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Old 02-11-2010, 07:00 AM
 
544 posts, read 1,269,201 times
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Hi: I am new to this forum and I'll spend this morning reading the posts. But while I'm doing that I thought I'd post my primary questions.

I am already retired, in that I work at home. I'm somewhat disabled as I have MS though I'm doing pretty good right now. Where I live is really fine except that one afternoon this summer (for example) there were *80* tornado warnings. I just don't feel safe here.

It may sound morbid, but what I'm looking for is a location where I can spend the rest of my life, and essentially, the place where I'll die. Everyone dies and I want to be as smart about it as I can be. My criteria are something like:

1. Free of major natural disasters. Sante Fe is supposed to be one place where there are no tornadoes, of course no hurricanes or tsunamis, and no earthquakes. But it has a very high cost of living and I don't like the cold very much.

2. I'm not concerned about having access to outdoor activities like skiing, hiking, etc. (tee-hee) and don't really care if there are good restaurants (I have a very strict vegan diet anyway) or other "things to do." I have more than enough to do with my online businesses and private teaching.

3. Regarding weather, two alternatives, Santa Fe and Tucson: it seems to me that with respect to extremes of cold and heat, cold could be the greater problem if the power goes out, which is more likely with the cold, while heat, while is also dangerous to the elderly, is somewhat less likely to be a problem because heat will generally not cause the power to go out.

4. I would prefer to not live in a city which might be a terrorist target, maybe a smart bomb. It's impossible to determine where this might be, but LA and NYC are out for that reason, among other reasons (crime, traffic). Maybe this will never happen in the US, and I profoundly hope it will not, naturally, but larger cities are out. For some reason (probably wrongly), I feel like terrorists would not target a city where there are lots of minorities. I don't know why I feel like that.

5. Nice would be: good medical care, a farmer's market, nearby university and armed forces facilities and research centers (good sources of high level private students). Access to a pool and gym; but those are pretty much everywhere nowadays.

6. Reasonable amount of traffic, at least in the off hours, and good air quality.

7. Not a flood prone area (otherwise I'd move back to Austin or other south Texas city). Long term (very long term), many areas are dangerous for this reason.

8. Secondary considerations might be: does it have a zoo (I like to visit the poor creatures in the zoos), a botanical garden, art museums and liberal politics. Actually, I don't care what other people's politics are, but I don't want to have to hide my liberalism from the people I teach, which I do in my current location.

At my age (60) and the state of my health, I'm not sure how good my judgment is, so I would very much appreciate the input from others.

Thanks!


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Old 02-11-2010, 08:10 AM
 
Location: Oxygen Ln. AZ
9,321 posts, read 16,582,586 times
Reputation: 5692
Quote:
Originally Posted by scsigurl3000 View Post
Hi: I am new to this forum and I'll spend this morning reading the posts. But while I'm doing that I thought I'd post my primary questions.

I am already retired, in that I work at home. I'm somewhat disabled as I have MS though I'm doing pretty good right now. Where I live is really fine except that one afternoon this summer (for example) there were *80* tornado warnings. I just don't feel safe here.

It may sound morbid, but what I'm looking for is a location where I can spend the rest of my life, and essentially, the place where I'll die. Everyone dies and I want to be as smart about it as I can be. My criteria are something like:

1. Free of major natural disasters. Sante Fe is supposed to be one place where there are no tornadoes, of course no hurricanes or tsunamis, and no earthquakes. But it has a very high cost of living and I don't like the cold very much.

2. I'm not concerned about having access to outdoor activities like skiing, hiking, etc. (tee-hee) and don't really care if there are good restaurants (I have a very strict vegan diet anyway) or other "things to do." I have more than enough to do with my online businesses and private teaching.

3. Regarding weather, two alternatives, Santa Fe and Tucson: it seems to me that with respect to extremes of cold and heat, cold could be the greater problem if the power goes out, which is more likely with the cold, while heat, while is also dangerous to the elderly, is somewhat less likely to be a problem because heat will generally not cause the power to go out.

