U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Retirement
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 01-25-2016, 12:33 PM
 
Location: Albuquerque NM
1,679 posts, read 1,549,180 times
Reputation: 3700

Advertisements

My plan is to move from a metropolitan area of close to 1M to a tourist town of about 90K. There are a few smaller towns in the area and the total population of the region is about 150K. It is 2 1/2 hours to the nearest large metropolitan area and the Pacific coast. But the town has low crime, good medical facilities, a small airport, a small college, many festivals and activities although not much in the way of plays or classical music which I don't care for anyway, lots of outdoor activities, reasonable shopping but no large better department stores, good restaurants and brew pubs but few ethnic restaurants, decent music scene, etc. One downside is the increasing housing prices but I have resigned myself to renting permanently or until the next housing bubble burst.

One reason that I wanted to move from my current large city is the increasing traffic. Also I no longer care for shopping and if not for my career, I would prefer living in a smaller city. As a teenager, I lived in several small towns less than 20K that were very isolated and I enjoyed the lifestyle. But as this smaller tourist town has become more popular, another downside has recently emerged. The traffic and crowds have significantly increased and the infrastructure is not being expanded to support this. One C-D poster complained that when he visited last August, it took 3 cycles to get through each stop light. I am hoping that this is more of a seasonal thing and that I can tolerate this by planning my schedule or avoiding certain areas of town or perhaps living in one of the smaller outlying towns.

This seems to be a common problems with many desirable retirement locations, e.g., Asheville. I went to Hilton Head a couple of years ago and the entire area seemed very crowded and built up. What starts out as a nice place quickly becomes very congested.

Last edited by ABQ2015; 01-25-2016 at 01:25 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 01-25-2016, 01:54 PM
 
284 posts, read 357,428 times
Reputation: 519
Thanks to all for your responses, some certainly giving me new ideas to consider.
Kevxu- That sounds ideal! I had considered a coastal town in Croatia, [perhaps Split or somewhere else on the Dalmatian coast, because my wife speaks the language, the weather, culture, food and scenery appeal to me, and real estate is reasonable. Many European towns have wonderful history to explore and are close to big cities, places in Italy or Spain for example.
Unfortunately we learned in December that my wife has terminal lung cancer, so I think I prefer to stay here in Canada where I have some friends, where my son lives, and I don't need to learn a new language or culture.

Yaksd- You are right, of course, I made some fairly general observations about towns of different populations. Just as an example, I live now in a town of 85k which is quite diverse and has an Ethiopian restaurant in addition to a wide variety of European, Asian and Middle Eastern cuisines on offer. Just one example; of course widely different levels of amenities are offered in different towns of similar size.

A place that appeals to me, Collingwood, Ontario, has a population of 25,000 and is a resort town on Georgian Bay, part of Lake Huron.
It is a resort area, so little heavy industry, and lots of activities available, golf, skiing, boating, beaches, small rivers suitable for canoeing or kayaking, and winding two lane roads for motorcycling. There is an older area of town with dozens of charming Victorian houses and public buildings. There are at least two good micro breweries in town and a fair number of restaurants. There is a smallish hospital, decent shopping centre, minimal transit. I have been there many times and like the place, but am a bit concerned about the winters as it is in a snow belt,( which is why it has developed as a ski resort!)
It is also a two hour drive from Toronto, population about 4 million, for international airports, specialized medical care and so on, but only 30 minutes from Barrie (population 135,ooo) which would be ideal for the occasional major purchase, and being situated on Lake Simcoe, is itself quite an attractive town.

Anyway, lots to consider before needing to make a decision.

Last edited by Geezerrunner; 01-25-2016 at 02:00 PM.. Reason: Added information.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-25-2016, 02:18 PM
 
Location: Cushing OK
14,547 posts, read 17,660,511 times
Reputation: 16778
The town I live in is about 9k normal residents. The oil people usually live at the motels and go home weekends. We have now two grocery stores, one brand new, and the Walmart has competitive prices. A half hour away, there's a college town. Its a nice drive too.

There's lots of smaller houses too, and they aren't expensive. Property taxes are low. Utilities aren't bad. The library is good according to my mil who visited it during their visit.

There's intenet access from several sources, and its a reasonable drive to the next big town for big movie theaters. Housing is more expensive there, but not by a lot. There's a university in town too.

I find this perfect, since quiet and affordable was what I wanted. If I want to go to something bigger, its not that far away. I also wanted a relaxed pace of life, coming from ever busy socal. I couldn't stand a 'metro' now....

Smaller towns can fit the bill depending on what you want.

Adding... I'm not big about being around a bunch of people, really more a loner. My good friends live in two different states and have for a while, but that's what phones are for. But if there is an emergency, my neighbors would be there. When I moved in, they all came to say hello. I barely knew what the neighbors looked like in socal.

I'd pretty much decided before we bought, but was coming to visit a friend and to look a the house. Its a slightly larger shotgun house built in 1930 with no addons but a laundry and bathroom. It's rode out the recent quakes pretty well. I am hoping they go away. Since we know why, and that nature didn't cause that, lawsuits mentioned, I think we will. I miss my friend who was ill and passed away, but I'm still glad she got me to look. But the thing which utterly sold me was the wind was blowing and the sky was blue and and I could breath. No smog. That would be something I would absolutely require of anywhere I was going to live after living in the second worse area in the country for smog.

