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Old 08-22-2011, 09:34 PM
Location: Thornrose
892 posts, read 1,849,248 times
Reputation: 1282


Please refer to my comments in red.

Originally Posted by RetiringIn2012 View Post
As a single female retiree, my key considerations are in priority order:

1. SAFETY & LOW CRIME. Although crime can happen anywhere, I am anxious to minimize the risks. While there was much that I enjoyed in Cleveland, e.g., great art museum, etc., much of it was in areas that were frightening to drive through and high risk of car jacking / stolen cars, etc.

Charlottesville is generally a low crime place. But the amount of "stupid" crime is a bit unnerving to me. Such as a guy attempting to mug some one using a spray can of white lithium grease. Or something to that affect. There are a few neighborhoods I would avoid, especially at night. But overall, if you're aware of your surroundings and not making yourself a target, you'll be fine. And what I mean by that is not walking alone at night between 11:00 PM and 5:00AM. But I wouldn't do that anywhere these days. As far as nice art museums, there aren't any decent ones in Cville. At least big ones. But in Richmond is a good one, and DC is not far away either. And in both cities, the museums are in good neighborhoods.

2. EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES. I am focused on a college town for this reason. Definitely looking for senior learning opportunities and maybe even taking a few college classes for credit. I've done Road Scholar (Elderhostel) including programs sponsored by the College of William & Mary. Also, looking for site with various historic attractions that maybe I could either volunteer or work part-time.

For the educational opportunities, definitely Cville. For historic attractions, it's a toss up with a slight nod to Wburg.

3. GREAT LIBRARY. I am voracious reader. Must also have bookstores nearby; ideally both a Barnes & Noble and independent book stores.

Cville has a pretty good library system with the Jefferson Madison Regional Library. There is also a Barnes and Noble here. And a number of independants. I can think of one off the top of my head on Elliewood Ave, but forget the name.

4. DINING OUT OPTIONS. Love everything from fast-food to fine dining. Particularly keen on ethnic alternatives. One of the things I dislike about the small town I currently live in is that the nearest Indian restaurant is almost 100 miles away. I love Indian food.

You'll love Cville. Percentage wise, it one year had the most restaurant options in the USA for the population here. And for a city the size of Cville, there is a really good international variety.

5. SWIMMING. Either the development I move to (or alternatively the community) must have good opportunities for swimming -- both indoor pools and outdoor pools. I enjoy swimming; other than that have no interest in sports (either as a participant or observer) or in any outdoor activities.

I don't know which developments have a pool here. I think U Heights Apts. has a pool, but not sure. There's a number of public and private/club/gym pools here too.

6. REASONABLY CLOSE TO MAJOR AIRPORT. I currenlty live about 75 miles from a good size airport. Would like to be no further than that; ideally even less.

All Cville has is a decent regional airport. But it has a number of direct flights, and can also connect you to Dulles. I don't know if it connects to Richmond or not. But Richmond is just over an hour away, and Dulles is about 2 hours. Both can vary with traffic.

7. SHOPPING. Not a big shopper except for books, but my "must-haves" are a Best Buy and a FedEx Office (the old FedEx Kinkos) within about 1/2 hour of driving. Other than that, give me a Walmart and that is all I need.

You'll be just fine in Cville. In the same shopping center as Barnes and Noble is a FedEx Office or whatever it's called now. And just up the road is the Best Buy. And even farther up is the Wal Mart. There is also a lot of other shopping options for a town this size too.

I am looking for a community that welcomes new residents; my prior life experience suggests that growing communities with an influx of new individuals usually is best.

Cvillians are so use to transients because of UVA that you won't be welcomed, but you won't be snubbed either. You'll just blend in. Chances are wherever you move, unless it's in the country, your neighbors won't notice that you moved in and the other tenant moved out. Or care.

