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Old 11-10-2009, 11:36 AM
 
Location: Lakeland, Florida
6,975 posts, read 12,506,495 times
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Originally Posted by paxquest View Post
I'm hoping to learn from your experiences and knowledge. Any thoughts on these 3 locales? Pros and cons appreciated.

These are our top choices for cultural, medical, more or less decent weather, and water oriented locales. We're not boaters or golfers, so not interested in that lifestyle, although we've been blessed with a couple of friends with boats. I know the weather differences and can live with either semi-tropical hot & humid Gulf communities in Pinellas county or more temperate Atlantic SE VA or coastal NC.

I'm unsure where is best for retirement. All 3 suffer from relatively lower pay, and while this will not directly affect retirees, economics certainly factor heavily into quality of life issues. Wilmington has better environmental scores, and a better matriculation rate except in post-grad degrees. Wilmington and its suburbs seem relatively manageable in scale, crime and traffic as contrasted to Chicago, DC or other large cities.

Depending on which cost of living calculator, Wilmington may be less than Tampa Bay towns, and definitely less than VA, but I keep reading NC taxes are hard on retirees. VA also taxes autos much more heavily than FL or NC, and may be more politically conservative than we'd prefer. FL has no state income tax but a stiff RE property tax and property insurance is tough. I know there are some other states like TN which don't tax as much, but for a variety of reasons we're only considering VA, NC and FL. There's so much to consider, so please help me and others figure out how to maximize our dwindling resources. So, is Wilmington is good choice?
When I saw your thread. I thought at least Im not the only one. I also am considering all of these plus TN. I think I have at least eliminated VA for a variety of reasons. I go back and forth with this decision and really have to get moving on it, so I can make the move by this time 2010. Im trying to retire closer to New England where Im originally from. The mid Atlantic is desirable because of being in easy driving range.

I question the amount of taxes in NC as well as communities to live in. Im not sure if I would want to live as far away from the coast as Raleigh Charlotte, or the Triad region. Wilmington is the only coastal city and a few things about it concern me. Its proximity for hurricanes can actually be worse than Fla. Its lack of employement affects the quality of life of its residents and economy, which in turn will affect retirees. It is somewhat remote in some respects and very affected by summer tourists.
It is also higher priced than I would of thought. I really enjoy the area but its seems to not be dealing with any type of infrastructure problems.

I seem to look to Fla, but truthfully I can understand the severity of the problems there could drive someone to move elsewhere. I still think Fla is a wonderful state for a retiree, but where do they go other the current conditons.

I realize no place is perfect. I envy the person that can make the where to retire to decision, and be comfortable with it and just GO.
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Old 11-13-2009, 08:02 AM
 
93 posts, read 170,106 times
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Jimrob, it is hard to come up with a comfortable spot, isn't it, particularly since the economic downturn makes many of us less willing to put our retirement resources at greater risk. Have you considered renting at least for one month in a new area(s) before pulling up stakes in Oregon? Not that you want to stay NW, but at least for a relatively small investment you can better gauge whether a community offers enough to sustain than is possible with a mere few days' visit. Reading the local news media on line may help also.

TN may work for you. Tri-cities are in a pretty area and I suppose one could travel for grocery and other basic shopping to mitigate the tax burden, but it's too inland for me. I've lived much of my life in coastal hurricane-prone zones except my career years. While the insurance costs are high, if you're a coastie the natural beauty and easygoing lifestyle almost justifies living in a hurricane prone area, much as I imagine people who love the CA lifestyle feel the problems living in that state are worth it.

FL has a host of problems and will require much work to restructure its financial health over the long haul, exacerbated but not stemming from the current national economic woes. Plus, the Tampa Bay-Sarasota area is the only part I'd feel reasonably comfortable culturally but really prefer not to live with constant heat, density, relative sprawl and over emphasis on golf. We may yet end up in the state again if my husband prefers, but COL will be higher than Wilmington.

Not having been to Wilmington, I may be totally off base but it seems to be compact, easy to get around and offers a complete lifestyle for all ages. I know the recent growth must put enormous infra-structure pressures and hope the city managers are taking constructive steps at this point. Ideally, one would prefer proactive planning, but few areas seem to be up to the task. VA Beach and Norfolk have long-range plans; perhaps the same is, or will soon become, true for Wilmington.
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Old 11-15-2009, 11:03 AM
 
Location: Lakeland, Florida
6,975 posts, read 12,506,495 times
Reputation: 8742
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxquest View Post
Jimrob, it is hard to come up with a comfortable spot, isn't it, particularly since the economic downturn makes many of us less willing to put our retirement resources at greater risk. Have you considered renting at least for one month in a new area(s) before pulling up stakes in Oregon? Not that you want to stay NW, but at least for a relatively small investment you can better gauge whether a community offers enough to sustain than is possible with a mere few days' visit. Reading the local news media on line may help also.

TN may work for you. Tri-cities are in a pretty area and I suppose one could travel for grocery and other basic shopping to mitigate the tax burden, but it's too inland for me. I've lived much of my life in coastal hurricane-prone zones except my career years. While the insurance costs are high, if you're a coastie the natural beauty and easygoing lifestyle almost justifies living in a hurricane prone area, much as I imagine people who love the CA lifestyle feel the problems living in that state are worth it.

FL has a host of problems and will require much work to restructure its financial health over the long haul, exacerbated but not stemming from the current national economic woes. Plus, the Tampa Bay-Sarasota area is the only part I'd feel reasonably comfortable culturally but really prefer not to live with constant heat, density, relative sprawl and over emphasis on golf. We may yet end up in the state again if my husband prefers, but COL will be higher than Wilmington.

Not having been to Wilmington, I may be totally off base but it seems to be compact, easy to get around and offers a complete lifestyle for all ages. I know the recent growth must put enormous infra-structure pressures and hope the city managers are taking constructive steps at this point. Ideally, one would prefer proactive planning, but few areas seem to be up to the task. VA Beach and Norfolk have long-range plans; perhaps the same is, or will soon become, true for Wilmington.

Yes I would definitely rent. Your absolutely correct it is a very difficult decision on where to relocate. I think the current economic situation is a big part of it, but not all of it. I think cultural and infrastructure traits of various areas, are also a big part of this decision difficulty.

I have lived overseas in my life for a total of 6 years. In all honesty moving from one region of America to another, is scarier to me now than moving overseas was.

It didn't use to feel that way but it most certainly does now. I think if many people were really honest with themselves, they can relate to this. Im not really sure where the USA begins and ends anymore. Im not sure any more why all these states, so divided from one region to another are all called United.

I wish you both good luck with your decision. I think you will find your place. I will have to find mine also and I will.
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