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Old 01-24-2016, 09:26 AM
 
Location: Wasilla, AK
7,253 posts, read 4,139,840 times
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My home town is about 10,000 and my winter home is about 25,000. Living in a smaller community suits me just fine, but it's not for everybody. If I can't find something locally, there is a good sized town less than an hour away. Both have a hospital, but that's something I've never had the displeasure of needing. Neither have much in the way of public transportation, but that's not a consideration.
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Old 01-24-2016, 09:45 AM
 
1,316 posts, read 1,735,693 times
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Currently spoiled by living in a central neighborhood within a million plus city. It feels like a village with everything we need -Parks, libraries, universities, groceries, medical, just about everything very close by. We fantasize a lot about moving to a smaller "town" but the missing amenities rule it out for us. My brother retired to a quaint CO mountain town and we see firsthand the issues he and his wife are having. Have to drive several hours to get to a major airport. Have to drive to the town ten miles away for decent groceries. Have to drive over an hour to get to a major hospital. Things to think about. Of course, the con of where we live is horrible traffic (if we leave our hood), rising property taxes and gentrification. I think I would like a university town of about 250,000 ideally.
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Old 01-24-2016, 09:46 AM
 
12,693 posts, read 14,077,853 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geezerrunner View Post
This is a question I have been thinking about for a few weeks, and I am sure people have different opinions.
My premise is that there is a compromise to be made between the attractions of a larger city, but the higher costs of real estate, greater congestion, traffic jams and crime, and the quiet life in a smaller community which may be more friendly but may lack some of the facilities you need or want.
I live in a city of 20,000 in southern Europe. I love, love, love it. This is what it has, and does not have.

Here are a few observations that occurred to me.

Towns under 10,000 population:

Typically no hospital, just a clinic. Two small hospitals.
No big box stores- you may have to go to the city to buy a dishwasher or tv set. None, who cares, so you drive to the city once in a blue moon for this stuff. Irrelevant.
Poor choice of restaurants, just a few fast food franchises. One franchise only, many, many restaurants and cafes.
Often no car dealers, or just one or two. Prices may be high as no competition. There two new car dealer, and one used car place. Drive to the next town if you want to see more.
Small public library, or perhaps none. One library.

On the plus side:

Housing prices typically lower as weak local job market. Normal to high prices, it is a desirable area.
No parking meters, or traffic jams. Parking meters yes, traffic jams no.
Friendly neighbours and you get to know people in stores. Yes.

Towns 25,000 to 100,000 population:

A few independent and ethnic restaurants. We have restaurants in all price ranges and several ethnic ones.
Churches of various faiths and denominations. The churches are R.C. or Evangelical Christian sects, one one small mainstream Protestant church. There are a couple of Buddhist retreat houses in the hills behind the city.
Fair sized hospital but probably not offering a specialized cancer or cardiac unit. As above, two, but neither has cardiac or cancer unit.
More entertainment options- movie theatre, festivals, sports teams. No movie theatre, few team sports, a fair amount of staged entertainment in the summer, plus bullfights and the circus.

We also have a bus system in town, and there is a bus station with regular bus connexions to other nearby towns, as well as to the international airport, which is a fifty minute drive away.

Towns of 250,000 population or more:

Good highway access, but much more traffic. Fine highway access, little traffic
Local theatre group, art gallery, wide range of book stores etc. Two small art galleries, no book store, and no longer have a theatre group.
All major ethnic restaurants, a variety of pubs and bars. Indian, Japanese, and Chinese restaurants, a live music rock and jazz bar, many (too many) pubs for foreign tourists.
Regional indoor shopping mall, big box sores, all major car dealers have franchises locally.

but:
Higher housing costs, property taxes, less friendly.

So what do you think is the ideal size town for retirement?

Given that my town of 20,000 has many of the amenities found in much larger American towns, I think 20,000. However, not just any ol' town of 20,000 would do - location, location, location: My city is on the sea, and has magnificent beaches and ocean scenery for 100 km in both directions, it has a yacht basin, and a small colorful fishing harbour, the center of town is pedestrianized and much of it is from the 1700's. Access to the wild countryside takes five minutes from almost any part of town.

If it were not set in the natural environment that it is, I probably would not care to live here despite the fact that it has more amenities than expected. There are some inland towns of this size with comparable amenities, but I wouldn't want to live in them.
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Old 01-24-2016, 11:00 AM
 
9,446 posts, read 5,251,067 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geezerrunner View Post
This is a question I have been thinking about for a few weeks, and I am sure people have different opinions.
My premise is that there is a compromise to be made between the attractions of a larger city, but the higher costs of real estate, greater congestion, traffic jams and crime, and the quiet life in a smaller community which may be more friendly but may lack some of the facilities you need or want.

[....]

Towns of 250,000 population or more:

Good highway access, but much more traffic.
Local theatre group, art gallery, wide range of book stores etc.
All major ethnic restaurants, a variety of pubs and bars.
Regional indoor shopping mall, big box sores, all major car dealers have franchises locally.

but:
Higher housing costs, property taxes, less friendly.

