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Old 08-07-2014, 09:56 AM
 
Location: Colorado...
663 posts, read 818,631 times
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Coming from CA, humidity is going to be a problem in both states; really, humidity will be a bother for you anywhere on the east coast. If you want to take winter weather out of the picture as much as possible, you need to look in SC, GA, TN. Northern Alabama is nice (above Birmingham, around Huntsville). South central to SE and NE TN is nice...take a look at the area around Greenville, SC - this is a very nice area.

Someone has mentioned Charleston, WV, and in general I recommend WV as a good, lower cost of living state.

PA winters really suck, and PA (the central part of the state known as "Pennsatucky" is a cultural wasteland full of meth addicts). But if you go into WV, you will experience the same, so beware. Similarly, stay out of rural areas and the river towns of Kentucky, Ohio.

I will toss out a curve ball - southern Illinois and southern Indiana is very nice, in spots.

There is no free lunch anywhere. The lower the cost of living, the less desirable a place is to live.

I lived in central VA for nearly 25 years (until last year) and I was glad to get out for retirement. To each his own, but VA, at least in the decent areas, is a pretty expensive place to live. Farmville is a commuter / bedroom community for people who can't afford to live in Charlottesville, but have to commute for their jobs, so you will be competing with those people for housing. YMMV...but I would not "retire" to VA if cost of living is a concern.

Final, personal quirk: I have tried, multiple times over the years, to develop a "like" for NC. For retirement, I looked around the Raleigh/Durham area, for instance, but the traffic there is hideous. I looked around Asheville, a very pretty area, but the cost of living (housing) there is on the rise. For a big city, Charlotte is OK (like a small Atlanta), but I wouldn't want to live there. You should definitely look around NC, though, since you are in the region, but I never "got it" whatever "it" is about that state. I think NC is an acquired taste; it is not really very "southern" - it is more of that mid-Atlantic feel that you may or may not care for. If you are looking for friendliness and southern hospitality, look to SC, GA, TN, AL - the areas I mentioned above.

Last edited by Westbound and Down; 08-07-2014 at 10:13 AM..
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Old 08-07-2014, 10:46 AM
 
799 posts, read 778,094 times
Reputation: 1964
It is always good to hear other peoples opinions on different locations especially when it comes to things like how much crime is in the area. However, sometimes you have to keep an open mind because what is negative to some may be perfect for you.

Having said that, I am looking forward to hearing what you think about PA. I have lived here my whole life and love it here. Someone mentioned winters are brutal. There is a big difference in winter weather within PA itself. For example, if you live in the Erie area or even Pittsburgh area you will get a lot worse winter weather then the south central area. Where I am we have had pretty mild winters over several years but last winter was a little worse. We had one week where it snowed on and off for a few days and did get a bigger than usual accumulation of snow. However, in my area they do a great job of plowing the streets and you are never stranded at home for days.

I don't live in a city but in less than 15 minutes I can get to all kinds of doctors, 2 hospitals, numerous urgent care facilities, several malls and stores, all kinds of restaurants and lots of activities.

I love the change of seasons. At least you know if it is hot it will only last a couple months, The cold will not last long either.

Have a safe trip and look forward to hearing from you when you return.
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Old 08-07-2014, 11:23 AM
 
Location: UpstateNY
8,612 posts, read 8,317,742 times
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Eek, PA winters coming from Cali? Yikes. This should be interesting.
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Old 08-07-2014, 11:44 AM
 
Location: Delray Beach
1,136 posts, read 1,441,900 times
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What CCcgirl said.
I too can't fathom "retiring" from anywhere in CA to the northeast.
That's plain crazy in my book, but what do i know? I only lived there my whole life until 4 years ago!

This whole phenomenon of Kalifornions moving east has me baffled. What happenned to AZ?
We're even getting a trickle from the western states to SoFla nowadays, and I fear it will become a stream as people seek to move to lower COL areas.

But be forwarned - the NE is COLD and DAMP from November to March.
And the SE is HOT and HUMID the rest of the year.
Unless you have no $$ choice and you can live in the hills of rural WV, or are a beach freak, you will not like it and you may need to move again.

Oh yeah, and SoFla RE ain't that cheap anymore as the flocks move ever south.
This is gonna get interesting.
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Old 08-07-2014, 04:02 PM
 
Location: Mount Airy, Maryland
10,485 posts, read 5,947,197 times
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I agree about the heat and humidity for someone from California, which is why I cringed at the North Carolina, Georgia thoughts. Coming from Maryland we ruled out NC, with the exception of Ashville, for this reason. This is why we have focused on NE Tennessee. Not sure I buy the thought that the lower the cost of living the less you want to live there. But then again I have not moved to TN, yet. But I do know the weather looks about perfect: lower heat/humidity in the summer, shorter less mile winters but still with a bit of snow which I like.

