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View Poll Results: Best place for my retirenement years?
Fayettville, AR 4 8.89%
Branson, MO 3 6.67%
Lousiville, KY 0 0%
Boise, ID 3 6.67%
Asheville, NC 7 15.56%
Saint Augustine, FL 6 13.33%
Tri-cities TN 5 11.11%
Lexington, KY 3 6.67%
Sioux Falls, SD 2 4.44%
Rapid City, SD 1 2.22%
Ocala, FL 6 13.33%
Morgantown, WV 0 0%
Lewiston, ID 1 2.22%
Spokane, WA 2 4.44%
Bloomington, IN 4 8.89%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 45. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-16-2014, 11:44 AM
 
188 posts, read 170,776 times
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I spent 20 years in the Lexington area. Beautiful rolling hills, horse farms, life moves at a slower pace.
I have a house for sale on an 80 acre lake but it's a little more than you are interested. It is a wonderful part of the country!
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Old 06-16-2014, 12:29 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,614 posts, read 17,598,460 times
Reputation: 27693
Quote:
Originally Posted by starrider434 View Post
I am surprised that the tri cities of TN have such heavy crime issues, if that be the case...I figured that would be the case in Knoxville, but not in the smaller, more quaint tri cities of TN area...
The Tri-Cities has really gone down the drain the last ten years or so as the economy went downhill. The Tri-Cities is a manufacturing area. Many of those jobs have left the area or no longer exist, and most of the new jobs are in call centers, food service, retail, and other junk jobs. It never had the diversity/size of Knoxville (which has weathered the downturn much better) or quality local leadership. It's also so far away from anything else that it can't get the leftovers from the bigger city growing - there's simply nothing else near there, unlike say Maryville that has reaped some of the benefits of Knoxville's growth.

IMO, since it is so hard to find honest work, people turn to what they can to keep food on the table, and that's often peddling drugs, and where there are drugs, there is going to be violence. A lot of the crime is between addicts or dealers, or someone beating their wife, so if you keep your nose clean, you'll probably be fine, though there are a lot of burglaries and thefts, largely addicts looking for money or pills.

You are going to find a lot of these same problems in small town USA. Amusingly enough, many of these "lists" never look at real life and base things purely on numbers, sometimes if you want to keep things too cheap, you get cheap.

Asheville is a great location and beautiful - has mountains, woods, and lakes nearby, but is probably going to be above your budget. Nearby towns in WNC could fit the bill.

I also second some options in KY, though you may want to stay closer to Lexington than Berea. Smaller KY cities will also have many of the same issues that the Tri-Cities, so just be aware.
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Old 06-16-2014, 01:06 PM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
14,628 posts, read 17,942,381 times
Reputation: 6716
Quote:
Originally Posted by starrider434 View Post
Hi there, I am looking for a place with a smallish city, or rural area not too far from a smallish city to retire to. My budget is around 190k for a house. What I would like is:

Low crime

Decent housing with small acreage for 190k or less

Pretty nature, rolling hills, lakes, or mountains

Nice people, not overly standoffish, but warm and welcoming

Place not too prone to tornados or natural disasters

Low property taxes and utility rates

Place where homeowners insurance and car insurance rates are reasonable

Within an hour driving time to a major VA medical center

Winters not overly brutal and long

So far I got a few places over the last few months I been considering on my poll...please mention others as well if you know of some. I also would like to add Colorado Springs and Grand Junction CO to my poll. thanks
WRT St. Augustine - it's coastal Florida - subject to storms (although when/where they hit is impossible to predict). You're not immune in inland areas like Ocala either. The state is very skinny - and a big storm crossing the state can make a pretty decent mess inland. Note that a place like Mt. Dora - mentioned above - was decimated a while back not by a hurricane - but by tornadoes:

Hard-hit Mount Dora Struggles To Get Back On Its Feet - Orlando Sentinel

Also note that St. Augustine - the county seat of my county - St. Johns County - is a small historic city. Most people who live in the St. Augustine area don't live in the City of St. Augustine proper. Homeowners insurance isn't cheap. Nor is auto insurance. Property taxes aren't cheap either (but they're not at nosebleed levels like other parts of the country). Most of Florida doesn't have rolling hills or lakes or - of course - mountains. I think a lot of is nevertheless pretty - but you may disagree.

