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Old 09-15-2013, 04:38 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
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"While Florida and Arizona continue to be perennial favorites for retirees, the Southeast has grown in popularity, said Annette Fuller, the managing editor of Where to Retire magazine. “We’re now re-assessing and doing more than ever in the Southeastern area because that has become a trend,” Fuller said. The featured neighborhood in the magazine’s November/December issue will be Evans’ Riverwood Plantation – with a focus on the retiree-friendly Amberly section. Where to Retire also named Aiken’s Woodside Plantation, which blends older and younger residents, one of the country’s 50 best master-planned communities in 2013. In addition to a warm climate, inexpensive living and friendly neighbors, Fuller said the medical community, Thurmond Lake and golfing options are big draws for the Augusta area. Georgia also has favorable income taxes for seniors 65 and older, she said. The area’s newest residential retirement accommodations in the works are 136 upscale apartments at Marshall Square in Evans."

Augusta-area retirement communities grow with senior population | The Augusta Chronicle

If you are looking at Georgia for retirement, a few different options are offered in this article.
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Old 09-15-2013, 06:41 PM
 
Location: Prescott AZ
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My main concern with the new master planned communities is the HOA fees that pay for the pool, the tennis, the golf, clubhouse, etc etc. I don't think I will ever take part in any of that stuff, so for me, it isn't a very good option. Now if you are a swimmer and golfer, it might be worthwhile to pay the $200-300 a month in fees that provide those amenities.
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Old 09-15-2013, 07:30 PM
 
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I looked into the HOA fees for the retirement communities in the Brandon Wilde area. The highest HOA I found was a little over $2700/year. The lowest was $500 a year. That high fee was for a Del Webb facility.

I'm assuming you were quoting the Del Webb facility since it's the most extreme case.

Retirement Report for Columbia County, GA.
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Old 09-17-2013, 07:04 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
14,299 posts, read 45,039,547 times
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Well, if you want a "canned" retirement "community" product, here it is, I guess.

Why anyone would consider one of these HOA infested outfits is beyond me. The fees will only go up over time, and busybodies are attracted to join the HOA board. Both trends bode ill.
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Old 09-17-2013, 09:53 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
34,724 posts, read 33,765,085 times
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Originally Posted by PhxBarb View Post
My main concern with the new master planned communities is the HOA fees that pay for the pool, the tennis, the golf, clubhouse, etc etc. I don't think I will ever take part in any of that stuff, so for me, it isn't a very good option. Now if you are a swimmer and golfer, it might be worthwhile to pay the $200-300 a month in fees that provide those amenities.
I know what you're talking about. When I had been contemplating a move, I saw some nice places to live but if I wasn't going to use the golf course, the clubhouse, the pool or the exercise equipment, why would I want to pay for everyone else to use them? And it's usually a big chunk of change, too.
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Old 09-17-2013, 09:59 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
34,724 posts, read 33,765,085 times
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Originally Posted by M3 Mitch View Post
Well, if you want a "canned" retirement "community" product, here it is, I guess.

Why anyone would consider one of these HOA infested outfits is beyond me. The fees will only go up over time, and busybodies are attracted to join the HOA board. Both trends bode ill.
Obviously a lot of people do like those things or there wouldn't be so many places offering them. I don't think I discovered how much of an oddball I really was until I retired. Just where is that Geek Retirement Acres for the kids that used to participate in the science fair, be in the audio visual club, be on the chess team, be a ham radio operator and be in the Spanish/French club when they were in high school? We got old, too.
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Old 09-18-2013, 07:13 PM
 
5,722 posts, read 8,795,474 times
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I don't think I discovered how much of an oddball I really was until I retired. Just where is that Geek Retirement Acres for the kids that used to participate in the science fair, be in the audio visual club, be on the chess team,

Was that a rhetorical question? Because your current town is overrun with retired geeks.
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Old 05-15-2014, 10:37 PM
 
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Smile Geek Retirement

lol I feel the same way! I guess that's why Tullahoma is so attractive to me. Even if I had the income for those retirement communities, I wouldn't be using the amenities that require the HOA. I live in Georgia and am moving either to another part of GA or TN because there aren't many left in my family and my daughter wants to be near the ex's family. I don't mind because they are nice folks, so I am moving, too, to stay close to her.

Are there any neighborhoods with elderly geeks? I'd love to go there! I'm not exactly retiring, because I'm disabled, but I am a senior now. I'm looking in the $40,000 range [opinion before getting realtor advice, my other posts are looking for that].

As far as Georgia retirement options, a lot of people retire to small towns. They can be quirky, and city government can be iffy, but the clean air and sunshine is a big draw.

