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Old 08-01-2010, 07:49 AM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,985,208 times
Reputation: 15649

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Quote:
Originally Posted by KiwiKate View Post
I retired at the end of last year, after a long and fulfilling career. I spent 30 years in a cold, snowy winter climate and it had long been a goal to find a winter home, somewhere warm. I chose Henderson, Nevada because there are no state income taxes, the mountains are beautiful, the housing market is depressed and there's a major airport nearby. I'm in a 55+ community that has oodles of activities for the active senior and am learning new things every day. I can swim whenever I want and belong to both a ceramics club and a card club. Have met lots of other single women and can find someone to do something with -- plays,concerts -- whenever I can stir myself. The community I'm in is safe and affordable. I checked out other states in the two years prior to my move, and am happy with my decision. It's true what they say about low humidity -- 100 and low humidity is surprisingly tolerable. My children and grandchildren live in the Midwest and my plan is to visit them in the summer when the desert heat is the hottest. So far, so great!
We'd be interested to know how you went about researching and choosing your new location. Did you move there alone? How did you handle the home buying aspects in a brand new place?

 
Old 08-01-2010, 11:24 AM
 
Location: Henderson, NV
3,456 posts, read 2,256,758 times
Reputation: 36567
Default Research

I purchased a "best places to retire" book, subscribed to a retirement magazine with articles about different communities, and did lots of online research. I used Realtor.com to decide whether I could afford the houses in the towns and cities that fit my criteria. I took several trips over a three year period, to visit communities I was favoring. The last two trips I took -- Tampa and Las Vegas -- I scheduled househunting visits with realtors that I found who listed houses I could afford. I decided to rent for a year (through a realtor) once I was comfortable with my community selection. I decided along the way that a 55+ community was the best fit for me, partly for security reasons and partly because there were built-in opportunities for me to meet people and plenty of activities scheduled. And yes, I'm a single. And I'm in the process of buying a short-sale home and it will probably take me through the end of this year to close on the property I've selected.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Latashia View Post
We'd be interested to know how you went about researching and choosing your new location. Did you move there alone? How did you handle the home buying aspects in a brand new place?
 
Old 08-01-2010, 12:01 PM
 
Location: not where you are
8,140 posts, read 7,647,035 times
Reputation: 6931
Quote:
Originally Posted by KiwiKate View Post
I purchased a "best places to retire" book, subscribed to a retirement magazine with articles about different communities, and did lots of online research. I used Realtor.com to decide whether I could afford the houses in the towns and cities that fit my criteria. I took several trips over a three year period, to visit communities I was favoring. The last two trips I took -- Tampa and Las Vegas -- I scheduled househunting visits with realtors that I found who listed houses I could afford. I decided to rent for a year (through a realtor) once I was comfortable with my community selection. I decided along the way that a 55+ community was the best fit for me, partly for security reasons and partly because there were built-in opportunities for me to meet people and plenty of activities scheduled. And yes, I'm a single. And I'm in the process of buying a short-sale home and it will probably take me through the end of this year to close on the property I've selected.
That was certainly an excellent way to go about a search for your new choice of location. Bravo for you.
 
Old 08-01-2010, 05:01 PM
 
1 posts, read 1,359 times
Reputation: 14
Default Retiring from California to North Carolina - but love sun!

I am curious where Wisteria ended up. Wisteria, you said you loved the sun. So do I! My husband and I are in the same boat - it's expensive here in California. We love our house and where we live (we have about 1 1/2 acres). Our weather is the best of anywhere I've ever lived. I was originally from Northern Virginia. Have lived in California for many years. We are considering Asheville (or Weaverville which is in the area) or Huntersville (just out side of Charlotte, NC). I would never consider leaving this area if it wasn't for the cost of living in Northern California. So high compared to NC.

My main concern is the weather! It seems that there are many overcast days in both the Asheville and Charlotte NC area. I am used to having mainly sunny days. Can anyone tell me if living in NC is like living in Portland? I think I would be depressed if it was gloomy and overcast all the time.

