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Old 07-21-2017, 01:02 PM
 
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About 15 years ago I did a 2 week recon of the NW for possible retirement...CDa, Sandpoint, Walla Walla, et al....My favorite destination was Nelson, B.C. which is a short drive from Spokane....Never did go back there but I met some great people there and the Selkirk Loop and the Lakes are tops....of course, that was 15 yrs. ago.....things may have changed....
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Old 07-21-2017, 03:00 PM
 
Location: Southern California
23,636 posts, read 8,219,173 times
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I've lived in So. Cal. for over 50 yrs and the thought of going to where it's colder and wet, no thanks. I live in an apt in Santa Monica and LOVE LOVE LOVE the climate here. I don't let myself get caught up in the crazy go go go life of young people.

A friend left SM for Portland OR and she misses SUN and says too much rain, but it's beautiful, it's beautiful down here to...a different beauty.
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Old 07-21-2017, 03:02 PM
 
Location: Southern California
23,636 posts, read 8,219,173 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaffeetrekker View Post
About 15 years ago I did a 2 week recon of the NW for possible retirement...CDa, Sandpoint, Walla Walla, et al....My favorite destination was Nelson, B.C. which is a short drive from Spokane....Never did go back there but I met some great people there and the Selkirk Loop and the Lakes are tops....of course, that was 15 yrs. ago.....things may have changed....
Oh a friend's daughter went to Nelson during Viet Nam, and never came back to So. Cal to live. Came to see her mom but she is gone now so probably never comes back down here. She's made her life in Nelson.
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Old 07-22-2017, 02:40 AM
 
Location: Washington State
18,438 posts, read 9,548,793 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ABQ2015 View Post
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.
I retire in 6 weeks and we decided on Tri Cities. Advantages are low cost, nice housing options, good bike trails, rivers, big enough for restaurants and shopping, decent airport, more sun than other PNW areas, low crime, 3.5 hours to our kids and GC in Seattle. Disadvantages are dry desert, windy in spring, Hanford nearby so there is nuclear waste in the area.

If OP's husband part time work in Spokane is key to the decision, I would say Liberty Lake or Cda. If not, Wenatchee and Chelan are great options.
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Old 07-24-2017, 01:01 AM
 
Location: Near Portland, Oregon
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Default Moving to Spokane soon

My husband and I are retiring next year. We've done a LOT of research and made as many trip to various places as we can afford to do. It's really hard to make compromises. Of course we want everything on our wish list for a low price! But considering all the pros & cons for our particular situation, we've decided to move to the Spokane area next spring. We're very excited to have made a decision finally and looking forward to having a new, beautiful PNW area to explore.

I grew up in the Mojave Desert of southern California. I spent my first 19 years there then moved to the Bay Area for 18 years. Next I moved to Portland, OR, where I've lived for 25 years. My husband grew up near Philadelphia. We both love water and green trees. We also have the following criteria:

Affordable houses
Major airport
Lots of beautiful natural areas
Multiple universities
Good medical care
Nice farmers markets
Away from the Cascadia earthquake threat

We finally decided that we'd rather be holed up in winter than in summer due to heat. (People in Boise told us they couldn't bear the heat there in summer. Chico or Sacramento would be even worse.) Once I really delved into weather data going back 5 years, Spokane looked just fine to us, better than really HOT summers. Each to her own! So we buy an all wheel drive car..... I moved away from the desert as soon as I could, for a reason. Of course if we could afford Monterrey...............

Spokane is an upcoming area. Houses are selling fast so I don't think we're the only ones who have made this decision but I'll report back once we get there. All I can say is that we fell in love on our first visit to the area, such beautiful parks and trails. Many places to put our kayaks in...................
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Old 07-24-2017, 04:36 AM
 
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Years ago, someone suggested I consider Spokane as a place to retire. Among the reasons were the low COL, excellent healthcare and the location. As you said to each his own. I did not want 6 months of winter, including the heavy snows and very cold periods. That was years ago. Now the older I have gotten, the more I dislike winter.
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Old 07-24-2017, 06:48 PM
 
Location: Old Mother Idaho
21,401 posts, read 14,352,256 times
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Think ahead 10 years. Whatever is physical trouble now will be worse a decade down the line.

