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Old 06-10-2014, 07:34 AM
 
307 posts, read 472,982 times
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Much of the threads & comments on this Retirement forum covered many interesting issues which I thought was generally appropriate...except some went on and on about quality of schools in the various States. I thought this forum dealt with retirement? I would think that most folks who are or about to get into retirement would likely no longer have school-age children with them, therefore, should not be concerned about schools, right? I said, "most"...just in case there are a few rare retirees who may still have children in school. Particularly those who retire from the military at a much younger age than your average retiree. Ex: My son joined the Navy right after HS, at 18, did his 20 years, had a family in between...and when he retired at 38, he still had a young son in grade school. So quality of school would be a concern for such folks. For most, however, retirement is generally past 55, 65, etc. (there are always exceptions, of course).

Like most retirees, we puzzled over the best place to retire in the U.S. No income tax states would be great of course..and we did, in fact, retire in WA state. Some pointed out that in States that had high income tax (generally) the quality of services (health care, schools, etc) are usually much better than those with low or no income tax. I don't think this is really a valid or fair assessment about the quality of services in such states. WA has excellent health care facilities, we are happy with the quality of other services, and the town we chose (Blaine...right on the border with Canada) is very peaceful, haven't heard of serious crimes...mostly petty stuff...traffic tickets, loitering, crossing the border illegally, trespassing...that sort of criminal activity. Weather is comfortable most of the year...rains (more like annoying drizzle) frequently, summers are definitely comfortable...but too short. Winters...are really not so bad. If we got more than a couple of inches of snow...that's too much already. People are super friendly; very little traffic...and the town still celebrates good old fashion 4th of July...like the kind you see in movies...like Polyanna. According to friends who have school age children, they tell us that they're quite happy with the quality of education at public schools in that little town. So there you are. It's even great for young families with children. But...it is not a town for someone who has to have a job...as there are very few jobs, and highly competitive. And the pay is not all that great (I checked around).

My personal criteria for a retirement place would be: Great neighborhood, friendly & welcoming community, adequate shops (a couple of grocery stores, a department store, hardware, reputable pharmacies, decent (ok, even no so decent) restaurants, and low crime. As retirees/seniors...good health care facilities with caring practitioners, and decent-size hospital nearby, lots of recreational activities...and places to go for fun, within 30 mins drive of an airport, near a major interstate (to escape in and out of..), and of course, reasonably comfortable climate. BLAINE HAS ALL OF THE ABOVE! Oh..and near beaches. And of course, half an hour drive to downtown Vancouver, BC (Canada). Cost of living? No more than many of the states we've lived in, really. We always look for specials...like most families who have to watch their budget....specially folks on pension. And without expensive hobbies or habits...we manage quite well on our government pension.

I know of one more place that comes to being close to the ideal place to retire: Vancouver, WA. Medium size city....next to a big city in another state. Plenty of suburban residential areas, loads of recreational facilities, parks, forests, rivers & lakes, good trans system, major interstate (I-5)..and within 20-30 mins to a major airport hub (PDX). And even better climate than Blaine, WA. It is a city at the southern corner of WA state...a NO INCOME TAX STATE. Next door...perhaps less than 20 mins' drive, across the Columbia River is the city of Portland...in OREGON...a NO SALES TAX STATE! Here, financially at least, you can live in the best of both worlds. I'm checking into that city this summer...might consider moving there. I use the VA medical facilities occasionally, there is a huge VA medical center in Portland. Where we live in Blaine, it's a 50-mile drive to the nearest VA clinic in Mt. Vernon, WA. 110 miles if I have to go to the VA hospital in Seattle.

If anyone knows where there are other "ideal" places to live/retire...let me know. I'd appreciate it..as we are still looking. Blaine is ok...but for me and my wife, not too hot, comfortable cool..and more sunshine
(Santa Maria, Lompoc & San Luis Obispo in CA seem to meet this criteria). BTW, we have lived in: Arizona (Sierra Vista, Prescott), Alabama (Huntsville), RI (Newport/Portsmouth), MA (Fall River), FL (Tallahassee, Key West & St. Augustine), CA (San Luis Obispo, LA, San Diego, Santa Maria, Lompoc, Monterey, SF Bay Area, etc)...that's all, I think. Thank you for your suggestions.
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Old 06-10-2014, 09:49 AM
 
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If one is retired you "might" have time to read all of that.
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Old 06-10-2014, 10:18 AM
 
741 posts, read 641,304 times
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There is no "ideal" place to retire, which applies to us all. This topic has been beaten to death over time here on this forum. Each of us seems to look for something different and we have different criteria, budgets, etc. Toss a dart at a map and that may be the best choice.

As for retirees talking about schools: in parts of the country a large portion of property taxes is designated for school districts in which we live. Some districts have very large budgets which translate into high real estate taxes. So, in that aspect of the discussion ... schools are important. Also, too, if a retiree is looking at real estate which isn't in a 55+ community the quality of local schools is important ... when one considers future re-sale of the property. Good school neighborhoods are thought to command better/higher/better re-sale prices.
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Old 06-10-2014, 10:54 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,729,443 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Longford View Post
There is no "ideal" place to retire, which applies to us all. This topic has been beaten to death over time here on this forum. Each of us seems to look for something different and we have different criteria, budgets, etc. Toss a dart at a map and that may be the best choice.

