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Old 06-10-2014, 09:20 AM
 
Location: Princeton
1,078 posts, read 1,123,462 times
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Dang!! I took the fun little quiz, (Find Your Best Place) it listed, my home town of Princeton, NJ # 2. LOL..
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Old 06-10-2014, 10:36 AM
 
307 posts, read 473,078 times
Reputation: 290
Quote:
Originally Posted by akfarmer View Post
We've lived in interior Alaska for nearly 30 years, but we don't see how we can afford to retire here. I've described the place we want to retire below. Does anyone know where it is?

Economy:
Relatively low cost of living (main reason I'm thinking of retiring anywhere but Alaska)

Government:
Ability to have small farm acreage (10 to 40 acres) with subsistence livestock without being taxed to death
I can live with sales tax OR income tax, but not both.

Weather:
Summer high temps below 80 degrees on average (I'm acclimated to Alaska)
Six to nine snow-free months per year and less than 20" rain per year (translated: I want to ride my motorcycle more than a few weekends per year)

Geography:
- West of the Mississippi River
- Foothills or lowlands OK, but not high mountain areas
- Forested
- Lakes for canoeing/fishing/duck hunting
- Opportunities for successful deer hunting without entering into a $10K/year lease
- Opportunities for upland bird hunting without entering into a $10K/year lease
- Rural enough that you can spend a day photographing in the woods or go skinny dipping and not see anyone else

Socio-political culture:
- Free spirited enough that if you do get seen skinny dipping it won't be a big deal.
- Liberal-leaning libertarian friendly (If live and let live isn't your creedo I don't want you as a neighbor, but if you think free markets and profits trump human rights and the only possible reason anyone could ever need public assistance is because they have an incurable moral defect then I don't either)
- Arts-friendly culture (actual working artists, not just places making money off of artists; and not a prude-dominated art community that loves landscapes, wildlife, and portraits of jesus but considers anything else to be embarrassingly exotic and probably pornographic)
-Agnostic friendly (I don't care how religious anyone else is, but I don't want them harassing me to attend church, telling me they're praying for my soul, leaving scripture under my windshield wipers, or whispering to my wife that I must be a deviant because I don't go to church).
- Low crime rate

Amenities:
Within a half day's drive of a city large enough to have
- decent medical and dental care
- a college with opportunities for non-degree seeking adults to take classes
- some diversity of cuisine
- at least a few real art galleries, and maybe even a meuseum that's more than the county historical society's photo collection


Places that have been recommended and have some appeal, but also seem to have quite a few strikes on my list:
Northern Minnesota (Bemidji, Grand Rapids, Brainerd, Duluth)
Northern Idaho/Eastern Washington (Coeur d'alene, outlying areas around Spokane, Pullman)
Ashland, OR
Santa Fe, NM
Flagstaff, AZ
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
AKfarmer: One place I know where it doesn't usually get warmer than 80 is Blaine, WA. We lived there...and still own a house there. Small town, peaceful, pretty much trouble and crime-free, and climate is not bad...mild winters, summers...around the mid-70s...occasionally might shoot up to 80. Very short summer, though. Interstate 5 runs thru town. Has a small international airport in Bellingham...about 25 mins drive. WA has no state income tax. Just check out the website for Blaine, WA. Or...just ask me whatever you want to know about Blaine.

Prescott, AZ is another you might look into. It is at 5,300 ft elevation...oops, you said you don't like mountains, didn't you? Forget it then. But it has a rather unusual climate. It has peaks around the city...but sits on a plateau. When we were there last Nov-Dec...it would get pretty warm (dry) during the day (mid 70s...and occasionally near 80)...but soon as the sun goes down...the temp drops very rapidly. Usually in the 25s - 30s range at night. Prescott has pretty much everything you might need.

