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View Poll Results: Best, most afffordable small city to retire to....
Boise ID 6 6.19%
Spokane WA 6 6.19%
Roanoke VA 9 9.28%
Ocala FL 11 11.34%
Fayettville AR 10 10.31%
Sebring FL 4 4.12%
Charleston WV 1 1.03%
Athens OH 3 3.09%
Asheville NC 18 18.56%
Branson MO 2 2.06%
Rapid City SD 6 6.19%
Greenville SC 21 21.65%
Voters: 97. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-31-2015, 05:23 PM
 
38,318 posts, read 14,990,940 times
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I second Mr. Rational's advice to rent for a while in each of your three top places.

We bought in North Carolina after renting for here for a time. Looking back, I wish we had tried out a few more places. We thought about eastern Kentucky and the "Forgotten Coast" by Tallahassee. But never checked them out and now it seems like too much effort.

Where we are is fine, but often wonder if one of the other places might be a better fit. Didn't want to live in a beach town -- crowded in the summer with tourists, all the decent restaurants close up in the winter. But it would be nice to be a half hour from the beach instead of four.

Lot of people love North Carolina. Perhaps one day we will too.
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Old 04-02-2015, 11:33 AM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 19,004,474 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GotHereQuickAsICould View Post
Lot of people love North Carolina. Perhaps one day we will too.
You're going to love it more and more with every passing northern winter.

I like the the places I've seen in NC. We've explored Cary, Apex, Carborro, Hillsborough, Mebane, and some of the towns leading into Asheville. There's a lot of different experiences, and you're placed pretty well geographically. A winter drive to Florida wouldn't be so bad, either.
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Old 04-02-2015, 05:32 PM
 
38,318 posts, read 14,990,940 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
You're going to love it more and more with every passing northern winter.

I like the the places I've seen in NC. We've explored Cary, Apex, Carborro, Hillsborough, Mebane, and some of the towns leading into Asheville. There's a lot of different experiences, and you're placed pretty well geographically. A winter drive to Florida wouldn't be so bad, either.
I do love the winters, NewEnglandGirl.

But I dread spending the last few decades of my life on the freeway. We ended up in the Triangle area and every time we head out the driveway, it's off to the races.

We enjoy the mountains and the ocean and thought being three hours from both would be a good compromise. As it turns out, we don't do either.

Oh, we make the occasional trip to the beach and to the mountains now and again. But other than that we spend our days keeping our home up. Seems such a horrible waste of our last good years.
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Old 04-02-2015, 06:42 PM
 
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I want to live in an area with little traffic congestion, not a resort, far from any oceanic coastline (lakes are fine) and places of interest to me for volunteer opportunities.
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Old 04-02-2015, 11:43 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
18,134 posts, read 23,045,598 times
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You can find exactly what you're looking for in the Redding, CA area (Shasta County or Tehama County - Red Bluff area). The only problem there is that the summers are long and very hot.

I'm not sure if the area around Brookings, OR is cheap enough, but you should check it out. You could live in Del Norte County, CA, and not be a long drive to the VA clinic in Brookings.

Not sure about land around Grants Pass, but that's a nice town and there is a VA clinic there, too.

I really like living in Crescent City. Stays cool year round - never too hot, never snows. I can go to the beach or the redwood forest within minutes. Brookings, OR is just about 30 minutes away. Brookings is a nicer and bigger town, but I wanted to stay in CA for my benefits. But, I love to go to Brookings and shop tax-free :-)
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Old 04-09-2015, 01:38 AM
 
Location: where you sip the tea of the breasts of the spinsters of Utica
8,301 posts, read 12,231,047 times
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Well, the Redding area is dirt ugly and full of crime, and Crescent City is known for a huge amount of rainfall yearly, other than a brief spell in summer that's usually nice. I don't know much about the other towns you mention.
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Old 04-09-2015, 02:26 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,687 posts, read 40,050,764 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GotHereQuickAsICould View Post
I do love the winters, NewEnglandGirl.

But I dread spending the last few decades of my life on the freeway.
NICE thing about freeways is that they don't usually have STOPLIGHTS!(higher chance of accidents at stoplights). I chose a small town 'retirement' county without a traffic light in the entire county It is in the PNW wet-side (no choices in poll, but pretty CHEAP... I found a nice rural place for under $100k, 7 min to grocery and 20 min to international airport / major city = peaceful... owl and coyote noise only).
Wonderful summers with 55-65 F Degree 'sleeping' nights (no AC in car or house). Mild winters ~20F for absolute lowest (2 nights / yr), with norm in the 40's - 50's. ~2-4 snows that last less than one day. This year No Snow, but WET!! (no worry of water shortage! when TSHTF (good location for 'preppers'), trees grow to 300'+). Lots of (free) firewood! (for those few winter nights you need extra intense heat)

Beach is 1 hr, no traffic lights to get there (beautiful, 100% public access Oregon Coast... not warm sandy beach) https://www.google.com/search?q=nort...iw=985&bih=735

