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Old 11-26-2014, 12:39 AM
 
Location: Southwest
142 posts, read 175,034 times
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We have tried the sfr in hoa in small town FLA on east coast, then to Southern Az in hoa retirement community with all the activities and at 59 + 65 we are the CHILDREN here in this comm so we are looking for a big change. Either RV, rent to find best options or what's next we do not know. We are thinking middle TN, SW Idaho or if anyone else has any ideas....we need somewhere affordable. The Drs in the 55+ cities like here are really out to just TEST people to DEATH and collect the Medicare fees. The zombie neighbors don't much leave their homes, driving cars while they are on oxygen and other stunts are testing our nerves. We want good weather part of the year but most of all, we just want to live and relax and maybe go fishing sometime or go out to eat but not at the all you can eat buffets... We have visited The Villages when we were in FLA and it seemed like an elder-Peyton Place.
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Old 11-26-2014, 05:58 AM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,973,893 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barbiloo View Post
We have tried the sfr in hoa in small town FLA on east coast, then to Southern Az in hoa retirement community with all the activities and at 59 + 65 we are the CHILDREN here in this comm so we are looking for a big change. Either RV, rent to find best options or what's next we do not know. We are thinking middle TN, SW Idaho or if anyone else has any ideas....we need somewhere affordable. The Drs in the 55+ cities like here are really out to just TEST people to DEATH and collect the Medicare fees. The zombie neighbors don't much leave their homes, driving cars while they are on oxygen and other stunts are testing our nerves. We want good weather part of the year but most of all, we just want to live and relax and maybe go fishing sometime or go out to eat but not at the all you can eat buffets... We have visited The Villages when we were in FLA and it seemed like an elder-Peyton Place.
At this point you have too many options on the table. If leaving friends and family are not a consideration, I would start with the kind of climate you want, followed by the tax situation in that handful of states, followed by affordability of housing, followed by the "kinds" of people you're likely to find in those few states. By the time you get through all that, you will have narrowed it down to a very few places. City-Data Forum is your place to post your questions (go into the state forums and ask away). The next logical thing to do is take your 3 top places and spend a week in each. LauraC has posted in this forum extensively on how to go about that. Maybe she'll respond here and let us know how to find her classic posts.
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Old 11-26-2014, 08:37 AM
 
Location: Southwest
142 posts, read 175,034 times
Reputation: 219
Our friends are spread all over the place, many of our closest family members have died from various diseases at fairly early ages so we want to make the best of what "time we have left" if you will. We have a "blended family" and each of us has a married adult child, one of them has no children, the other has many children which are very dear to us but we do not agree at all with how their parents are raising their children, also they live on the east coast and we are both from the west coast. We have extended family and several friends in the ORE/WA area but it just seems to be too expensive to do what we want to do and own a home in those areas, we were able to afford it here and most likely many people would just stay put right here if they were us. Like you, I hope that LauraC sees this post and helps us learn how to see all of our possible choices without breaking the bank, we are considering the low cost used RV to do that and have a little travelling adventures as well. We have had really good incomes in the past and a beautiful new diesel RV but now that we are on "fixed incomes" the lifestyle is mandatorily changed. We have no real hobbies to speak of although we have taken a ceramics class here and really enjoy making some things like that. We would bike and hike and tour museums and visit places of interest all over usa with the rv that we are considering, but at the price point we can afford we worry it would have a lot of repairs needed along the way. THank you newenglandgirl
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Old 11-26-2014, 09:35 AM
 
Location: San Diego
156 posts, read 149,487 times
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barbiloo: I have not read all the posts on this thread, so I might have missed something you said. Still, I see that today you posted that you are currently in a 55+ community in Southern AZ and it seems to be full of very old, inactive people and zombies. You are 59 and 65 and do not like it there.