Another place...I call it the "best of both worlds" is Vancouver, WA...farther south...in fact at the end of WA state...right next to Oregon. Vancouver is a medium size city...has just about everything you could want. A city with a country living atmosphere. I read about small acreage properties around Vancouver. Here are the main positive features: Interstate 5 also runs thru Vancouver...easy escape route..in and out of the city; milder climate than Blaine. I'm sure it gets in the 80s there in the summer...as in nearly most of the states in the U.S. (not sure about AK)...but not exceedingly hot like AZ, TX, other states along the southern corridor of the U.S. (But even NY City can get uncomfortably hot. Was there one summer...it was in the mid-80s at night!). You can get used to 80s...to 85. Beyond that...I'll even agree, it is hot. Anyway, next to Vancouver is Portland, Oregon...a big city. Here's the kicker: While you leave in Vancouver, WA...there is NO STATE INCOME TAX state. You can do all your shopping (about 10-15 mins drive, depending on where you live in Vancouver) in Portland, OR...there is NO SALES TAX in Oregon! That's why I call it "the best of both worlds". And whatever you don't find in Vancouver...just drive on across the Columbia River...into Portland. I'm sure you'll find it there. Another thing....from Vancouver it is just a short drive to a major airport hub...PDX (Portland Intl Airport). I'm still researching Vancouver...the more I learn about that city...the more I like it (I have been there a few times...but not to stay more than just a few days). Look up VANCOUVER, WA online...lots of excellent info and photos.
There are plenty of country backroads and highways...especially towards the east side of WA and OR...motorcycle country!

Just keep in mind...whatever it is you have been able to do (like go skinny dipping) in AK may not be an acceptable behavior in other states. I don't know what other states will allow you to do those things you did...and believed in when you lived in AK...but check it out first. I suppose if you live deep in the boonies...and have no neighbors around to see you...would be ok. I think you'll always find someone who will disapprove of what you believe in or do no matter where you go.

Best, as others have suggested...take some time off hop on your bike and rumble on down to find that ideal place for yourself.

Best of luck and hope you find that place.
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Old 06-10-2014, 11:16 AM
 
13,319 posts, read 25,558,234 times
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I like that "best place" list, since it considers that many of us don't find "good weather" to equate to mild winters (because of the possibility of humid hot summers). Three places it came up for me are 25 miles from where I currently live! Also several others, 2,000 miles from my current location, are areas I've already considered. I am not likely to move in retirement (too much works where I am) but I love to think of the possibilities and discussions.
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Old 06-10-2014, 11:18 AM
NCN
 
Location: NC/SC Border Patrol
21,135 posts, read 21,883,976 times
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I was going to say Tennessee before I saw "west of the Mississippi."
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Old 06-10-2014, 11:21 AM
 
35,324 posts, read 25,165,179 times
Reputation: 32413
Quote:
Originally Posted by FCStraight View Post
Just keep in mind...whatever it is you have been able to do (like go skinny dipping) in AK may not be an acceptable behavior in other states. I don't know what other states will allow you to do those things you did...and believed in when you lived in AK...but check it out first. I suppose if you live deep in the boonies...and have no neighbors around to see you...would be ok. I think you'll always find someone who will disapprove of what you believe in or do no matter where you go.

It's super common in Vermont, but that is not West of the Miss.
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Old 06-10-2014, 01:28 PM
 
Location: North Idaho
2,172 posts, read 2,082,324 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jukesgrrl View Post
Please note this post is somewhat off-topic, but I believe the post above needs a reply. Please ignore this if you have no interest in Idaho.

There are nine extremist groups currently active in Idaho. That's not nearly as many in some other states, but given the low population of Idaho, it's dramatic from a per-capita perspective.

The groups are Neo-Nazi (Aryan Nation and National Socialist Movement); racist skinheads (Crew 39 and Northwest Hammerskins); White Nationalists (Family Home Northwest, a chapter of the Northwest Front Aryan separatists, and a group dedicated to freeing Edgar Steele); a branch of America's Promise Ministries which identifies itself as a "Christian Identity organization," and two other anti-Jewish groups that are active in the Holocaust denial effort (the International Conspiratological Association and the Campaign for Radical Truth in History).

