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Old 07-24-2010, 10:35 AM
 
Location: Pacific Northwest
174 posts, read 358,875 times
Reputation: 65

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We are going to be retiring coming up quixkly. We have looked at two areas, North of Phoenix, AX, and a town in Central OR, Redmond, OR. The heat in AZ has pretty much ruled it out. It doesn't seem possible to find that happy medium. Surprise has nice shoulder seasons, (spring and fall) but its freezing in the winter, and you KNOW about the summer...110-120. So, I have been checking the maps, looking 'up the hill, down the hill, to the North, to the East" etc, etc, and have not found the "ideal" town.

Our search in Redmond is much closer to what we would like, with two MINOR exceptions. There are severe drops in temp often. It can be 90 in the day, and 38 at night. I think this could be acclimated to, but the real worry is the winter. It gets cold at night in the winter, sometimes the US coldest spot for a night. We can love the warmth in the summer, up to about 88-90. After that it will feel warm, but it is son dry (7-10% humidity) that it isn't as bad as 78 in the South, where the humidity gets to 70-90%. THATS tough to take.

Anyway, the reason for posting on the this Forum is to ask if there is a town that meets our "wish list" there. Inexpensive housing.....low crime rate......within 1/2 - 3/4 hour to a medical hospital or facility.......low rainfall (5-20", no more than 20")......winters mild, with maybe a little snow, but not major packs......summers between 60-95 day, and 40-60 night.

Just trying to find a "Happy Place" to finish out our years! Have heard lots of referals to CO, but I thought price would keep us out. We need to find a clean small home for $100-120K.

Thanks for the help.
Fred

Last edited by middleoftheroad; 07-24-2010 at 10:43 AM..
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Old 07-24-2010, 10:41 AM
 
Location: Denver, CO
5,596 posts, read 19,323,634 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by middleoftheroad View Post
Surprise has nice shoulder seasons, (spring and fall) but its freezing in the winter, and you KNOW about the summer...110-120.
You mean Surprise, AZ? NW suburb of Phoenix? If you consider that too cold for you in the winter, then you can forget *anywhere* in the whole state of Colorado.
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Old 07-24-2010, 10:52 AM
 
Location: Pacific Northwest
174 posts, read 358,875 times
Reputation: 65
Default I misspoke.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by vegaspilgrim View Post
You mean Surprise, AZ? NW suburb of Phoenix? If you consider that too cold for you in the winter, then you can forget *anywhere* in the whole state of Colorado.
Anything that gets no colder than Redmond is what I mean. We see that the temps fluctuate pretty wildly there, with 50 degree drops into night not impossible.

We just don't want to feel cold all the time in winter. Especially if its a 'wet' cold.

And, thanks for your kind and thoughtful reply!
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Old 07-24-2010, 11:11 AM
 
8,318 posts, read 23,948,118 times
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No, nearly anyplace in Colorado will have similar diurnal (day-to-night) drops in temperature as Redmond. Your price point for housing (until Colorado finishes crashing, which it is just starting to do) rules out about 90% of the towns in the state, excepting those on the Eastern Plains, where the climate is not exactly "benign."

Medical care can be a big issue for retirees. Rural hospitals do a pretty decent job in Colorado of providing basic medical care, but many specialized medical issues will require a trip to either Denver, Colorado Springs, or Salt Lake City, Utah--depending on where one relocates in Colorado. Nearly every rural Colorado resident will wind up having to go to one of those cities at some point for medical needs. I have, and nearly everyone I know has. Another issue is that many of those rural Colorado hospitals are under severe financial stress and have real trouble attracting and holding doctors. In many areas, doctors are not accepting new patients, and/or not accepting Medicare patients.

About the only smaller community I can think of that might meet your needs is Cañon City, which is a nice community with (for Colorado) a relatively mild climate. However, one should know that its major "industry" is that it is the corrections center of Colorado, with numerous state prisons in and around town, and the ultra-high-security federal Supermax prison (where the US's most dangerous and heinous criminals are housed) just down the road near Florence. If you are OK with living with that nearby, then Cañon is an OK town. Your housing price point still won't buy a whole lot there, though.
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Old 07-24-2010, 12:14 PM
 
Location: Del Norte NM
529 posts, read 1,088,355 times
Reputation: 165
Have you considered Arkansas or Southern Missouri? Medical care and housing certainly are in line with what you are looking for.
Although Lamar and Rocky Ford, CO are possibilities but the climate isn't what you desire and medical facilities could be questionable. One other thing to consider Colorado is almost as dry as Arizona and not so green as those high meadows that you see in advertisements and wall calendars. Most of it is brown and dry.