I have to reply because my wife and I, both 63, have been renting this past month of November at Robson Quail Creek, south of Tucson. (I don't know where you currently are in S. AZ.) We're renting here to test the waters of the 55+ communities for the first time. In short, we've been practically amazed by everything here! It is a very active and welcoming place, and we are not at all out of place, age-wise.

Everyday we see the fitness center busy; runners, walkers, bikers, golfers, and tennis players outside; the clubs (hiking, table tennis, cards, technology, books, etc.) seem thriving--we've sampled some.

The maintenance and landscaping are terrific. The costs of ownership and H.O.A. are surprisingly reasonable and affordable. We have only two things keeping us from deciding to buy in here: 1) we're leery of the intense summer heat. Visiting in November was probably the best time of year to be here. 2) we want to be closer to family.

So, why did we rent here for a month with two known obstacles to this location? We wanted to test the concept of 55+ communities, having read of all the pro's and con's from various contributors in City-Data and elsewhere. We chose Robson because it has a very high reputation and we might as well visit a very nice place for starters. (BTW, we did a day tour of a nearby Del Webb place in the Tucson area (Del Lago) for comparison purposes, and it also was nice. Cheaper than Robson, but offering less, as well.)

Barbiloo, I hope you find what you're looking for, but I wanted to say that S. AZ does offer some very attractive 55+ options.
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Old 11-28-2014, 02:05 AM
 
Location: Southwest
142 posts, read 175,034 times
Reputation: 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth Vespa View Post
barbiloo: I have not read all the posts on this thread, so I might have missed something you said. Still, I see that today you posted that you are currently in a 55+ community in Southern AZ and it seems to be full of very old, inactive people and zombies. You are 59 and 65 and do not like it there.

I have to reply because my wife and I, both 63, have been renting this past month of November at Robson Quail Creek, south of Tucson. (I don't know where you currently are in S. AZ.) We're renting here to test the waters of the 55+ communities for the first time. In short, we've been practically amazed by everything here! It is a very active and welcoming place, and we are not at all out of place, age-wise.

Everyday we see the fitness center busy; runners, walkers, bikers, golfers, and tennis players outside; the clubs (hiking, table tennis, cards, technology, books, etc.) seem thriving--we've sampled some.

The maintenance and landscaping are terrific. The costs of ownership and H.O.A. are surprisingly reasonable and affordable. We have only two things keeping us from deciding to buy in here: 1) we're leery of the intense summer heat. Visiting in November was probably the best time of year to be here. 2) we want to be closer to family.

So, why did we rent here for a month with two known obstacles to this location? We wanted to test the concept of 55+ communities, having read of all the pro's and con's from various contributors in City-Data and elsewhere. We chose Robson because it has a very high reputation and we might as well visit a very nice place for starters. (BTW, we did a day tour of a nearby Del Webb place in the Tucson area (Del Lago) for comparison purposes, and it also was nice. Cheaper than Robson, but offering less, as well.)

Barbiloo, I hope you find what you're looking for, but I wanted to say that S. AZ does offer some very attractive 55+ options.
Darth, we are where you are GVAZ. We bought in July so we endured half a summer here but we have been here many times as my parents lived here. We have tested out the gvr clubs and find it to be an elderly high school clique sort of place and even though we are all from somewhere else as they say...the people still divide up into geo groups. There is a lot of social activity if a person drinks alcohol its a great place but that is not us. Yes, it is for active people but not true down to earth people who truly enjoy real outdoor activities. Yes there are serious bird watchers, serious hikers here and many other serious outdoor enthusiasts but people here seem so plastic and rigid. It may be the mid-west attitude, we are true blue west coasters ourselves. I think one thing I miss are children, they are completely missing from the picture here and that is eerie. Today was depressing for me because there was a "flurry of activity" because it is Thanksgiving, many people here had younger visitors from out of state, cars were going by faster and younger persons walking after their feasts...it was refreshing. In summer I understand we have only about 17,000 yr round residents and very little crime. But it's like the Senior Citizen Stepford Wives around here. We are a little less formal than all of our neighbors, we don't dress up unless someone is getting married. We would like to pick up the fishing pole and go fishing but we'd have to drive a couple hours to do that in a mudhole....The mountain is gorgeous, we can see it from our backyard, that is one solace. The other thing to consider is if you are having a medical emergency...there is that one urgent care place but the prices are exhorbitant and they are not 24 hr, also if you want to buy some clothing or something to fix your house with you really have to drive 30 km up to Tucson. It appears as if it's an ideal retirement scene but really, I have already had heat stroke twice since July and the air is so dry it is hard to keep lotion or chapstick on hand and breathing is difficult too. Moderator cut: Please, no advertising