Interesting enough I was playing golf (I'm on vacation at the beach) with a guy from NY, an hour north of the city, who is contemplating a move to TN at retirement as well
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Old 08-07-2014, 11:18 PM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 67,220,362 times
Reputation: 22380
Quote:
Originally Posted by Westbound and Down View Post
Coming from CA, humidity is going to be a problem in both states; really, humidity will be a bother for you anywhere on the east coast. If you want to take winter weather out of the picture as much as possible, you need to look in SC, GA, TN. Northern Alabama is nice (above Birmingham, around Huntsville). South central to SE and NE TN is nice...take a look at the area around Greenville, SC - this is a very nice area.

Someone has mentioned Charleston, WV, and in general I recommend WV as a good, lower cost of living state.

PA winters really suck, and PA (the central part of the state known as "Pennsatucky" is a cultural wasteland full of meth addicts). But if you go into WV, you will experience the same, so beware. Similarly, stay out of rural areas and the river towns of Kentucky, Ohio.

I will toss out a curve ball - southern Illinois and southern Indiana is very nice, in spots.

There is no free lunch anywhere. The lower the cost of living, the less desirable a place is to live.

I lived in central VA for nearly 25 years (until last year) and I was glad to get out for retirement. To each his own, but VA, at least in the decent areas, is a pretty expensive place to live. Farmville is a commuter / bedroom community for people who can't afford to live in Charlottesville, but have to commute for their jobs, so you will be competing with those people for housing. YMMV...but I would not "retire" to VA if cost of living is a concern.

Final, personal quirk: I have tried, multiple times over the years, to develop a "like" for NC. For retirement, I looked around the Raleigh/Durham area, for instance, but the traffic there is hideous. I looked around Asheville, a very pretty area, but the cost of living (housing) there is on the rise. For a big city, Charlotte is OK (like a small Atlanta), but I wouldn't want to live there. You should definitely look around NC, though, since you are in the region, but I never "got it" whatever "it" is about that state. I think NC is an acquired taste; it is not really very "southern" - it is more of that mid-Atlantic feel that you may or may not care for. If you are looking for friendliness and southern hospitality, look to SC, GA, TN, AL - the areas I mentioned above.
Just a note about NC: you looked in areas where there are only 30-45% or natives -- Raleigh/Durham and Charlotte are full of newcomers and transplants. So it doesn't feel very "Southern" at all. That can be a good thing or a disappointing thing - depending on what you are looking for. Asheville is not where I would recommend for living on a budget, and neither are Raleigh or Charlotte.

If you want to find small town friendly with lower cost of living and decent senior services, you need to go outside the metro areas. Some folks may recommend areas around Greensboro, but I prefer the foothills -- easy access to the mountains, good weather, more Southern and in many areas, there is still rural property, but entertainment and retail within access, decent healthcare and competent folks to work with in re: to Social Security issues, car registration, etc. Even though I live in Charlotte presently, and have for 12 years, we have always driven outside this county for help with such things as SS and license renewal, car registration, etc. b/c the folks here are typically ill mannered, ill tempered, often ignorant of the laws, and the lines are gawd awful. We were shocked to find this (as we thought a medium sized city would have better employees at the city and county level) but . . . it is what it is.

I would add that NC's weather varies so greatly -- there are even ecosystems within the regions themselves. So folks who are looking for milder weather will find it in the foothills as opposed to the mountains (where there is going to be snow, of course) or from the middle of the state towards the coastal region. The area from Raleigh to the coast is always warmer than the foothills, as is Charlotte. If you look at the map, you can see why that would be -- but so often I hear folks rule out the whole state b/c they felt like the weather was too hot and humid in Charlotte or Raleigh -- but haven't visited in others areas N of Greensboro or in one of the state's river valleys (Yadkin or Catawba).

I am a native and there I am not particularly fond of many areas of the state so I can understand why others would visit here and leave scratching their heads.

Last edited by brokensky; 08-07-2014 at 11:31 PM..
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Old 08-07-2014, 11:30 PM
 
Location: Tucson/Nogales
17,442 posts, read 21,278,178 times
Reputation: 24286
Quote:
Originally Posted by brightdoglover View Post
How does OP figure in car dependence with aging? I always think of that and most of the answers aren't too exciting.
That's the first thing that pops into the head of this worry-wart! Car dependency! That sad day I go to the DMV and they say: Hey Buddy! Your driving days are over!

Coming from sunnier areas of the country, I'd Google Sunnniest/Cloudiest Cities In the U.S., as I'm sure you're going to miss the sunshine, particularly if you go to one of the notorious cloud belts in this country, like western PA, West Virginia.

