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View Poll Results: Where to retire- Active 55 yr old retired couple
Tennessee 7 25.93%
Idaho 6 22.22%
North Carolina 8 29.63%
Oregon 4 14.81%
Utah 2 7.41%
Texas 5 18.52%
South Carolina 2 7.41%
Montana 4 14.81%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 27. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 12-27-2014, 09:47 AM
 
Location: Southwest
142 posts, read 175,350 times
Reputation: 219

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Hi there! We are rather newly retired, although we did retire to central FLA a couple years ago, we moved on to Southern Arizona and now we are truly looking for the best place to retire! It is NOT always about the weather and yes, we really enjoy the warm weather, that's why we chose FLA and then AZ....however, there are other things to consider in retirement and we were/are not getting them in the "sunshine states".
We need to be somewhere affordable, we are still able to do outdoor activities and we like it when there are children around. (So pls don't recommend some child-less Del Webb Stepford Wives scenario!)
We are well-travelled and have visited or lived in most of the places that would be considered "retirement areas" however, any of them we study on here before making an "in-person" visit to consider moving there next, we are always getting a lot of bad information on why a person should not want to even consider moving to that place. I am just wondering if this forum has turned into a place to make sure to turn around possible retirees or transplants from other areas. You know it is not ALWAYS a bad thing to have new people around.
We love to fish, bicycle, ski, travel, camp, visit historical places, we love our dogs so we want to be somewhere that is dog friendly. We do not like toxic air and water (S.AZ) we do not want to have to stay home 24/7 and guard our house from petty thieves (central FLA). We spent our share of time in uber-heavy traffic commuting to jobs for over 40 years in the bay area and Wash DC. So we definitely do not want to sit around and age in our car on any freeway anywhere.
We just want to live and enjoy life and be able to afford groceries.
We have been reading most of the forums in possible areas that we would like to move to, however in every single case forum members post discouraging, depressing, horrible conditions for EVERY single possible location we have considered thus far.
It is really really depressing.
Our grandchildren live in Atlanta, that is one of the traffic-filled, bad weather, toxic polluted air, dog-not friendly places that we are trying to avoid at this point in our lives. Although affordable and lots of children there.
Anyways. If anyone has somewhere positive to describe to us, it would be a breath of fresh air and highly appreciated!
So far forum posters have shied us away from everywhere:
.....Idaho has radioactive plumes in the drinking water, Asheville NC is too expensive and filled with druggie hippie types, Raleigh has high property taxes and home prices, Florida has high crime and the big hurricane is overdue, Arizona has toxic air and water supplies due to toxic foreign-owned mines and allergy inducing exotic plants (I know, it used to be known for it's healthy "clean air"), California has high tax on everything and high high high property taxes and crazy weirdos and traffic stuffed freeways that crawl and all outdoor spaces are fenced off to the public, dogs are frowned upon. Nevada is hostile to humans, especially retired humans, the Rust Belt (Miss, Ala, La, FLA, GA, Tenn) are all described to be musty or rusty.
Please please please, if anyone can give us some positive insight we will really appreciate it before we become disenchanted and stay here forever.
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Old 12-27-2014, 10:07 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
44,953 posts, read 36,237,009 times
Reputation: 63628
I voted for Texas but I see that you have family in Atlanta so NC or TN would be another great option for you if you wanted to live close enough to drive rather than fly to see them. Both those states have lots of positives.

Texas is of course a huge state with a lot of variety. I like three areas of Texas especially - the northeast section between Dallas and Shreveport, LA - the Fort Worth area - and the Texas Hill Country in central Texas (Austin/San Antonio/Temple).

Each of those areas has different positives but the one positive they all have in common is that they are in Texas!

Positives about northeast Texas:

Beautiful terrain - rolling hills and pastures, lots of hardwoods and forests
Several small cities that offer very good amenities along with friendly service and neighbors (check out Tyler, Longview, Nacogdoches, for starters)
Close to big metro areas (Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, and Shreveport are all within 1-3 hours drive) but you don't have to get all caught up in the traffic and hassle of living in a big metro
Very friendly people, lots of nice towns of various sizes, healthy economy, low cost of living
Diversified economic base
Three hours from the ocean and five hours from mountains (Ozark Mountains)

Positives about Fort Worth area:
Smaller than Dallas but full of amenities
Historical district is charming and interesting
Lots of very nice outlying communities
Vibrant arts scene
Affordable housing
Heady mixture of funky, artsy, and cowboy

DFW and northeast Texas both have long, hot summers but also do get winter weather occasionally - snow and ice happen several times a year but don't stick around long.