4. I would prefer to not live in a city which might be a terrorist target, maybe a smart bomb. It's impossible to determine where this might be, but LA and NYC are out for that reason, among other reasons (crime, traffic). Maybe this will never happen in the US, and I profoundly hope it will not, naturally, but larger cities are out. For some reason (probably wrongly), I feel like terrorists would not target a city where there are lots of minorities. I don't know why I feel like that.

5. Nice would be: good medical care, a farmer's market, nearby university and armed forces facilities and research centers (good sources of high level private students). Access to a pool and gym; but those are pretty much everywhere nowadays.

6. Reasonable amount of traffic, at least in the off hours, and good air quality.

7. Not a flood prone area (otherwise I'd move back to Austin or other south Texas city). Long term (very long term), many areas are dangerous for this reason.

8. Secondary considerations might be: does it have a zoo (I like to visit the poor creatures in the zoos), a botanical garden, art museums and liberal politics. Actually, I don't care what other people's politics are, but I don't want to have to hide my liberalism from the people I teach, which I do in my current location.

At my age (60) and the state of my health, I'm not sure how good my judgment is, so I would very much appreciate the input from others.

Thanks!


You do not mention a budget. The community that comes to my mind for you would be Chico, CA. It is a university town and has the most wonderful historic downtown that surrounds the college. We lived and practiced there for 12 + years or so. It has a very liberal vibe and lots of art in the park so to speak. No zoo to speak of unless it is a certain section of mostly student dwellings. Public transportation is available and it can be a very walkable town. So, no botanical gardens or zoo.
We have two nice zoos here in the Phoenix area. I hope you find your spot. Perhaps WA?
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Old 02-11-2010, 08:53 AM
 
544 posts, read 1,269,201 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MotleyCrew View Post
You do not mention a budget. The community that comes to my mind for you would be Chico, CA. It is a university town and has the most wonderful historic downtown that surrounds the college. We lived and practiced there for 12 + years or so. It has a very liberal vibe and lots of art in the park so to speak. No zoo to speak of unless it is a certain section of mostly student dwellings. Public transportation is available and it can be a very walkable town. So, no botanical gardens or zoo.
We have two nice zoos here in the Phoenix area. I hope you find your spot. Perhaps WA?
Thank you for your response. I think California is pretty much out due to the earthquakes. I did some graduate work at UC Irvine and I don't like it when the ground shakes! Budget is pretty much upper middle class, maybe middle middle, depending on the area.

But I'll google Chico, California and have a look. There's some city in CA which is mostly 7th Day Adventists, and the vegetarian food there is wonderful..
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Old 02-11-2010, 09:47 AM
 
Location: SoCal desert
8,093 posts, read 13,234,579 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scsigurl3000 View Post
There's some city in CA which is mostly 7th Day Adventists, and the vegetarian food there is wonderful..
Loma Linda, CA

And as for your comment about the ground shaking in California ... they just had an earthquake in Illinois

Don't rule out Arizona - if you can find a town you like at a higher elevation, the heat isn't bad. I've seen several mentions of Sierra Vista on this forum.

You also might want to check the threads in this forum called "Retiring on a literal shoestring: support group" and "Women retiring alone to a new city/state -- where will you go and why?" -- some really good ideas and thoughts in there
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Old 02-11-2010, 10:02 AM
 
Location: Oxygen Ln. AZ
9,321 posts, read 16,582,586 times
Reputation: 5692
I would consider Sedona if you are in the upper middle tier. You can still find some decent dwellings, perhaps a town home right now. It is a fantastic town to explore. AZ may have some things you may want to see and you can't beat the weather during the winter. I have all my windows open right now and the cool breeze is delightful.
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Old 02-11-2010, 11:20 AM
 
