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Old 12-25-2015, 07:11 AM
 
12,097 posts, read 5,180,009 times
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When you take out COL, Taxes and Weather here are my priorities. They may seem strange to some, but it's what I would want on a personal level.

-Buying an old/older home near a small quaint downtown area.
-Not living where the land is totally flat as far as the eye can see. I lived in Florida as a kid and hated it and this is one or the reasons why.
-Living in a small town from about 2000 to about 10,000 people
-Living where there is lots of green. I'm tired of desert brown.
-Finding a place with a below than average state or national crime rate.
-It needs to be a red or at least purple state where my conservative politics are not considered strange or out of the norm.
-about a one hour driving distance to a larger city

I've got about 5 years to go before I retire, but have already started my research on finding a new place to call home with these things in mind.
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Old 12-25-2015, 08:41 AM
 
Location: North Idaho
2,177 posts, read 2,093,977 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orngkat View Post
One thing that is really important to us is access to good food -- groceries, farmer's markets, etc. The thought of living somewhere with only one grocery and a Walmart as some of my family members do is depressing. Secondly, a very involved community or neighborhood. Other than that the usual - weather, COL, college town. Not too isloated.
Us too. On our retirement location scouting trips we always toured the grocery stores and visited farmer's markets. We were surprised to find that even in some fairly rural areas the grocery stores are very similar to what we're used to in SoCal.
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Old 12-25-2015, 09:30 AM
 
Location: Columbia SC
9,024 posts, read 7,791,206 times
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My main concern was the location had to have the weather for year round golf. Of course this generally means hot/humid summers but to me that was a trade off as no single place has the perfect year round climate (well, maybe Hawaii).

As our families are in the eastern half of the US, we never considered the southwest nor the west. This resulted in NC, SC, GA, FL, and maybe AL and MS coming into play. My wife was originally from SC thus we we knew SC the best but we looked from Wilmington NC to about Orlando FL.

We did not want rural nor city thus this meant a suburban area near a mid-sized city such as Wilmington SC, Charleston SC, Jacksonville FL, Orlando FL. A place that offered peace and quiet but also near activities when we wanted them. I hear people talk about good health care but I would say most any major area in the US has good health care.

Home and golf country club prices had to be reasonable. Coming from the greater Boston area, this meant most places would be reasonable to us.

Taxes and other costs had to be low but again coming from MA this meant most places would be.

We closed in on the coast of SC and spent a good deal of time exploring the area from one end to the other. As I said my wife was from SC with her family in the Columbia area. We were looking about 100-120 miles away from them, which would be close enough.

We wanted a newly built home. One done like we wanted and we could move right in. Tract developments would be fine as long as the model and options suited us.

We chose Charleston SC (Mount Pleasant) and in 2000 we retired and relocated there. We never regretted that decision. We fell in love with the place.

As time would have it, my wife came down with lung cancer in 2005. As we did not know what the future held we decided to move closer to her family so we had a support system around us if needed. We moved to Columbia (Lexington) SC. She passed in November 2015 but this is not about her. It is about how we ended up where we did.

The one main lesson I learned is you have to be happy where you retire to, but never assume it will be your last place. The times, they do change.
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Old 12-25-2015, 09:57 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,775,806 times
Reputation: 32309
Quote:
Originally Posted by johngolf View Post
My main concern was the location had to have the weather for year round golf. Of course this generally means hot/humid summers but to me that was a trade off as no single place has the perfect year round climate (well, maybe Hawaii).

As our families are in the eastern half of the US, we never considered the southwest nor the west. This resulted in NC, SC, GA, FL, and maybe AL and MS coming into play. My wife was originally from SC thus we we knew SC the best but we looked from Wilmington NC to about Orlando FL.

We did not want rural nor city thus this meant a suburban area near a mid-sized city such as Wilmington SC, Charleston SC, Jacksonville FL, Orlando FL. A place that offered peace and quiet but also near activities when we wanted them. I hear people talk about good health care but I would say most any major area in the US has good health care.

Home and golf country club prices had to be reasonable. Coming from the greater Boston area, this meant most places would be reasonable to us.

Taxes and other costs had to be low but again coming from MA this meant most places would be.

We closed in on the coast of SC and spent a good deal of time exploring the area from one end to the other. As I said my wife was from SC with her family in the Columbia area. We were looking about 100-120 miles away from them, which would be close enough.

We wanted a newly built home. One done like we wanted and we could move right in. Tract developments would be fine as long as the model and options suited us.

We chose Charleston SC (Mount Pleasant) and in 2000 we retired and relocated there. We never regretted that decision. We fell in love with the place.

