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Old 11-26-2018, 09:59 PM
 
14 posts, read 11,356 times
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I'd like some opinions, please. The retirement destination stuck in my head these days is Albuquerque, because my older brother threw it out there a few years ago as an affordable possibility for me. I know no one there. I have a friend from kindergarten near Taos, and I know that there are some relatives of friends in Albuquerque as potential new acquaintances. I have lived in New York (first NYC and gradually up the Hudson River Valley) for almost 40 years. I worked, met my husband, raised my kids, got my divorce, did all that "life" stuff here. Now I need a lot of sunshine, and I prefer low humidity. I have actual Seasonal Affective Disorder, and boy, is it ever real. It worsens each winter.

I spent five wonderful years as a girl in Wichita, and my spirit has not felt truly free since returning to the Northeast. There were open fields, lots of dirt, crazy clouds, open skies, stars like crazy, cowboys, horseback riding, and more. It was heaven for a kid. But now it's too politically conservative for me.

Here's where I would like your wisdom. I'm in my mid-60s, female, divorced for a long time, and no grandkids tying me to this area. I'm looking for a city large enough to have an interesting "seniors lifestyle" that welcomes and offers activities for single people as well as couples. I'm just beginning to experience the phenomenon of aging known as invisibility. It's very bizarre. I want a good assortment of local and chain stores, good medical care, a university, arts/culture, a health club or gym with a pool, and a safe and walkable neighborhood. I taught yoga for a while after retiring, so I need yoga places. I love stargazing (it's usually cloudy here during meteor showers), gentle hiking and interesting walks, flea markets, art, restaurants, healthy food availability, and wildness. I don't drink, so I am not into hanging out at bars. My politics are liberal. I like to shut the door for solitude/peace & quiet when I need it. This is starting to sound like a "singles ad" so...

I'm ready for a house or condo with a very small yard/pocket garden area. I'm planning a leisurely visit to look at real estate, and hope to include Santa Fe and possibly Las Cruces in the tour. Those three cities have been recommended. Comparing expenses, I pay over $6,000 a year in property and school taxes for a modest home on 1/4 acre, but social security is not taxed in NY, and seniors get a tax rebate from the state.

I'd love to hear from seniors who are native New Mexicans or retired transplants. Does Albuquerque, or some other location in NM, sound like a good place to retire for a person like me? Are there communities you can recommend? I would love a strong dose of enchantment. Thanks!
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Old 11-27-2018, 01:56 AM
 
Location: The High Desert
10,302 posts, read 5,523,009 times
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I have friends that just moved here (in Rio Rancho) from somewhere near Cooperstown and they are happy to be here. It sounds like you are on the right path. There are many different neighborhoods in the Albuquerque area. Close in areas by Albuquerque are Los Ranchos, Corrales, Rio Rancho, Bernalillo, Placitas, and Los Lunas (south). There are also several communities in the East Mountains (Edgewood or Cedar Crest). Santa Fe might be a little more costly than ABQ. I've only visited in Las Cruces and I liked it -- people tell me it is like ABQ 40 years ago. That's before my time here.
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Old 11-27-2018, 03:28 AM
 
Location: Abu Al-Qurq
3,690 posts, read 8,136,046 times
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Many retirees who consider NM end up choosing southern Arizona (Phoenix, Tucson, etc.) instead.

The deciding factor ends up being the weather. NM's winters are sunny, sure, but they're almost as cold as New York's. Arizona has far milder winters, and similar cost of living and lifestyle (at least where most seniors tend to cluster). Probably a 10:1 ratio of people choose Arizona, if only to snowbird.

Arizona is slightly hotter than NM in the summer but few retirees would spend their summer middays toiling in the heat anywhere, and it's always 72 degrees inside.
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Old 11-27-2018, 07:44 AM
 
Location: New Mexico U.S.A.
26,530 posts, read 45,239,389 times
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South Dakota is best overall for retirement? New Bankrate.com survey thinks so
Dalvin Brown, USA TODAY Published 12:01 a.m. ET July 12, 2018 | Updated 3:15 p.m. ET July 12, 2018

https://www.usatoday.com/story/money...ota/771397002/
1. South Dakota
2. Utah
3. Idaho
4. New Hampshire
5. Florida
6. Montana
7.North Carolina
8. Wyoming
9. Nebraska
10. Mississippi
11. Hawaii
12. Massachusetts
13. Virginia
14. Michigan
15. Missouri
16. Iowa
17. Colorado
18. Texas
19. Delaware
20. North Dakota
21. Tennessee
22. Maine
23. Indiana
24. Alabama
25. Kansas
26. Vermont
27. Wisconsin
28. Minnesota
29. Arizona
30. Kentucky
31. Pennsylvania
32. New Jersey
33. West Virginia
34. Rhode Island
35. Connecticut
36. Alaska
37. Georgia
38. Ohio
39. Oregon
40. Oklahoma
41. South Carolina
42. Nevada
43. Washington
44. Illinois
45. California
46. Arkansas
47. Louisiana
48. Maryland
49. New Mexico
50. New York
Quote:
Originally Posted by Need Sunshine View Post
I'd love to hear from seniors who are native New Mexicans or retired transplants. Does Albuquerque, or some other location in NM, sound like a good place to retire for a person like me?
My wife and I have lived in the ABQ area (Rio Rancho) for 19 years. We initially moved out when my wife was offered a job and promotion to come out here. And then we stayed and some family members followed us out.