Considering the news about the VA these days (seemingly bad or worse in many places - including Florida - we've had stories in the local papers) - I would probably not rely on the VA for medical stuff - especially once you're on Medicare. Robyn
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Old 06-16-2014, 01:17 PM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,988,950 times
Reputation: 15649
Quote:
Originally Posted by Submariner View Post
If you are not careful you can have a winter heating bill of $1,000 or more. It is a concern.
Heheh, more like $3,000, if you heat with oil.
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Old 06-16-2014, 01:36 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,614 posts, read 17,598,460 times
Reputation: 27693
Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
Heheh, more like $3,000, if you heat with oil.
I was in New England in March and loved it. The heating bills give me pause as they can be as much as one's property taxes. While FL requires more AC, it is cheaper to cool than to heat, especially oil. That's not even counting that FL has no income tax and likely lower property tax than New England. You have higher insurance costs, but it doesn't seem like it would come close.
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Old 06-16-2014, 04:05 PM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
14,628 posts, read 17,942,381 times
Reputation: 6716
Default One Stupid Thing About Best Places to Retire Lists

OK - I live in St. Johns County Florida - and the City of St. Augustine is our county seat.

St. Augustine is winding up on a lot of these "best retirement" lists these days. But that's a bunch of nonsense. The city of St. Augustine is very small - and consists mostly of some super high priced not what it's worth housing in the architectural preservation district - and some lower priced slum areas. Don't think most retired people want to deal with historically correct restorations - or slums either. Guess all these people writing about St. Augustine are sitting in publication offices in NJ and pulling it out of their a holes .

OTOH - our general geographical area is not at all unattractive for retirees. It's not the cheapest - but not the most expensive either when you take everything into account. Doesn't have the best weather - but it's not the worst either. Doesn't have the best in terms of amenities - but again not the worst. E.g., great medical facilities but no Bloomingdales.

Anyway - this neck of the woods is my turf - and I would be glad to answer questions about it. Robyn
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Old 06-16-2014, 11:05 PM
 
2,090 posts, read 2,158,874 times
Reputation: 1996
Yea I am seeminly faced with either having to live somewhere tornado valley, or hurricane central (FL), I would prefer to stay out west, but there isn't much in my range, meaning an 1800 sq ft home with a little acreage. All the places I originally wanted like N Idaho, Reno, Rapid City, anywhere in western OR or western WA, will get me a fixer upper with zero acreage in my price range, hence the reason I been looking around the Midwest and the south, tornado valley,....due to the homes being cheaper and in my price range. Was talking to a realtor from Fayetteville, AR, where their are some homes in my range with acreage, yet none of them have basements, and yet they where talking to me, putting some kind of storm shelter in a garage or something, and I thought, that sounds costly, and why don't the homes they build in NWA have basements and storm shelters to begin with? The homes I looked at in Branson MO mostly had storm rooms and basements...why didn't they put them in homes in NWA? I have no clue. Yea I did read about being too far out in eastern KY, sounds like that would sure be a unique experience. I am still looking at the possibilities maybe outside of Lexington, though I read it had a snobby vibe to it, ...and also looking at the possibilities outside of Louisville as well.
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Old 06-16-2014, 11:11 PM
 
Location: too far from the sea
19,857 posts, read 18,881,066 times
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I'd go for the PNW although it's way too far away from anything I've ever known so I'm not going to go for it. Then there's the eastern shore of MD and VA. Something to check into.
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Old 06-17-2014, 12:09 AM
 
Location: NYC
2,918 posts, read 1,592,634 times
Reputation: 7957
25 years ago St George UT was a very nice retirement sort of small city, reasonable costs, safe, 2 hours from Vegas & the countryside is spectacular, like Sedona. I know a lot of Californians have retired to there in the interim but I wonder if there isn't some areas still reasonably priced.
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Old 06-17-2014, 12:29 AM
 
2,090 posts, read 2,158,874 times
Reputation: 1996
Median home value in St George is 215K, so the area has been jumping high on the real estate end of things in recent years....plus I understand it is very religion dominated (especially Cedar City) as well, and far from any VA facilities for me. Anywhere in the PNW is over priced and expensive, due to mass migration of Californian's over the years from Ashland OR all the way up to Bellingham WA. None of its affordable for me. Median home values in VA beach are 264k, way over my affordability. Eastern MD is no different...simply too expensive, housing prices wise.
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