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Old 12-24-2015, 03:42 PM
 
Location: VT; previously MD & NJ
2,243 posts, read 1,377,923 times
Reputation: 6518

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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. Such as:

Do you like being reasonably near the ocean or do you not mind being landlocked?

Do you want to live in a beautiful place (near a lake, river or mountains)?

Are you ok with traffic and congestion because it means the stores and medical facilities are plentiful, varied and close by?

Are you concerned that the new location might not be accepting of a stranger? I think this one is particularly important. In the limited number of areas I have lived, the most friendly seemed to be places where most of the folks came from somewhere else.

How would you fit into the culture of the area? Such as red state/blue state, or southern culture, or midwest attitudes, or northeast city attitudes.

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.
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Old 12-24-2015, 04:03 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,768 posts, read 40,177,403 times
Reputation: 23976
Quality of life is far more important than strictly "COL, Taxes and Weather"


Each will be very different, but for me; retirement home = View / retreat centric with no traffic!! is a non-negotiable requirement... followed by:
1) need to be near a college town (Events, opportunities, and community vitality)
2) Access to EZ (and CHEAP) international airport
3) Enjoyable climate for being outdoors Everday!
4) no Air Conditioning desired
5) Access to plenty of fresh produce and potentially yr round gardening
6) Broad local economy
7) Nice destination on high ground (near National Park / recreation / relaxation)
8) I carefully researched social acceptance of my chosen locations (being accepted / no cultural bias)
9) Access to lots of great services
10) Access to resources for hobbies / interests / PT jobs.
11) 'Destination' for travelers / family to come and relax / enjoy.


Personally, I don't get a lot of enjoyment from the beach, but we have beautiful Oregon coast 1 hr away (go 3-10x / yr)
I do enjoy the mtns (daily). 50+ miles of uninterrupted view, frequent weather changes, nice cloud watching, sunrise and sunset, good breeze (cool sleeping nights). Lots of wildlife, very few neighbors. I can be at the center of 1 million people in a 20 minute drive. (in case I get lonely).

Weather is tough to mitigate, so try to get that one right!

I don't enjoy the 200 days of drizzle at primary location, but I am not alone (yet), so I mitigate weather via traveling and having homes in 2 places that have MUCH better weather during my drizzle season, but these places are not perfect yr round either.

My taxes are high on primary residence, so I adjusted my investment income to cover the additional fare. I also bought an alternative residence less than 1 minute away (same cost basis but 1/10th the taxes of current home). It remains rented to subsidize my home.

We eat / entertain on $100/ month total, as we have for 35+ yrs.
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Old 12-24-2015, 04:50 PM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 19,044,554 times
Reputation: 15649
In this order, my big 10:

close distance to grandkids
COL
taxes
general climate (cannot tolerate high heat long summers)
places to walk without being on streets (parks, campuses, etc)
close easy drive to medical and highest quality food stores
no heavy concentration of one political view
most lack of racial hatred
educated population (college+)
nonmetro, nonrural, Big Town
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Old 12-24-2015, 05:04 PM
 
Location: North Idaho
2,178 posts, read 2,102,069 times
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We considered COL and taxes, but they weren't big factors in our decision. Weather was a larger factor, but probably in the opposite way than most people: We were deliberately seeking somewhere with four real seasons.

Plenty of nearby opportunities for our outdoor recreational interests (hiking, fishing, etc.) was a much higher priority, as was living in a more rural environment.

Dave
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Old 12-24-2015, 06:26 PM
 
1,318 posts, read 1,743,333 times
Reputation: 1711
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.
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Old 12-24-2015, 08:53 PM
 
1,079 posts, read 822,773 times
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COL, rural horse country, mild winters. That means hill country and if I want to see anything bigger than the creek, I'll drive, lol

I was raised on a farm and still have that "no-coffee-klatch" mentality. If you need help, I'll be there, otherwise MYOB. Thankfully we retired on an old farm road where everyone else feels the same way. We may stop to chat, in passing, until the next neighbor comes along but that's the extent of neighboring and it suits me just fine

As far as fitting in, I never worried about that. Farm folk all speak the same language regardless of where they are from. We are northerners who bought 24 acres in the south. We keep this place neater than some folks in Burbs, don't play loud music or have noisy parties.

We respect the land and the people who are deeply rooted here. They respect us for that. Anything is reciprocal as long as one doesn't come barnstorming into a new territory and expect to bend the established folks to your ways.

