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Old 08-20-2014, 04:45 PM
 
Location: Idaho
4,639 posts, read 4,484,350 times
Reputation: 9101

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Quote:
Originally Posted by skydiver_jim View Post
A good GIS program (Geospatial Information Systems) and some decent data (climate, crime statistics, cost of living, etc) can create all the overlays (layers) that you need to have a great head start on what you're looking for. You can then visualize everything you are looking for and make comparisons of different areas
First time I've heard it referred to as "Geospatial". I've always known it as "Geographic Information System". But, you bring up a good point. ArcExplorer, ArcReader, or whatever ESRI calls it now is free. Just have to build the database, figure out how to weight various layers, and write a "Dummy's guide to".
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Old 08-21-2014, 08:40 AM
 
Location: Orange County, CA
3,730 posts, read 5,286,372 times
Reputation: 4193
My problem is too much information, rather than not enough. Have a bookcase loaded with retirement guides and general information books on places, accumulated over the years. Have over a dozen similar websites bookmarked. Could post them here, but CD rules forbid linking to rival sites. Am almost a walking data base, when many places are mentioned can rattle off cost of living, crime rate, climate, etc. All this creates information overload, and thus indecision. Choosing a final place to spend what is likely the rest of your life not easy, and can be complex and difficult.
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Old 08-21-2014, 09:31 AM
 
10,819 posts, read 8,079,355 times
Reputation: 17034
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackShoe View Post
My problem is too much information, rather than not enough. Have a bookcase loaded with retirement guides and general information books on places, accumulated over the years. Have over a dozen similar websites bookmarked. Could post them here, but CD rules forbid linking to rival sites. Am almost a walking data base, when many places are mentioned can rattle off cost of living, crime rate, climate, etc. All this creates information overload, and thus indecision. Choosing a final place to spend what is likely the rest of your life not easy, and can be complex and difficult.
Your print resources are out-of-date and I don't envy you keeping all that info updated in your head.

DH and I tried to keep it simple. We identified a dozen or so places that appealed to us, visited and stayed in them, discarded some, then made repeated trips to the finalists, with longer stays.

Finally we threw them all out and settled on a locale that flunks our list of criteria but has 2 advantages: (1) It will be an intrastate move, which greatly simplifies our financial and estate planning and (2) It's a city much loved by our two sons, who now live thousands of miles away. They enthusiastically support our plan. When our health inevitably fails, it will be far less stressful for them to come check on matters, since they once lived in and have many friends in our chosen area, and there's also a decent airport. Actually they've both said they may end up moving back there, but we're not counting on that.

We decided those advantages trump (1) mild summers and (2) moderate housing costs, both of which were high on our original list.

~~sigh~~ So our dream of living in Taos will forever be that - just a dream. But it's only a (long) day's drive from Austin so we can always vacation there.
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Old 08-22-2014, 07:55 AM
 
Location: North Idaho
2,172 posts, read 2,089,805 times
Reputation: 2600
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackShoe View Post
My problem is too much information, rather than not enough. Have a bookcase loaded with retirement guides and general information books on places, accumulated over the years. Have over a dozen similar websites bookmarked. Could post them here, but CD rules forbid linking to rival sites. Am almost a walking data base, when many places are mentioned can rattle off cost of living, crime rate, climate, etc. All this creates information overload, and thus indecision. Choosing a final place to spend what is likely the rest of your life not easy, and can be complex and difficult.
Analysis paralysis.

Sounds like you need to get out a visit some of those places. During our search a number of people told us some variation of "when you find your place you will know it." They were right, but we needed to be there to realize it. No amount of facts and data would have enabled us to realize what a few visits made very obvious to us.

