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Old 07-26-2016, 08:53 AM
 
18 posts, read 12,343 times
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Been banging my head against the wall on this one and therefore turning to the sages of last resort: City-Data Denizens.

I am an early 50s white dude. Newly single after over 20 years of marriage. Have a teenage son who will be a senior in high school this fall. We both want to relocate and start new lives as a unit. I am retired military and lived in Washington state 10 years ago, so I know the score with the area.

My income from annuities and pension is $85K per year. I have health insurance due to military retirement.

Here's the dilemma:

Austin. I can stay retired and move to Austin, and with the advantage in cost of living, spend some summer months in the PNW. But I hate, and I mean hate the Texas heat (have lived it). Summers in Austin are a solid four (maybe six) months of oppressive heat. So some months in the PNW won't get me entirely through the Texas heat. But that's probably okay, as the area offers some great lake recreation during the summer. And there is also the draw of maybe six months of really good weather in Austin IMO. Can buy a house here while remaining retired.

Denver. Might be able to completely retire, but it's a stretch, with COL 15% higher than Austin. Don't care for the long, cold, snowy winters as I'm not really in to winter sports. Don't try to convince me that the winters in Colorado are mild. Spent last winter there, so I'm not budging on that one. Otherwise, I like the area. Can probably buy a house here while remaining retired.

Seattle. Would have to go back to work for certain due to the cost of living. But I do love much about the PNW. Like most, I don't care for nine months of grey and wet, but it's not a deal breaker for me IF I can get a life going there. And that's a big IF. And considering the climate, cost of living, traffic, etc., I imagine Seattle to be an unpleasant place to be working in a job. Can't buy a house here unless I go back to work.

Important Considerations:

- Meeting people and building relationships, with men and women. Might be much harder to do this in Seattle than in Austin or Denver. IMO the culture and climate in the PNW make it very difficult to build relationships. This seems like a big gamble in relocating there. Since I am newly single, I am back on the market and meeting women is a paramount interest. OTH, relationships come largely though work, and since I would need to work if I move to the PNW, that activity might offset the Seattle Freeze that certainly does exist in the region.

- Work. I retired early due to health reasons, which I have partially overcome. I may be able to go back to work, but there is no way to know until I try. Toward that end, I have been admitted to an Executive Business Master's program at UW Seattle for the coming fall. I can use my GI Bill, which will pay me about $2,300 a month for a couple years and allow me to test the waters of going back to work, and provide me an income buffer while I do.

- Age. I am early 50s with some health issues that, while I have somewhat overcome, still put me on the fence of being able to go back to work. Haven't worked in nearly 10 years. Combined with age discrimination in the work place, I wonder if I am embarking on a fools quest to try to re-enter the work force. Maybe should hunker down and relocate to an area where I can live within my current means without the need to be pressured by finding/keeping employment. If so, this rules out Seattle.

- Son. Wherever we go, there we are -- because he will be in his final year of high school and that will dictate state residency for tuition.

- Other Family. Parents and siblings in Oklahoma. Daughter starting grad school in fall at UT Austin. So Austin is a clear winner in that regard, with Denver in second place. Seattle might as well be on the moon.

Seems like there is at least one forum member here that is retired and does the Texas winter / PNW summer fling (StealthRabbit?). Would especially like to hear from him/her.

Thanks for contemplating with me!

Last edited by WesternSkyliner; 07-26-2016 at 09:04 AM..
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Old 07-26-2016, 10:39 AM
 
Location: Seattle
1,354 posts, read 1,071,515 times
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I wonder if you're not setting up yourself with something of a red herring. Why Seattle as opposed to some other part of Washington state or the broader Pacific NW where the cost of living is lower?

For example, Bremerton. Housing costs are typically less than half of Seattle for comparable accommodation, plenty of services for ex-military (commissaries, Navy Exchange etc.) and you're an hour by ferry from Seattle.

Or Tacoma - same idea, plus Tacoma is rapidly becoming a high-amenity city without Seattle prices or snootiness. Also plenty of facilities for ex-military given the huge influence of JBLM.

No state income tax in Washington, either.
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Old 07-26-2016, 11:54 AM
 
Location: Independent Republic of Ballard
5,921 posts, read 4,124,124 times
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And a lot of military retirees live in the Oak Harbor area (north Whidbey Island), since there is a naval air station there - not far away are Anacortes, Mt. Vernon. Spokane has Fairchild Air Force Base.
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Old 07-26-2016, 12:11 PM
 
Location: Seattle
1,354 posts, read 1,071,515 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyDonkey View Post
And a lot of military retirees live in the Oak Harbor area (north Whidbey Island), since there is a naval air station there - not far away are Anacortes, Mt. Vernon. Spokane has Fairchild Air Force Base.
And the weather on Whidbey is better than in Seattle owing to the "rain shadow" of the Olympic mountains. http://www.olympicrainshadow.com/oly...shadowmap.html
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Old 07-26-2016, 11:26 PM
 
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Not sure how it fits with your son, but move to Austin with July and August spent in Seattle is probably the best of all worlds.
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Old 07-27-2016, 12:28 AM
 
Location: State of Transition
70,989 posts, read 62,072,227 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gardyloo View Post
I wonder if you're not setting up yourself with something of a red herring. Why Seattle as opposed to some other part of Washington state or the broader Pacific NW where the cost of living is lower?