I am interested in the relative merits of Charlottesville vs. Williamsburg or other VA alternatives, particularly focusing on the issues of:

1. safety - Either
2. organizations to join (not religious) -- everything from book groups to travel groups - I don't know
3. ability to meet new people - Again, I don't know. Sorry. I already knew my friends here before moving here.
4. relative living costs - Williamsburg might be cheaper.
Good luck in your search!
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Old 01-08-2012, 08:45 PM
1 posts, read 3,242 times
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definitely check out Ford's Colony in Williamsburg
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Old 01-09-2012, 08:52 AM
156 posts, read 318,671 times
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Going to be hard to find many communities in VA with pools .If people have pools it is in there own back yard ,privacy that way and no HOA's .Pittsylvania county good for colleges and so is Henry County ,low taxes .Beginning to think all VA people like to eat out .I retired here in 2004 and bought my land in 2003 and the house was 89 thousand with septic and well and a 1000 dollars a year in taxes .Fed ex in Danville and small airport in Danville .Best buy and big shopping area in Greensboro NC about an hour from here ,I am on the border of NC .Book stores not many here but have libraries and there are places again in Greensboro .A little more congested there and higher cost to live there but for shopping ,eating, books ,and airport you may want to consider there or just outside that area
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Old 01-09-2012, 05:58 PM
Location: Charlottesville
75 posts, read 190,984 times
Reputation: 61
The City of Charlottesville has a beautiful public indoor pool (Smith Aquatic & Fitness Center) and gym/excercise classes. No problem finding a pool.

Lots of bookstores and libraries around. There's definitely a Barnes & Nobel and someone above mentioned the library system is good here. Of course, a kindle/or similar eReader would solve any problem you might have finding a book store. Though I understand some people have the need to feel/hold a book...and I get that (though the convenience of my kindle has moved me beyond that....but I'm getting off track).

This is a great little town to retire. We're quasi-retired (my husband is, I'm working 'cause I need the structure a job provides). We moved here a few months ago and everyone has been very welcoming. Yes, Charlottesville is full of transients due to the University and this makes for a nice mix.

There's history here, there's history in Williamsburg. But Charlottesville offers more overall. Its a larger town than Williamsburg, so you'll have more choices. Yes, dining out here is better than Williamsburg.

Major airports are Dulles - 75 miles, Richmond - 60 miles and Charlottesville's airport has several good flights in and out of it.

Safety is relative to where you choose to live. Get a good realtor that knows the area well and you'll be gold.

Check Meet-up.com (go to Charlottesville) and you'll find plenty of groups to join...they do have a book club as well.

Hands down, Charlottesville is the better of the two towns to retire in. Come on down!!
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Old 01-11-2012, 07:40 PM
848 posts, read 1,638,097 times
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Originally Posted by Moving on up to C'ville View Post
There's history here, there's history in Williamsburg. But Charlottesville offers more overall. Its a larger town than Williamsburg, so you'll have more choices. Yes, dining out here is better than Williamsburg.

Hands down, Charlottesville is the better of the two towns to retire in. Come on down!!
A little biased, maybe? While the city proper is smaller, the Williamsburg metro area is substantially larger than Cville's, and has more to offer in my opinion- plus it has about 150 more years of history than Cville. If you research the statistics, you'd see that many choose to retire in Williamsburg and from what I've seen, there are more communities in the Wburg area that cater to retirees than there are in Cville. I'd bet that the numbers would suggest that Williamsburg and its surrounding area is the better of the two towns to retire in.
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Old 01-22-2012, 10:45 AM
9 posts, read 21,832 times
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It's Williamsburg for me . . . retirement is quickly approaching, my house is being prepared for sale (new carpet, yard work, etc.), I'm selling/giving away odds-and-ends of "stuff" I've lugged around for over a decade or so, and during spring break from my teaching job I'm making a visit back home (Virginia!) to look at rental housing.

I'm hoping that by leasing for a year, I'll have time to find just the right townhouse or condo to purchase.