With the danger from frequent tornadoes, you don't want a manufactured home! If you do move into one, be ready to move if a tornado watch becomes a warning in your area. Make friends with someone with a brick house and ask if it's ok if you take shelter with them. Don't, if they have no clue about preparedness. You want to pick a family who will actually go in the hall for weather warnings. Get a NOAA radio and carry it with you, there are portable ones.

Brick homes are the best, just pick one without chimney. Chimneys can fall and shower the home interior with bricks. Not the safest thing.

Our brick home endured 65 mile an hour winds once without damage. Lost a bunch of tree limbs, though, off our old pecan trees. Pines are most likely to fall over in bad weather.

As far as people, communities have personalities, just like the people individually, in them. Visit and talk to people in neighborhoods you are considering. Try to talk to folks that grew up there. I grew up in Georgia and lived here most of my life. I lived in Atlanta and I lived in small towns and a medium one - Gainesville. I didn't enjoy NE GA but I love SW GA. That's just my opinion. If you move to a small town, sometimes the native folks won't like an outsider, but you can always buddy up with other outsiders. If you're nice, they'll usually like you. It pays to spend some time in your prospective community. Eat out there. Go to stores and buy a little something. Listen to folks talking in the grocery store. See if you like the personality of the community. How they treat their kids and pets.

Is there an animal shelter in the county? My county doesn't. You see dogs tied out unsupervised and running around without leashes. That's illegal in Georgia. You hear about people who mistreat their kids. That's epidemic here. Of course, that's my opinion. But, I've talked to a lot of people who moved South and were shocked. You might spend some time just watching and listening before you get your house. Especially in small towns. And, especially in low-income neighborhoods. That's where I've been most of my life after I left home. Yet, most people are good people, even in the low income neighborhoods. The attitude is, "we're all in this together." I left a middle income household. I went to college. Because of my health, I never got that four year degree. I was a single mom after divorce. So, I've had some life experiences that influence my opinions. However, abuse happens across socioeconomic boundaries. So does crime and gang activity.

There are some good neighbor kinds of things that young folks tend to forget. You love your music, but I want to hear my music, in my home. I don't want to hear your dog barking. I don't want to hear your disputes with whatever family member. And, I really hate those "boom cars". Some neighborhoods respect this kind of thing, and some don't, especially on the weekends. It's always a good idea to make friends with your neighbors. You need one nosy neighbor to keep an eye on your place. And, it's a good idea to look out of your windows sometimes. Once, my neighbor across the street had someone clean up her yard who started a bonfire to get rid of the leaves. She checked with the fire department and got their ok. But, the fella had to leave. He had doused them with a lot of water, so he thought the fire was completely out. I had insomnia about 2 am and I looked out, because I was worried. The bonfire had started up again! We grabbed shovels and went to her door. We woke her up! The hose was too short to reach. The man had taken his longer hose. My daughter helped her bring buckets of water. She brought our hose, then she used a shovel on the pile. I had been a Girl Scout, so I taught her about stirring up the ashes and feeling them, to be sure there was no heat left. So, you might be the key to averting neighborhood disaster! There's a program called Neighborhood Watch. Many communities come together to volunteer, and if there is enough interest, the city puts a sign up stating that the community has Neighborhood Watch. Basically, one keeps a list of neighbors and phone numbers. That is distributed among the members. When one neighbor notices something suspicious, but isn't sure about calling 911, police-trained volunteers give advice, and if necessary, call the police. The trained volunteers actually ride with police officers on calls to observe. This program may be called something else in another state, but the idea is the same. If you don't have it, you could bring your neighbors together and suggest it. In Georgia, places I've lived, I couldn't get people interested. People who are working two jobs and having financial troubles just don't have the time to put in.

Georgia is a wonderful place to live, though. People are very friendly. It's easy to make friends here. Atlanta has good public transit, and it's improving. Interstates make travel fairly easy to all four corners of Georgia. There is no "Southern Accent". My sister loves linguistics and she says there are probably tens of accents. Sometimes folks from other places really have trouble understanding what folks are saying. Even from one part of Georgia to another! I like Southwest GA and my sister loves NE GA. There is no "right" or "wrong" definition of "couth". Usually it's the Golden Rule, the Ten Commandments, and some extra rules Mama said. Someone who does bad things is "just SORRY". The South has its own lingo, and specific communities have their own lingo as well. I find that folks who move here from someplace else catch on fast, and are usually happy. I used to work with many of them. Of folks I personally knew, most liked it here, and a few couldn't wait to leave.

Generally, you can find homes in any flavor of median or low prices. I can't speak about the higher priced ones. You should have an appraisal...don't forget to read it well. When looking at a house, don't imagine how it will be when updated, but look at it as it is and be critical. Does the toilet overflow when it rains? My sister paid for the $900 new sewer line from house to meter. Does it need a new roof? $6500 is the going price. How old is the heat pump? If it doesn't have a heat pump, does the heat use propane gas, electricity, or wood? A lot of folks here in the country enjoy what's called a "Franklin Stove" or fireplaces, that do burn wood.

