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Old 05-22-2019, 11:05 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,546 posts, read 39,924,861 times
Reputation: 23663

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Many retirement destination seekers do research by getting extended house and pet sitting gigs. (byo pet in this case, and may be possible, especially if a rural location with extra space / housing arrangements)

There are several websites linking opportunities.
https://www.trustedhousesitters.com/
https://housesitter.com

The travel sites we belong to have 'house-sitters- wanted' ads.

Alternatively... If with pet... do an 'extended stay' hotel / condo (~$3k / month, might be worth it...)
or 'Homeaway' rental.

I really prefer the homestays, as you get to know people / neighbors who will help you out in discovering if you like it.

Really need to be very proactive to seek all events / venues / activities / interest you would do if living there.
Meetings and volunteering at community events is good engagement.

Of course I always spend my first few days with county and city planners / tax assessors / law enforcement / libraries // museums / schools / grocery / hardware / markets / hospitals / PT & OT rehab facilities, community education / CC and Universities / parks / gardens / bike trails / swimming...
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Old 05-22-2019, 11:18 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,546 posts, read 39,924,861 times
Reputation: 23663
Quote:
Originally Posted by kavm View Post
I think that some version of the plan the OP has is a good strategy.

If you cannot stand a few days in the summer in Phoenix, it's clear that it is not for you. But, just because you were fine spending a week in the Summer on vacation in Phoenix doesn't mean that you will be fine living there. Short term indications are useful but can also be misleading.

One of our potential options is to retire in PNW/Seattle. The most critical question is whether we can stand the rain, mist and the gray sky for a long part of the year. In my thinking, spending something like 6 months living there is the only reliable way to answer that question.
Short term indications are useful but can also be misleading.


35+ yrs in PNW (we_tside) has been very hard on this Prairie / farmer kid. Winters vary a lot, one sampling could be good or bad, but most will be soggy and dark (short days + overcast). Winter evenings are a good indication of just HOW dark it is in PNW. I am very surprised to go elsewhere and find STARS and MOON in winter .

Best advice I got when moving to PNW from Colorado by those who did the same and returned quickly...

Do NOT get a home sheltered / nestled in the trees. Dark, mold, moss, and danger of 300' tall trees crushing your house in a soggy winter wind storm.

I have much better adjusted now that I sold the fruit farm (daily working / pruning in the mud), spraying for mold (only to have rain come 10 min later and wash off your expensive and troublesome spray...)

Develop activities that you can do regardless of drizzle (it is not really rain). Many bike (not me, as I have had friends killed because bikes are not common / noticed in PNW) . But there are other outdoor things you can do in the drizzle ,,, like mow your grass and garden and fix your car, go hiking / camping, and (for me)

Travel!!!

I really prefer WA area near PDX for quick flights. It is a great and ez airport and I have jetted AWAY 50+ times / yr since retirement. $19.90 direct to San Diego was nice while it lasted! Down at 5AM and back at midnight. no bags, hotel, car required.
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Old 05-22-2019, 03:03 PM
 
Location: Florida
5,236 posts, read 3,010,111 times
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We have lived in Florida for a total of 32 years and would never live anywhere but on the coast. Orlando is not on the coast meaning it is hotter in summer.

We also lived in Sun City West AZ, about 3 miles west of Sun City. Expect 100+ degrees every day during the summer. We did not like the dry and dusty and ultimately returned to Florida.

Parts of Tennessee are nice to go to in summer to cool off. We have gone to the Smokies many times. I am not familiar with Tellico.
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Old 05-22-2019, 04:15 PM
 
Location: Black Forest, CO
1,512 posts, read 2,236,942 times
Reputation: 1485
I would choose instead of take 1 or 2 week vacations at each place you are considering. This may allow you to rule some of them out. Stay there not as a 'tourist', but with the intention of checkout out housing and areas in your price range, etc.
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Old 05-22-2019, 04:28 PM
 
4,431 posts, read 2,608,360 times
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OP, have you considered buying an inexpensive RV and going to stay in your potential areas?

Others here have mentioned doing this and seemed to like it.

We thought we had narrowed down our retirement local, but research of a couple of other areas in different stateshave caught our eye.

To us, a $10k travel trailer can be had here, a sizable one, in which your dogs could live with you without rental denial or extra fees charged for the dogs.

We have a cat, and may inherit another one. We are not sure they will get along, but thats another story. We would be able to have him/them with us easily. They are indoor only.

