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Old 09-21-2016, 03:41 PM
 
Location: Western MA
1,592 posts, read 1,037,245 times
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Retirement for me is probably about 15 or so years away, but still these days, I can't help but think about where I might want to live someday. I seem to swing from retiring to Asheville, NC (I've never even been there!), or Cape Cod, or Maine, or staying in New Hampshire, perhaps even staying where I am now. I am a bit all over the place about it, but I figure, now is the time to start thinking about it anyway.

I am having some trouble narrowing down the elements of what I want in a retirement home or area. I know for sure that I do not want to live somewhere hot. I guess that I am the opposite from many retirees in that regard. I love New England, it's home to me, but it is more expensive than most other places too, so may or may not be friendly to a retirement fixed income. Also, I worry about dealing with ice and snow as an older person. The ideal thing would be to have a place in New England and be a snowbird, with a place to escape to in the South for the Winter months, but I'll need to figure out how financially viable that is. I do have a goal to have my place paid off by the time I retire, if I can continue my career and income on the path it's on it should be doable.

Anyway, all these thoughts and scenarios are swirling around in my brain so I thought I would reach out and see if others might want to share their stories of how they made their decisions on where to spend their retirement. How did you decide? How did it work out for you?
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Old 09-21-2016, 03:54 PM
 
29,766 posts, read 34,851,819 times
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Probably about ten-15 years prior to retiring started thinking and contemplating.
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Old 09-21-2016, 08:29 PM
 
Location: Florida
4,357 posts, read 3,692,049 times
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I would project your budget for income and expense and adjust your savings and investments as necessary.
I would look toward the south but since it is hot look for mountain areas.
Use state taxes and the cost of living to pick a couple of states.
Then near the ocean or lake, small or large city etc. Remember this is not a vacation place but your home.
Once you have some locations home in a little more. 55 and over community, apt, etc.
When you are 5 years out start getting serious and try and settle on a location 2 years out.
Try and rent in the area for as long as you can to make sure it will work for you.
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Old 09-21-2016, 08:54 PM
 
Location: The Berk in Denver, CO USA
14,017 posts, read 20,323,805 times
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10+
But, decided not to leave the Socialist Paradise of the City & County of Denver.
Did a lot of thinking and analyzing.
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Old 09-21-2016, 09:57 PM
Q44
 
Location: Hudson Valley, NY
895 posts, read 765,062 times
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We're 4-5 years from retirement and we had 3 possible retirement locations in mind and started looking in earnest 4 years ago.

The 3 places were Maine, North Carolina and Florida. We looked online for retirement info for each. Picked up magazines for some places, i.e. subscribing to Down East magazine for Maine. When visiting we would look online for home sales, then drive by them and look around to see what our money would go for in each.

It took some time and some visits, though none of the visits were entirely retirement related - Maine is our vacation spot and we have plenty of family and friends in NC and Florida - which is why these were the only 3 states on our list. We finally decided none of these places were for us and are planning to stay right here in NY. (The heat wasn't the only reason to decide against NC and Fla but that was a huge part of it)

I do like that we were looking about 8 years ahead of our actual retirement because we've adjusted some of our financials in anticipation of staying in a higher cost of living area.

For what it's worth I agree with you on the New England lifestyle. We've literally been in every NE state this year except for RI. Spent a long weekend in Portsmouth last month.
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Old 09-21-2016, 10:32 PM
 
6,438 posts, read 3,066,921 times
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I always thought about it, but what I wanted to do changed radically when I was a few years away from retirement.

Everything before that was rather abstract.

Same as you with wanting to retire to places you've never even been and also places that are very different.

As well for me, some things I felt certain I wanted 15 years out from retirement like ocean front or beach community, became things I wanted nothing to do with a couple of years away from retirement.

More important for you probably is investing/saving so that you have the option to do what you want when the time comes.
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Old 09-21-2016, 10:48 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,537 posts, read 39,914,033 times
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within 5 yrs of a potential relocation is a good lead time to research, visit, analyze and potentially buy.

but... things can change A LOT... elder care, needy adult children, personal health issues ....

ONLY buy if you get a screaming deal / unique property that you can afford to keep vacant or sell very quickly.


The retiree friends who had their previous places packed and SOLD before they retired had a huge head-start on enjoying their retirement.
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Old 09-22-2016, 04:58 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,677 posts, read 49,423,020 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DebNashua View Post
... How did you decide? How did it work out for you?
We knew my retirement date 14 years before we reached it. We started talking about it at that moment [1987]. From that time I was stationed in 5 locations with a few extended stays in 2 other locations. We considered all 7 of those places as possible retirement locales. I retired in 2001, at that time we had decided on moving to a location that we had not visited. It took us a few years to tie-up loose ends but we finally arrived here in 2005. We love it.

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Old 09-22-2016, 05:20 AM
 
Location: SW Corner of CT
1,948 posts, read 1,534,099 times
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We are 5-6 years out and already looking at NC as a few family members have already made the move. Not sure about the heat and humidity in the summer, so a Condo in NC and a Condo in Cape Cod is not out of the question as opposed to our original thought of a House in NC year round
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Old 09-22-2016, 05:31 AM
 
Location: Central Mexico and Central Florida
7,095 posts, read 3,456,394 times
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We were on the lookout for retirement venues while we were in our late 30s! We ended up retiring at ages 50 and 51.

We knew we wanted to leave the East Coast after our first trip to the Southwest. About 10 years before retirement, we figured Tucson was a good fit for us. However, the year before we retired we returned to Tucson for a visit (after a few years absence)...we were amazed at the growth that had taken place, and not in a good way.

So, keep in mind that things do change and don't get too far ahead of yourself in the planning stage.
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