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Old 01-23-2016, 07:44 PM
Location: New Mexico
116 posts, read 79,519 times
Reputation: 313


I live in tiny country community and have 100 mile round trip drive to town. Whereas that was alright for many years (even the one mile walk to my mailbox), it got real old. I found that as time went on, I wanted some choices - stores, restaurant, services just in general - closer to where I live. Around 25,000 is large enough to have some selection, yet small town enough to suit an old back woods sort like me who doesn't need much for entertainment. To actually be able to walk to a store within a mile would seem soooo utterly convenient
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Old 01-23-2016, 08:04 PM
12,088 posts, read 5,174,817 times
Reputation: 19080
Of course, it's a very individual choice. You really can't make a decision about this by what other people are doing or what other people like.
I'm the one that prefers a town from about 5,000 to 20,000. I'm not one to eat out often and at exotic or expensive restaurants. I don't need a large shopping mall where I can wander around in for half a day in order to buy a shirt or pair of jeans. I like old towns, low in crime where I can leave my home and not spend time worrying about if I forgot to lock the door before I left or what I will find when I get home.
I'm a rather simple person who doesn't need or want lots of different things available within a 10 minute drive. I love the tranquility and down home feeling of a smaller town. As far as making friends in a tight knight community, I think I'll be alright. I don't expect others to go out of their way to change their ways because I moved into town or to bend over backwards for me. I'll make new friends as I wish to and when the opportunity arises as I meet people.
I realize I'm in the vast minority, but this is what i wish for when I retire in about 5 years.
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Old 01-23-2016, 08:06 PM
Location: Sierra Nevada Land, CA
8,419 posts, read 9,170,922 times
Reputation: 13148
So many factors come into play. We live near a town of 5000. Has a ton of events and has three live theatre venues. One of which is as good as anything you would find in the bay area. 30% of the folks here are Bay Area retirees. Not to hard to make friends. The good ole boy network is easy to join as long as you fit in. Worked for us. Nice variety of churches and they are not very sectarian. Folk are friendly.

So it just depends on you and the community. It does work for us.
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Old 01-23-2016, 09:33 PM
Location: The Berk in Denver, CO USA
14,063 posts, read 20,418,504 times
Reputation: 22862
Default For me, you may be different

Big city.
Bi-weekly chemotherapy sessions made me happy to be only 4.2 miles from Kaiser.
Also, we love the excitement of our gentrifying neighborhood in the Socialist Paradise of Denver.
7 breweries within walking distance of our house. Important to me.
Trash pickup. My 93 year father still has to drive to the dump in his Boston suburb.
4 supermarkets within walking distance. 2 blocks to 0.8 miles.
Liquor store is 4 blocks away. With a great beer selection.
Close (geographically) neighbors. We have 13 houses per acre.
Walk Score of 90.
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Old 01-24-2016, 12:33 AM
8,986 posts, read 8,136,151 times
Reputation: 19505
Town of 2,000, 50 miles from the largest city in the state. Our home is 3,700 sq. ft. 4 level home without a basement. Soaring windows up 25 feet with a fantastic view of the Rockys in the living room. Nothing else like it in the county. Barn stables and 5 acres all level and rail fenced. At our age, we have a housekeeper that comes in 3 days a week, and a maintenance man on call when we need him.

Shopping is a large independent grocery/pharmacy where we buy our perishables and get prescriptions filled. Good small town hardware, and a building supply.

We buy all our non perishable food from Walmart on line. Prices about 20% below their stores in the bigger town, and 40% below our independent grocery. Get on the computer and order it. It is delivered in less than a week right to our door. We have found over the past couple of years, we can buy about anything we want on line, so why drive an hour each way, have to walk all over stores, and as they figure it costs 45 cents per hour to drive a car with everything included we save about $45 for car expense each trip. We drive a Ford Explorer with all the extras as we need a car that will go in any weather.

Friendliest people that I have ever met. If it snows too much a couple of neighbors have tractors with snow blades, that come over and plow us out as neighbors not taking any payment. Nice as our lane from the county road that separates us from the best par of town, is 500 feet and we have a big parking area. Only happened 3 times in last 9 years as usually not enough snow to worry about. Nice senior center and enough activity to keep us happy.
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Old 01-24-2016, 07:47 AM
Location: Washington State
18,690 posts, read 9,653,739 times
Reputation: 15931
In my opinion, a city of at least 250K to provide adequate services. I prefer a metro area of at least 1 million personally.
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Old 01-24-2016, 07:55 AM
Location: Forests of Maine
30,721 posts, read 49,529,915 times
Reputation: 19162
Each person has his own ideal in this context.

Where we settled is a city of 30,000 about 20 minutes away. They have the shopping mall, box stores, multiple hospitals and universities.

We are fine in a much smaller town.
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Old 01-24-2016, 07:56 AM
Location: SW MO
23,605 posts, read 31,534,226 times
Reputation: 29083
Default What population is ideal for a town to retire to?

Depends on what your wants and needs are. Diff'rent strokes and all that.
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Old 01-24-2016, 08:30 AM
Location: Eastern UP of Michigan
1,202 posts, read 684,267 times
Reputation: 1271
If we get there, as we are still looking after Jims mom, we intend to move to the 2nd largest city in the UP of Michigan. Of course it only has a pop of about 15K.

Our desired location would make the tourist/business area and the state university a very walkable distance, except maybe in the winter. Acceptable(I hope) medical for standard things, although better hospital services would require a longish road trip.

Have been learning that the less we have, the less we want, the more content we are. Applies to where we want to live too.
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Old 01-24-2016, 09:01 AM
Location: Long Neck , DE
4,903 posts, read 3,045,178 times
Reputation: 8025
OPseems to have done a lot of research. One piece of advice from someone who lives in a retirement area. Check the area out in person. See what is NOT there . I see so many folks move and then complain because it is not like home.
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