Last edited by nightbird47; 01-25-2016 at 02:54 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-25-2016, 03:58 PM
 
Location: Idaho
2,514 posts, read 2,311,957 times
Reputation: 5267
I retired close to a city with an approximate population of 50K. Good hospital, decent transportation for the elderly (if ever needed), decent shopping; guess there are churches but nothing I look for, and taxes are decent.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-26-2016, 09:02 PM
 
719 posts, read 694,706 times
Reputation: 1091
Geezerrunner, I'm so very sorry to hear about your wife. Best of luck in whatever area you choose.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-26-2016, 09:39 PM
 
14,330 posts, read 24,138,631 times
Reputation: 20252
I think that it all depends on what you are looking for and what you are willing to accept. We spent the last ten years before retirement identifying what was important to us and what wasn't.

Some of my thoughts:

We wanted access to good healthcare but eliminated two larger cities that many people complained had very mediocre hospitals. We did not want to settle for mediocre care.

We decided we wanted a community feeling where people wanted to be neighbors. That led us to a smaller town as opposed to a suburb. We never had any real intention of considering large cities.

We prefer unincorporated areas as the tax structure is a lot lower.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-27-2016, 07:59 AM
 
Location: The Berk in Denver, CO USA
14,114 posts, read 20,557,402 times
Reputation: 22982
Quote:
Originally Posted by jlawrence01 View Post
We prefer unincorporated areas as the tax structure is a lot lower.
Interesting as I would NEVER live in or near unincorporated land as the likelihood of a fracking rig making an appearance is too high.
For example - http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_29...th-ban-new-oil

Last edited by davebarnes; 01-27-2016 at 08:47 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-28-2016, 06:32 AM
 
Location: Sherman Oaks, CA
6,242 posts, read 15,501,105 times
Reputation: 8127
I'm a Los Angeles native, but I probably won't be able to afford to retire here. That's okay, because I find myself unable to deal with the traffic and people now. I rarely go anywhere except to work and back, unless it's a vacation get out of town completely.

There are some nice small towns/cities in places like San Diego. My kids live here in L.A., so I'd like to stay as close to them as possible. California and local taxation being what it is, though, I could be fooling myself that I won't end up in Arizona or Nevada.

I'm thinking of a medium sized city (50,000 - 100,000?), possibly a college town so that there is always something to do. Public transportation will become important when I can no longer drive, and I'd like to be relatively close to a hospital and good medical care, too.

By the time I retire, the baby boomers who have gone before me will probably have snapped up all of the good spots, so who knows where I'll end up? I have 17+ years to think about it, as I'm planning to work until I'm 70 (hope my health holds up!)

Last edited by SandyCo; 01-28-2016 at 06:40 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-28-2016, 10:01 AM
 
Location: Wasilla, AK
7,403 posts, read 4,276,652 times
Reputation: 16303
Quote:
Originally Posted by SandyCo View Post
I'm a Los Angeles native, but I probably won't be able to afford to retire here. That's okay, because I find myself unable to deal with the traffic and people now. I rarely go anywhere except to work and back, unless it's a vacation get out of town completely.

There are some nice small towns/cities in places like San Diego. My kids live here in L.A., so I'd like to stay as close to them as possible. California and local taxation being what it is, though, I could be fooling myself that I won't end up in Arizona or Nevada.

I'm thinking of a medium sized city (50,000 - 100,000?), possibly a college town so that there is always something to do. Public transportation will become important when I can no longer drive, and I'd like to be relatively close to a hospital and good medical care, too.

By the time I retire, the baby boomers who have gone before me will probably have snapped up all of the good spots, so who knows where I'll end up? I have 17+ years to think about it, as I'm planning to work until I'm 70 (hope my health holds up!)

The oldest boomers just turned 70, so they're going to start dying off in ever greater numbers. By the time you reach 70, there should be plenty of vacancies in the good spots. I don't think the trailing edge boomers will be quite as well off as the leading edge. I'm the oldest in my family and none of my siblings will ever be able to retire as comfortably as I have.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-28-2016, 09:28 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,845,641 times
Reputation: 32310
Quote:
Originally Posted by SandyCo View Post
I'm a Los Angeles native, but I probably won't be able to afford to retire here. That's okay, because I find myself unable to deal with the traffic and people now. I rarely go anywhere except to work and back, unless it's a vacation get out of town completely.
......................
I lived in the Los Angeles area from age 14 to 18 and again from age 22 to the present (71). I decided to retire here. Stopped full-time work over 10 years ago and have never regretted my decision. But you are right about the traffic; it is by far the single biggest down-side to being here, whether retired or not.

However, as retirees we have a greater choice about what times of the day and what days of the week we go certain places. That makes quite a difference, and I go places frequently. For example Sundays are manageable - I'm going to a Los Angeles Master Chorale concert at Walt Disney Concert Hall downtown on Sunday evening.

Still, I am not arguing against your decision not to stay here, which is a reasonable one.

As for affordability, if you bought a house before about 2001 (that is, before the insane run-up in real estate prices which led to the crash in same in about 2008), then your property taxes are based on that relatively low purchase price and are quite reasonable. But perhpas you are a renter, in which case my previous sentence is not relevant to you. In similar fashion, if your income is modest then the California state income taxes are also modest; they are the highest in the nation only as one's income gets up there. That is, the structure is progressive. But again, affordability is in the eye of the beholder and no one is quarreling with your line of reasoning, which is widely shared.

Best of luck with your plans.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Retirement
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top