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Old 05-07-2007, 09:41 AM
Location: Tennessee
34,692 posts, read 33,700,331 times
Reputation: 51915


Originally Posted by JayDaughtry View Post
The only comments I would add would be to be realistic and balanced with how you're going to spend your time. Some people may say, "I'm going to play golf everyday." while they only play once a year now. They may find two weeks into retirement that playing golf everyday isn't exactly what they envisioned. One could apply this to any activity and at any frequency, but how does it compare to how you're spending free time now? To choose to spend all one's free time reading now and to think one is instantly going to have an interest in dance lessons at some point in the future is probably unrealistic. Why haven't you taken up some of these activities now?
Yes, activities with emphasis on the "ies" part is the key.

Sometimes people don't realize how much non-organized activities/routines play in their life, too. For instance you may enjoy walking your dog a few times a day or walking to the local coffee shop at 7:00A for the paper, a cup of coffee and a muffin. Some people may enjoy shopping at a particular store. Others make viewing the Travel Channel on a particular night must see TV. If these routines are important to you, you want to make sure the new place will still allow you to enjoy them.

The person who enjoys walking his dog may look for a place with a dog park, sidewalks, greenway, etc. The person who walks to the coffee shop might not want to live somewhere where the coffee shop is on the other side of a 4 lane highway in a strip mall because he/she enjoys that simple routine of walking for the coffee. The person who likes to shop at a particular store on a regular basis may not want a substitute if the routine is that important to them. The person who enjoys the travel channel program might want to make sure the new cable company carries it.

So, when you are making your list of activities, don't forget to include the routines you enjoy, too.

Use the online yellow pages to find out what's (like restaurants and stores) actually in your potential new town and the adjacent towns.

If you want to view photos of the town, in addition to what is on the City-Data pages, go to the Google homepage and click on images (just above the search box). On the Images search page, type in the name of your potential new town (i.e., "New Elmsville" VT) in the search box.

Also, and this is for people who are thinking of moving to suburbia or a small town, almost every newspaper has an online edition. Sometimes you have to subscribe online but it is usually free. Read that paper's community news and/or local news pages on a regular basis to find out:

1) what's going on in the town (events)

2) where the crime is located in the town/city (newspapers sometimes print addresses which you can accumulate and then take to Mapquest to find out in which neighborhoods the crime is clustered) so you can avoid those areas.

3) what the issues and town plans are based on town meeting/city council news stories (e.g., it would be nice to know where a 300 room hotel or new highway is planned before you move there; it would be nice to know that a new addition is planned for the high school and taxes will be increased to pay for it in 3 years; it would be nice to know that there was supposed to be a new mall in your town and 5 years later it still hasn't gotten off the ground, etc.).

4) what's going on in the schools if you are retiring with school aged children.

Just some research tips.
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Old 05-25-2009, 07:10 PM
Location: Mid-Atlantic east coast
5,372 posts, read 9,866,638 times
Reputation: 10243
My point of view about living in the South for the first time (born in PA, lived a long time in No. CA, and brief amounts of time in Michigan, Chicago, Boston) might be a little different.

The South is different than you might think. If you pick a university or otherwise attractive to retiree's town, you'll find many friends among re-locators who share your point-of-view and politics. And some locals, too. People from all over have moved here and now live here, so to think it's conservative and one-sided is a mistake.

We number among our friends, locals, NYers, Brits, other Californians, Virginians, DC'ers, and the list marches on. Though we live in a small town, we don't lack for stimulating conversation and shared viewpoints.

Now should you move to a Southern town (or, indeed, any small town anywhere) that doesn't have an influx of outsiders, and that's not a college town, you might find folks to be more conservative and life is centered around their churches. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

But pick the right Southern town and you just might end up being content...as we've been these past 5 years.

What I like best about the South is the courtesy, the genuine helpfulness, and the gentle ways--it's like a bath in warm water to live here...stress is gone!

Just my opinion, from a California, Midwest Yank turned happy Southerner. The stereotype and the reality are quite different than you imagine...
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Old 05-29-2009, 09:59 AM
Location: Maryland
1,534 posts, read 3,782,708 times
Reputation: 2307
Just my $0.02 - we've been retired 2+ years and decided to stay put in suburban Maryland after much thinking and research; with family, friends and local connections & amenities being the primary determinants. I'll address several issues which hopefully might be useful to you. Our lifestyle is not wealthy, but not particularly constrained financial-wise (and we are adept at scooping up last minute travel deals, suitcases always packed .
1) Weather - Maryland summers (hot and frequently muggy) and winters (not much snow in our area (40 miles north of DC and 25 miles west of Baltimore in the country on several acres) but cold enough to encourage temporary relocation for the worst of it - solutions - summer we head north to Canada/New England areas; winter - Costa Rica cottage rental for several months in the winter. Interspersed with that we tend to take several multi-week tours/vacations around the US and abroad to break things up. The bottom line is that we pretty much ignore weather as an issue since we go where we choose by season, while having the home base to return to.
2) Cultural/educational/general leisure activities - it's hard to beat the metro Baltimore/DC area for world class cultural offerings, with New York being a short (and pleasant) Amtrak trip away. There are more colleges and related educational options than I can name in our area available for pursuing any personal interests.
3) Medical care - world class institutions locally available.
4) Taxes - not the lowest, but in many respects you get what you pay for - I can tell you blindfolded when we cross the Maryland/Pennsylvania line based on the road conditions (please no flames from PA'ers, I was born and raised there, like the state but the roads are not up to Maryland standards).
We tend to view retirement in two phases, the 1st being the travel/personal hobbies/whatever years (hopefully as long as physical wellness persists), and then the stay-put mode around family and friends in the last stretch before making the big jump. I would note that we have met many late 70s/80s folks in our travels who are still going strong. We will downsize to a single floor home some years down the road but are content with our present paid-off house for the foreseeable future. Ultimately, our best advice for retirement consideration is that you need to locate in an area you are comfortable with and which meets your personal requirements, which are as varied as there are places to choose from. Best of luck to you .
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Old 05-29-2009, 10:40 AM
Location: Illinois
718 posts, read 1,804,910 times
Reputation: 973
Property taxes in almost all areas are very, very high. The Midwest used to be the last bastion of reasonable assessments, but it almost seems that as the economy tanked, the taxes increased.
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