So what do you think is the ideal size town for retirement?
The last option is the only one that would work for me and it is working since I live in the country's 5th largest city: Philadelphia. Speaking of indoor shopping malls, the 2nd largest one in the country is right outside Philly in King of Prussia, PA

You left out live music options. Just an over sight, I'm sure.
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Old 01-24-2016, 11:45 AM
 
Location: Seattle Area
1,716 posts, read 1,588,112 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geezerrunner View Post

So what do you think is the ideal size town for retirement?
I think you are making to many generalizations. The right size question has no right answer for everyone. Each town is different. The right one for you is the one where all factors meet or exceed your needs, and the negatives are things you can live with.
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Old 01-24-2016, 05:39 PM
 
563 posts, read 384,419 times
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Default The little orange

I find that sometimes that the smaller neighborhoods are located in huge cities. Take Santa Monica. It has a very small time feel, but is surrounded by the LA metro area. Everyone knows everyone else pretty much. You have friends and small town coziness in the big city. Think Montana Avenue in Santa Monica. Lot of retirement age people, warm highly rated restaurants and world class hospitals close by (UCLA, Cedars Sinai, St Johns?). And an ocean. The best of the best.
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Old 01-24-2016, 10:29 PM
 
634 posts, read 403,673 times
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I LOVE my new hometown, Pueblo, Colorado. It has a population just over 100,000, and has advantages that you can find in small, medium, and large towns.


Houses have almost doubled in value in the past year and a half, but, like many very small towns, you can easily find a fixer upper, only cosmetic, for under $50,000. [some for less that need no fixing up] and a nice middle-class house for under $100,000.


A nice college like you would expect in a medium sized town, but a major university [ free audited classes for seniors] you would expect in a larger city.


Some super 'we care about ALL of our people," that you generally only find in a small town. For example, at city park, all the kiddie rides are 25 cents. The skating rink is also inexpensive, and Pueblo constantly has free festivals all over the place. Most of the town gathers at the farmers market on the Arkansas River Walk [which runs right through downtown] where there is not only fresh produce, crafts, and baked goods [and cheap to rent a table] but there is free entertainment there of many kinds and you can take a ride on the river boat for only $2. And would any city that is not small care enough about it's senior citizens that it takes its' very limited resources and build senior housing surrounding the senior citizen center?


We don't have "Broadway' productions, but we have arts and theater opportunities you generally find in a large city, and our healthcare is exceptional as well.


We live in a medium sized suburban neighborhood. How nice that we are legally allowed to raise our own chickens, and that when the neighbors pigs escape [ almost every day] the cops in the neighborhood just smile. This all feels "small townish" to me.


We have great public transit. I do wish that it was a little more 'big cityish" by running later at night.


As in smaller towns, people tend to buy local, buy homemade, barter, share, and, I don't know about other small towns but it seems that nearly everyone I have met here so far is related to Ted Salazar and wear Denver Bronco t-shirts even during the off season[ Broncos did win AFC championship today, and we will have 2 weeks to enjoy that before being clobbered by the Panthers in the Super Bowl]


I know that Pueblo is considered the "armpit of Colorado," by many, but she offers so much for people who enjoy every population size.
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Old 01-25-2016, 05:40 AM
 
13,902 posts, read 7,400,560 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vicky3vicky View Post
I LOVE my new hometown, Pueblo, Colorado. It has a population just over 100,000, and has advantages that you can find in small, medium, and large towns.
The problem with Pueblo is that if you have a real health event, the good medical services are in Denver. 2 hours door-to-door assuming you don't hit the traffic jam is a bit farther than I'd want to be from specialist medical services. Not awful but it could bit you.
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Old 01-25-2016, 08:40 AM
 
Location: Miraflores
785 posts, read 893,614 times
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I live in the district of Miraflores (pop 100k) within the city of Lima (pop 9 Million) and find it is a nice size and provides for 95% percent of our needs. Occasionally, I need to travel to the Embassy which is 30 min by Uber ($5.00) or we may visit family in a different district. Even when I lived in NYC, everyone lived in smaller self sufficient districts or neighborhoods that made up Manhattan.
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Old 01-25-2016, 10:53 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
34,687 posts, read 33,690,741 times
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The population of my current TN town is about 29,500 now but it sits on 85.5 square miles of land. My former town in Maryland had a population of about 24,000 when I left it 8.5 years ago but it only sat on 5.02 square miles. Both are suburban towns. Divide the square miles and the population for population density.

My current town may have a larger population but because it's spread out more, it is much less dense meaning more open spaces, more green and less traffic.

Traffic is an important consideration for me.

If you are used to living in a city, as much as you are probably going to like less traffic and peace and quiet if you move to a small town, eventually you are probably going to complain about what you don't have in the quality, variety and/or quantity that you were used to having. My suggestion, if you asked, would have been just don't do too much of an extreme change.
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