I'm an Idaho native, and have lived here almost my entire life. The snowy winters when I was young were nothing at all- just another season. In my middle age, they were more troublesome, but not all that much so.

But now that I'm 73, last winter was a LOT of trouble. My back has a bad disc, and shoveling makes it hurt. My knees have lost their spring, and they hurt more too, whenever the weather is really cold. My balance is now shaky at times, so I worry a lot more about slipping on the ice than I used to.

All this little stuff adds up continuously, slowly, every year. At 73, I'm now in the youth of old age, and I know next winter will be harder on me than the last one, even if it's not as extreme.

I'm already doing things to the house that will make it easier and safer for me when the snow falls in a few months. Idaho winters must be taken into serious account. You will never know what they will bring, except for one thing- cold. Plenty of it. For months and months.

I accepted this fact long ago, and I'm as accustomed as a human gets to being chilly for 5-6 months of the year.
That's second nature now to me. But even so, I now have a harder time feeling comfortable in the cool temperature I was once very comfortable in. All last winter, I found I needed one degree more heat on my thermostat to feel like I've always felt- cool but comfortable.

So I have to budget now for more heat later when I will want it. That's age. That's life here. Age is no one's friend in a cold climate.
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Old 07-24-2017, 08:02 PM
 
Location: Montana
1,752 posts, read 1,652,291 times
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OP, we moved from Honolulu to retire in western MT last year.

Our search started in Cour D'Alene, ID, but we wanted more for our money (housing and land), so we started looking at Sandpoint, ID. We ended up in a little flyspeck town on the Clark Fork river, a few miles across the border. The climate and scenery is very similar to Heidelberg, GE. The area is sometimes referred to as the "banana belt" because the water volume in the Clark Fork and the lakes, and mountain directions (EW not NS) create a fairly temperate climate.

Last winter we had SNOW, SNOW, and more SNOW, but the long time locals said the last time they had a winter like this was in the early 90's. Even with the snow, the temperatures in January averaged in the high teens/low twenties at night, and low to mid thirties in the day. This summer has been warmer than usual, but the nights are mid sixties and the day temps stay in the 70's until late afternoon, and hit the mid 80's for a few hours, then cool off again. From a weather standpoint, it is pleasant IMO, but the snow was more than we expected - local claims that it was an aberration aside, it still snowed far more than we anticipated.

Winters are grey, and I was told by a Seattle transplant that the winter and spring are very similar to Seattle from a grey overcast/precipitation standpoint, but are a few degrees cooler on average, and more snow.

Sandpoint, Clark Fork, Bonners Ferry, are all worth considering (in addition to CDA), and the scenery gets better each mile north or east of Sandpoint that you go.

As you would expect, property prices will reflect proximity to services, ease of access, power/utility availability, waterfront, etc. We opted for land right off a state highway about 2 miles from a small medical clinic, because as we age, accessibility and routine health care will be become a larger and larger priority for us. We have deeded access to a river behind the property, but not river frontage. Taxes are high IMO at about $1500 per year for a house and property valuation of ~$270,000, but nothing in comparison to the $500 per month I was paying in HI! MT taxes pension income, but it is not bad, and has no sales tax, but we do a lot of our shopping in ID, so we get hit with sales tax on the day to day stuff we buy there.

Just FYI, there are very limited housing rentals from Sandpoint and beyond, so that makes it a bit of a challenge to do the rent for a year and then buy after you have gotten the lay of the land.

Sandpoint is fairly liberal politically - no one will confuse it with CA, but it is fairly liberal, and as you go north and east the areas become pretty conservative politically pretty quickly. Sandpoint punches well above its weight for a town of 7,000 in terms of services, stores, and restaurants (I suspect because of Schweitzer Resort), and CDA and Spokane are not that far of a drive - we do CDA about once a month for a Costco run and anything that we need but can't find or is too expensive locally (don't get me started on my local hardware store with a $27 hammer being his "best buy").

