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Old 07-29-2014, 03:33 AM
 
Location: Buckeye
601 posts, read 715,704 times
Reputation: 1389

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Dare Bing that subject and you'll be overwhelmed with articles and "best of" lists. I'd rather we be practical about the choice. Each retiree or person soon to retire will have their own sets of priorities as they search for the perfect place to spend those years in the autumn of life. I'll start by laying mine on the table:
1) Climate-I've lived in various parts of the country including Iowa where I spent childhood, then California where I began and ended a 30 year career in radio broadcasting, then moved into a motorhome and traveled throughout the U.S. and the Maritimes for 3 years. About a decade ago I landed in MN just south of the Twin Cities. Having lived in various climates I know for sure I want no part of humidity or severe storms such as tornados, hail, blizzards.

2) topography-An old friend of mine who is a sociologist once professed the idea that cultures are born from the land in which they live. His claim was people in the midwest tend to be more docile and accepting, unchanging, because they live on a land that is primarily flat (with a few hills) and unchanging. Coloradans, he exclaimed, are more likely to be aggressive in life because they survive in terrain that requires aggressive efforts to move, i.e., going up and down mountains. I don't know how much truth there is to this theory but I do know that I bore easily in the midwest. I much prefer some topographical relief such as mountains or seashore.

3) Cost of Government-There's just something in my (Libertarian) DNA that prevents me from supporting high-tax governments.

4) Friends and Family-In our earlier history this would have been much more important than it is now. One can choose a location just a couple hours from family and that could be driving or flying. Given the low cost of air travel now it is easy to locate half a continent away and be as close (time wise) as it once was to stay within a two or three hour drive. This is not a major issue for me.

5) Medical Quality-We may be healthy now but when you're in your 60's, 70's and so on there's a good chance your body may need some service. I don't want to have to travel far to find a good doctor or hospital.

These are some of my first priorities in the choice I'm making for a retirement location. So here are my results:

ARIZONA is hands down the best place for retirement. I've considered other locations but Climate tends to rule them out.

Among my other considered locations were Arkansas; great cost of living, natural beauty, friendly people. The downside: Climate! Don't want the humidity, storms or bugs.

I've looked at Texas also. There's much I love about Texas starting with it's climate of self-reliance. There's something about a state that has a legislature that doesn't meet year round. No income tax! This is a big deal but there are lots of states that do not tax Social Security income. Cost of housing is pretty good but oh, watch out for those property taxes! Property taxes in some of the retirement communities more than make up for the 'no income tax' advantage of Texas. Also climate is a big negative for me here.

California has some real advantages. First is climate. I don't think there's a better climate (year round) than some parts of California. The Golden State is gorgeous with it's mountains and sea shore. But I won't even consider this as a place to live in retirement because of the insane politics and the cost that structure is placing on residents and the toll it takes on the private economy.

Looked at Nevada but I can get everything Nevada has in Arizona except gambling. I don't gamble and have no interest in being near it. My search of retirement (age-restricted) communities revealed that housing is much more expensive in Nevada than Arizona.

What are your considerations?
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Old 07-29-2014, 04:38 AM
 
10,344 posts, read 9,382,296 times
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Affordability is the priority for my selection; plus the fact that I require low cost Medical Advantage plans and the availability changes from county to county (based on zip code). I may find an affordable apartment, but it's way out in the boonies and the only plans offered have monthly premiums in the hundreds of dollars which defeats affordability; plus the fact that medical care may not be that available.
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Old 07-29-2014, 05:42 AM
 
Location: Central Massachusetts
4,800 posts, read 4,847,776 times
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GeneR your selection of AZ is interesting. The weather you are accustomed to in MN is very different in AZ. Also there is no sea shore and relatively few mountains there as well. Culture will be very different too with many people from lands south of there.

Back to climate there was a huge dust storm and that might be trouble if you are not ready for it.

Look here Video: Haboob, A Huge Dust Storm, Hits Phoenix Area : The Two-Way : NPR

If you have never lived through one it can be quite unnerving and driving is impossible.
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Old 07-29-2014, 06:39 AM
 
Location: Whereever we have our RV parked
8,787 posts, read 7,704,486 times
Reputation: 15079
Welcome to a common dilemma many of us have found in considering where to retire. You'll have to compromise and figure out what are your priorities.
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Old 07-29-2014, 07:03 AM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,978,143 times
Reputation: 15649
It's really difficult to sort out the pros and cons of moving away for retirement unless it's a clear case of let's get out of the snow belt.

We lived in our last house for nearly 15 years and wow, those 15 years went fast. Looking forward, that same time frame is going to go pretty fast in the overall scheme of things. In our situation, that brings us to age 80 and 82. If we're alive then, that is the time that I imagine we are going to need the most support on all levels—medical, family, social.

