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Old 02-18-2015, 11:40 PM
 
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One of my friends from Chicago called me the other day. He asked me if I had any trips planned this winter.

I reminded him that when you live in paradise, why would you want to travel in the winter?

As for the poster above, I have been to 20 restaurants since Christmas and have NEVER waited for more than two minutes for a seat ... even on a Saturday night.

Besides, if I traveled, I would have to find a jacket as mine is still in storage.
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Old 02-19-2015, 07:41 AM
 
Location: Backwoods of Maine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nbseer View Post
Reasons?
1/ Fear of getting stranded at an airport during a winter storm.
2/ Fighting the hoards of other northern snowbirds in places like Florida or Arizona... restaurants jammed, traffic, etc..
3/ Worrying about our property up north when those winter storms/frigid temps hit.
I retired 2 years ago and moved north - to Maine - to get away from the summer heat and away from the city crowds, pollution, traffic, etc. Our new Maine home is peaceful, cool and green. I don't mind the snow at all during the winter, and being the outdoors type, I love the cold, too. I just dress for it.

At the moment we are down in rural Tennessee looking for another property, for vacations. Wife has family down here, and it does seem like a great getaway. We DROVE down here (takes just one day) as neither of us likes flying, so we don't. We don't find many "northern snowbirds" in this area, and the restaurants are not "jammed", nor is there much traffic. You need to look for a place that is off the beaten path!

Worries about property up north are valid ones. In our case, it snows so much in Maine that you'd need a plow truck just to reach our home. If we lived in the city, that wouldn't be the case. It's quite easy to winterize a home, once you get into the habit. We don't worry about frozen water lines.

But if you like it where you are, hey - go for it! You should realize that there are other options, though...
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Old 02-19-2015, 09:08 AM
 
Location: Maine's garden spot
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
On its face that seems completely impossible. How can the heating bill be more than rent PLUS travel expenses? Even very cheap rent for a tiny, run-down place is going to be $500 or more. Are you saying that their heating bill is more than $500 per month? Even if they heat to 75 degrees or something ridiculous like that, it strains credibility. And while gone, some heat is necessary to keep the pipes from freezing, which means the heating bill does not fall to zero.

I can see a heating bill of $500 a month or more in a month of unusually cold weather, but that is not the same as having an average bill that high over a period of several months. Record-breaking cold does not last for a whole winter.
Their place is in Maine. They are old, need it warmer. The heating bill in the summer is close to $600.- a month. They go to Nicaragua for the winter. They shut the house in Maine completely down. Yes they really do save quite a bit of money.

I wouldn't go to Nicaragua though.
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Old 02-19-2015, 09:25 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
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Default Well then, I stand corrected!

Quote:
Originally Posted by AustinB View Post
Their place is in Maine. They are old, need it warmer. The heating bill in the summer is close to $600.- a month. They go to Nicaragua for the winter. They shut the house in Maine completely down. Yes they really do save quite a bit of money.

I wouldn't go to Nicaragua though.
Well, you know the particulars, so I have to admit I was wrong, but it still strikes me as quite amazing. Of course I was thinking about rents in the United States - in Nicaragua they can probably rent cheaper. Do I correctly assume they have to put anti-freeze in the pipes, or perhaps drain them somehow when they "shut the house completely down"?

I am also curious what their heating modality is that it's so expensive. Perhaps via a propane tank on the premises? I know that is an expensive way to go because I know two people that do it that way: one person in rural western Pennsylvania and one person in a rather remote part of California. In neither case is natural gas available.

Thanks for clarifying. (Truth is stranger than fiction!)
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Old 02-20-2015, 06:45 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AustinB View Post
Their place is in Maine. They are old, need it warmer. The heating bill in the summer is close to $600.- a month. They go to Nicaragua for the winter. They shut the house in Maine completely down. Yes they really do save quite a bit of money.

I wouldn't go to Nicaragua though.
Wow, That must be a totally not insulated/poor windows etc house or an absolutely enormous house. Heating costing close to $600 in the summer is amazing. They probably should live in Nicaragua year round.