If you have never cut wood, don't expect that it's enough to just buy an ax. You can have wood delivered and they'll stack it for you, but watch for Black Widow spiders. Learn what they look like, and also Brown Recluse spiders. They are the two poisonous spiders that live here, and warrant a trip to the ER. There are scorpions, but they usually don't grow bigger than an inch, and they are not poisonous. It is more painful than a bee sting, I am told. There are four poisonous snakes in GA. Snakes like to hide, and wood piles or yard clutter attracts them. Three have triangular heads so they are pretty easy to spot. The other one, the Coral Snake, only lives in south GA, and is brightly colored.

As for nature, there is no end to the fun. You can sit under a tree when it's hot. Watch many varieties of butterflies, skippers, and other insects. If you're lucky, you might have a yard full of birds. Squirrels are cute to watch. There are any number of bugs for your kids to watch. Georgia has a lot of parks, even in big city Atlanta! If you like rafting, cycling, or just a walk, there are plenty of places to visit and enjoy. Lots of campgrounds, though generally, state parks are cheaper than the commercial ones. But, before you enjoy nature, learn about the differences, if you are from the North or West. Teach your kids to never try to pick up snakes or walk barefoot in the mud. Mud can have ringworms. Grass here has chiggers; again, not poisonous, but fiery itchy! If they come in with itchy ankles and calves after playing in the grass, rub it down with alcohol or put them in the tub to kill the little bugs that cause it; they are microscopic. When I lived in Utah, no one knew what a chigger was. I didn't see red GA clay, either; it's red because of iron in the soil - yes! It's rust! The iron oxidizes.

Many people from the city want to move to Georgia country towns and try to buy a farm. There is a lot to know. If you don't have experience with farm animals or gardening, you should talk to a farmer before you think to try it. There are few family farms any more. Most are large and it's serious business. A lot of folks who buy farms without doing their homework fail.

Before you set your heart on acreage and a house in the country, you need to know that Georgia Power only services people who live in cities and towns. In the country there is the Electric Membership Corporation. Basically, you buy a share in it, and rates are high, even though it's nonprofit. Water comes from a well. The water table is so low here, your well will run out of water. The groundwater may be polluted from farms nearby. Getting a well redrilled is expensive. When I found out all this, I decided to live in town. I haven't regretted that decision.

My little town is a mile across. My power chair has a 25-mile battery. When I feel up to it, I can take my chair uptown and shop in the Piggly Wiggly or the Fred's, eat at the Dawg House [local fast food, family owned], and picnic in the park on the square. Many towns in Georgia have a square. Cuthbert, GA dates from the early 1800's, and the buildings on the square date from 1890. If you enjoy history, the library has a lot of local history you can't find on the Internet. The library doesn't have branches or a bookmobile, but the staff is friendly, and I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of genealogical resources they have! Thank goodness for their donors!! And, yes, they do have public computers and an online database. They have a state service called Galileo which has a lot of resources for your kids in public school. You can ask for the monthly password when you pick up your library card.

I could go on, but just talk to your neighbors. The South is so warm, there are a lot of critters and bugs. Most are harmless. Any hunter can show you the difference between poisonous snakes and harmless look-alikes that are beneficial, because they mostly hunt rats and mice. That doesn't mean you can ignore any animal bite. See a doctor, even for a superficial wound. You might need a tetanus shot. That also goes for any minor scrape or puncture exposed to mud or rusty metal in any place that's been a cow pasture! Most spiders are harmless, and fun to watch. Some wasps are quick to sting and some aren't. Yellow jackets are a kind of wasps that build huge nests underground; that's dangerous if in your yard. Don't pour gasoline in there and set it on fire; the ground water is already polluted enough! Instead, call your pest control guy. Lots of things that might or might not be different here. A lot of folks will suggest home remedies that involve used motor oil and/or gasoline. Don't do it. See doctor or vet for the good advice, and tell them about any herbal remedies or vitamins you take. Some can interfere with medicines or change their effects, if you are taking prescriptions.

The warmth and rain makes our state green. Lots of grass, weeds, trees, kudzu. Watch for kudzu and pull it up fast, or it will take over. Kudzu is a Japanese plant imported here because it's great for salads, flour, etc. But, it has no natural enemies here. I'm not seeing as much of it these days as when I was growing up, but it used to pull down telephone poles, even in Atlanta in the city!

Fire ants weren't imported. They are not always red. Most I've been stung by are little black ants that build huge anthills. You see those even in downtown Atlanta. Teach your kids not to play with them; they are fast and can run up a stick if disturbed. They swarm, and can sting multiple times. You don't want to find out about an allergy to wasp and ant stings from an encounter with multiple stings. Regular ants build tiny little anthills, and they aren't as fast as fire ants, or as aggressive.