Positives of Hill Country:
Striking terrain and lovely views
Vibrant culture - lots of Tex Mex influence, wineries, wide range of cuisines, music, etc
All the amenities of several very big cities, but lots of smaller towns nearby
Definitely Texas rather than southern in culture (if that's your thing - I like 'em both)
Lots of historical sites, from the Alamo to ancient missions
Interesting mix of Hispanic, German, and Czech influences
Very mild winters and absolutely breathtaking springs (the Hill Country is famous for it's wildflowers)
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Old 12-27-2014, 10:31 AM
 
Location: Southwest
142 posts, read 175,350 times
Reputation: 219
I have an aunt and cousins in San Antonio area who beg us to live there, we have visited a few times but my husband is not getting the warm fuzzies from there.....he wants a green grass and trees environment like he grew up in Seattle area in. I know there is no perfect place, we did have all that green in central FLA however the local thugs were (and still are) threatening a peaceful life there because of petty burglary.
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Old 12-27-2014, 10:33 AM
 
Location: Southwest
142 posts, read 175,350 times
Reputation: 219
What our real problem is that we finally focus on an area, start studying it and then some big huge glaring reason not to move there raises its ugly head...we feel like yoyos right now.
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Old 12-27-2014, 11:08 AM
 
447 posts, read 581,136 times
Reputation: 788
Quote:
We have been reading most of the forums in possible areas that we would like to move to, however in every single case forum members post discouraging, depressing, horrible conditions for EVERY single possible location we have considered thus far.
Every city is going to have unhappy people in it. There are miserable people everywhere and most of them blame their situation on their location or circumstances, as if the only thing wrong with them was their address. Everyone has different desires out of their home city and that dictates a wide variety of opinions about it. A lot of urbanites love cities like New York and San Francisco. I couldn't stand it - but that's my personal preference not a knock on the city itself. Look at the *data* about a city and objectively decide from that. Also try to get opinions from people that have re-located to an area from areas you have lived - locals often have strange definitions for 'crime' or 'traffic' or 'bad weather' if they've never lived somewhere that had serious problems with crime, traffic, or weather.

Quote:
Idaho has radioactive plumes in the drinking water
That's news to me. What's the source for that information?

Based on your comments in your opening post I would have recommended you look at Boise. Very outdoor and family oriented town near camping, cycling (road and off-road), and some skiing along with being near world class fly fishing. It can get cold in the winter but there isn't a lot of snow to mess with in town.

Quote:
the Rust Belt (Miss, Ala, La, FLA, GA, Tenn) are all described to be musty or rusty.
None of those states are in the Rust Belt. Those states are all in the South and part of the Bible Belt, but the Rust Belt describes an area of the country roughly from Chicago/Milwaukee to Upstate New York that used to be the heart and soul of American manufacturing. IN, MI, OH, WV, PA, etc.
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Old 12-27-2014, 11:27 AM
Status: "could've~would've~should've used 'have', not 'of'" (set 24 days ago)
 
Location: A Yankee in northeast TN
10,509 posts, read 14,343,593 times
Reputation: 23379
I'm in northeast TN, moved pre-retirement to 'get the feel of the land' but I believe this is where I'll stay. Some cons, some pros, for me the pros far outweigh the cons, but that would vary depending on each family and their needs and wants, of course.
I think that you will find naysayers on EVERY forum, especially from the younger locals who still have the idea that the grass is always greener someplace they didn't grow up in. On the other end of the spectrum are the homers who think the sun rises and sets on the place they choose to live. It's like they think if they live in an awesome place it makes them awesome by association, and you dare not criticize anything about where they live, lol.
I think the trick is to filter out a lot of the extreme viewpoints and focus on what the majority of posters have to say. If you see some big glaring negative then dig a little deeper to see if it's really as bad as it seems or if maybe it's something you can work with.
For instance TN gets a bad rap for crime. Most people don't realize that part of that is because of the unusual way crime is reported. Combine that with the stats from Memphis and it just makes TN look like a crime riddled cesspool, when in fact most places don't have any more crime than cities and towns anywhere else.
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Old 12-27-2014, 11:30 AM
 
447 posts, read 581,136 times
Reputation: 788
Quote:
DFW and northeast Texas both have long, hot summers
The whole state has long hot summers, not just those areas.

I've never heard anyone describe my hometown's region in such glowing terms before. NE Texas always struck me as kind of run down and slow economically, but growing up I didn't travel further south that Tyler. I'm not sure how the region has diversified their economies (not saying they haven't, but I'd be interested to know how - it isn't as if tourism is strong to the region.)