Dave
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Old 08-22-2014, 08:09 AM
 
5,399 posts, read 6,548,967 times
Reputation: 10477
Quote:
Originally Posted by volosong View Post
How difficult can it be to write a computer program that accesses a database and allows one to enter weight factors for various criteria, (weather, access to health care, recreational activities, population size,etc.), then spit out a list with recommended suggestions? Must be practically impossible because it hasn't been done yet. When asked, I always answer, "You want to know how to get rich? Find a need, then fill it." With the exploding baby-boom retirees, there seems to be a need here.
I did an excel spread sheet including weighting values for their importance to me. Just put in the place and give it a score however you want and the formulae do the work.

it worked for me but maybe because I was familiar with all areas I considered.
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Old 08-22-2014, 09:16 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,668 posts, read 40,039,994 times
Reputation: 23823
Quote:
Originally Posted by theoldnorthstate View Post
I did an excel spread sheet including weighting values for their importance to me. Just put in the place and give it a score however you want and the formulae do the work.

it worked for me but maybe because I was familiar with all areas I considered.
I did the same, but it clearly excluded my first choice (WY... Same as Volo...)

Housing cost and stability / resell / transportation / access to international airport / access to higher ed.

I can always TWEAK my weighting if I get too discouraged

Eventually it showed I best met my objectives where I am at (I dislike the climate and the $14k/yr property taxes, but can overcome each cheaper than moving) Had to make another investment property cash flow my taxes . I travel a lot to avoid 200 days of drizzle weather. (keep homes in dry climate). Currently I love to travel and enjoy the different cultures / climate friends in each of my locations.

At some point age 70 - 80... things will change, and another spot on the spreadsheet will be tops. That is a few decades away. Health Care is the wild card, so unlikely I will be able to stay in USA. Time will tell.
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Old 08-23-2014, 06:48 AM
 
4,349 posts, read 6,067,210 times
Reputation: 10458
We retired in Florida but soon learned we really wanted to go home, 1400 miles away, so we self-corrected. The only thing I can offer is wherever I go I need to be around people who's world is bigger than their immediate town, people who've seen things and grown and have something to add to the conversation. If you have traveled, fracmeister, then you want to be in a place where others have traveled, you're not going to like the quaint farmer's daughter attitude. Grandkids ARE important but there are airplanes for that. I found that when I lived out of state, I was 'royalty' whenever I came home for a visit, everyone wanted a piece of me. Now that I'm a full-time fixture here, not so much. There's a freshness in living away from family. It's kinda like living over the bakery. You stop smelling the bread.
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Old 08-23-2014, 07:50 AM
 
Location: Floyd Co, VA
3,416 posts, read 5,144,825 times
Reputation: 7231
I haven't read all the posts on this thread but I'm sure that you've been given some good ideas. I would tend to start with 4 lists:

1. Must have/be...
2. Would like to have...
3. Must not have/be...
4. would put up with...

That should enable you to narrow it down to maybe half a dozen locations and then I think that City Data can be a great resource to get first hand info from folks who actually live there.

I hope that you have fun in doing your research and ultimately wind up with a great place that you love.
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Old 08-23-2014, 11:44 AM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 19,001,270 times
Reputation: 15649
Quote:
Originally Posted by volosong View Post
How difficult can it be to write a computer program that accesses a database and allows one to enter weight factors for various criteria, (weather, access to health care, recreational activities, population size,etc.), then spit out a list with recommended suggestions? Must be practically impossible because it hasn't been done yet. When asked, I always answer, "You want to know how to get rich? Find a need, then fill it." With the exploding baby-boom retirees, there seems to be a need here.
google "Find Your Spot" and take the test
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Old 08-23-2014, 11:55 AM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 19,001,270 times
Reputation: 15649
Quote:
Originally Posted by theoldnorthstate View Post
I did an excel spread sheet including weighting values for their importance to me. Just put in the place and give it a score however you want and the formulae do the work.

it worked for me but maybe because I was familiar with all areas I considered.
I've done a spreadsheet as well (mine is for Maine), putting in "dots" in the cells that go with each location that have each of the amenities we want.

First vertical column: the specific locations

Horizontal headings with columns under them for the dots (the amenities):

Within 6 hrs (drive from the grandkids)
In town (good housing)
OK taxes
Hospital/doctors (decent)
Senior transport
Healthfood store
Movie theater
Arts (concerts, etc)
Water access (ocean, river, lake)

YMCA (a plus)
College (a plus)
Senior college (a plus)
Asst living (affordable, a plus)

3 dots means excellent, 2 means good, 1 means OK
A blank is not good
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