I fantasize, occasionally, of moving to Pittsburgh or Charleston, WV, but what stops me cold is coping with all that cloudiness every year, coming from an area with 300 days of sunshine a year! Snow, cold, I can deal with that!
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Old 08-08-2014, 08:24 AM
 
4,492 posts, read 4,753,674 times
Reputation: 9972
Quote:
Originally Posted by Westbound and Down View Post
Coming from CA, humidity is going to be a problem in both states; really, humidity will be a bother for you anywhere on the east coast. If you want to take winter weather out of the picture as much as possible, you need to look in SC, GA, TN. Northern Alabama is nice (above Birmingham, around Huntsville). South central to SE and NE TN is nice...take a look at the area around Greenville, SC - this is a very nice area.

Someone has mentioned Charleston, WV, and in general I recommend WV as a good, lower cost of living state.

PA winters really suck, and PA (the central part of the state known as "Pennsatucky" is a cultural wasteland full of meth addicts). But if you go into WV, you will experience the same, so beware. Similarly, stay out of rural areas and the river towns of Kentucky, Ohio.

I will toss out a curve ball - southern Illinois and southern Indiana is very nice, in spots.

There is no free lunch anywhere. The lower the cost of living, the less desirable a place is to live.

I lived in central VA for nearly 25 years (until last year) and I was glad to get out for retirement. To each his own, but VA, at least in the decent areas, is a pretty expensive place to live. Farmville is a commuter / bedroom community for people who can't afford to live in Charlottesville, but have to commute for their jobs, so you will be competing with those people for housing. YMMV...but I would not "retire" to VA if cost of living is a concern.

Final, personal quirk: I have tried, multiple times over the years, to develop a "like" for NC. For retirement, I looked around the Raleigh/Durham area, for instance, but the traffic there is hideous. I looked around Asheville, a very pretty area, but the cost of living (housing) there is on the rise. For a big city, Charlotte is OK (like a small Atlanta), but I wouldn't want to live there. You should definitely look around NC, though, since you are in the region, but I never "got it" whatever "it" is about that state. I think NC is an acquired taste; it is not really very "southern" - it is more of that mid-Atlantic feel that you may or may not care for. If you are looking for friendliness and southern hospitality, look to SC, GA, TN, AL - the areas I mentioned above.

I won't be retiring for several years but am always looking and researching. I live in Northern Va. which is expensive, has gotten crazy as time goes on for everything, and terribly expensive for a single person, which I am. Having said that, I am thinking of Staunton, Va. as a retirement place. Compared to NOVA it seems very affordable.

It's all relative.
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Old 08-08-2014, 08:36 AM
 
4,492 posts, read 4,753,674 times
Reputation: 9972
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveinMtAiry View Post
I agree about the heat and humidity for someone from California, which is why I cringed at the North Carolina, Georgia thoughts. Coming from Maryland we ruled out NC, with the exception of Ashville, for this reason. This is why we have focused on NE Tennessee. Not sure I buy the thought that the lower the cost of living the less you want to live there. But then again I have not moved to TN, yet. But I do know the weather looks about perfect: lower heat/humidity in the summer, shorter less mile winters but still with a bit of snow which I like.

Interesting enough I was playing golf (I'm on vacation at the beach) with a guy from NY, an hour north of the city, who is contemplating a move to TN at retirement as well

Agree about ne TN. I have been interested in the Jonesborough area.
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Old 08-08-2014, 08:45 AM
 
Location: Colorado...
663 posts, read 818,631 times
Reputation: 901
Quote:
Originally Posted by brava4 View Post
I won't be retiring for several years but am always looking and researching. I live in Northern Va. which is expensive, has gotten crazy as time goes on for everything, and terribly expensive for a single person, which I am. Having said that, I am thinking of Staunton, Va. as a retirement place. Compared to NOVA it seems very affordable.

It's all relative.
Of course it is all relative. I did not mean to insinuate that the entire state is uniformly "expensive" but VA is, relative to states south/southwest (WV, NC, TN...) "relatively" expensive. For someone from NOVA, Staunton or even Charlottesville would look like nirvana, I am sure.

As for Staunton, I like it very much and considered it as a place to retire. Having lived for almost a quarter century in Charlottesville, however, Staunton did not offer much in the way of "change" except for slightly lower housing costs, but with harsher winter weather. As I had grown weary of the winters in C'ville, I sought someplace with more moderate winters than those in central VA or in the Shenandoah Valley. Hard to find that, along with lower cost of living, without heading south/southwest.

And other factors come into play for retirement decisions, like proximity to family, friends. Our adult children moved away from VA after college, and we had no other family or any other emotional anchors holding us in VA. By moving to where we live now (NM), we scored a trifecta: a lower cost of living, proximity to family, and a year round climate that we prefer to anything we ever experienced in the south or on the east coast...
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