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Thread summary:

Retirement: car rentals, tour bus, downtown, housing market, relocating.

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Old 09-10-2007, 04:46 PM
 
Location: home...finally, home .
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brightdog : I have always had the yearning to move west also. I am retiring this coming June. Right now I live on Long Island so it would be quite a change (as it would be for you), but I am not in my dream house so it would not be a difficult move. I was thinking about Portland. That seems to be an ideal place to me.
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Old 09-11-2007, 12:19 PM
 
Location: Wherabouts Unknown!
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Wisteria

A year ago my wife and I did a cross country drive/move from Virginia Beach ( BTW, I am well aware of the Edgar Cayce center. In fact, I conducted a few workshops at the ARE center and Atlantic University. ) to Prescott AZ, which was the first place on our list of potential new hometowns. Prescott is nice, but rather pricey and the traffic is very for such a small town. We looked at Silver City which was a major disappointment becasue of the mining ( a nearby mountain face is permanently scarred and the water quality is questionable IMO ). Las Cruces had no appeal whatsoever, and it was already way too hot when we drove thru there late in the morning. Ruidoso is an attractive mountain town, that we really liked, but we're not yet at the retirement stage and we need JOBs so we crossed off Ruidoso. It could be a great retirement town! Santa Fe has taken a downhill turn from what I remembered of an earlier visit in the late 80s. Way too much traffic for my blood. I don't think I would enjoy living there. It has become too much of a yuppie haven. Durango, CO is another very attractive location, but Real Estate is very pricey and decent jobs are very scarce.

Of the many places we visited, we found Grand Junction much to our liking, although it is certainly not the perfect place. The mining and oil drilling you mentioned as a drawback is not a part of daily living in Grand Junction. It's just kind of out there, driving the local economy for better or worse. You're right about rolling up main street after 5 PM, except for the Farmers Market every Thursday night from June thru September. That's too bad becasue the downtown, though not truly charming, is actually quite attractive. I'm not that tuned into the arts scene but there does seem to be quite a bit of artsy activities going on...probably more than you realized on your visit. As you say, the scenery is fabulous and the weather is great. Another thing to consider is that living in Grand Junction positions you for easy visits to some incredibles place within a 2 hr drive. All things considered, Grand Junction was the best place to meet our current needs. We bought a home that we've been living in for just over a year. We both like Grand Junction better now, than we did a year ago. It has grown us and continues to do so. If I was choosing a retirement location and money wasn't an issue, I'd pick Durango. For a less costly retirement alternative, I'd pick Ruidoso.

blessings....Franco

Last edited by CosmicWizard; 09-11-2007 at 12:42 PM..
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Old 09-11-2007, 09:41 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas nv
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Dear Wisteria,
Thanks for those wonderful slide shows! I knew I missed mountains surrounding me but I really appreciate the blue sky of MN. When I saw those photos, I thought, bless this person for keeping my focus on Abq & surrounding area. Moved out of San Bernardino/Redlands after 22 years. When I moved there, I was told that when people leave an area surrounded by mtns to live elsewhere they feel strange. Yes, I miss them, even though in my former area of So. CA they "rolled the mtns out" July-Sept. (smog)

Did you similarly feel a good vibe in Abq? How long were you there, it looks like you had great weather.

Great job!
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Old 09-11-2007, 10:25 PM
 
Location: Monterey Bay, California -- watching the sea lions, whales and otters! :D
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Quote:
localinsight:
Dear Wisteria,
Thanks for those wonderful slide shows! I knew I missed mountains surrounding me but I really appreciate the blue sky of MN. When I saw those photos, I thought, bless this person for keeping my focus on Abq & surrounding area. Moved out of San Bernardino/Redlands after 22 years. When I moved there, I was told that when people leave an area surrounded by mtns to live elsewhere they feel strange. Yes, I miss them, even though in my former area of So. CA they "rolled the mtns out" July-Sept. (smog)

Did you similarly feel a good vibe in Abq? How long were you there, it looks like you had great weather.

Great job!
Thanks! I agree about mountains. I'm from Western New York, originally, and when I moved to Colorado, I knew I was "home." I just feel so comfortable in the mountains and rocks and ... those beautiful blue skies and wide open spaces. There is just something magical about them to me.

Albuquerque was mixed for me. I don't think I spent enough time to explore all the neighborhoods, and although I had spent a week in Rio Rancho years ago with a friend, I felt that this time was much better. I had also been through about 12 years ago, and this time I was surprised at my feelings. I had mostly planned on checking out Las Cruces and Colorado Springs and Grand Junction, Colorado. Then suddenly New Mexico came onto my radar! What a surprise! I really liked the friendly feel and laid-backness of the people in Albuquerque. I also liked the individualism -- even in houses -- in the areas I would rather be, some people had beautiful murals on their houses, or all those gorgeous New Mexican colors of turquoise, green, gold, and purples. It made me feel more like I could be who I am and people would be okay with it. The area just had a very comfortable vibe.