We are 12 miles from two towns that have nearly everything we need. If not, I get on the Net and order what I can't find in a store.
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Old 12-24-2015, 09:48 PM
 
Location: Cochise county, AZ
5,001 posts, read 3,496,289 times
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For me it is COL. I would like to have a milder climate but, I also do not want to live somewhere where I will need to stay inside for months on end.
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Old 12-24-2015, 10:05 PM
 
Location: Backwoods of Maine
7,127 posts, read 8,193,581 times
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We didn't find everything we wanted in one place...at least not what we both wanted! So we got 2 places, one in Maine, and one in TN. My family has ties to Maine, while my wife has family in the NC /TN area.

We both enjoy both places, with the exception of my not being able to tolerate the TN heat from May to Oct. The wife, on the other hand, enjoys winter but gets depressed and cabin-feverish during January and February up here in Maine.

We both spent most of our lives in urban areas, so these places are both rural. The fishing is great in both states, so I'm happy....
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Old 12-24-2015, 10:28 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,768 posts, read 40,177,403 times
Reputation: 23976
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nor'Eastah View Post
We didn't find everything we wanted in one place...at least not what we both wanted! So we got 2 places, ...

We both enjoy both places, with the exception of my not being able to tolerate the TN heat from May to Oct. The wife, on the other hand, enjoys winter but gets depressed and cabin-feverish during January and February
....
winter is a good time to go on a medivacation to a tropical climate and get 'tuned-up' for the coming yr. Europe has done this for many decades.

I too need multiple locations during this season in life. I expect to mellow out and be more of a home body by age 80+. I have my sights set on the Wyoming Pioneer Home for post age 85. Good fishing on nearby Wind river. For this season, I am happy with the Wild Salmon availability in PNW. Coolers of salmon fly free on SWA to TX. BBQ Brisket flies free on the return to PNW.
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Old 12-25-2015, 05:58 AM
 
Location: Central Massachusetts
4,800 posts, read 4,875,227 times
Reputation: 6385
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. Such as:

Do you like being reasonably near the ocean or do you not mind being landlocked?

Do you want to live in a beautiful place (near a lake, river or mountains)?

Are you ok with traffic and congestion because it means the stores and medical facilities are plentiful, varied and close by?

Are you concerned that the new location might not be accepting of a stranger? I think this one is particularly important. In the limited number of areas I have lived, the most friendly seemed to be places where most of the folks came from somewhere else.

How would you fit into the culture of the area? Such as red state/blue state, or southern culture, or midwest attitudes, or northeast city attitudes.

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.
You could search this forum and find hundreds of threads of folks looking for this that and the other thing. I don't blame you for asking it this way. It is a very well phrased and reasoned question. It is one which many struggle with.

I myself have asked this question and still I am where I was when I asked that question. I haven't made a decision yet after 2 years of research because I was not in the position to move and will not be for a bit longer. However that being said we (DW and I) are looking for an area that has a lower cost of living, the weather is nicer, taxes are lower. These were the big three. After we considered those we then are looking at other factors. Are there any military bases near by (I am retired military)? Is that military base an AFB (space-a travel for less)? Is there water near by? I love water and would love to remain within an hour drive to the ocean. Is there mountains visible (DW's wish to have mountains in view)? How far away from our only child do we want to live? Or how close?

Factors such as meeting and making new friends is a factor but less so than say finding a good doctor in the new area. Or for that matter finding services like plumbers and electricians or even builders for that matter. How about finding a mechanic in the area that you can trust? On that last one DW already has one in me but I won't be able to do the work. I just know if someone is BSing me.

As for politics that is an interesting question. I don't think everyone has exactly the same fervor and enjoys the same flavor. Therefore if you are a very vocal person when it comes to politics you might choose your location a bit tighter or learn to keep it less vocal. Otherwise it don't really matter one way or the other. The most important politics are local and that should not have anything to do with party affiliations. When I say most important I really mean the one that you can have influence on. Nationally one vote doesn't make a ripple in any way.

We will find a compromise. There are a few locations that have some of our wants. What we find will not have everything each of us wants. But I know that between the two of us and that is the most important factor I am considering that we both have some of what we are looking for. I also want us to be able to just enjoy life in retirement not needing to stress out about schedules and worry about the next war zone that I could be deployed to.

Last edited by oldsoldier1976; 12-25-2015 at 06:05 AM.. Reason: missed a point
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