Just for reference, Sandpoint to Seattle is about a 5-6 hour drive, CDA would shave about 30 mins, Bonner's Ferry would add 30 mins.

We anticipated a far more remote environment, but there are a lot of younger retirees here that did careers and retired here, so unlike our expectation, we know a lot military retirees, engineers, pilots, managers, and other professionals, and most of the locals are small business owner's (thats what happens with limited jobs, you have to make your own!), so we fit in socially far better than we were expecting.

Our kids all live about 8-9 hours away, and so far that is not an issue - it may become so as we age.

PM me if you have any questions about the area and transition issues. We looked at the area for about 3 years before we made the move. It is the right area for us, and we have been very happy here.
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Old 07-25-2017, 08:56 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,527 posts, read 39,903,732 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tuck's Dad View Post
OP, we moved from Honolulu to retire in western MT last year.

Our search started in Cour D'Alene, ID, but we wanted more for our money (housing and land), so we started looking at Sandpoint, ID. We ended up in a little flyspeck town on the Clark Fork river, a few miles across the border. The climate and scenery is very similar to Heidelberg, GE. The area is sometimes referred to as the "banana belt" because the water volume in the Clark Fork and the lakes, and mountain directions (EW not NS) create a fairly temperate climate.

Last winter we had SNOW, SNOW, and more SNOW,...

Winters are grey, ...

Sandpoint, Clark Fork, Bonners Ferry, are all worth considering (in addition to CDA), and the scenery gets better each mile north or east of Sandpoint that you go.

As you would expect, property prices will reflect proximity to services, ease of access, power/utility availability, waterfront, etc. ... Taxes are high IMO at about $1500 per year for a house and property valuation of ~$270,000, but nothing in comparison to the $500 per month I was paying in HI! MT taxes pension income, but it is not bad, and has no sales tax, but we do a lot of our shopping in ID, so we get hit with sales tax on the day to day stuff we buy there.

Just FYI, there are very limited housing rentals from Sandpoint and beyond, so that makes it a bit of a challenge to do the rent for a year and then buy after you have gotten the lay of the land.

Sandpoint is fairly liberal politically - ...

Just for reference, Sandpoint to Seattle is about a 5-6 hour drive, CDA would shave about 30 mins, Bonner's Ferry would add 30 mins.

We anticipated a far more remote environment, but there are a lot of younger retirees here that did careers and retired here, so unlike our expectation, we know a lot military retirees, engineers, pilots, managers, and other professionals, and most of the locals are small business owner's (thats what happens with limited jobs, you have to make your own!), so we fit in socially far better than we were expecting.

Our kids all live about 8-9 hours away, and so far that is not an issue - it may become so as we age.

PM me if you have any questions about the area and transition issues. We looked at the area for about 3 years before we made the move. It is the right area for us, and we have been very happy here.
Good summary and points. I have a few friends from WA who retired in the region Clark Fork, ID to Plains, MT. LOTS more snow that they expected! but it is pretty and nice. (and some fire danger).

For similar terrain, MUCH more sunshine, and closer proximity to services, Many places in Colorado will serve as equivalent. (Stay off the front range if possible). I like to be near an airport, so SLC access would be my criteria for sunny mtn retirement climate. UT is not cheap either (no desirable places will remain inexpensive) internet opened the floodgates (jobs + supplies + entertainment)
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Old 07-25-2017, 03:58 PM
 
Location: Southwest Washington State
21,834 posts, read 14,341,548 times
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You do have areas other than Seattle, if you want to live in WA you know.

There are small towns up and down I5 that might suit you. You could even live in a mountainous region if you veered slightly east.

I do agree that you need to spend time making the decision, and spend time in the place you are interested in. We visited the PDX area for many years before moving to Vancouver, WA.
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