Last edited by Poncho_NM; 11-28-2014 at 06:04 PM..
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Old 11-28-2014, 06:41 AM
 
60 posts, read 97,183 times
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So Barbiloo--where will you go next? I'm always curious about where people decide to move to and why. Thanks for the reality check that retirement living may not be a fit for everyone.
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Old 11-28-2014, 11:04 AM
 
Location: San Diego
156 posts, read 149,487 times
Reputation: 669
Quote:
Originally Posted by barbiloo View Post
Darth, we are where you are GVAZ. We bought in July so we endured half a summer here but we have been here many times as my parents lived here. We have tested out the gvr clubs and find it to be an elderly high school clique sort of place and even though we are all from somewhere else as they say...the people still divide up into geo groups. There is a lot of social activity if a person drinks alcohol its a great place but that is not us. Yes, it is for active people but not true down to earth people who truly enjoy real outdoor activities. Yes there are serious bird watchers, serious hikers here and many other serious outdoor enthusiasts but people here seem so plastic and rigid. It may be the mid-west attitude, we are true blue west coasters ourselves. I think one thing I miss are children, they are completely missing from the picture here and that is eerie. Today was depressing for me because there was a "flurry of activity" because it is Thanksgiving, many people here had younger visitors from out of state, cars were going by faster and younger persons walking after their feasts...it was refreshing. In summer I understand we have only about 17,000 yr round residents and very little crime. But it's like the Senior Citizen Stepford Wives around here. We are a little less formal than all of our neighbors, we don't dress up unless someone is getting married. We would like to pick up the fishing pole and go fishing but we'd have to drive a couple hours to do that in a mudhole....The mountain is gorgeous, we can see it from our backyard, that is one solace. The other thing to consider is if you are having a medical emergency...there is that one urgent care place but the prices are exhorbitant and they are not 24 hr, also if you want to buy some clothing or something to fix your house with you really have to drive 30 km up to Tucson. It appears as if it's an ideal retirement scene but really, I have already had heat stroke twice since July and the air is so dry it is hard to keep lotion or chapstick on hand and breathing is difficult too. Perhaps you'd be interested in buying our townhome for your winter stays? Its even more affordable than Quail Creek and it includes gvr....dm if interested. Under 110k and going on the mkt in a week....
Thanks for the reply, barbiloo. I don't see a Stepford Wives society where I am, but you have been in the area longer, so you may be right. I totally see the downside of being 30 km. from Tucson; it does seem too isolated out here. Green Valley will not be the ultimate retirement destination for us either. Good luck with your next move and selling your townhome.
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Old 11-28-2014, 12:43 PM
 
14,260 posts, read 23,987,654 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth Vespa View Post
Thanks for the reply, barbiloo. I don't see a Stepford Wives society where I am, but you have been in the area longer, so you may be right. I totally see the downside of being 30 km. from Tucson; it does seem too isolated out here. Green Valley will not be the ultimate retirement destination for us either. Good luck with your next move and selling your townhome.

I have been in Green Valley for the past year, throughout all the seasons have not experienced any of the "Stepford Wives" and the other issues. I have yet to be at a function that required "dressing up" or where alcohol has been served (other than wine at dinner).

As for the "terrible older drivers", I have had a lot more problems when I have been out of the area.