Quote:
Vibrant culture - lots of Tex Mex influence, wineries, wide range of cuisines, music, etc
That may be true of Austin and San Antonio but I disagree that it characterizes the Hill Country in general. Outside of those two cities, most other towns out here are pretty small and relatively mono-tone culturally. The region likes to play up it's German heritage with cuisine, music, and festivals but I wouldn't characterize the region as displaying a wide range of anything. It's solidly Texan culture (hispanic/western/southern blend) with a German twist.

Quote:
Striking terrain and lovely views
Very mild winters and absolutely breathtaking springs
And this year with that cold snap we had an amazing autumn as well! The views are definitely great, it's one of the best things about this area - you're constantly cresting some hill and getting to look around for a few miles. A lot of flatter areas of the state are not that way at all.
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Old 12-27-2014, 11:34 AM
Status: "0-0-2 Game On!" (set 6 days ago)
 
Location: The beautiful Rogue Valley, Oregon
7,311 posts, read 15,366,122 times
Reputation: 9493
Since you list Oregon in your poll - I know you want positives, but since you are looking for something both sunny and affordable, western Oregon is really off your list. Eastern Oregon has some affordable places, but they are generally small rural towns (rather than cities). In general, the western coastal states (Washington, Oregon, California) are not high on the affordability list. Since your husband is from Seattle, he will be familiar with the weather down the "populated" strip of Washington and Oregon, from Seattle, Wa down to about Eugene, Or. South of Eugene, from say Roseburg to Ashland at the California line, the weather is less rainy and more sunny (although still a cool and damp winter).

Of course, it depends on what is "affordable" - the median list price of a single family home in Portland is $319,000. In the smaller cities of Salem or Eugene, the median would be $185,000 and $235,000, respectively. There are smaller cities in between where the median price is lower. If those prices can be in your range of affordable, check the Oregon forums here on CD
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Old 12-27-2014, 11:51 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
44,953 posts, read 36,237,009 times
Reputation: 63628
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShadoAngel View Post
Apparently you missed the memo - we're supposed to be sharing what WE consider to be the PROS to OUR favorite areas - not dissing other peoples' favorite areas.

The three areas of Texas that I mentioned are some of my favorite areas - and the attributes I mentioned are some of my favorite things about these favorite areas. Instead of arguing with me about the things I like about my favorite areas, why don't you talk positively about some of your favorite areas?

Quote:
The whole state has long hot summers, not just those areas.
So what - I was only discussing three specific areas. And (get this - this is really cool) - SOME PEOPLE ACTUALLY LIKE LONG SUMMERS.

Quote:
I've never heard anyone describe my hometown's region in such glowing terms before. NE Texas always struck me as kind of run down and slow economically, but growing up I didn't travel further south that Tyler. I'm not sure how the region has diversified their economies (not saying they haven't, but I'd be interested to know how - it isn't as if tourism is strong to the region.)
You've never heard anyone describe northeast Texas in such glowing terms? Wow, I hear it all the time - from people who live here and people who have visited here - and people who have moved here from other areas (and there are lots and lots of them).

As for the local economy, yes, it's pretty obvious that you don't know much about it. Northeast Texas has a pretty booming economy, with an unemployment rate below the national average, a fairly low cost of living, and a very diverse economy - oil and gas, medical, education, professional services, construction and manufacturing are just a few of the sectors that continue to grow and prosper around here.

Quote:
That may be true of Austin and San Antonio but I disagree that it characterizes the Hill Country in general. Outside of those two cities, most other towns out here are pretty small and relatively mono-tone culturally. The region likes to play up it's German heritage with cuisine, music, and festivals but I wouldn't characterize the region as displaying a wide range of anything. It's solidly Texan culture (hispanic/western/southern blend) with a German twist.
We'll just have to agree to disagree on that. Every time I visit the Hill Country (which is often) I am struck by the diversity of the culture. But of course, Texas culture itself is built on diversity.
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Old 12-27-2014, 06:46 PM
 
447 posts, read 581,136 times
Reputation: 788
Quote:
KathyrnAragon
I didn't attack you or give you an attitude - your response seems to me to be excessively patronizing considering what I did was:
1. Include the rest of Texas in your description of the summer weather.
2. Act surprised that the area I was born and raised in (Northeast Texas) was doing so well economically, as it contradicted my memories of the location and recent trips I've taken to Paris and Tyler.
3. Disagree with your characterization of the cultural diversity in the Hill Country.
4. Agree with you regarding the stunning landscape of the Hill Country.

I didn't "diss your favorite areas", I simply disagreed with your take on one thing (the diversity of Hill Country culture.) I agree with all your other points regarding the areas you mention.
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