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Old 10-22-2009, 11:59 AM
 
93 posts, read 169,964 times
Reputation: 47

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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?
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Old 10-22-2009, 02:45 PM
 
22,769 posts, read 26,225,969 times
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Wilmington can be a good choice - unfortunately I am not familiar with the Tampa Bay or Virginia Beach metro areas. I think there's little question that the VA Beach area will have a stronger and more diverse economy, and that Tampa Bay will be much, much larger than Wilmington.

Environmental scores are like crime scores. They become less and less relevant, as you start to generalize larger areas beyond neighborhoods.

I'm confused about the relevance of matriculation rates, though. Will you be attending UNCW in your retirement?
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Old 10-23-2009, 07:54 AM
 
26 posts, read 73,886 times
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I have lived in wilmington nc and I loved it. I would say wilmington would be a wise choice, I have never lived in tampa bay, fl. I live on the east coast of florida now, I like it down here. Whatever you do DO NOT MOVE TO HAMPTON ROADS VA!!!
My wife and I just moved from Elizabeth city nc, witch is only 45 min from there. It is ghetto as all get out plus crime their is rising to astronomical rates. It is expensive to live in va and in my opinion it isn't worth it at all. NC or Fl but not VA sound good?
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Old 10-23-2009, 09:58 AM
 
93 posts, read 169,964 times
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Thanks for the replies.

RF, no plans for courses, but as a generalization (yes, I know), educated citizenry is preferable. NC has fewer hate groups than FL, and is likely more tolerant in many ways. Wilmington air & water quality gets fairly high scores; important health and environmental considerations. Many places have lots of Superfund sites and higher mortality indices because of pollution so not under consideration.

NCsurfer, PBG is quite different from Tampa Bay area. Looking at your other posts, you may like the Gulf side better. If you stay on the east coast, south of Vero tends to be more open-minded, but the west coast suits me better. NE FL is very conservative and, for my preferences, quite dull. Been there, done that. Never again.

Wilmington seems to have a lot a positives except for the taxes. Can't wait to explore! Any other feedback?
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Old 10-23-2009, 11:05 AM
 
22,769 posts, read 26,225,969 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paxquest View Post
RF, no plans for courses, but as a generalization (yes, I know), educated citizenry is preferable.
I agree, it is.

I just don't think matriculation rates at the local university are a useful way to measure that.

Quote:
Many places have lots of Superfund sites and higher mortality indices because of pollution so not under consideration.


all of Wilmington's superfund sites are in the downtown area, along the east bank of the cape fear river, and along the south bank of Smith Creek.

East of college road, you basically have no industry whatsoever in New Hanover County, except for a small stretch of warehousing/light industrial along Market Street.
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Old 10-23-2009, 05:48 PM
 
214 posts, read 736,871 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paxquest View Post
Thanks for the replies.

RF, no plans for courses, but as a generalization (yes, I know), educated citizenry is preferable. NC has fewer hate groups than FL, and is likely more tolerant in many ways. Wilmington air & water quality gets fairly high scores; important health and environmental considerations. Many places have lots of Superfund sites and higher mortality indices because of pollution so not under consideration.

NCsurfer, PBG is quite different from Tampa Bay area. Looking at your other posts, you may like the Gulf side better. If you stay on the east coast, south of Vero tends to be more open-minded, but the west coast suits me better. NE FL is very conservative and, for my preferences, quite dull. Been there, done that. Never again.

Wilmington seems to have a lot a positives except for the taxes. Can't wait to explore! Any other feedback?
WOW looks to me like you have already done all your research. Possibly the DC area would be a good fit, no seriously, more Grad students there, however, I am not certian their education has been a benefit to themselves or society, but if you are looking for a well educated class or group, best head up North. Wilmington, NC may also suit your educational quest for superior minds, but you will have to look very hard. Best get in tune or in touch with UNCW.
Many of us who have relocated hold BA's and beyond, however, we carry our education with us and hope to inspire others to seek as much education as they wish to. Sometimes I wish I was just a fisherman/woman casting my line, and looking into the horizon, and hooking the big one. Best o' luck to you Yes, before you cast your net, make an educated decision, as we all have, and come and explore.
Need a fishing pole? Sometimes it helps to just fish, and let your mind and dreams take hold, never know what's on the other end.
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Old 10-24-2009, 08:29 AM
 
93 posts, read 169,964 times
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RF & SSB, the matriculation rates I referred to included HS, 2 & 4 yr colleges; info which I got off the web so the stats may be a couple of years old but Wilmington fared higher than Tampa though VB scored nearly 8 points higher in HS diplomas. Having a good percentage of HS graduates is a plus in my book. Obviously college degrees are helpful, but no degree can ensure decency, common sense or whether one contributes to the common good.

Lived in NOVA and that's not at all what I'm looking for or I would have included the DC area in my post. I'm not looking to live amongst the strivers or snobs, just seeking a little peace & happiness in a relaxed and relatively safe coastal environment. I've probably enjoyed fishing before many of you were born.
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Old 10-27-2009, 06:44 PM
 
700 posts, read 2,943,307 times
Reputation: 375
Quote:
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?
We just visited Gatlinburg,TN and the sales tax there was almost 10%!
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Old 11-03-2009, 09:22 AM
 
Location: Glenwood-Brooklyn
1 posts, read 1,757 times
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You'll love Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach. I have a place near Wrightsville, not water front, but love the convenience to water, shopping and restaurants. Downtown Wilmington is only 10 minutes away. My sister and parents now live in Virginia Beach. Much more congestion and jet noise (not knocking the military by any means). I believe you'll find fewer but quality cultural offerings, a plethora of outdoor recreation, an easy social scene, incredible local cuisine, and a laid back life-style in Wilmington that the larger metros can't match. Visit and you'll be sold too.
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Old 11-06-2009, 09:55 AM
 
93 posts, read 169,964 times
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Thanks, JG1106. Wilmington area sounds like it meets most of our requirements. Although we had not really considered SC, does anyone have any thoughts on the relative merits of coastal NC or coastal SC?
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