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Old 06-08-2014, 01:09 PM
 
20 posts, read 26,932 times
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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
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Old 06-08-2014, 02:13 PM
 
Location: SW MO
23,605 posts, read 31,482,868 times
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Dreamville next door to Picky Oaks, bordering on Demand City and just down the pike from Judgment Acres, USA.

Unfortunately, the exact location escapes me at the moment.

Good luck! My sense of it is that you're going to have to pay a lot of visits to a lot of places and decide for yourself. You may be hard pressed to find everything you seem to require in just one spot. It might just be somewhat self-limiting.

I'd give a shout-out to close to us but I wouldn't want you as a neighbor either.
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Old 06-08-2014, 02:18 PM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic east coast
5,371 posts, read 9,863,395 times
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From your list: here: Northern Idaho/Eastern Washington (Coeur d'alene, outlying areas around Spokane, Pullman)
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Old 06-08-2014, 02:25 PM
 
20 posts, read 26,932 times
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Hmm, so I searched the forum and every post asking where's a cheaper place to live or where's a liberal place to live or where's a good place to live based on X got a response that said you need to be more specific, have additional criteria. I tried to be as specific as possible about what I'd like, but apparently that's the wrong approach too. Let me ask, then, for people who have strong preferences about the community they live in, what is the right way to ask for advice on finding a location that fits their needs?
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Old 06-08-2014, 02:27 PM
 
20 posts, read 26,932 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleDolphin View Post
From your list: here: Northern Idaho/Eastern Washington (Coeur d'alene, outlying areas around Spokane, Pullman)
Thank you. I'm also hoping folks can suggest additional locations to consider, besides those on my list.
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Old 06-08-2014, 02:35 PM
 
20 posts, read 26,932 times
Reputation: 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
Dreamville next door to Picky Oaks, bordering on Demand City and just down the pike from Judgment Acres, USA.

Unfortunately, the exact location escapes me at the moment.

Good luck! My sense of it is that you're going to have to pay a lot of visits to a lot of places and decide for yourself. You may be hard pressed to find everything you seem to require in just one spot. It might just be somewhat self-limiting.

I'd give a shout-out to close to us but I wouldn't want you as a neighbor either.
I grew up in the buckle of the bible belt, and I left there for a reason. I don't want to live around the type of people I grew up with. I meant no offense to anyone. I'm simply trying to accurately describe the type of community where I'd like to live, or rather, accurately eliminate the type of community where I don't want to live.

Last edited by akfarmer; 06-08-2014 at 02:36 PM.. Reason: additional thought
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Old 06-08-2014, 03:13 PM
 
Location: Albuquerque NM
1,659 posts, read 1,525,009 times
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I think you can scratch New Mexico and probably Arizona off your list. Even Taos is more than 80 degrees in the summer. Both Flagstaff and Taos are expected to be in the low 90's this week. And New Mexico has both sales tax and state income tax. Also don't know about the part of spending an entire day in the woods without seeing anybody or skinny dipping alone. Most places for skinny dipping are popular unless you can perhaps go early during the week days. You may be able to go a day in the woods not seeing anybody if you go to a wilderness area (no motorized vehicles allowed). Sorry but I don't know enough about the northern states to make any suggestions. Good luck!
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Old 06-08-2014, 03:13 PM
 
Location: SW MO
23,605 posts, read 31,482,868 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akfarmer View Post
I grew up in the buckle of the bible belt, and I left there for a reason. I don't want to live around the type of people I grew up with. I meant no offense to anyone. I'm simply trying to accurately describe the type of community where I'd like to live, or rather, accurately eliminate the type of community where I don't want to live.
You've done a fine job of that. While the land would be somewhat costly and the COL isn't necessarily cheap you might find your kind of place and your kind of people in some of the foothill/northern areas of CA, parts of Oregon and as has already been suggested, Washington state as well. You're pretty much ruled-out the Midwest, south and Atlantic seaboard/New England. Parts of Pennsylvania come to mind as do areas in Virginia but there are the COL and that Mississippi River boundary again. Most areas in CONUS meet your snow limitations but the PNW and environs generally receive more rain than you want.

I said that this could take a lot of searching. What you want can likely be found in pockets in nearly every state. Best of luck finding the perfect fit.

For the record, I wasn't alluding to the bible-belt prohibition.
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Old 06-08-2014, 03:35 PM
 
Location: Columbia SC
8,965 posts, read 7,741,639 times
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AK

Look up gardening zone maps. They could help you zero in on preferable climate then work the other requirements from there. Had you not said west of the Mississippi, I would have suggested Vermont as being very close to all your requirements.
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Old 06-08-2014, 03:38 PM
 
Location: SoCal desert
8,093 posts, read 13,232,688 times
Reputation: 14870
Quote:
Originally Posted by akfarmer View Post
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
Why so far north in Idaho?

About 25 miles north of Boise, there's an area called Idaho City (not Idaho Falls). And you could still do major sales tax free shopping in Ontario, Oregon. Don't know about the snow, though.

C-D says the COL is around 85 (U.S. average is 100). Crime rate in 2007 was 166 (US 310)
And Idaho made the latest 10 Best States For Retirement List at Bankrate.com, if that means anything
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