So my idea of decision making is end-game. Plan a location that is a good bet for growing toward that point. For many, location doesn't matter because at end-game they know they can go into asst living or SNF anywhere they've chosen. They may be able to spend the next 15 years in paradise. But for those aging in place to the end (optimal), locating near their needed amenities is a good choice.

Maybe it's easy for some to move away at this stage; for us it's an awful lot to think about.
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Old 07-29-2014, 07:53 AM
 
Location: Loudon, TN
5,783 posts, read 4,838,667 times
Reputation: 19458
Couldn't do AZ, too hot and dry, not enough variety in weather, topography, scenery, plants and animals. I like the desert for a change, but not 365.
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Old 07-29-2014, 07:58 AM
 
Location: ☀️ SWFL ⛱ 🌴
2,433 posts, read 1,668,181 times
Reputation: 8692
Moving is a hard decision at any age and will always be a compromise.

We moved from IN to NY in our early thirties. We missed our families, but really grew as independent adults and our careers blossomed. If I had to do it again, I would without hesitation. A major move to a new area requires a solid year or more to get comfortable.

I thought we would retire in place, you know that adage: a body in rest stays at rest, it's easiest to do nothing. Prices were good in FL and DH took a position within his company in the Southeast over two years ago and now we have a house there and one in NY for another year or two. We're close to the grandkids in FL now and see my MIL when she comes down for the winter in a nearby area. This is more family than we've had in years. DH had all this in mind when he changed jobs. I would have never envisioned this in my wildest dreams, but I'm always willing to come along for the ride.
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Old 07-29-2014, 08:05 AM
 
Location: Bend Or.
1,126 posts, read 2,458,611 times
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Climate,
We chose Central Oregon for this big reason. We could never take the heat of Arizona. It does have cold winters with snow but we love snow.

Outdoor activities
We are very active outdoors and Central Oregon is a outdoor Mecca.

Family
We will be moving closer to Family

Taxes
Oregon get a bad rap for high property taxes but they have no sales tax. Should be a wash. they do have pretty high income tax.

And close travel options,
We will have the coast a few hours away, and many places to explore without travelling great distances.
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Old 07-29-2014, 08:35 AM
 
143 posts, read 132,678 times
Reputation: 802
Retire to where you are happy, comfortable and content. Everything else will take care of itself.
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Old 07-29-2014, 08:38 AM
 
Location: St. George, Utah
756 posts, read 883,936 times
Reputation: 1971
Quote:
Originally Posted by golfingduo View Post
GeneR your selection of AZ is interesting. The weather you are accustomed to in MN is very different in AZ. Also there is no sea shore and relatively few mountains there as well. Culture will be very different too with many people from lands south of there.

Back to climate there was a huge dust storm and that might be trouble if you are not ready for it.

Look here Video: Haboob, A Huge Dust Storm, Hits Phoenix Area : The Two-Way : NPR

If you have never lived through one it can be quite unnerving and driving is impossible.
Few mountains relative to where? I have lived my life in Montana (I know from mountains) and we just bought a retirement home in the Estrella mountains in the Phoenix metro area. The ranges are smaller than what we have up north, but there are MANY mountains/hills in Arizona!

I would assume the OP is aware of the weather in AZ .

What the news stations are now calling "Haboobs" are, I suppose, a "thing." They don't happen every day. If you are caught driving in one you'll need to pull over (like many a snowstorm or hail storm I've been caught in here in MT). We know that some dust storms are bigger than others, but from what we've seen so far they are not really even a consideration for daily life in AZ.

I don't know that we find the culture all that different from the "Western" pace we are used to, though obviously there's a Southwestern/Latino influence. The Phoenix area, at least, is laid back and feels more like California, culturally, than the midwest. We have major league sports, and world-class shopping, so those are two pluses as well!

No sea shore. There's the rub for us. I need a beach, but the weather in Arizona is so wonderful for us, and the housing so affordable that it's our starting point for retirement. We are continuing to look at coastal areas, but finding the right combination of year-round weather (low humidity preferred, like the OP), affordability, and livability is pretty tough near the beach.

We ruled out California for largely the same reasons as OP, plus traffic. I just can't with the traffic.

We want to be close to family during retirement, but with 4 kids not yet grown, it is hard to say where that will be. Our current plan is to keep a base in MT in case the kids stay here, but to winter in Arizona and, ideally, find a place closer to a beach as well. I suppose in our later years we'll have to pick one, and while on one hand I think the pressure to choose might be stressful, I also think that by that time we'll just know where we want to be. Things will shake out. Right?

Last edited by Montanama; 07-29-2014 at 09:05 AM..
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