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Old 12-27-2017, 04:23 PM
 
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Hubbie and I will be retiring in a few years. We've looked at other states....need I say it?.....Florida, and the southeast for retirement and it doesn't seem to be our thing.


We are looking for a Mayberry type town, with an active (and useable) Main Street, with stores and restaurants. We want to be near a good hospital. A health food store is a plus.


We want a safe area with friendly ppl. WE are liberal, but even now here in upstate NY, we have conservative friends. We like everyone and want to be friends with everyone.


It seems a town like Winterset would fit the bill in terms of the way it looks. How is Winterset? Any other towns like it?


Also, being from NY we are use to snow and cold, but how are the winters in Iowa? How about other weather? Heat? Tornados? Flooding?


How is the COL? It seems cheaper than even the south, which we really don't like at all.


Thanks everyone. All info, good and bad, is welcome.
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Old 12-27-2017, 07:06 PM
 
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Iowa City would be my choice. COL is higher but good healthcare and good quality of life. I think it might be colder than NY as IA is in the middle of the country. There is always the possibility of flooding especially by the river which runs through town. There was extensive flooding in 2008 in the downtown and near by areas. Tornados occur but this is not Tornado Alley.
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Old 12-28-2017, 10:21 AM
 
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Your best bets to find both Mayberry and Liberalism in IA will be found in the Eastern half of the state. I'd suggest that you take a look at Decorah, Cedar Falls, Grinnell, Iowa City and to a lesser extent, Ames. Some of the very small towns that are close to the university towns would also work for you: Story City, Nevada, Mt. Vernon, West Branch.

Or, you could take a look over the border into South Dakota, which has no state income tax and is very retiree friendly. Vermillion is a really wonderful town - similar to Decorah, IA but less expensive. Brookings is slightly less Progressive, but is nice and you could be happy there, too.

As regards weather - you will find more weather extremes in the middle of the country than in New York. Summers are very hot and humid, although not as bad in the wooded areas, and much better in the northeastern part of IA.

I'd suggest you look hardest at Decorah as the best all around option.

Have fun looking!
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Old 12-28-2017, 10:52 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by springfieldcollegealum View Post
Iowa City would be my choice. COL is higher but good healthcare and good quality of life. I think it might be colder than NY as IA is in the middle of the country. There is always the possibility of flooding especially by the river which runs through town. There was extensive flooding in 2008 in the downtown and near by areas. Tornados occur but this is not Tornado Alley.
Something in the vicinity of Iowa City was my first thought as well.

OP, the medical care in Iowa City is absolutely top of the line.

Also, IA is a fairly moderate state. It seems like you have some myths and stereotypes about "fly over country" that you should consider renting first?

For example, even some of the Midwestern "Mayberry" towns have drug problems that weren't such a big deal 30 years ago but with meth and opioids it's something to be cautious about.

My parents live in a small "mayberry" town in Illinois and they had the live in son of a neighbor dealing drugs and stealing. They're gone now (prison) but the small towns are rougher than they were back in the day just an fyi.
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Old 12-28-2017, 03:11 PM
 
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Thanks everyone. Keep the info coming.
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Old 12-28-2017, 05:03 PM
 
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Also, I'd like to recommend that you come to visit to explore some of these towns between mid June - mid August. That way you'll be experiencing the very worst of the annual weather in this region, and can judge if some places are better than others and what you like and dislike. Winters aren't different enough from NY for you to bother about (I used to live in both NYC and Cooperstown NY.)
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Old 12-29-2017, 01:18 AM
 
Location: Oroville, California
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Fairfield.
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Old 12-29-2017, 06:55 AM
 
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Small town America is dead or dying no matter where you go. CD Iowa fans are somewhat partial to see that. So basically you have to look for a commuter/suburban type of a town and cleanse your mind of TV inspired stereotypes. If a town is not a commuter/suburban hub it has little to offer except sense of doom.
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Old 12-29-2017, 09:04 AM
 
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Check out Marion, Iowa. It's adjacent to Cedar Rapids, which is about 25 miles north of Iowa City. Has a cute downtown area with lots of farmer's markets and festivals. Actually I would check out all small towns around Cedar Rapids (including Cedar Rapids itself). The metro has a lower COL than Iowa City and still good healthcare. Cedar Rapids has two hospitals, St. Luke's is affiliated with the Mayo Clinic in Rochester MN, and Mercy Hospital with the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City. Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids offers lots of adult community education classes for seniors too with classes located all over the metro.
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Old 12-29-2017, 09:43 AM
 
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Originally Posted by RememberMee View Post
Small town America is dead or dying no matter where you go. CD Iowa fans are somewhat partial to see that. So basically you have to look for a commuter/suburban type of a town and cleanse your mind of TV inspired stereotypes. If a town is not a commuter/suburban hub it has little to offer except sense of doom.
Obviously this is a person who knows nothing about small town Iowa and American small towns in general. There are many small towns with very healthy economies due to various reasons. It may be a successful dominant business, it may be a college, it may be retirees, it may be commuters, it may be diversified farming.

Obviously, other small towns do have economies and infrastructures which are in decline. Some will recover; many will completely die.

There is no ONE rural or small town experience, just as there is no ONE urban experience.

As someone who has lived in very large cities, medium sized cities, and very small towns in 15 different states, and who has traveled extensively throughout America, I really wish people who only have urban experience would stop posting about subjects about which they know nothing.
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