This is the last place I'll ever own, and I want to ensure that it's suitable for me as I grow older.

I, too, am a history fan and hope to find a part time job or volunteer opportunity at a historic property in the Williamsburg-Jamestown-Yorktown areas. I'm too active to sit day-in/day-out, and I'll have the freedom (within prudent, self-imposed limits) to pick and choose what types of activities I want to pursue.

I've looked forward to this for Y-E-A-R-S . . . :-)
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Old 01-26-2012, 05:15 PM
Location: Herndon VA
100 posts, read 176,161 times
Reputation: 54
I am late to this discussion i realize, but I wanted to add in on the reading portion of the original poster's question. I too am a voracious reader.
The University of Virginia (located in the heart of Charlottesville) has a huge library system . They have at least 8 separate libraries and many other special collections.
see link. University of Virginia Library
Their libraries specialize as far as Literature (of course), Science & Engineering, law, education, fine arts, architecture, and education and essentially anything you could possibly imagine.
And you can check out just about anything that isn't already checked out or part of a special collection for free as a Virginia resident! I live in Northern VA but come down to Charlottesville about once every 6 weeks to stock up on books that even the super Fairfax County library system (one of the largest in VA) doesn't have. You can renew online as well.
The campus is in the heart of town and I believe to be very safe. Most of the libraries are open until between 10pm and midnight every weeknight and there is one library open from Monday - Thursday 24 hours.
UVA has a 5 billion dollar endowment. That is Billion with a B.
I don't think you would have to worry about going to any used book store or Barnes & Noble (which they have there) when you discover what they have right in the heart of Charlottesville in their vast library collections. (did I mention that checking out books was free to Virginia residents?)
They even have a warehouse called the ivy where they house the less circulated books (over 700 thousand) which they couldn't fit in the regular library system on campus delivered upon request to the main branches.
Also if you so desire Washington DC is only 2 hours away (cultural things to do) , and coincidentally Williamsburg/VA beach is only 2 hours away as well.
I personally like to check the unemployment rate of a city to get an idea of just how prosperous the area is. Higher unemployment IMHO can devastate an area over time.
see link Unemployment by County in Virginia
Charlottesville is in Albermarle county FYI.
I would just put my .02 in and say I would warn you that I personally believe Charlottesville is more expensive than Williamsburg as I believe them to be essentially two different types of living.

I don't know if you already made your decision and I hope it was a good one and wish you all the best in your retirement wherever you decide to settle.
PS I forgot to mention as we get older and retire it is important to be somewhat close to a good health care and UVA has one of the best hospitals in Virginia.
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Old 03-19-2012, 07:49 AM
44 posts, read 61,823 times
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Just from visiting, last summer, Cville had at least 3 used bookstores downtown. There's also great ethnic food--we found an Afghan restaurant just off downtown and the kebabs were OTW (=to die for).

Someone mentioned the Green Valley Book Fair, near Harrisonburg. It's funny. You drive for a few miles through farm county, become sure you're lost, then pull up to a warehouse (very clean inside) with dozens of cars! Well worth a visit, especially for reference books.

We're still debating Charlottesville vs. Lancaster, PA, which is closer to friends and family. Cville does have more directed senior opportunities, based on various web pages I've gone to. It is very rural (which we like) right outside town.

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Old 05-08-2012, 08:05 AM
Location: Albemarle
12 posts, read 21,458 times
Reputation: 12
Default Cville...

I love Charlottesville. I live 10 minutes from town and it is very quiet. The senior center here is first rate and very "young". As for fitting in - I am always amazed when I meet someone who is actually FROM here - most everyone here is a transplant. My mom moved here 5 weeks ago (she is 86) and she LOVES it!
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Old 06-26-2013, 08:21 PM
12 posts, read 33,356 times
Reputation: 22
Can you live in Charlottesville without a car? I read there are two bus systems there.

And which parts of Charlottesville are the areas people would avoid at night??
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