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Old 12-05-2016, 01:55 PM
Location: Left coast
2,320 posts, read 1,208,015 times
Reputation: 3223


just to chime in, I am from CA too (bay area ) and had a house four years where it would get cold- not as cold as Idaho, but snow and good hard freezes all winter long, and now that I am in Oregon, can say- I never liked snow or snow sports- just not into unrelenting cold, and having those freezes- it makes things pretty slippery- my ex broke his arm slipping on pavers one winter- that black ice is pretty treacherous...
as well as having to worry about your pipes freeze and road conditions for driving etc...
Am so glad I don't have to worry about chains for the car in winter etc...

I know people get used to it, but I never was really cut out for snow (and my fathers people are all from Minnesota!)...
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Old 12-05-2016, 01:57 PM
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,561 posts, read 39,944,045 times
Reputation: 23699
If still earning income in WA, LIVE in WA, there are many close options that are very nice. Liberty Lake, Rockford, Newport... BUT if kids and grands will be in Seattle... I expect you might desire to be closer to them. Wenachee / Cashmere is very nice and much closer. Great services and regional transit.

If you can deal with the we_tside weather. Look at Bellingham and Mt Vernon. Or Poulsbo / Silverdale.

I trust you will find WA to be an equivalent to better retirement state than Oregon. There is a LOT of variety in WA and much larger / more stable economy and funding. You can get an 'Enhanced' drivers license allowing passport free travel to MX and Canada). WA allows / encourages VASTLY more clear, 'independent' thinking. (Oregon is "group Think", think like us or LEAVE, but Never EVER argue / discuss differences to a point with state concern)

ID is very nice and very good place to retire (and move your business). But if kids are in Seattle, it is quite FAR for a frequent visit.
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Old 12-05-2016, 02:09 PM
Location: Left coast
2,320 posts, read 1,208,015 times
Reputation: 3223
dear OP I really don't understand all the talk about Oregon's group think- as someone intimately familiar with the deep south and who spent my formative years there (try raising your hand and saying you aren't southern baptist in some towns) I really don't see Oregonians as being intolerant- they are polite and low key.
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Old 12-05-2016, 02:26 PM
Location: Albuquerque NM
1,659 posts, read 1,523,899 times
Reputation: 3640
I'd start looking at towns and cities in Washington State nearer to Seattle. Bellingham, Olympia, Wenatchee or Chelan in Chelan Country, the Tri-Cities area (Richland, Kennewick). It will be difficult to find one that meets all your criteria of scenic, affordable, and mid-sized city. Bellingham may be too expensive, Wenatchee too small, Tri-Cities too hot and desert although there are two rivers in the area. Hemlock and Tall Traveler (who have both lived in California) are some of our Seattle contributors and are also looking to retire nearby but in a less expensive area so may have some ideas. Both Oregon and CDA are rather far from Seattle.

Last edited by ABQ2015; 12-05-2016 at 02:40 PM..
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Old 12-05-2016, 03:06 PM
416 posts, read 201,811 times
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I've read so many posts about people wanting to retire to NID, especially the CDA area and haven't added my 2 cents because didn't want to bust anyone's dreams. But I hate to see someone at retirement age to make such a decision. I was originally from S. CA. and moved to CDA in 1985. It was so beautiful I couldn't resist. It really is a beautiful area... but... I was in my early 30's not 60's. I spent almost 20 years there and it was the best time of my life. (but again I was young).

Unless you have family there or already have roots, my opinion (and that's all it is, from experience) Please realize it is far north. Today the high is in the low 20's - overnight down around 10 degrees. Odds are it won't get to the 70's regularly again until July. The 4th of July was always the mark for warm weather, although I've seen it snow (lightly) even on the 4th during the parade downtown.

All my friends and myself made sure to get out of there before we got older. Slipping and sliding on ice will throw out your back quicker than you know. Shoveling snow is fun the 1st year, but at 60 years old plus, forget it.

