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Old 10-19-2012, 05:53 PM
 
Location: Edina, MN, USA
6,954 posts, read 7,396,297 times
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There was the racial segregation but I was surprised to hear that the individual ethnic segregation existed and so strongly. Maybe 50-70 years ago but as late as the 90s really surprised me. I have no doubt that it exists today but more driven by gangs than the old time "people in charge".

 
Old 10-21-2012, 11:55 AM
 
Location: Native Floridian, USA
4,904 posts, read 6,121,449 times
Reputation: 6112
Quote:
Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post
This is BIG problem for many of us with uninsured kids and self. (kids don't seem to think it's too important to carry EXPENSIVE insurance... but...


I expect many of us are at risk of having to make this decision... very tough on finances, but not very tough decision to make... I did my 32 yrs of elder care starting at age 18 for a sick parent (now into 'round 2') probably the rest of my life. Not fair, not fun, but... SOMEONE has to do it.

For your kid left in college... Zero is fine amount to add. Kids can get loans VERY cheap, and interest is deferred till graduation. I am a proponent on paying loans / interest AFTER kid graduates (if at all). Mine had to pay their own way from age 18. They survived.

For the car... I only buy used (very used) there are MANY great deals on one-owner / by owner. I find Dallas a VERY cheap place to buy used cars. I fly in via SWA and drive em home. (weekend vacation... ~2200 miles home) Fly in on Friday night, home just in tiume for work on Monday morning. I also do this if I want a trip to see sunshine. The resale value is high enough @ home to cover my costs. BTW... I drive a 1980 VW that gets 50 mpg. It has somewhere around 350,000 miles (Speedo quit quite a few yrs ago) I doesn't go so fast that I'm worried...

You can get new cars for zero down and under 3%. I would get a Yaris, or a Focus (they each get 38mpg+). I rent them on trips... (Once for $4.95/day on Hotwire)

You can always do a 72T on your 401k PENALTY free ANYTIME before 59.5 (but within rules (of course)).
Best to roll JUST enough to fund 72T. ALSO if you left a 401K employer AT age 55 or later you can take regular distributions. (Unfortunately I had to leave at age 49, so.... 72T is my only option).

Life is FULL of traps... Just gotta keep 'digging'. But I certainly know how HARD it is to get a GOOD job after age 55... Hundred of rejections when I needed to get a job for Healthcare. BUT... I took a very good paying GRUNT nightshift job, and EVENTUALLY lucked into an excellent 'previous' employ. (PT / oncall, but VERY busy and well paid + fulltime travel (which is good for me to get away PAID). Even tho I work 24x7 between caregiving / eldercare / PT work and managing several properties, I am healthy and consider myself very well blessed.

Someday I will 'check-out'. That won't be so bad of an option! But ONWARD for today...
This all excellent info. I had a few clients, women, who went the 72T route and even though it depleted savings, it carried them through some very bad times.
I am very sorry about your daughter. It must be very hard for you.
 
Old 10-24-2012, 01:54 PM
 
4,574 posts, read 7,063,489 times
Reputation: 4222
Well, I'm back from my vacation in the Richmond/West End area of Virginia! I have to give it a mixed report...

The good parts - the people were extremely nice (nicest of any place I have ever visited) and this to me is this area's strong suit. They were friendly, helpful, nice, went way out of their way to help me when I needed it. Everyone seemed pretty happy, chatting with each other, and not stressed out. The area was beautiful, with fall foliage and alot of gorgeous trees....trees everywhere. The area was very clean, and I felt completely safe and comfortable there. The air was very clean and much better than the air in California. I did drive around some apartment complexes and they seemed OK, all wooded area surrounding most of them, but right off of major roads. I did feel that I could move there by myself and be OK, as I did feel comfortable there.

Surprises - the area was way more built up than I thought it would be. There is every store and restaurant you could ever want there (which can be a plus or a minus). I started thinking...do I really need all these stores and restaurants around when I'm going to be living on retirement income, without alot of extra money to spend, spend spend. You do go from a suburban/almost urban atmosphere to being in the country in about 5 minutes, which I thought was interesting. I checked out grocery store (very nice), church (nice), stores like Whole Foods (very apparent there are alot of wealthy people in the area), deli's and restaurants. I drove around various streets...some beautiful big homes and some "regular" looking ones, but lots of home building going on there.

