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Old 10-07-2015, 11:51 AM
714 posts, read 605,508 times
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My hubby will be retiring in 3-4 yrs. and we currently own a farm in upstate NY. We both will have SS and a pension. (My pension is very small). We both have some medical issues but are relatively healthy. He's on BP meds but has had 2 back surgeries. I have fibromyalgia, but on no medications, and otherwise healthy.

I want to live cheaply so that we can start "living". There needs to be more to life than maintaining a farm. Plus neither of us can take the cold and snow. (plus the expense, taxes, heating costs, etc) But also neither of us can take the heat and humidity of the Southern summers. We both, especially me, get physically sick.

We would want to live in an active town, that has a "real" town, not just a place with a bunch of strip malls or shopping areas. We want decent shopping and a good grocery/ health food store since we are both on special diets and I have multiple food allergies. We have dogs (currently 6 that are 150 lbs to 7 lbs, but only 2 are young), and 2 house cats.

I was looking into the Bartlett, Maryville, Oakridge, and especially, the Jonesborough area. Any info on these areas would be appreciated. Any other towns to look into?

Any ideas? I know we are looking for nirvana, but maybe we can get some inspiration and narrow things down. There is no family involved or to move near. I would like to hear from everyone whose done anything that has worked for them, and who has moved to the "greatest place on earth". We are active and want to see and do things, and meet new people.

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Old 10-07-2015, 06:08 PM
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It can get pretty humid here in Knoxville during the summer. Not Florida gross but you'll feel it. I heard the Tri-Cities and Cookeville are less humid and less expensive.

Have you visited? I suggest summer if you really want to get a feel for the humidity and the hustle/bustle of the area.
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Old 10-07-2015, 08:32 PM
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My advice is to search for a good health food store as they will be few and far between. Of course some of the larger Krogers will have a small health food department, and Food city offers the full circle organic brands, that may meet your needs. At least the stores in Knoxville -- it would be worth putting in a call to the store managers where you might relocate.

Collegdale near Chattanooga is home to 7th day Adventists, they eat pretty healthy. Lots of Mennonites in the upper Cumberland plateau and they will have small stores with bulk food. Look into Cookeville as it is a smaller college city near middle TN.

Jonesboro is pretty pricy. I lovelovelove the downtown of Greeneville and see that as a town with so much potential. No insight on the grocery scene.

Would you be willing to drive to Knoxville (or Johnson city?) occasionally for bulk organic grains and such?
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Old 10-08-2015, 04:12 PM
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LOL. I get asked all the time about being willing to drive. We drive now 1 1/2 -2 hrs to see a doctors. A half hr for the only supermarket and a walmart. And that's in good weather. NYS winters add some time. I'm Ok with driving. Thanks for all your info out there.
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Old 10-09-2015, 07:22 AM
Location: Gray, TN
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Jonesborough is a quaint historic "main street" town 15 minutes from Johnson City. Johnson City is the regional medical hub, plenty of shopping available including health food stores, etc. Johnson City has a more eclectic growing downtown area, university, med center, urban sprawl, suburbs, etc. IMO Johnson City is well planned and easily navigable.

Bristol is similar to Johnson City but smaller and offers less on the medical and health food fronts. But Bristol is only 30-45 minutes from Johnson City and there is the possibility of buying things in Virginia and paying half the sales tax compared to TN. IMO Bristol is not as well planned; things just develop wherever resulting in a big "U" shape of a city. Bristol does have some wonderful parks - definitely better parks than Jonesborough or Johnson City.

The weather is going to be similar in all three areas. 4 distinct seasons. Fall and Spring are very comfortable. Summer is hot and humid - probably more so than you are used to. Winter is cold - but far less cold and snow than you are used to.
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Old 10-09-2015, 01:25 PM
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My roots are in the north but I retired to Middle Tennessee To get away from the cold damp winters with no snow to speak of (in my area).

I was raised on a dairy farm and have lived the bulk of my life in the country.

My thought would be to research the agricultural counties in TN. You will likely find homeowners and auto insurances cheaper. There also won't be as many "impact" fees on each vehicle, as there are in heavier populated counties.

It would be easy to locate hospitals, doctors, etc. on-line, once you find counties you have an interest in.

You need to be close to a GOOD small animal vet, lady.

I am lucky to live in a good Ag county with some options for great small animal and equine vets, as I still have two horses.

Real estate costs will vary by area; I will say they are steadily going back up in Middle Tennessee. You might want to consider buying bare land now. On the other hand, 3-4 years is not that close around the corner and your plans could change.

I happen to know where there are five drop dead gorgeous acres, completely fenced for horses, the county water is at the road, the septic is in and it is in a very safe farming area. It isn't cheap because the folks bought and started to develop it before the 2008 fiasco. She lost her job, other things happened in their lives and they decided to sell this piece of land. While it is priced for them to just break even, it isn't cheap due to when they bought.

Hospital ~14 minutes in either direction, great vets, old people's health food store in the next county, town square has a handful of neat little shops, eateries, bank, and there is a Walmart outside of town. Or you could drive 30 miles to Rutherford County and shop Murfreesboro til you drop in any style store you choose.

I was in my 40's when I picked Middle Tennessee as my place to retire; I finally reached Nirvana (I really did call it that) in 2003. I still say, I'm not coming down off this hill until they carry me off, lol
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Old 10-09-2015, 05:55 PM
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Don't think it doesn't get cold here. Last winter there was at least on day at -10.

Based on the fact you are retiring I would suggest the Maryville area. It is close to Knoxville and good medical care yet away from the city. Shopping in Knoxville if far better that the Tri-Cities area. Seasonal allergies are wicked in Knoxville. Knoxville has a Trader Joes, (very good store), and an Earthfare.

J.C. terrible medical care. However the VA is very good but very overcrowded.

I would suggest finding a rental in the Maryville area. From there you can look for yourselves and make your own informed decision.
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Old 10-10-2015, 08:44 AM
714 posts, read 605,508 times
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Thank you all for your response.
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Old 10-12-2015, 07:20 AM
Location: Gray, TN
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I wouldn't say the healthcare is "terrible" ... more like "average".

I've experienced 3 medical issues in the past 5 years. Two were handled exceptionally, 10 out of 10. The third continues to be a frustrating experience - going on a year without a reasonable diagnosis.

But medical issues are known to be frustrating sometimes; I've seen studies that show doctors are correct on their diagnosis about 75% of the time. You'd think that would be higher.
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Old 10-12-2015, 07:49 AM
Location: Tennessee
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The Tri-Cities is a medical hub for a large area. The medical industry seems oversized in the Tri-Cities. I've never seen the complaints about medical care anywhere but these boards.

More complicated medical needs often get handled at Duke, Vanderbilt, or UT-Knoxville. If you need sophisticated medical care, I wouldn't recommend the Tri-Cities, but run of the mill stuff can easily be handled there.
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