I would appreciate any feedback!
 
Old 08-02-2010, 07:17 AM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,985,208 times
Reputation: 15649
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reily View Post
I am curious where Wisteria ended up. Wisteria, you said you loved the sun. So do I! My husband and I are in the same boat - it's expensive here in California. We love our house and where we live (we have about 1 1/2 acres). Our weather is the best of anywhere I've ever lived. I was originally from Northern Virginia. Have lived in California for many years. We are considering Asheville (or Weaverville which is in the area) or Huntersville (just out side of Charlotte, NC). I would never consider leaving this area if it wasn't for the cost of living in Northern California. So high compared to NC.

My main concern is the weather! It seems that there are many overcast days in both the Asheville and Charlotte NC area. I am used to having mainly sunny days. Can anyone tell me if living in NC is like living in Portland? I think I would be depressed if it was gloomy and overcast all the time.

I would appreciate any feedback!
I have spent time in Asheville NC. It is in the mountains so it is cool(er) in NC's hot humid summers. It is a magnet for youth and alternative-living folks. Lots of artists, writers, health practitioners. Real estate cost and prop tax much less than where you are. I particularly love Black Mountain, a really lovely mountain town close by. Anywhere in the south you are going to have humidity and some cloudy weather (though lovely days too), and cannot compare the weather in Calif. The things you appreciate in Calif. are traded for other things you will love in NC. I would make the choice based more on lifestyle issues as you could wind up missing your perfect climate.
 
Old 08-02-2010, 10:36 AM
 
Location: Monterey Bay, California -- watching the sea lions, whales and otters! :D
1,918 posts, read 6,242,737 times
Reputation: 2646
Quote:
Reily: I am curious where Wisteria ended up. Wisteria, you said you loved the sun. So do I! My husband and I are in the same boat - it's expensive here in California. We love our house and where we live (we have about 1 1/2 acres). Our weather is the best of anywhere I've ever lived. I was originally from Northern Virginia. Have lived in California for many years. We are considering Asheville (or Weaverville which is in the area) or Huntersville (just out side of Charlotte, NC). I would never consider leaving this area if it wasn't for the cost of living in Northern California. So high compared to NC.
I ended up right here in California! I just moved from the mountains into town. I had a huge piece of property in the redwoods and could not manage it alone, and it was too expensive for me because I had a big mortgage.

I have a friend in Asheville, and she thinks it's "okay," but she still has issues with it. She's from New York State, originally, and she still finds the southern attitude there. It may have the alternative stuff, but it's also southern. She moved there to be closer to her son who works at NASA in Virginia. But she has a mixed-race child who is now an adult, and finds that the prejudice is still there..... That was her very direct opinion to me. She also does not own, she rents.

As for me, I bought a mobile home in a low-income, rent-controlled mobile home 55+ park a few blocks from the beach. Now, it is not a place for everyone, because I know of people who would prefer to be in a land-owned park, but for me it works because of the cost and proximity. I am aware that there are people who regret buying there because it is not a full-time residence place (a number of people have vacation homes there and are not there full-time to care for everything). The other parks, though, are way beyond my budget, so I could not do it -- if one has the means and income from selling a place before, a good retirement or investments or inheritances, then they will do fine paying almost as much for a mobile as for a stick house. For me, my choosing this, as goes along with the Shoestring Budget thread, was because of cost.

I, personally, like it. I have no issues with it, I find it pleasant and friendly. I live across from the pool, so it seems resorty to me. It is not a retirement community, though -- it is a 55+ park -- so it is quiet, but it is not designed as a retirement community where the management sets up activities or where people who own the property go about and have things set up. It always takes a few movers and shakers to get things going, and lately we have not had new people do that. The older ones who have started what's there, are now moving on to residences designed for really aging -- which is appropriate.

The younger people in the park (55-65), seem to hang out in town more. There is plenty to do here, and, frankly, for me I wouldn't just want to hang out with the same old people in an insulated place. But that's me.....I know some people would prefer to have the same group of people, and the activities all there, and just let it be. So, it's something to consider.