In Albuquerque I was able to fit in a lot in a short amount of time due to the kindness of fellow City-Data people who gave me lots of great ideas of what to see and do on my thread: Transplants to Albuquerque -- What do you love about your new city?
They really helped by focusing on specific ideas and places, and then also telling me where they were located.

So, yes, I do want to go back to an area with mountains surrounding me. Some people feel that being near the ocean feels like home, for me it's the mountains, dry air, and deep blue skies in the expanse of open space!

I was glad I made the trip because I had forgotten the tangible feeling of being in the warm, dry air, and the sun shining in the bright blue skies, with those mountains that actually do turn purple in the evening. The beautiful rock formations, the cacti, and oh, just the beauty of it all. Makes me want to be there again now!

Maybe we'll meet up in New Mexico someday!
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Old 09-11-2007, 10:59 PM
 
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Wisteria, I'm fairly new on these boards, so I don't know what you are looking for, but I've been traveling for two years trying to find my retirement destination. (I don't think we are looking for the same place.) However, from what little I've seen you say, a few places stand out you might consider: Port Townsend, WA; Prescott, AZ; and Whitefish, MT. All these are charming, scenic and artsy.

I will say that Colorado Springs is a favorite of mine also. I'd love to have one of those wonderful old houses right around Colorado College.
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Old 09-12-2007, 05:49 AM
 
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"I was thinking about Portland. That seems to be an ideal place to me."

I have two friends in their mid-40s in Portland. The guy is a well-published author/editor who got displaced by Hurricane Katrina. He finds the general and artistic vibe in Portland to be "very juvenile." The other gal has been in Portland for some 20 years, has her own business, and feels unable to face another winter there. Apparently it's very grey and chilly/clammy for MONTHS. The greyness gets to a lot of people, as they say it's that way for most of the year (and the summers are said to be glorious). Maybe you should consider how you feel about greyness most of the year? Most places in the Southwest are relentlessly sunny, regardless of temperature. I think places like Durango and Santa Fe have perfect weather, but that's my taste.
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Old 09-12-2007, 05:54 AM
 
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"brightdog : I have always had the yearning to move west also. I am retiring this coming June. Right now I live on Long Island so it would be quite a change (as it would be for you), but I am not in my dream house so it would not be a difficult move."

Ah, retirement so soon, congratulations! I am several years away. My dream house is truly a home for me, and I hesitate to throw that off casually. Also, if I moved to Durango anytime soon, I'd be working. At the same kind of job that is eating my soul right now. In fact, there was a job with my name on it in the Durango paper, for 1/3 less than I'm making here. I couldn't make the numbers work if I sold my dream house, and I don't want the only job of its type for hundreds of miles around- what if it doesn't work out? I figured I'd make all that change in order to have weather I liked better, mountains nearby to look at, and basically the same life I have here, as a working person. So, no. But if I didn't have to rely on a job (or the same kind of job) for my living, if I were financially set up, well, that would be a different story.
It probably didn't help that Durango was hosting the annual "Harley Davidson national run" and there were thousands and thousands of motorcycles everywhere within 50 miles of the town. It was kind of hard to get a sense of Durango!
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Old 09-12-2007, 09:38 AM
 
Location: Monterey Bay, California -- watching the sea lions, whales and otters! :D
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WheresMyCountry: Wisteria, I'm fairly new on these boards, so I don't know what you are looking for, but I've been traveling for two years trying to find my retirement destination. (I don't think we are looking for the same place.) However, from what little I've seen you say, a few places stand out you might consider: Port Townsend, WA; Prescott, AZ; and Whitefish, MT. All these are charming, scenic and artsy.

I will say that Colorado Springs is a favorite of mine also. I'd love to have one of those wonderful old houses right around Colorado College.
Welcome to City-Data! It is an interesting place, indeed. Thank you for your suggestions. I've pretty much narrowed it down to the southwest. The reasons are that I already lived in Phoenix, AZ (Prescott is too pricey right now) and for other reasons, I do not want to live in AZ again; Seattle, Washington -- way, way, way too wet and dreary for me (and I'm from Buffalo, originally!!); and Montana, a bit too conservative for me.

I liked Port Townsend, but in spite of it being pretty and quaint, it is still in the northwest with all that rain and gloom and darkness and drizzle and mist and clouds and my Seasonal Affective Disorder becomes very disorderly!! Seattle is a great city and if it were located in the southwest, I'd live there again!

I also lived in Colorado, and now I live in California (Central Coast -- not southern CA). I knew when I got back to the southwest that I felt "at home" again recently. It just confirmed my suspicions that I needed to be there. So, my search continues in that area.