If you want to identify a bug or snake you find, usually the Biology Dept of the nearest college is willing to help if you bring it there. Or, you can call your local County Agent. Don't expect a home visit, but they can suggest resources. Once, I found a snake in our laundry room. I put a piece of Tupperware over it and waited for my husband to come home. He transferred it to a can with a plastic lid. We put grass in it and punched holes in the top. A friend who worked for the Park Service thought it might be a baby rattlesnake. But, I worked at a large college in Atlanta. I called and arranged to meet a grad student studying snakes during my lunch. He said it was a water snake and the rains brought him out of a nearby stream [I didn't know of one nearby] and he came to feast on crickets in our house. They are rather scarce. He took the snake to release where he planned to do more research. I've gotten advice when we had a nest of bumblebees on our porch [in Utah!] - the researcher convinced me not to get the landlord to spray them, and we had a lot of fun watching them all summer long from the window. We put water out for them when it got really hot. They never stung me, even when many were flying around. Bees aren't aggressive, except for killer bees. Wasps can be. But, generally, I've lived in Georgia most all my life and never had a life-threatening encounter with nature. That said, I sat on our back steps once when growing up and saw our cat going after something. I looked, and there was a rattlesnake, coiled up and staring at the cat! I made friends with a large nest of black wasps [they are about 2" long] by backing off when they started waving their front legs, and gradually, with two visits a day, they paid no attention when I stood right under them on the porch. Not recommended. I lifted a piece of plywood and found a copperhead as big around as my arm! Most critters only attack if you do something that scares them. If you back off, usually they won't bother you. However, at state parks, if you are not familiar with the kinds of animals that might be there, talk to a park ranger. We do have black bears. I've never seen one. Any bear is dangerous, especially when people do things like feed them, which makes them think people are not a threat. Then they get bolder and search you for food or even think you are lunch. Don't feed any wild animal, even a squirrel in your yard. Rabies is a real problem here. Vaccinate your pets, even if they don't go outside. All it takes is one bite from a wild animal to infect them. If they get out once, they might get bitten. Tell your kids not to pick up animals that are not yours, because some folks can't afford rabies shots and don't realize what a big deal it is. If your dog bites someone, and isn't vaccinated, you might not get him back. Again, talk to your vet about being new to the area, and let him/her advise you about how to safely observe the new animals you encounter. He's a resource, as well as the County Extension Service, located at University of Georgia. The Extension Service has all sorts of information on their website, and it's free. UGA trains veterinarians.

Country or city, both are special, and both have a lot to offer you. I've talked a lot about my experience of Georgia, but everyone here has their own experience, and everyone, regardless of how little education or how much, has a story to tell. I have friends with Doctorates, and friends who never finished high school. I love 'em all. I have learned from all. I hope all my discussion of Georgia dangers doesn't make you want to pass up our state. I just feel that everyone will tell you of how great it is here, and paint a rosy picture. Roses have thorns; I feel obligated to warn you about those because few will. I am not leaving Georgia because I hate it, I am leaving to be closer to my nephew and his family in Murfreesboro. I lived in Tennessee because it's cheaper to live there, for about a year and a half. I left there because of circumstances beyond my control. I also enjoyed my time in Utah, and had to learn the hard way about the different dangers there! Heavy metals pollute the soil from mining in the 1800's. You can get guardia, an intestinal parasite difficult to treat, from drinking from a stream. And, there are killer bees in southern Utah, but I never saw any.

Good luck to you! Sorry for being so geeky, but hope I've been helpful
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Old 05-16-2014, 11:34 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
34,724 posts, read 33,765,085 times
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Originally Posted by creeksitter View Post
Was that a rhetorical question? Because your current town is overrun with retired geeks.
I know but we don't live together in a gated community although now that I've returned to this thread, I'm wondering what a Geek Retirement Acres would look like. I bet we'd have a remote-controlled pilot's club .
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Old 05-18-2014, 06:39 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,708 posts, read 40,113,239 times
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Originally Posted by LauraC View Post
I know but we don't live together in a gated community although now that I've returned to this thread, I'm wondering what a Geek Retirement Acres would look like. I bet we'd have a remote-controlled pilot's club .
We have one of those in our community (RC club for 'experts' only) ... those members are OCD x10. They will 'Clear the field' if a 'learner' shows up... Then they taunt the poor soul till he / she has to up and leave the hobby or find another field.

Infestation! (some geeks never grow up emotionally).
Some are excellent tutors / mentors / fun to be around.

If I were in "Geek Golden Acres".... I would start a 'lighten-up' GROUP for recovering OCD's.

Initiation would be a bear! (bare)
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