If Colorado is your only consideration, you'll need to raise your housing price-point to around the 200K range to get into a good neighborhood in Pueblo or Canon City. I have some acquaintances that live in Pueblo who advised me the City Fathers want to manage it's growth due to the water situation thus higher prices for good housing.

Cheers!

Last edited by Ziasforever; 07-24-2010 at 12:39 PM..
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Old 07-24-2010, 12:29 PM
 
11,715 posts, read 33,580,955 times
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Your weather requirements are pretty much only found in within about 10 miles of the Pacific ocean in the southern half of California.
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Old 07-24-2010, 12:55 PM
 
Location: Pacific Northwest
174 posts, read 358,875 times
Reputation: 65
Default no-thats not exactly right....

Quote:
Originally Posted by EscapeCalifornia View Post
Your weather requirements are pretty much only found in within about 10 miles of the Pacific ocean in the southern half of California.
We are now in the Crescent City/Arcata/Eureka aea, and the only downer about the weather here, is the wet and 'gloomy' winters. AND, while some consider the summers warm, I think they are too mild (in the 60'2, occasionally the 70's, but whenever it warms up, it sucks the fog in, and over and over etc.)

I'm not really looking for magic. I know the right place exists, and thats what Im doing here, is looking for it.
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Old 07-24-2010, 02:10 PM
 
15,476 posts, read 18,787,161 times
Reputation: 44773
Jazzlover is right, particularly on the Medicare issue. I'm lucky, I have a couple good doctors that do take Medicare (they would also jump for joy if I was able to secure a secondary provider!) But be forewarned, the young doctors who set up shop on the western slope don't want medicare only patients. I ran into that problem as well and that was in 1998 (am on disability). My skin surgeon retired a couple years ago and I'm shopping around for a new one. The ones I've called locally here won't take a patient who just has medicare. Just the way it is.
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Old 07-24-2010, 03:16 PM
 
2,253 posts, read 5,534,452 times
Reputation: 2600
Wink If not Colorado?

As far as weather is concerned, Hawaii should ideally suite you. As you probably know the temperature there is reliably roughly 70-80 year-round. Rainfall is temperate, higher on some islands than others, one side of an island to the other. For weather, near perfect.

Real estate will be another matter. At the $120k price point most properties will be out of the question. If adventurous you might find something on the Hilo side of the Big Island of Hawaii, in one of the flaky subdivisions. But even that likely to prove a challenge. Not to mention that it rains a fair amount on that side of the island, more in some specific locals than others, and some of these 'subdivisions' are high enough in elevation that a wood stove would be welcome at certain times. Medical care would be narrow, windy two-land roads to Hilo, or Kona, and probably no less than 30 minutes distant; something beyond routine care would require a flight to Honolulu, on Oahu. There is also the consideration that most goods and services cost roughly 1/3 more in Hawaii than on the mainland.

If wishing to remain on the mainland, you face the reality that save a few locals near the coast, being primarily central to southern California, the greater portion of the United States has intemperate weather of one type or another. Being near Arcata, CA you know all about that. It is actually one of the more temperate regions of this nation, if a place where summer only kind of arrives. Sadly or not, the picture remains much the same all the way north up the coast until Vancouver, BC; a region that is never really cold, if humid enough to feel like it at times in winter, never particularly hot, with most usually a fair amount of rain. As you know, but a short, if long and windy, drive east to Redding, CA and the the whole picture changes. At the northern tip of the San Joaquin valley, its hot dry summer days will routinely threaten 100º, nights significantly less if warm, winters quite a bit cooler but not cold. Just translate that, with regional variances, across the rest of the nation.

Redmond, OR will approximate Redding, if at a higher elevation and cooler, with snow thrown in come winter. As far as I know it doesn't really snow there, as not in the prodigious amounts one might expect in the Sierra Nevada of California, or indeed the Cascades just west of Redmond and Bend. But you will have the pleasure or not of dealing with it all winter.

The Phoenix region is a different animal, if the air nearly as dry. Surprise, AZ will be that if you are hoping summer temperatures will not exceed 90º. In the Valley of the Sun plan on many triple digit days in summer, with warm pleasant nights (if perhaps even then too warm). Many put up with that so as to enjoy the far more moderate winters. Nearby Flagstaff, at 6,910 feet elevation, will prove far more moderate in summer, but sees a fair amount of snow come winter. You might, perchance, happen upon a certain local and elevation that evens all this out to an extent, but basically Arizona is a land of extremes.