I don't know if the group you are describing as having been "run out of town as quickly as possible" is Randy Weaver's compound at Ruby Ridge or the Richard Butler-funded Aryan Nation compound in Coeur d’Alene, but neither of them was defused by local efforts. Butler was bankrupted in civil court thanks to a lawsuit won by the Southern Poverty Law Center, an anti-hate organization. Since Butler's death in 2004 many from his group have dispersed, but they are still in the area actively pursuing the aims of the Aryan Nation. While these groups are being tracked by law enforcement, most of their activities are protected by the First Amendment and their organizational activities occur online. The incident at Ruby Ridge and a similar disaster in Waco, Texas, has limited what Federal officials are willing to do to subdue armed hate groups.
I still don't see any factual basis for your original claim.

It makes no sense to think about numbers of organizations in per capita terms since it doesn't give you any measure of the degree to which these groups have any local support or presence. If each group you listed consisted of only 2 members we'd be talking about a triviality. This is admittedly a logical extreme, but if we're talking about a hundred people from a population of 1.6M is that meaningful?

Have you ever been to Idaho? I own a home there, and have spent a great deal of time in the state. The vast majority of Idahoans uncategorically rejected the Randy Weavers and Richard Butlers of the world, all of whom came from other states by the way. The local population was instrumental in marginalizing these groups and helping to drive them out of the state. Through organizations such as the Bonner County Human Rights Task Force they continue to work to ensure there is no opportunity for these groups to regain a foothold in Idaho.

You admit that there are fewer "extremist" groups operating in Idaho than in other states. Perhaps there is a clue there that you should reevaluate your perception of Idaho.

Dave
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Old 06-10-2014, 01:57 PM
 
Location: Montana
1,752 posts, read 1,653,911 times
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Sandpoint, ID meets about everything you are looking for. Community is about 7,000, but Schweitzer Ski resort brings in a lot of money (so you have an arts community, a variety of restaruant experiences), and it feels like a lot bigger town from a services/activity perspective. Town is a bit liberal leaning in a conservative state. Non waterfront acreage is reasonable.

Grew up in MN, and it is HOT and humid in the summer (Gulf coast air) and frigid in the winter (arctic air), and other than Minneapolis/Saint Paul, it is a pretty conservative state. Not west of the Mississipi, but central and southwestern Wisconsin (River Falls, Stout, Eu Claire) actually is somewhere that meets all you criteria except west of the Mississippi.

Quad Cities is another area you may want top look at, but it fails the thriving arts community aspect.
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Old 06-10-2014, 08:26 PM
 
20 posts, read 26,929 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by njkate View Post
Ok so that is the reason you want to stay west of the Mississippi?
Yes, it is.
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Old 06-10-2014, 08:31 PM
 
20 posts, read 26,929 times
Reputation: 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by FCStraight View Post
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
AKfarmer: One place I know where it doesn't usually get warmer than 80 is Blaine, WA. We lived there...and still own a house there. Small town, peaceful, pretty much trouble and crime-free, and climate is not bad...mild winters, summers...around the mid-70s...occasionally might shoot up to 80. Very short summer, though. Interstate 5 runs thru town. Has a small international airport in Bellingham...about 25 mins drive. WA has no state income tax. Just check out the website for Blaine, WA. Or...just ask me whatever you want to know about Blaine.

Prescott, AZ is another you might look into. It is at 5,300 ft elevation...oops, you said you don't like mountains, didn't you? Forget it then. But it has a rather unusual climate. It has peaks around the city...but sits on a plateau. When we were there last Nov-Dec...it would get pretty warm (dry) during the day (mid 70s...and occasionally near 80)...but soon as the sun goes down...the temp drops very rapidly. Usually in the 25s - 30s range at night. Prescott has pretty much everything you might need.

