"Semi-retirement"—I've always conveyed that the Lakes Region is like a magnet which attracts individuals looking toward semi-retirement. The demographic is huge, 77 million "Boomers" approaching that magical age we work so hard to achieve in life.
Lake Winnipesaukee was rated the #1 retirement place in the country in MacMillan Travel's fifth edition of Retirement Places Rated, under the category "leisure living for recreational and cultural opportunities." Additionally, N.H. was picked the #1 state for retirement in the country, according to moneyrates.com. This ranking was based on the cost of living, unemployment rate, tax burden, average climate, violent and property crime rates, and life expectancy.
Let me introduce Andrew and Barbara Griesinger from Winchester, Mass. who purchased a spectacular home at the Grouse Point Club in Meredith several years ago for semi-retirement.
WHAT'S YOUR HISTORY?
"Barbara grew up in Winchester and I came from a small town outside of Cleveland. I graduated from Trinity College in Connecticut and received my law degree from Boston College in 1982. The BC football team finished 1-11 that year and the following year Doug Flutie arrived.
After graduation I went to work at Choate, Hall and Stewart, one of the larger law firms in Boston. Barbara was a legal secretary at the firm. I was working on a case in Cleveland for a month and the firm sent Barbara out to work on it. Little did I know we would become interested in each other and later became the "soulmates" we are today. I practiced business litigation and in the early 90s represented many clients, including the Bank of New England. Much of our work was economy driven and I stayed with the firm for 17 years."
"We have a son and daughter, ages 24 and 26. Both were raised in Winchester where we lived for 22 years. Our son lives in Boston and is moving to Irvine/Newport Beach, California with a company transfer. Our daughter is a school teacher in Virginia and is getting married in two weeks."
THAT'S EXCITING... WHERE'S THE WEDDING?
"It's been a full-time job recently coordinating everything. The rehearsal and brunch will be at the Grouse Point Club function hall/clubhouse overlooking the lake. The wedding and reception will be held at the Belknap Mill in Laconia."
AFTER CHOATE, HALL AND STEWART WHAT TRANSPIRED?
"In 2000 I started my own law firm in Boston with a partner. The firm grew to eight attorneys specializing in business litigation. Greisinger, Tighe and Mafffei operated for 10-11 years and the firm retired gradually. That's when the question 'what's next?' was addressed."
HOW DID YOU END UP IN THE LAKES REGION?
"Both of our children attended summer camp in Wolfeboro for 2 years in a row. Later my son would visit a friend whose family had a summer home on Meredith Neck. Another year he rented a camp on Bear Island for 2 weeks. When the family discussion came up pertaining to our next endeavor, my son had one comment, 'Move to Meredith.' Barbara's response was she wouldn't leave Winchester 'unless the house was really nice.' So in September 2011 we looked at some houses online and one day drove up to take a look, 'we spotted a house on Water Street and jotted down Maggie Braxton's number on the sign [a local agent]. We went up to N. Conway for 2 nights to go hiking and decided to spend the following night in Meredith. We called Maggie and arranged to see 4 houses at the Grouse Point Club and 4 houses at Meredith Bay. We previewed the houses on Sunday and when we the saw the house at the top of the Grouse Point Club we were so excited Barb said, 'this is the house...I can live here.' 15 minutes in the house and wow, that absolutely incredible view—that's all it took! We wanted to live in a neighborhood with a real community feel, not a dark lonely dirt road. We've met so many good friends here."
WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO THE GROUSE POINT CLUB?
"We absolutely love our contemporary New England home. The views extend the entire lake beyond Rattlesnake Island. The sandy beaches, yacht club and clubhouse with indoor pool and fitness provide so many amenities. But most importantly everyone is so friendly. It's truly a special place."
WHAT HAPPENS IN SEMI-RETIREMENT?
"Barbara works part-time at Consigners Ave near Church Landing and belongs to The Fitness Edge where she's been a member for 3 years. She's also part of a book group in Moultonborough, and she's the head of the activities committee at our community. It's a wonderful life enriched with so many new friends."
Andrew's schedule has changed dramatically from commuting to Boston 7 days a week with a busy legal-work schedule to competing in triathlons—quite a switch from business litigation to the grueling fitness routine of swimming, biking and running, which started in 2010. "I used to have bad knees and I took some weight off. Now I feel great!" He competes in 4-5 triathlons a year. You'll see him biking around Squam Lake and swimming the waters at Grouse Point...not bad for a 60 year old semi-retired attorney who runs with a happy smile on his face these days.
For Barbara, she loves her gardening, exercise, restaurant choices and small town character, and most importantly, "the wonderful people we've met and become friends with...we have it perfect here."
Please feel free to visit www.rocherealty.com to learn more about the Lakes Region and its real estate market. Frank Roche is president of Roche Realty Group, Inc. in Meredith and Laconia, N.H. and can be reached at (603) 279-7046.
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