I live in the upper Midwest, the highest heating bill I have ever had is about $150. It is hard for me to wrap my head around being too cold, Each to their own I guess. I am of the "Get what you get and don't throw a fit" German ancestry. Raised to stoically deal with whatever comes my way. Now in my 60's I am probably too old to change that.

I don't travel much to begin with, mostly because of chronic health issues which make traveling a strain. I pretty much don't travel in the winter for the same reasons as the OP.
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Old 02-20-2015, 07:37 AM
 
Location: Connecticut is my adopted home.
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We snowbirded out of AK for roughly 6 years. We had a few minor travel snafus because we left AK in mid-October but nothing that rose to much more than inconvenience, even the time that we were stranded at a lodge for a few days in the Yukon and then had to go 150 miles on chains because of the heavy ice on the roads in mountainous terrain. I think that was the most memorable inconvenience.

Not having to spend 5 months shoveling, freezing and wondering if this is the year I break my leg on the ice (I'm outdoorsy but a bit of a klutz) was well worth the inconvenience. Now living in an area that is getting a prolonged blast of winter, I'm tempted to take a drive to FL or AZ to warm my bones. If we didn't have a very old dog that would have trouble with the trip, we'd have already been gone.

Different strokes for different folks.
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Old 02-20-2015, 07:40 AM
 
Location: Maine's garden spot
3,162 posts, read 5,699,680 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
Well, you know the particulars, so I have to admit I was wrong, but it still strikes me as quite amazing. Of course I was thinking about rents in the United States - in Nicaragua they can probably rent cheaper. Do I correctly assume they have to put anti-freeze in the pipes, or perhaps drain them somehow when they "shut the house completely down"?

I am also curious what their heating modality is that it's so expensive. Perhaps via a propane tank on the premises? I know that is an expensive way to go because I know two people that do it that way: one person in rural western Pennsylvania and one person in a rather remote part of California. In neither case is natural gas available.

Thanks for clarifying. (Truth is stranger than fiction!)
Drain the whole system. They heat their water with the oil furnace too. They both have fairly poor blod circulation, so they like it warm.
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Old 02-20-2015, 09:28 AM
 
14,261 posts, read 24,004,620 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aqua Blue View Post
I live in the upper Midwest, the highest heating bill I have ever had is about $150. It is hard for me to wrap my head around being too cold, Each to their own I guess. I am of the "Get what you get and don't throw a fit" German ancestry. Raised to stoically deal with whatever comes my way. Now in my 60's I am probably too old to change that.

I don't travel much to begin with, mostly because of chronic health issues which make traveling a strain. I pretty much don't travel in the winter for the same reasons as the OP.

I have seen the same thing. I lived throughout the Midwest and generally all my heating bills (natural gas) have been under $100 a month every winter. There might be one month a year where the gas bill is over $100, but never two. Having said that, I must confess that we have always had great windows and more than adequate insulation. In addition, we generally ask the sellers to see their most recent year of gas/electric bills.

I did live once in a cabin in VA with no insulation. Heating a room in that place cost more than the rent during the winter months.
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Old 02-20-2015, 05:52 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AustinB View Post
Drain the whole system. They heat their water with the oil furnace too. They both have fairly poor blood circulation, so they like it warm.
O.K., they heat with heating oil. The final unexplained piece of the puzzle for me (I think) is their thermostat setting. Yes, I see they "like it warm". How warm, exactly?
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Old 02-20-2015, 08:21 PM
 
Location: too far from the sea
19,850 posts, read 18,874,270 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
O.K., they heat with heating oil. The final unexplained piece of the puzzle for me (I think) is their thermostat setting. Yes, I see they "like it warm". How warm, exactly?
lol, Yikes! I know utilities are much more expensive here in the northeast than in other parts of the country but $600/month in the summer? Maybe they live in very northernmost Maine and in the woods where the sun doesn't even get through to warm things up? But still..........
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