The bad parts - I flew in and by the time I got my rental car, etc. it was very dark. I had a difficult time following the map and even the GPS wasn't real accurate...so about mid point, I made a wrong turn and ended up in a very, very bad part of Richmond. Honestly, I was terrified...I was crying, shaking and knew I couldn't get out of the car to ask for help. Somehow, by the grace of God, I managed to make a correct turn that got me back on the freeway and I finally (but not easily) found the hotel. I was truly traumatized by what happened and it put a real damper on my wanting to venture out too far and anywhere in the city of Richmond at all. When people say Richmond has some bad parts, they aren't kidding. No thanks....I'd probably never go there. There were 4 armed robberies in one night right near VCU, one person attacked after getting off the bus.

Also, there was alot more traffic than I expected. In fact, I was told that traffic in Richmond area wasn't too bad, but I had a very hard time driving there (especially after my experience coming from the airport). Anyway, I was very cautious about going out and about...if you even hesitate a nano-second, they are blowing their horns at you. I've never had a problem driving anywhere I have visited before but I actually wasn't able to go to all the places I wanted because I was afraid I would get in an accident in that rental car.

The area is definitely not walkable at all, there are no sidewalks, or even crosswalks where you could get across a road.

I got sick the day I had planned to go to Charlottesville so never made it there.

I guess what came up for me were two things I didn't expect:

1. As I get older, will I really be able to handle all this traffic. The area is growing so rapidly, that it will only get worse in time.

2. The rents will go up as the area grows.

3. Do I really want to live in a densely populated area? That's what I am trying to get away from in California.

I did learn some things about myself and facing some of my limitations. It will probably take a few weeks to really analyze how I feel about the place.

It was definitely worth going and the area is very beautiful and now I know what it's like there rather than just doing "research"
 
Old 10-24-2012, 02:31 PM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,985,208 times
Reputation: 15649
LoveAutumn,

I was kind of surprised that you chose Richmond to explore, not a place I would have suggested in general, or for retirement especially. Cities like this have their protected, well to do areas, but very quickly you can get into some friendly ghettos and then into some pretty scary ghettos. Winding up in one huge bad area can really paint a negative picture of an entire city. Probably like most cities in the country NY, LA, Hartford, St Louis, etc.

In Virginia, I would have suggested the Roanoke-Salem area (Salem being the small town satellite adjacent to Roanoke), or a nice town like Abingdon.

In NC, I would say Asheville-Black Mountain-Boone. Maybe the Triangle area, but that's driving, driving, driving.

In many small towns in New England, you are close to, but separated from, the big cities with their crappy parts. The college towns offer free bus transport b/c of the student population, and many of the towns that are not rural have senior transportation.

Remind us what you're looking for (approx price range for rent) and amenities, and maybe we can give you some good suggestions. What are you not liking about where you are that a move could change?
 
Old 10-24-2012, 02:37 PM
 
Location: Edina, MN, USA
6,954 posts, read 7,396,297 times
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LOveautumn - good report - very interesting. I have a similar story to tell:

Part of a job I had with my company was to attend a national forum in New Jersey and rep my company. I was so nervous about driving in NJ on my first trip - had heard all kinds of stories of how rude drivers were - honkig horns etc...and I had an image of mad crazy traffic everywhere. I am never a nervous driver and am usually the one to do the driving but this was my first trip to the east coast and I was so psyched out. My coworkers were partly responsible - they kept warning me "Whatever you do, don't miss that first turn when you leave the car rental of the Newark airport or you will really be sorry" They wouldn't ever say why - just "Don't miss it!" Well, I was so freaked out about missing my turn that I indeed did miss my turn and ended up in the same type of neighborhood. It was July, hotter than hades (no AC in the car) and when I got in the car I threw my suitcase in the back seat and forgot to lock the rear doors (sedan). OK, I'm at a stop light - the longest stop light of my life, people were staring at me and I was trying to reach back and lock the back door (short arms). I saw an exit sign to a highway - didn't know where it would take me but when that light turned I stepped on it and took it - didn't care where it went, I just wanted out of there - it turned out to be the correct interstate. I had the leg shaking so fast I could barely regulate the gas pedal.

My next trip I managed to take the right first exit and then later I made a wrong turn and ended up in yet another lovely area in Elisabeth, NJ. I have no doubt I have a guardian angel.
 
Old 10-26-2012, 05:31 PM
 
Location: Prescott AZ
6,128 posts, read 9,088,474 times
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Yep I have also had a similar experience, only it was in North Carolina, coming from the airport in a rental car, getting very good directions, and yet losing my way. It was dark, I was alone, and it was all country roads with NO lighting and I just kept driving and driving trying to find something like a big highway to get on.

I will be going again soon and I will get a GPS for sure. It is frightening to be alone, not knowing where in the heck you are and too afraid to stop and ask for directions.
 