As for cost -- I find California much cheaper to live in than most places I've lived. Once housing is secured it is actually cheaper here! Yes, I know the myth is that it is very expensive, but that is only housing. If you find housing that is affordable (which I have), then your property taxes are either non-existent, or very low -- Prop 13 allows only 1% of taxes -- most states have two to three times that amount -- so if you can afford the mortgage, your taxes actually are quite low, especially in a gorgeous state with so much to offer! Also, the weather is mild -- so you don't have to have 4-season changes of clothing -- you just put on a jacket or sweater when it gets "cold." No snow boots (unless you live around Tahoe), no snow suits, no long underwear, no mittens, no high heating bills! My heating bills per month -- and I am not careful with it -- are only about $25-30 -- that is not much! I know people back in Buffalo paying $700/month in heat during the winter! The cost of food is basically no different than other places of the country. And we are right next to the farms!

My electric is very low -- only about $20-$30/month. My water and sewer are paid in the space fee. I do, though, have a mortgage because I could not sell my house to get more, and I owed the entire mortgage, anyway -- so considering I had something leftover after paying the bank, I feel okay about it. I could not afford to leave the state....and, ironically, this place is cheaper than renting.

So, for me, it worked out. If you are looking for a retirement community, this is not one -- it is a 55+ community, and I think people should be aware of those differences. I did not care if I were in a place with loads of daily activities -- besides, I'm still working full-time -- and it's a small college town, so there is much to do outside the park. To me, it is plenty to be in a lovely town next to the ocean with a college, mountains, all kinds of micro-climates, and many things to choose from.

I think it's important to mention this because I guess that sometimes people think that a 55+ "community" means a "retirement community," which is NOT the case. For me, I think I'd feel claustrophobic in a retirement community where that was like a town, and those were the only people I basically came in contact with. For other people, it may be ideal -- knowing the same folks, getting a van to take them places, and not really interacting with the town. I chose this because of cost -- remember, I'm part of the shoestring group -- so I felt pleased that I was able to find something in such a nice area for so cheap (to me). I KNEW I would either have a mortgage or rent -- there was no choice for me. Many people are fortunate to not have either -- me, I am not in that situation, so I knew I would be paying, regardless.

I just think it's important to mention those facets because I do know of people who think that a 55+ "community" means a "retirement" community -- which is not necessarily true. This park is not real large, and there are all kinds of people here, but I just would be very uncomfortable only having these people to know, or having a van take me places with just these people. It seems kind of Stepfordish.

It's important to assess what's right for you and your budget. For those who have more money, they have more choices. For people like me, we don't. I feel fortunate to have found this place that is rent-controlled (a HUGE feature), and that is so close to so many things. This county feels that there needs to be a certain amount of places for those 55+ that are "affordable." Now, this is NOT low-income housing -- not at all -- but the county does regulate the rent. There IS low-income housing, but one must qualify for it, and there are long lists. So, this is very different -- it's, for someone in my poor financial situation -- a great compromise.

I just wanted to clarify that because I had a conversation recently with someone who is unhappy in our park because of the "lack" of daily activities -- although I usually always see someone in the pool! There are activities, but not what all people want, and many people don't want to organize them, they want them already organized. So, if you are the kind of individual who wants to walk into a place in which you do not become part of an organizing committee, or set things up the way that you would like, then do NOT come into just a 55+ place! Make sure that you have everything already organized, that there are vans to take you places, that you have the main set of people to hang out with, and you don't have to go outside the community for extra-curricular activities! I cannot emphasize that enough.

Some of us are more free spirits or just independent and don't really care. I thought that being in a 55+ community would be useful because people understand aging. On the other hand, I never intended this place to be my life or main source of activities -- it actually did not occur to me in that way. For me, it was mainly a move from the mountains where it was hard to take care of my place, into an area that was in town and easily accessible to many things. But then again, I have a very small budget and I must be very, very, very careful financially.