For example, Bremerton. Housing costs are typically less than half of Seattle for comparable accommodation, plenty of services for ex-military (commissaries, Navy Exchange etc.) and you're an hour by ferry from Seattle.

Or Tacoma - same idea, plus Tacoma is rapidly becoming a high-amenity city without Seattle prices or snootiness. Also plenty of facilities for ex-military given the huge influence of JBLM.

No state income tax in Washington, either.
I was wondering this, too. The Bremerton area might work for you, and being military, you might find it easier to get a job there. You might explore in advance what kinds of job openings they have there, and what kind of qualifications they want, and find a course that would prepare you to move up within your military niche. If you take a course at the UW, you could use your GI Bill to rent, then when you're done, buy something in Bremerton.

Yes, there's discrimination in hiring at your age, but that's why working your connections is important. Since you have a history with the military, I would imagine that networking through that niche could pay off.

As to the rest of your questions: forget Austin. Like you said: HEAT!
\
Colorado/Denver: summer--HEAT! Winter--snowbound. That leaves WA State. Eastern WA is out (summer HEAT!), so it leaves the Puget Sound region. Bellingham has a university, don't rule that out, but I hear it's gloomier even than Seattle.

Whidbey: people are selling and moving due to the new Growler jets the military has nearby. They're extremely noisy--high decibel. (see article linked) Bremerton could work. Olympia, maybe. I don't know why the Puget Sound area would be an unpleasant place to have a job. That sounds like an odd comment. The only potential downer is that in winter, you go to work in the dark and come home in the dark. The days are short.
http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-...ts-at-whidbey/
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Old 07-27-2016, 08:41 AM
 
18 posts, read 12,343 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
I don't know why the Puget Sound area would be an unpleasant place to have a job. That sounds like an odd comment. The only potential downer is that in winter, you go to work in the dark and come home in the dark. The days are short.
http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-...ts-at-whidbey/
Ruth: I wrote unpleasant because of the insane traffic in the Seattle metro. Commuting is a nightmare unless you live right where you work. Experienced it plenty of times.

What do people think of daberkow's comment above -- that living in Austin and spending July and August would be ideal? Austin is still rather hot in June and September (Especially September). And I totally agree Denver being hot in the summer. It is but it doesn't last for four months like Austin.
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Old 07-27-2016, 09:02 AM
 
Location: Seattle
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Haven't spent a lot of time in Austin, but my memory is that it's not all that warm in the winter, too, compared to the Puget Sound region. Our best weather is July - September/October. You could live in one of the Puget Sound rain shadow areas, or buy an RV and be a snowbird - Arizona isn't that long a drive.

I guess I was thinking that with an income of $85K, and using typical rules-of-thumb, e.g. 25-30% of income for housing, that would give you a monthly housing budget of ~$1500 - $2000, enough to service a $300K+ mortgage at current rates, which would get you a decent house in many parts of Puget Sound outside of Seattle/King County, maybe reducing the need for a job, or permitting you to look at self-employment or work-from-home alternatives.

Spending summers in Seattle is fine, but where would you live and how would you pay for it? Rentals are not cheap, and short term rentals hugely expensive as a rule.
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Old 07-27-2016, 09:11 AM
fnh
 
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We live in Houston where DH's job is based and our kids go to school there, but we spend summers and multiple breaks in Seattle. It works out well, the seasons are complementary. Both places have long stretches of awful weather so just knowing you have an escape hatch helps psychologically.

Austin sounds like it would make the most sense for you except for the EMBA possibility. Obviously you have to be here in Seattle to do that, and by Seattle I don't mean Whidbey Island or anywhere too far from campus.

Also, does your son have a preference UT v UW? Our younger son currently says he will attend UW and if that doesn't change (now in 6th grade, lol) he will at least finish high school in Seattle for in-state tuition.
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Old 07-27-2016, 10:28 AM
 
18 posts, read 12,343 times
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fnh: The EMBA has an option for me to commute / fly in once a month for a long weekend of classes. So I could live elsewhere and do the program. Apparently some do just that.

How do you manage to do summers in the PNW in terms of finding a place to live there? Do you have an RV or just find what you can and pay what you must?
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