Mtns are out the back door
https://www.google.com/search?q=cape...AUoAg&dpr=1.25

I do keep a place in the Hill Country of TX for when I get tired of R-A-I-N (very little of that this winter in PNW... <10% of normal snowpack). I can go to TX, CO, AZ, CA, NV for $100 airfare if I need some sun. (Or take a $23.10 direct flight to San Diego... or drive 1 hr east)

Quote:
... we spend our days keeping our home up. Seems such a horrible waste of our last good years.
This can be a problem...don't let it wear you out, or injure you! (as it has so many)
When age 75+, consider your options...
1) hire a caretaker
2) build a 'caretaker cottage' (as in much of rural Europe)
3) Build a 'granny flat' / cabin for you, and rent out the main house to someone that will care for the place (and you!) That is what I do (by choice). The $1000/ month income from each location is nice too (while I don't need care, yet...)
4) Consider 'share housing' (sell a portion of property to someone who will care for it / you as a 'life estate'
5) Add RV site and lease / barter to a 'caretaker' for the property.
6) Place an ADA accessible modular home on property (for you) and rent the main house (~$50k for a very nice smaller modular - ez to move in (~1 week to get site ready and place it) Build it into a hill / slope / pit, so it has NO STEPS and add carport next to main door (wheelchair / walker access).
...

100)... move to town

You will be very surprised how many people would LOVE to live on your place and help with the W-O-R-K! Last night one of my 'boarders' asked that I would LET them mow all summer.!!! Fine with me! They are young / grew up on a farm / were SICK of noise / hassle / expense of apartment living, so they are VERY happy to have my 1900 SF daylight basement with great view (for 1/2 their apartment rent).

I usually find age 40+ 'outdoorsy' single male or female are very good rural renters / boarders (some stay for 10+ yrs!). They watch the place, help me, and take care of animals and yard when I travel. Find a 'farm kid' person, and they will be a workhorse / know how to do stuff, can be a BIG help and add much safety to your enjoyment of your rural home. (They are there to help you so you don't take risks lifting or using ladders.)

Last edited by StealthRabbit; 04-09-2015 at 02:42 AM..
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Old 04-09-2015, 03:12 AM
 
Location: Connecticut is my adopted home.
2,277 posts, read 3,084,718 times
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We left AK after 35 years and ended up in NE.KS. The bucolic rolling hills part. Rural property, 10 minutes from a college town of 90K. Could be worse.

The place we live fits the OP's requirements but has every pest known to man, high humidity, hot summers and often cold winters. Frankly the storms don't concern us much. We seem to be sheilded from the worst by a large reservoir and ridge line that anecdotally appears to break tem up before getting to us. The people are friendly though and living cheap (relatively) especially to those used to west coast costs of living. Very good medical access and care, same for other civilization amenities and reasonable proximity to an international airport in Kansas City. Being in the center of the USA, nothing is more than two days drive in the 48 states.

We looked at a lot of the west (physically in an RV over a few years time) and ended up here, partly for family and partly because no place was perfect, this was close enough. Our criteria was similar to the OP's but because we planned to do a bit of "farming" we were concerned about water issues which pretty much did in most larger western towns/cities. We also looked at tax and regulation profiles of intended areas as well. Makes for a confusing mess. It's all a compromise. Good luck OP.

Last edited by AK-Cathy; 04-09-2015 at 03:22 AM..
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Old 04-09-2015, 06:59 AM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 19,004,474 times
Reputation: 15649
Quote:
Originally Posted by GotHereQuickAsICould View Post
I do love the winters, NewEnglandGirl.

But I dread spending the last few decades of my life on the freeway. We ended up in the Triangle area and every time we head out the driveway, it's off to the races.

We enjoy the mountains and the ocean and thought being three hours from both would be a good compromise. As it turns out, we don't do either.

Oh, we make the occasional trip to the beach and to the mountains now and again. But other than that we spend our days keeping our home up. Seems such a horrible waste of our last good years.
This post reinforces my own feeling about how I want to age—free of transportation/driving hassles and freer of keeping up a home.

For me, location in a small town that has just about everything needed, with elective amenities adjacent to the town, is of first importance. Driving on a highway let alone a freeway is going to become less and less appealing. I have the location I want (seeing now as we're staying in New England), but not the perfect house for minimal upkeep. That is the huge challenge—finding the perfect location with the perfect home. It's often one without the other.

As for the bold, above, with all the ancient folks driving on the freeways (and so many more to come), along with the huge tractor trailers and 20-something texters, those last few decades many not be so long.
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Old 04-09-2015, 12:59 PM
 
Location: where you sip the tea of the breasts of the spinsters of Utica
8,301 posts, read 12,231,047 times
Reputation: 8054
Huh ...... I actually prefer driving on freeways if they're not crowded with large trucks. Both of my accidents have happened in town, where it takes a lot more concentration and skill ..... that's just me though. I wouldn't want to live near to one, where the noise is loud.
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