holiday event… One year they hosted a “Sweet Sixteen,” birthday party for SunRiver resident Benda Land. Not many people celebrate their sixteenth birthday while living in a 55+ community, but that’s one of the perks of being born on February 29.
Get involved. There is a sense of community in St. George. Back in the 1800’s, the plan was to settle St. George and grow cotton. That’s where the area derived its nickname, Dixie. Still today, there is a sense of belonging to the Dixie community. You can see the pride people feel in their city and in communities like SunRiver because they keep the area clean and inviting. It’s home. And like any home, residents chip in and take part in a number of volunteer programs that benefit the community.
Stay active. The weather in St. George makes it easy to stay active all year long. Almost every day of the year, you can enjoy outdoor activities. But, there are days you’d rather stay indoors. That’s when SunRiver’s community center is a goldmine. With over fifty clubs ranging from bridge to woodworking, pottery to pickle ball, sewing to swimming, you are sure to find enough to do to make every moment count. You can even take a break and just enjoy living. Take a fitness class or two, or three, designed with you and other 55+ residents in mind. As SunRiver’s fitness supervisor Debbie Harrison said, “Residents should feel great, and feel good about themselves when they leave our classes. I really believe every class should be a good, fun, uplifting experience.”
Don’t get too complacent. If you’ve heard that you need to slow down as you pass 55, take another look. Debbie Harrison says, “I encourage participants (in our fitness classes) to push themselves. Our bodies change as we age, but research shows you can still add muscle even when you’re 90.” Debbie has seen significant positive changes in mobility, flexibility, and strength in residents who attend her classes. The fitness instructors at SunRiver provide beginner, intermediate and advanced instruction in each class, so you can tailor the routine to challenge yourself, but not overdo it.
This tip sounds easy, but after a years of pulling hard on the harness of a demanding career, it’s actually difficult for some folks to realize it’s time for a break. Pace yourself. Stay active, but leave frantic behind. You can do as much or as little as you want. And you can change pace when you want. This week you may want to just take a break, so hang out at home, take a leisurely stroll along the river or along one of St. George’s many walking trails. Have a quiet lunch, and take a nap. Next week when you feel rejuvenated, jump into the social life and take advantage of all the activities you want.
Bring your sense of humor. After you leave 55 behind, you will notice some changes. We all do. They are much easier to deal with when you sense of humor is intact. You will find that your new friends won’t mind if your legendary 325 yard drive on the golf course is a little shorter. You are all outside under clear blue skies in great weather enjoying the game spending time and talking about the upcoming week’s activities. It’s not about what you did last week, or last decade. Here in SunRiver, St. George it’s about what you are going to be doing this week, next week, and your next big adventure.
There’s no magic in successfully retiring here in St. George, Utah. It’s a simple matter of; seeing all the opportunities, keeping active, and taking advantage of the amazing natural wonders that surround you. One day you’ll find yourself looking out at the red hills under blue skies and get an unexplainable giddy feeling – This is where I live. This is home. Well, maybe a little magic.