To go there, enjoy the scenery and good people is great ! A wonderful vacation spot any time of year, but there are so many other places just as pretty. To simply go to Mt Shasta City, Ca. (or the area)The surrounding scenery is fantastic. The North coast - Fortuna for example, same thing, beautiful ! Even Sequim Wa if ya have to get out of Calif. Just no need to get into such a harsh climate to enjoy all the wilderness and open country has to offer at retirement age.

Really I don't want to burn anybody's dream of N. Idaho, It is a wonderful place and I miss it LOT'S , but so glad not to grow old there. Don't read my post as negative, that is not the intent, just a reality check about moving to such a climate as we age. If you are young, I say go for it ! and hope it brings all the great memories I have.

Well, guess that's more than 2 cents. If you do go there for retirement, enjoy all it has to offer and all the people. I would just recommend to please have an exit plan.

P.S. I'm sure to get some nasty comments about my post, but it's just reality.
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Old 12-05-2016, 05:39 PM
Location: Backwoods of Maine
7,114 posts, read 8,152,702 times
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The OP should be aware that eastern WA and Idaho are part of the American Redoubt and are mostly conservative, politically. Western Oregon and the Seattle area are in general, liberal politically.

I mention this only because others have not, and if the OP has strong leanings either way, they may not be comfortable in an area where the predominant political leanings are contrary to their own.
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Old 12-05-2016, 05:53 PM
Location: Haiku
4,062 posts, read 2,572,689 times
Reputation: 5991
Originally Posted by Nor'Eastah View Post
The OP should be aware that eastern WA and Idaho are part of the American Redoubt and are mostly conservative, politically.
I forgot about Hayden Lake, which is just a few miles from Coeur d'Alene. It was the home of the infamous Aryan Nations neo-nazi group.

The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich in Hayden Lake, Idaho | Mother Jones

It is more conservative but in general people are pretty accepting. I wouldn't put any gun-control bumper stickers on your car though.
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Old 12-05-2016, 06:11 PM
Location: Las Vegas
13,888 posts, read 25,319,935 times
Reputation: 26382
That's a long, hard, cold winter. At least 1/2 the year. Do you really LOVE cold and shoveling snow? I would pick Oregon. More than a decade in Minnesota taught me to despise those winters.
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Old 12-05-2016, 09:54 PM
Location: Shelton, WA
325 posts, read 293,356 times
Reputation: 431
I really want to thank you all for such great advice..
I would love to rent first but we will be taking our 2 loving german shepherds and our maine coon cat so not sure we would find a rental..
We spent a week driving all over Oregon and my heart was full.. I was depressed for weeks coming back to So Ca ( the Inland Empire)..
Then I spent all week reading everything I could about CDA and watching all the youtube videos.. I feel in love, until I would see all the snow ones ha ha..
I think we should maybe check out other parts of WA too..
We will mostly be living on my husbands pension, he will only work 2 days at his company to keep our health insurance .

All I want is a bunch of trees in my back yard, be near a lake and have a nice affordable home..♥
Again thank you for some sound advice..

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Old 12-05-2016, 10:02 PM
Location: Mountains of Oregon
15,320 posts, read 17,773,576 times
Reputation: 10662
We lived in CA fer several lustrum. We loved the beauty of nature, forests, fishing, camping, partly in our 1978 American Clipper C motor home.

We always had a dream of living out in the country, on a forested mountain with the forest critters, with a bass pond.

For some years we searched for our place when we were on vacations. Finally we found our spot on the south side of a forested mountain, in southwest Oregon, between 1700' & 2000'.

We have happily been living here now about 6 lustrum. We are very fortunate there are several artesian springs, a bass pond, a year round creek. There is a deep blue sky. You can see billions of stars at night (sometimes shooting stars). Some days we get part time sunshine even in the winter. It only snowed once last winter. 30 years ago it snowed more.

I love observing the 4 legged, flying, swimming critters who we live in peace with.....
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