As for retirees talking about schools: in parts of the country a large portion of property taxes is designated for school districts in which we live. Some districts have very large budgets which translate into high real estate taxes. So, in that aspect of the discussion ... schools are important. Also, too, if a retiree is looking at real estate which isn't in a 55+ community the quality of local schools is important ... when one considers future re-sale of the property. Good school neighborhoods are thought to command better/higher/better re-sale prices.
I want to piggy-back onto your comments about schools. Crappy schools often go hand in hand with crappy communities and good schools often go hand in hand with good communities. That is one reason why many retirees are not completely indifferent to the quality of schools in their retirement location.
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Old 06-10-2014, 10:59 AM
 
35,324 posts, read 25,158,624 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
I want to piggy-back onto your comments about schools. Crappy schools often go hand in hand with crappy communities and good schools often go hand in hand with good communities. That is one reason why many retirees are not completely indifferent to the quality of schools in their retirement location.
Exactly.
Plus they're often large factors in an area maintaining property values.
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Old 06-10-2014, 11:03 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,729,443 times
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Give it to me straight, FC. In one (rather long) breath you tell us how great the city of Blaine, Washington is (the place where you now live). I was beginning to wonder if you worked for the Chamber of Commerce there, although there is no rebuttal implied because I know nothing about Blaine, WA.

And then in the next breath you tell us you want to move and ask for recommendations. Nothing wrong with that, but it makes for a rather disjointed post.

In similar fashion, you first rant about how schools are not important to retirees, but then you certainly didn't neglect to mention how good the schools are in Blaine! You've got me scratching my head.
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Old 06-10-2014, 11:10 AM
 
48,516 posts, read 83,901,398 times
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Plus ideal for one person isn't ideal for another. Just the local culture can be every different in what individuals are looking for. Same as city versus small town or more rural. I have places I have loved to vacation but won't want to live there.
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Old 06-11-2014, 11:50 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,677 posts, read 49,430,310 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FCStraight View Post
... Like most retirees, we puzzled over the best place to retire in the U.S. No income tax states would be great of course..and we did, in fact, retire in WA state.
We considered that also.

We previously owned a home in Wa state, and at that time we looked around with the intent of buying a homestead to retire to. But we decided against that.

As to income tax, keep in mind that pensions are usually less than your working wages. It is not uncommon to live in a state with income taxes, and yet to simply not pay any. Because your pension is not high enough.

That is my situation. I pay no income taxes on my pension.



Quote:
... Cost of living? No more than many of the states we've lived in, really. We always look for specials...like most families who have to watch their budget....specially folks on pension. And without expensive hobbies or habits...we manage quite well on our government pension.
We have lived in Wa state. There is a HUGE difference in Cost-Of-Living, and it does matter.



Quote:
... Vancouver, WA. Medium size city....next to a big city in another state. Plenty of suburban residential areas, loads of recreational facilities, parks, forests, rivers & lakes, good trans system, major interstate (I-5)..and within 20-30 mins to a major airport hub (PDX). And even better climate than Blaine, WA. It is a city at the southern corner of WA state...a NO INCOME TAX STATE.
Again living on pension there are many places you can live without paying income taxes.
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Old 06-11-2014, 12:12 PM
 
Location: Idaho
4,621 posts, read 4,460,757 times
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One of my younger brothers lives with his family in Vancouver. No way you could get me to retire there. Too cloudy and rains way too much.
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Old 06-11-2014, 04:01 PM
 
307 posts, read 472,982 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
Give it to me straight, FC. In one (rather long) breath you tell us how great the city of Blaine, Washington is (the place where you now live). I was beginning to wonder if you worked for the Chamber of Commerce there, although there is no rebuttal implied because I know nothing about Blaine, WA.

And then in the next breath you tell us you want to move and ask for recommendations. Nothing wrong with that, but it makes for a rather disjointed post.

In similar fashion, you first rant about how schools are not important to retirees, but then you certainly didn't neglect to mention how good the schools are in Blaine! You've got me scratching my head.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
No worries, Escort Rider, I'm scratching my head also. Blaine is a great place, really...if you like lots of rain and frequent dismal, overcast days. I don't. I mentioned school...as it seemed to be the frequent topic of many discussions in this RETIREMENT forum. And I did mention, the comment about the school was based on what was told to me by someone who has children attending the school in Blaine. I wondered...and ranted in my thread why the issue about schools keeps being mentioned in this RETIREMENT forum...and someone explained why...and thank you, for educating me in that area. I asked for recommendations because I am looking for another place to retire...where there is more sunshine than we've been getting in Blaine. If I can take Blaine and put in a place where there's a lot more sunshine than rain...it would be just perfect! Anything wrong with that? Not a disjointed post...as I thought I made it clear as to why I am looking for another place to retire. If I wasn't clear enough, my fault, and I apologize. I also have to consider that I am not alone in making decisions about where to retire. I have to respect my wife's preferences as well. If it was just me...no problem. I know where I would love to be and would have been there long ago. And even if someone suggests what might be the "ideal" place to retire...I still have to run it by my wife. She is very much a part of my life and the decisions I have to make.
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