As time would have it, my wife came down with lung cancer in 2005. As we did not know what the future held we decided to move closer to her family so we had a support system around us if needed. We moved to Columbia (Lexington) SC. She passed in November 2015 but this is not about her. It is about how we ended up where we did.

The one main lesson I learned is you have to be happy where you retire to, but never assume it will be your last place. The times, they do change.
Good analysis of your retirement location situation; you and your wife took a rational and thorough approach. I am so sorry for your loss; this will be your first Christmas without her. You are undergoing difficult times.
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Old 12-25-2015, 10:50 AM
 
Location: A Yankee in northeast TN
10,576 posts, read 14,373,391 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ansible90 View Post
I have been reading various threads about people looking for a new place to live in retirement. So many focus on cost of living, taxes and weather, and of course those are important. But there are a few things that are rarely mentioned....

Just curious as to how much these sorts of things factor into your search and/or decision on a new location. If anyone has more to add, please feel free.
I think they factor into it for most people, just that it makes sense to find and area that fits those bigger needs first and then look for more specific places to fit the smaller wants.
I like a small city, semi rural lifestyle but I can find that all over the country. However I don't care for high heat and humidity and I'm on a modest budget. Made more sense for me to look for areas I could afford, that fall within a comfortable temperature range, and then look at possible places within that area that fit the lifestyle I want.
I think you see so many post about COL etc because a lot of posters are trying to narrow down the areas they should take a closer look at.
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Old 12-25-2015, 10:58 AM
Status: "0-0-2 Game On!" (set 13 days ago)
 
Location: The beautiful Rogue Valley, Oregon
7,329 posts, read 15,387,659 times
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COL and taxes weren't high up on our list, other than things like "we don't want to pay Los Angeles, San Francisco level housing costs" - which, since we didn't want to live in an area that large and congested, wasn't really an issue anyway. Sure, it would be nice to have lower taxes, but, in general, taxes pay for things and we found, looking at several states, that between income, property and sales taxes things tend to balance out.

Our first location turned out to be a poor choice for us (too isolated, too much snow/cold - really aggravated spouse's Reynauds and turned his hands to claws in winter - and the economic downturn really hit the area hard and most of the things we considered desirable amenities closed)

What was high on our list, in no particular order:
- west coast or western intermountain
- small/medium town, not suburb of larger town but large enough to have a downtown, multiple medical facilities and cover most general shopping needs
- no heavy sprawl or traffic congestion
- great farmer's markets, availability of local foods (produce, meat, etc)
- small/medium airport (ours has flights to Seattle, Portland, SFO, LAX, Phoenix, Denver, Salt Lake, which is good enough)
- shorter winter
- music scene
- nearby outdoor recreation (camping, hiking)
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Old 12-25-2015, 02:24 PM
 
5,402 posts, read 6,555,791 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johngolf View Post
As time would have it, my wife came down with lung cancer in 2005. As we did not know what the future held we decided to move closer to her family so we had a support system around us if needed. We moved to Columbia (Lexington) SC. She passed in November 2015 but this is not about her. It is about how we ended up where we did.

The one main lesson I learned is you have to be happy where you retire to, but never assume it will be your last place. The times, they do change.

You said what I wanted to say much better than I could have. A support system becomes primary after a period of time and expect to make a new move when that time comes if you don't already have that in place.

My condolences on your wife's passing. Stay strong.

ONS
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Old 12-25-2015, 03:32 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,722 posts, read 49,538,109 times
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I dislike drought. When the ground dries out in May, so by June all the grass is brown and dead. To me that is ugly. I like living in green vibrant forest. Being away from drought-prone regions was my primary criteria. Within my family both sets of my grandparents lost their farms to drought, and were forced to migrate seeking better climate. My siblings now farm, but everything hinges on water access.

My career was obviously around ocean. I like ocean, but I do not need to see it every day. I am good being an hour from the ocean.

After that; COL and taxes were high priorities in our criteria.

What else, neither of us like traffic congestion. Really we do not like urban at all. The buzz, the background noise, the fast pace, the crime, and generally higher COL, all made us hard to relax in any of the cities where we have lived.

We prefer rural New England.
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Old 12-25-2015, 04:04 PM
 
Location: Central Massachusetts
4,800 posts, read 4,862,845 times
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John sorry for your loss. We wish you the very best.
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Old 12-25-2015, 04:38 PM
 
Location: Central NY
4,697 posts, read 3,267,134 times
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johngolf: I am so sorry for your loss. I never expected that to be the end of the paragraph. Please know a lot of people are caring about you.
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