I think that when people take the time to research an area BEFORE buying, they are far less likely to be disappointed.

As for the 20 mile drive into the city (it is closer to 26 miles from my home), I can generally make it into DT Tucson in less time than if I lived in some of the communities in the far north and far east parts of Tucson as it is straight freeway. There is seldom any traffic on I-19 except between the Valencia and Ajo Parkway exits.
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Old 11-28-2014, 08:48 PM
 
Location: Southwest
142 posts, read 175,034 times
Reputation: 219
We are looking at Boise ID or middle Tenn. I have visited my parents here in GVAZ for over 25 years all the time and we owned a 2nd home here for a couple years in the past, we came back here after losing both my parents 3 years ago. They lived here happily all those years so we didn't see why we shouldn't just move here and call it good. However, we are younger than many people who live here. I hadn't seen a real live child until today when we went to Tucson to buy some moving boxes...yes, we had to drive 52 miles RT to get the proper sized moving boxes. There are no emergency medical facilities here despite 100% of the residents all being over 55 yrs old, you have to drive to Tucson or ride in an ambulance all those miles, I cannot imagine how much that would cost. Yes, a new hospital is being built, small but a hospital, what level of emergency room care will it consist of? Other than the national franchise fast food, you cannot really get a good hamburger here or any decent Chinese or Japanese food. The garbage company does not provide garbage cans, we had to buy one...we had to get it online and wait about 10 days until it is delivered to the local store...in Tucson. It's just cumbersome. I never said anything about the drivers here, but yes, they stop in the middle of the road and yes some take forever to back out a parking spot, some glide right thru red lights and I know for a fact our neighbor drove us back from an event with his oxygen tank on empty! It was too far to walk or I would have. A pack of 22 wild javelina are roaming our neighborhood every night looking for garbage to eat...it is disgusting, they have somehow managed to break into our garbage cans 3 times in less than 3 months. My parents loved it here, they enjoyed going on some of the trips to Mexico and other local sites, they took the classes, painted and took photos. They were in the GO SLOW mode, we are still in the GO GO mode, most of our neighbors are in the NO GO mode of retirement. I have researched and researched all of this for over 6 years, there was no blind movements, just disappointment that could not be foreseen. Grocery prices here are much higher than in FLA. Home insurance is lower because it is not a hurricane area like FLA, gas is lower here, water and garbage and electricity are higher here. Water and air quality are poor here due to the dusty copper mines that loom over the entire community, toxins are leaching into the underground water supply, having a brand new charcoal water filter/ salt system softener and reverse osmosis unit for our drinking water and it still stinks. Silt settles on our furniture and the carpets are always dusty, we had the air ducts cleaned and still sneezing constantly due to the air, from whatever reason it is like that. One thing that has to be said is that there is very little apparent crime here, and being so close to the southern US border many people would not believe that but there are no homeless vagrants, no roving groups of shiftless people, there are home burglaries and I have heard from a few people that there is drug activity but I have not seen evidence of that. I know that you love the place that you live and I am happy for you. I can only speak for me and my husband, we seek out a place where we can pick up and go fishing or just be a part of an all age society, not cut off from it. We want to be in the middle of things not just watch it on tv. We went to a few churches here to pick one out, once again feeling underdressed and much younger than most of the people we did not feel to be a part of the group. During my research I have read several articles about how Green Valley needs to be more in tune with the new baby boomer retiree group that is coming of Social Security age. The most that I see they are thinking of changing is making some of the tennis courts into Pickle Ball courts. That is nice but really it isn't going to lure a big segment of baby boomers to suddenly want to come here just because of a game they have mostly never heard of. It looks like fun and I am willing to try it out, but the lines to play Pickle Ball are long, and frankly I could have lived my whole life without Pickle Ball. My envisionment for retirement for myself includes riding my bike along roadways and trails, fishing, hiking, playing board games perhaps, learning some crafts (which we have done so far two classes), and social things like maybe a coffee house but the only choice you have here is maybe McDonald's, Mama's Kitchen and the Starbucks in Safeway, which frankly is not very comfortable to kick back and visit people. We have met another couple our age and they have the same concerns as we have, they love to ride their motorcycle around and they really miss seeing little kids around town, they have only been here two months. When I say the things I like to do you may say you can do most all those things in GV, but you can't because it's either too hot or the traffic is not safe enough or it is too dusty of air for me to breathe properly. My Stepford Wives neighbors have set routines, they wear winter gear and take a walk every morning at 6:30 am, read the paper, watch the news, make a small dinner and hit the sack, every day it's the same. They don't sit around the kitchen table and chat, the women stay in their houses right next to their husband's sides because both their husbands are frail and need constant attention due to health concerns. Our other neighbor just moved into a rest home. They have nothing in common with me, they tell me I am their daughter's ages, they talk with their daughters every day on the phone, they do not need me to hang out with because they don't hang out. They have each been married to the same man for 60 years, both couples have been married that long, that is longer than I have been alive. They don't need to chat with me for they already know everything they need to know about life and death and daily living. Their grandkids are my son's age, so they don't even have 10 yr old grandkids to brag about. We don't have a mall, they couldn't come outside and say hey, let's do a girl's day out at the mall or get our nails done because they have to take care of their guys.