Old 10-26-2012, 06:04 PM
 
5,397 posts, read 6,540,598 times
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I THOUGHT I would retire to my hometown of Black Mountain, NC so I was up there again looking. It is home to me, I still have friends and family, and I was comfortable with the idea. I thought that as a single woman retired alone, it would be good to be in a familiar surrounding and a small town suits me. I expected to be wary of "you can't go home again" and not to have too rosy of expectations.

Well I was very very disappointed in how the town has gotten so shabby. Once you get out of the pretty little downtown area and away from the million dollar and other pricey homes, it is overgrown, dirty, unkempt, trashy, just generally not a neat little town where people take pride in their homes. If it were just one or two homes, I would say you could clean it up. But this is whole areas.

And again, I grew up there and knew the area so I was aware of many things that might have turned someone off who aren't from that area. And my family and friends had tactfully warned me but I didn't really believe them. So my expectations were guarded. I drove by my house which had been a lovely 1921 bungalow and the shrubs were up to the roof! and the people who lived there were raising chickens in the yard. and again, it wasn't just one house or two. It was street after street.

The lake was pretty, the mountains were beautiful as always. The people seemed nice. Just a town that had gone down hill.

So one of my high school friends who is a realtor is going to take me to other areas in the county that might be more my cup of tea when I go there in a few weeks. hope hope
 
Old 10-27-2012, 05:06 AM
 
5,694 posts, read 8,766,777 times
Reputation: 4923
Zivagirl - I think Dandrige is the cutest little town. Morristown is kind of "meh". I personally prefer Douglas lake to Cherokee because there are better views of the Smoky mountains. But Rogersville has a lot of historic charm.

You should be aware that the lake levels go way down in the winter - Especially noticable on Douglas lake because the topography is flatter.
 
Old 10-27-2012, 08:52 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,622 posts, read 39,986,663 times
Reputation: 23780
Quote:
Originally Posted by creeksitter View Post
.. I think Dandrige is the cutest little town. ....
And how about the tri-Cities areas? I was in most of thea area, including Dandridge and Greeneville, Jonesborough ... this week.

I am interested in buying some income producing (senior centric) rental properties in the area, Kingsport seemed to have the fit / vibe for me. I am looking at some props in Gray, TN as well.

I can't get the % returns I need with my west coast income properties. (HIGH land and property taxes, drive down net income). I could use a seasonal break from my 285 days of rain in PNW, and can do the maint / business needs on TN props between Nov and Jun.

I want something in an area attractive to active seniors, in the least humdity area, out of tornado alley, and in a community with reasonable rents and culture. I found Kingsport to have more 'community identity' than JC, and a bit more clean & less homeless folks and rehab centers. Just a feel during my stay. Gray seemed quite nice and ez commute to any of the areas (if Car Centric renters).

It will take just the right property to make this work... I need a liflelong income to replace a paycheck... no biggy. I found TN to offer 8-10% capitalization rates, West coast and TX are only 5% (due to high taxes). I try to keep investments in Tax free states, and climates that don't freeze (too hard) or have huuricans / tornadoes. That kinda leaves out my favorites AK, SD, NH. FL is not on my radar, but TN (mtns) is reasonable to consider.

Any thoughts appreciated.
 
Old 10-28-2012, 03:41 AM
 
2,627 posts, read 4,954,783 times
Reputation: 2225
Quote:
Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post
And how about the tri-Cities areas? I was in most of thea area, including Dandridge and Greeneville, Jonesborough ... this week.

I am interested in buying some income producing (senior centric) rental properties in the area, Kingsport seemed to have the fit / vibe for me. I am looking at some props in Gray, TN as well.

I can't get the % returns I need with my west coast income properties. (HIGH land and property taxes, drive down net income). I could use a seasonal break from my 285 days of rain in PNW, and can do the maint / business needs on TN props between Nov and Jun.

I want something in an area attractive to active seniors, in the least humdity area, out of tornado alley, and in a community with reasonable rents and culture. I found Kingsport to have more 'community identity' than JC, and a bit more clean & less homeless folks and rehab centers. Just a feel during my stay. Gray seemed quite nice and ez commute to any of the areas (if Car Centric renters).

It will take just the right property to make this work... I need a liflelong income to replace a paycheck... no biggy. I found TN to offer 8-10% capitalization rates, West coast and TX are only 5% (due to high taxes). I try to keep investments in Tax free states, and climates that don't freeze (too hard) or have huuricans / tornadoes. That kinda leaves out my favorites AK, SD, NH. FL is not on my radar, but TN (mtns) is reasonable to consider.

Any thoughts appreciated.
Thanks for your comments. TN & NC are still on my radar for possible places to retire.
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