Colorado Springs is still on my list, but so is Albuquerque and Truth or Consequences. Ironically, after I sent my slides around to some people at work, someone else in our (Santa Cruz) county employment contacted me and said that they are retiring to Truth or Consequences in March and that housing costs are continuing to rise there! So, it may be time to jump sooner than later -- I don't know.

I have a daughter who will be in college next year, and it is a debate whether to retire on less earlier, or to wait out her college years here....I just don't know. I also don't want to lose an inexpensive chance to relocate...even where I am, housing costs have gone done a lot.

I'm not sure of my timeline right now, but hope I can figure it out more. City-Data people are very helpful, and I know there are pros and cons to everything, so I need to be carefully narrow it down. One thing I know, though, is I cannot deal with cloudy, rainy weather. I don't mind snow -- in fact, growing up in Buffalo, I always hated Spring, kind of liked Summer and loved Winter and Fall. Now I understand the correlation: Spring is wet, wet, wet and depressing. Summer is humid, sticky and lots of rain storms. Fall and Winter are dry and less humid and have more sunny skies. Little did I realize all of that until I moved to Seattle. So, I am only looking in sunny, dry places right now, and with lots of mountains!

Thanks for all the input! Finding our "perfect" place is not so easy.....but it's fun exploring!
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Old 09-12-2007, 10:11 AM
 
Location: Wherabouts Unknown!
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Default Better sooner than later!

Wisteria wrote:
So, it may be time to jump sooner than later -- I don't know.
You gotta read my posts ( #s 13,15,17 ) on this thread: Anyone have any ideas what to do ( 1 2 3)

blessings...Franco
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Old 09-12-2007, 10:47 AM
 
Location: Monterey Bay, California -- watching the sea lions, whales and otters! :D
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NewAgeRedneck: Heck, if we would have waited until we were rich, in all likelihood we would have never done it. Friends would say they'd love to do what we are doing but they had too much fear. I would tell them, you don't get to experience the real fear until you actually start doing it. What you're now calling fear is merely low level anxiety. Somehow we found a way to move thru our fears and do it anyway.

If you have the means to do it now, don't wait....DO IT NOW! Each year you wait, it gets harder and harder to do. Even though I wanted to make the move for years and years before we actually did it ( my wife wasn't ready until last year ), I still had to deal with a tremendous amount of inner resistance. Even though I didn't like my job, it was a real bear to give it up and face the reality of being unemployed. Even though I never really liked the house we owned in Virginia Beach, putting it on the market was an emotionally difficult thing to do. Even though I moaned, bitched, griped, and complained about Virginia Beach, it was still hard to leave. I'm not saying that everyone who makes such a move will go thru these specific issues emotionally, but there a good chance you'll have to do some serious emotional processing in one way or another. The longer you stay in your ruts, the harder it is to get out of them. My ruts went way deep, so it was a tremendous challenge for me. Now that I'm on the other side of the move, I'm glad I did it! BTW I was 57 at the time, and this move was MUCH harder than moving when I was a young man in my 30s or 40's.
Hi NewageRedneck! I pasted one of your posts from that thread, so others could see your advice.

Yes, I understand all of the above. I think my problem may be more the opposite -- I tend to be a bit too impulsive, so I am trying to think things through this time. I also will be doing this alone (as I have done before, but now I'm a "Senior Citizen!"), so I will have no partner in the process, and only my income and no other support system. Although before my daughter was born I used to bop around from city to city around the country, I'm more careful now.

I'm glad I explored and lived a lot of places, however, there's something to be said for some stability, too, which I abandoned in the 1970s. I am hoping that this next move will be my last. I have been here for twelve years (that's all, and my longest stay someplace outside of where I was raised), so I really do understand how invigorating and exciting it is to make changes.

I'm not really attached to my house, although I do like my yard, but I can have a yard anyplace. For me, who tends to be a bit too spontaneous, I really am pulling myself in to make a more practical decision -- especially at this age.

I'm tempted to sell the house in the spring, if possible, and then, basically, put myself back into poverty (seriously), and then my daughter would be eligible for college aid (right now she is not with the income for our household of two). However, I would only have a small pension, and no Social Security, yet. So....do I go back into poverty (kind of used to it after all the years of moving around and not staying in one place), and have some aid? Or do I stick it out for another couple of years until I am eligible for minimal Social Security and get a bit more in my (now almost ten-year) pension? As you can probably tell, I am very good at living on very little!

I suppose if I were in a position with a partner, I might consider it earlier because I'd have a support system and a possible second income. However, I do not have that, and I have no savings....(I have always lived a bit on the edge....better to die knowing one has tried, than to die wondering what it would be like! ).

Anyway, that is why I am on the edge of a decision because my impulse has me doing one thing, but sometimes that impulse can get me into trouble!

You can see why my "subname" is "Gypsy Soul."
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