So, I guess the word to the wise is to take caution, figure out what kind of budget you will have, what is it that you actually want in a place, and if you have more money, then, obviously, you have more choices. I spent too much of my life taking care of other people, that I did not take care of myself...sad, but true. Caretakers like me, learn late in life -- too late -- that you have to think of yourself, too. I did not do that, and, consequently, I am pretty poor. But....I can put myself on those low-income lists (which are very competitive as a Baby Boomer), and see what happens. In the meantime, I have a nice location, I've been busy fixing up the place (it's almost there), and have met a few people in the park. But, then again, I am still working full-time, so I haven't had the opportunities to actually get involved in a lot of things outside of work.

I hope this explanation helps some of those seeking a new place in retirement!
 
Old 08-02-2010, 11:14 AM
 
Location: Sarasota Florida
1,236 posts, read 3,609,307 times
Reputation: 1230
Cool Wisteria ~~

THANKS for that detailed explanation of where you relocated to. I tried to REP you but the system wouldn't let me do it again ~~

Personally, I'd love to buy into your Mobile Estates Park (that's what they call the trailer parks now LOL )! Unfortunately the economy has me stuck in southern Oregon after I paid way too much for my country property so I'm making the best of it. Oregon summers are beautiful but come winter I'll be California Dreamin' .
 
Old 08-02-2010, 11:40 AM
 
Location: New 🇯🇪
49 posts, read 108,675 times
Reputation: 33
I am in the same boat. I am alone except for the dogs and decided that I needed to go to a warmer climate (for health reasons) and financially could NOT stay in the North East any longer. To be honest it has not been easy. I commuted to college, went from my parents home to married life, kids, divorce, college, kids wedding and boom....alone for the first time in my life. Really alone. It is hard to make new friends as many seem to be in "groups" or do not want to be friends with a single woman (believe it or not). I do volunteer work and try to go to actvities locally (library, coffee houses etc). I am really glad I moved to an over 55 development because if I had not I would really be in trouble. Starting out all over again at this age is tough. Even with the best attitude some days and nights are just lonely. The price of a home and taxes were a big consideration. I wish you well.
 
Old 08-02-2010, 12:11 PM
 
Location: not where you are
8,140 posts, read 7,647,035 times
Reputation: 6931
Quote:
Originally Posted by SPECEDTEACH422 View Post
I am in the same boat. I am alone except for the dogs and decided that I needed to go to a warmer climate (for health reasons) and financially could NOT stay in the North East any longer. To be honest it has not been easy. I commuted to college, went from my parents home to married life, kids, divorce, college, kids wedding and boom....alone for the first time in my life. Really alone. It is hard to make new friends as many seem to be in "groups" or do not want to be friends with a single woman (believe it or not). I do volunteer work and try to go to actvities locally (library, coffee houses etc). I am really glad I moved to an over 55 development because if I had not I would really be in trouble. Starting out all over again at this age is tough. Even with the best attitude some days and nights are just lonely. The price of a home and taxes were a big consideration. I wish you well.
Hi SPECEDTEACH,

I certainly understand where you are coming from. It's never easy starting over and your right, you can do all those things, volunteering, getting involved in a variety of activities and still have a difficult time developing close friendships in a new area. I tend to keep busy in new areas and make what I call new friendships, but, really, they're nothing like my long term friendships, so yes, I do understand the loneliness that can creep in.

I hope you will enjoy your visits to this little comforting space for us women, actively, going about living our lives growing and dealing with the complexities of life.
 
Old 08-02-2010, 12:11 PM
 
Location: Edina, MN, USA
6,954 posts, read 7,396,297 times
Reputation: 16288
Welcome to our special group Specedteach422. Very brave of you to pick up and move as you did, so give yourself lots of credit. Many of us fully understand that feeling of being suddenly totally alone and it's a shame we all live so far from each other. BUT, once this economy mess is over I'm hoping we can all get settled and then start having meetups at various locations. Until then, there's usually someone at this thread "to talk to"

Where do your kids live? What are your interests? Are there many single people in your community?

Once again, welcome to this special group!
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