$10k for the RV is relatively cheap when spaced out over several months or even a couple of years when compared to even discounted long term hotel or a seasonal rental...if you can find one.

In our primary choice theres a very nice RV park that looks pleasant and offers long term discounts.

Now dealing with an RV may not be for you, but is an option you might not have thought of, so i thought id mention it.

You also wont be forever packing up/packing out like with a rental. Your clothes have their own space in the RV. Some RVs have mini or full sized laundry and when connected in a park is "just like home".

There Are expensive RVs, but it neednt be. Your basic needs can be met with an inexpensive one.

If you buy used have it thoroughly checked out by the nrarest RV dealer/servicer before buying.

We have thought abd researched this option and have decided it may be the most economical way to travel and check out potential locales.

Just food for thought.

Best to you in figuring out a way to accomplish this.

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Old 05-22-2019, 05:32 PM
 
Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
9,198 posts, read 8,287,258 times
Reputation: 19904
Just a heads up that the most desirable places with short term rentals, which is what you are looking at, will already be booked up.

I would look at shorter term AirBnB or VRBO rentals that allow pets.

Expect February and March in warmer climates to already be booked. You may have luck with summer through December or even January.
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Old 05-22-2019, 06:20 PM
 
38,129 posts, read 14,894,548 times
Reputation: 24565
Quote:
Originally Posted by galaxyhi View Post
OP, have you considered buying an inexpensive RV and going to stay in your potential areas?

Others here have mentioned doing this and seemed to like it.

We thought we had narrowed down our retirement local, but research of a couple of other areas in different stateshave caught our eye.

To us, a $10k travel trailer can be had here, a sizable one, in which your dogs could live with you without rental denial or extra fees charged for the dogs.

We have a cat, and may inherit another one. We are not sure they will get along, but thats another story. We would be able to have him/them with us easily. They are indoor only.

$10k for the RV is relatively cheap when spaced out over several months or even a couple of years when compared to even discounted long term hotel or a seasonal rental...if you can find one.

In our primary choice theres a very nice RV park that looks pleasant and offers long term discounts.

Now dealing with an RV may not be for you, but is an option you might not have thought of, so i thought id mention it.

You also wont be forever packing up/packing out like with a rental. Your clothes have their own space in the RV. Some RVs have mini or full sized laundry and when connected in a park is "just like home".

There Are expensive RVs, but it neednt be. Your basic needs can be met with an inexpensive one.

If you buy used have it thoroughly checked out by the nrarest RV dealer/servicer before buying.

We have thought abd researched this option and have decided it may be the most economical way to travel and check out potential locales.

Just food for thought.

Best to you in figuring out a way to accomplish this.

This is a great plan.

There's no hassle about the dogs. The RV/5th Wheel can be sold when the adventure is over. And if you decide after a month that this just isn't the place for you, it is easy enough to pack up and move along.
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Old 05-22-2019, 06:45 PM
 
1,226 posts, read 1,258,991 times
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Thank you, everyone.
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Old 05-22-2019, 06:47 PM
 
375 posts, read 102,098 times
Reputation: 1276
Quote:
Originally Posted by GotHereQuickAsICould View Post
This is a great plan.

There's no hassle about the dogs. The RV/5th Wheel can be sold when the adventure is over. And if you decide after a month that this just isn't the place for you, it is easy enough to pack up and move along.
We bought a modest motorhome in the summer of 2014, then spent 2-1/2 years looking at many states and specific locations in the eastern 2/3rds of the states. We learned a huge amount, including the fact that my first choice, "place I've been looking forward to retiring to for decades" would of been a big mistake. The other interesting thing is that for all the cheerleaders out there, singing the praises of relocating to some hot retirement destination, there are many people already there, who will readily admit that they didn't do their homework, jumped on what they thought would be a sure ticket to happiness, and now regret their decision. Some hate where they are with a passion. Others are less disappointed, but really know that they are guilty of not looking before taking a giant leap, and probably wouldn't be where they are, if they had taken more time to see what else is out there.
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Old 05-22-2019, 06:50 PM
 
888 posts, read 205,726 times
Reputation: 1064
Floridian here. Always looking for the next retirement destination. Each summer I get out of Florida heat. Tomorrow heading for NC mountains. Last yr and year before Big Sky regions out west and Colorado, NM. RV trailer and solid tow vehicle. Checking off bucket list ie National Park visits while looking for possibilities for chapter 2 retirement. Colorado has been fav so far.
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