Last edited by barbiloo; 11-28-2014 at 08:52 PM.. Reason: forgot something
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Old 11-28-2014, 09:11 PM
 
Location: Southwest
142 posts, read 175,034 times
Reputation: 219
Default Where we may decide to move per Dogflower's request

Quote:
Originally Posted by dogflower View Post
So Barbiloo--where will you go next? I'm always curious about where people decide to move to and why. Thanks for the reality check that retirement living may not be a fit for everyone.
We are putting the place on the market and getting an rv to do our research in person this time. Our two areas of interest are Boise ID and Nashville Tenn. We want to add a few more choices so we can check them all out in the rv and then rent in the chosen area for 9-12 months and then dive into a purchased home after we are satisfied it will work out.
We are open to any ideas on places to put on our radar. We look forward to seeing the rest of the USA that we haven't already covered travelling the USA by RV in the past. I have a travel blog, we have camped out in most of the 50 states but that was when we were still working so this time we will be able to spend more quality time in each area and stay as long as we like...until we get bored.
Each state has its own unique great features and not so great features and deal breakers. We won't move anywhere in particular just because we may know someone who lives there. We have done that, been there and most often you rarely actually see those people because people lead busy lives these days.
Weather is a factor, but you can see by our current two choices that they both have cold and hot weather issues themselves but there are various geographical reasons for the two choices.
Boise- mountain views, a day's drive from friends in Portland-Seattle-Reno. Lots of fishing nearby. Low cost real estate prices, low unemployment, lots of farming in the area which means lots of good fresh produce. Conservative atmosphere, lots of shopping malls, better restaurants, close to our favorite hot mineral bath resort and low crime, close to ski areas, larger airport, low cost of electricity, fresh water, 2 hours from several of my nieces and nephews.
Nashville- Of course...the country music scene, so lots of places to go listen to some good live music, centrally located day's drive to family in 3 directions, short drive to Smoky Mountain resorts, fishing in the area, in suburbs some rather reasonably priced homes, shopping, restaurants, airport, low cost of electricity, friendly people, antique shops to browse galore, 3 hours to our only grandchildren but isolated from ALL other people that we know.
It's hard to decide to move when it's not your job that you are moving for. I know we don't want to go back to where I lived most of my life in northern Calif, we did that last year, the traffic is almost gridlock everywhere you go, high taxes, high grocery prices, high crime, high COL but close to many friends.
Remember, most of our immediate family have died in the past 4 years, so we feel lost.
We are seeking chiefly, low cost of living, low crime rates and then moderate climate, less rain, less dry air, more scenery, less traffic, less smog. Peace and quiet and a little good music.
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