48,516 posts, read 83,943,432 times
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I'd also look at flooding in many of thsoe dry places because that can be a real problem in many. Flooding is one of the most common diasters and many dry climates have real problems with it. Then of course there is the problem in many hily pales with mudslides.With your problems I be more woried about sudden disasters really.
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Old 02-11-2010, 12:01 PM
 
544 posts, read 1,269,201 times
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Originally Posted by texdav View Post
I'd also look at flooding in many of thsoe dry places because that can be a real problem in many. Flooding is one of the most common diasters and many dry climates have real problems with it. Then of course there is the problem in many hily pales with mudslides.With your problems I be more woried about sudden disasters really.
Yes; well, it goes without saying that you can't mitigate against disaster. I just want to make the most intelligent choice. Except for the tornadoes, where I'm at is really perfect.

I've been reading through some of the threads on here, and I have so much in common with so many people here. The issue of community is important; I've lost my husband, then remarried too soon and got divorced, and lost both of my parents relatively recently. It's a normal process of aging. I can't say I want to marry again, and I'm happy like I am. My students give me a lot.

One has regrets but I still think my best years are ahead of me, in terms of writing and teaching. I have to accept the fact that I'll never get a doctorate or have an academic career; I'm too cynical to sit in a classroom any longer, I've discovered. But in a good way (ha).
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Old 02-11-2010, 12:38 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,585 posts, read 39,962,822 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scsigurl3000 View Post

5. Nice would be: good medical care, a farmer's market, nearby university and armed forces facilities and research centers (good sources of high level private students). Access to a pool and gym; but those are pretty much everywhere nowadays.

6. Reasonable amount of traffic, at least in the off hours, and good air quality.

7. Not a flood prone area (otherwise I'd move back to Austin or other south Texas city). Long term (very long term), many areas are dangerous for this reason.
I would look to the areas around national Labs.

I could handle any of these: (similar Climate / CoL desires as you)
Tri-cities, WA (just spent 4 days there this week)
La Cruces, NM (very nice U and engaged retired population + really close to ELP for culture and Airtravel to NICE zoos (Singapore, is one I recommend !))
Oak Ridge / Knoxville, TN (less interested due to humidity and heat + potential tornadoes)
Colorado Springs, CO if you can handle the weather. (it is also pretty 'right' leaning, which suits me, tho I PREFER a mixed electorate. I find Colorado / Wy quite easy and accepting to be either variety (red or blue) If you must live 'left', then OR or CA is nirvana.)
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Old 02-11-2010, 01:05 PM
 
Location: Nashville, Tn
7,916 posts, read 16,798,284 times
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In terms of natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, etc. probably the safest part of the nation would be in the southwest or inland western states but not along the earthquake prone west coast. I've lived in Montana, Seattle, Denver, Phoenix and for the last two years I've been in Nashville. I agree with those who have stated that there are very desirable places in Arizona and parts of New Mexico. The heat didn't bother me at all in Phoenix because it's bone dry except for a few weeks in what they call the monsoon season when it's much more humid. Sedona is beautiful but extremely expensive. Sierra Vista seems like a nice place and it does have alot of retired people there. Inland California has many nice places as others have mentioned although California can also be very expensive. I really studied every aspect of what I wanted in a place to retire and I've been to all 50 states so I was already familiar with many of the pros and cons of different area. There's a book called Retirement Places Rated which might be helpful. Good luck.
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Old 02-11-2010, 01:12 PM
 
48,516 posts, read 83,943,432 times
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I learned something in Rita that' you really need to look hard. The area I live in never had any real disaster until then. It happens but once in many moons with the real dsiasters much like earthquakes or any other. Once is enough really depending now and f you can really prepare. I can't imagine a earthquake like happened in San Fransico 1906 if it happened today.Just as a hurricane o the eastcoast would do now with all the changes and popualtion. I bascailly came to the conclsuion in Rita that a large popualtion area preoably can't be evacuated in 48 hours.
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