Colorado not much different in that regard, only generally colder. Many places will have a fairly moderate summer, with high/lows roughly 55-85. You can find warmer, and if in the mountains appreciably cooler. But come winter, anywhere, you can expect snow, a fair amount of it if in the mountains. By January you might be wishing you were back near Arcata.

Surprise, AZ has a fair number of properties at your stipulated price point, many of them foreclosures. No idea what the neighborhood is like. You might be better advised to check out a place such as Anthem, which is just north of Phoenix, and just that much higher. It appears a pleasant enough place, and some properties can even be had at your price point. In either event that said before stands: count on hot summers.

The bottom line in any of this is within most of this nation you must accept extremes in temperature, either that of summer or that of winter. At best one could select a local that moderates the two to an extent. The only real exceptions are few, such as the Bay Area of California, with commensurately high real estate costs.

But that is only the United States, and not necessarily all its territories. Weather-wise you might like the US Virgin Islands, but perhaps not some of the other factors, costs being one. There may however be something more ideal if looked for, still technically part of the US. Guam may prove too warm and expensive.

San Jose, Costa Rica is said to enjoy spring-like temperatures in the 70's all year. If developed, it also generally has a lower standard of living than much of the US, but commensurately lower costs. It serves as an example of what might be done and found. In truth, if willing to be an expat you can combine both your near ideal climate and a lower cost of living than in the US.

Thailand is another case in point. It is possible to secure a visa easily if retired, with a certain minimum income. The cost of living, including real estate (which effectively may be leased not owned by foreigners), is significantly lower than in the US. On the same income, you can live at a much higher standard than possible in the US. The weather in southern Thailand is tropical, being hot and humid year-round. Head way up north, though, say in the vicinity of Chiang Mai, and it might be just enough cooler to suite you. Do not overlook the fact also that not only is this a foreign country with different customs and laws, but a distinctly different culture.

Anyway, the less money available the more compromises you'll need to make. That most easily found will be the most expensive. If willing to explore some, make certain adjustments, you might come far closer to finding that desired than imagined. But it will not be in Colorado unless you prefer, or in any event tolerate, snow.
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Old 07-24-2010, 03:32 PM
 
Location: Colorado
486 posts, read 1,168,924 times
Reputation: 639
Quote:
Originally Posted by middleoftheroad View Post
We are going to be retiring coming up quixkly. We have looked at two areas, North of Phoenix, AX, and a town in Central OR, Redmond, OR. The heat in AZ has pretty much ruled it out. It doesn't seem possible to find that happy medium. Surprise has nice shoulder seasons, (spring and fall) but its freezing in the winter, and you KNOW about the summer...110-120. So, I have been checking the maps, looking 'up the hill, down the hill, to the North, to the East" etc, etc, and have not found the "ideal" town.

Our search in Redmond is much closer to what we would like, with two MINOR exceptions. There are severe drops in temp often. It can be 90 in the day, and 38 at night. I think this could be acclimated to, but the real worry is the winter. It gets cold at night in the winter, sometimes the US coldest spot for a night. We can love the warmth in the summer, up to about 88-90. After that it will feel warm, but it is son dry (7-10% humidity) that it isn't as bad as 78 in the South, where the humidity gets to 70-90%. THATS tough to take.

Anyway, the reason for posting on the this Forum is to ask if there is a town that meets our "wish list" there. Inexpensive housing.....low crime rate......within 1/2 - 3/4 hour to a medical hospital or facility.......low rainfall (5-20", no more than 20")......winters mild, with maybe a little snow, but not major packs......summers between 60-95 day, and 40-60 night.

Just trying to find a "Happy Place" to finish out our years! Have heard lots of referals to CO, but I thought price would keep us out. We need to find a clean small home for $100-120K.

Thanks for the help.
Fred
Canon City Colorado would be perfect for you! I can't believe no one else suggested it. It is a great retirement community with very low cost of living and wonderful, temperate weather year-round. You could buy a very lovely little home for $100-$120 in Canon City and there are many to chose from. We also have a hospital here (St. Thomas More), and we are within 45 mins to larger hospitals in Colorado Springs and Pueblo. There is also very low crime here and a great small-town feel. Population approx 20,000 with most major ammenities. We get very little snow in the winter and it melts within hours. Not a whole lot of rain here either. And never that cold, damp feeling.

Price is not an issue here if you are looking to buy a house under $150,000! There is a lot of inventory; everything from cute little old Victorian cottages to new contruction planned subdivisions. You can get a really good deal at this point in time! I strongly encourage you to take a look at Canon City!
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