Another place...I call it the "best of both worlds" is Vancouver, WA...farther south...in fact at the end of WA state...right next to Oregon. Vancouver is a medium size city...has just about everything you could want. A city with a country living atmosphere. I read about small acreage properties around Vancouver. Here are the main positive features: Interstate 5 also runs thru Vancouver...easy escape route..in and out of the city; milder climate than Blaine. I'm sure it gets in the 80s there in the summer...as in nearly most of the states in the U.S. (not sure about AK)...but not exceedingly hot like AZ, TX, other states along the southern corridor of the U.S. (But even NY City can get uncomfortably hot. Was there one summer...it was in the mid-80s at night!). You can get used to 80s...to 85. Beyond that...I'll even agree, it is hot. Anyway, next to Vancouver is Portland, Oregon...a big city. Here's the kicker: While you leave in Vancouver, WA...there is NO STATE INCOME TAX state. You can do all your shopping (about 10-15 mins drive, depending on where you live in Vancouver) in Portland, OR...there is NO SALES TAX in Oregon! That's why I call it "the best of both worlds". And whatever you don't find in Vancouver...just drive on across the Columbia River...into Portland. I'm sure you'll find it there. Another thing....from Vancouver it is just a short drive to a major airport hub...PDX (Portland Intl Airport). I'm still researching Vancouver...the more I learn about that city...the more I like it (I have been there a few times...but not to stay more than just a few days). Look up VANCOUVER, WA online...lots of excellent info and photos.
There are plenty of country backroads and highways...especially towards the east side of WA and OR...motorcycle country!

Just keep in mind...whatever it is you have been able to do (like go skinny dipping) in AK may not be an acceptable behavior in other states. I don't know what other states will allow you to do those things you did...and believed in when you lived in AK...but check it out first. I suppose if you live deep in the boonies...and have no neighbors around to see you...would be ok. I think you'll always find someone who will disapprove of what you believe in or do no matter where you go.

Best, as others have suggested...take some time off hop on your bike and rumble on down to find that ideal place for yourself.

Best of luck and hope you find that place.
Thank you, that's very helpful. I think someone else mentioned Blaine. I had put it on my list, but hadn't looked it up yet so I didn't know what state it was in. I like what you've described about Vancouver, too. I'll definitely look more into it.
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Old 06-11-2014, 01:30 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,558 posts, read 39,944,045 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FCStraight View Post
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
AKfarmer: One place I know where it doesn't usually get warmer than 80 is Blaine, WA. We lived there...and still own a house there. ...
Another place...I call it the "best of both worlds" is Vancouver, WA..... I'm sure it gets in the 80s there in the summer......
There are plenty of country backroads and highways...especially towards the east side of WA and OR...motorcycle country!

... hop on your bike and rumble on down to find that ideal place for yourself.

Best of luck and hope you find that place.
It can get to 100f in Vancouver, WA for a few days in Summer, Many days above 80F, but cool nights, good sleeping weather. On the few hot days in Vancouver, you can be to the COOL Oregon beach in 90 minutes. (can be REAL cool on hot days.. 50F and foggy)

No need to ride down from AK... I keep extra vintage motorcycles near PDX (WA side), and Colorado, Hill Country TX, NM, and NE TN. (cheap places to escape and ride). You can get for $300 - $500 on Craigslist and sell when you leave.

For Dry...You can go east to Goldendale, WA (Klickitat, WA is cooler, closer, and smaller). similar with Moro, OR. Dufur, OR is pretty nice, and handy to great motorcycle riding,

White Salmon and Troutlake are very nice WA towns, but suffer high property costs due to desirability.

Hunting, fishing, hiking, is superb in all the above. (~ 20 min away to 'next door')

For WA and Oregon, there is a very distinct climate change from west side to east side. But Eastern WA can be very gray winters. Ironically, I found Colorado winters to be more bearable, especially for outdoor activities and motorcycle riding. Colorado has water issues to confound your objectives, and growing / sustainable farming is really tough in CO and WY. Much ezr in PWN.
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