You really need to come out for a visit...

Last edited by Poncho_NM; 11-27-2018 at 07:58 AM..
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Old 11-27-2018, 08:16 AM
 
149 posts, read 64,721 times
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OP. You should check out Denver, CO too.



I also lived in NY for a few years (Little Britain), as well as NM. Currently, I reside in CO.
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Old 11-27-2018, 08:26 AM
 
Location: In my cat's house, until she finds a better human servant
372 posts, read 292,295 times
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I’ve dealt with “SAD” in other states and it’s no fun. I have less problems with it in ABQ. It does get cold here, don’t give away your winter clothes, but if the sun is shining and it’s not windy you can often go out in shirtsleeves or a light jacket during winter, until the sun sets and it gets cold very fast.

There’s not much of a “cowboy” culture here but some horse properties (very) close to town. Plenty of outdoors activities.

Not many truly walkable neighborhoods, there are a few, and the public transportation is poor and many areas underserved or not served by bus.

I’ve expressed my unhappiness with the healthcare here in other threads. It’s doable, but a big hassle, and not as good as any other city I’ve lived before. There are worse choices but you’ll have to decide for yourself and do some research.

One of the gems for seniors here are all the senior and multigenerational centers, some have excellent new facilities and are low cost/free. I think some might have their own transportation options for seniors but I’m not sure.

There is an excellent community college with low cost classes (I think senior discounts too) as well as a good university. Plus a wide variety of clubs and classes around town. People tend to be friendly and live and let live.

Coming from NY you will likely find COL, especially housing, very cheap. Very light traffic compared to many major cities. Some of the worst drivers though so drive defensively and be careful as a pedestrian. A garden is doable but a lot of work due to poor soil and very very dry. But I know passionate gardeners who have beautiful plants. (Not my cup of tea lol)

Obviously there are going to be trade offs picking any city.

For natural beauty, vistas and stunning cloud displays it’s hard to beat. definitely visit!

ETA oh and there is a good astronomy club here that has lectures and star parties and such, there’s a lot of light pollution in ABQ (obviously, large city), but you don’t have to go far for darker skies
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Old 11-27-2018, 10:47 AM
 
2,152 posts, read 1,639,045 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Need Sunshine View Post
I'd like some opinions, please.

Why not Santa Fe? Much more cultural and arts. Albuquerque has one of the highest crime rates in the country. New Mexico has a lot of other nicer places.
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Old 11-27-2018, 11:26 AM
 
Location: Oklahoma
11,585 posts, read 8,294,397 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoidberg View Post
Many retirees who consider NM end up choosing southern Arizona (Phoenix, Tucson, etc.) instead.

The deciding factor ends up being the weather. NM's winters are sunny, sure, but they're almost as cold as New York's. Arizona has far milder winters, and similar cost of living and lifestyle (at least where most seniors tend to cluster). Probably a 10:1 ratio of people choose Arizona, if only to snowbird.

Arizona is slightly hotter than NM in the summer but few retirees would spend their summer middays toiling in the heat anywhere, and it's always 72 degrees inside.

Just looking at some internet date, winter temp highs in Albuquerque look to be 8 or 9 degrees higher than NYC. But as has been mentioned, in the west especially at altitude the radiant heat from the sun makes it feel much warmer than an equivalent temp in other areas.

And as far as Arizona goes it for sure is better in winter time but it's that much worse in summer time. Phoenix especially. Tucson slightly less so.

Las Cruces is slighty milder in summer than the Arizona cities but still pretty hot. Winters are colder but milder than Albuquerque.

My problem with Las Cruces is that it lacks any kind of charm. The neighborhoods built before about the 1970s in the core of the city are trashy. There are some nice areas in east and west mesa areas and in Mesilla Park area but Alb has much nicer options in it's core areas. Traffic is better in Cruces except for Lohmann ave and University Ave where they go by I-25. Alb's main thoroughfares can carry a lot of traffic at times but you do have the two interstates to get around.

Sante Fe is really a cool place but it's pretty nippy in the winter and expensive but I'd sure consider it.

I don't know much about it but I hear Los Alamos is really a nice community. I know the government stuff there makes it a bit unusual but I always here it's a good place.

The great thing about New Mexico to me is that it still has some traditional character to it. It's grown but it hasn't lost it's soul.
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Old 11-27-2018, 11:29 AM
 
Location: In my cat's house, until she finds a better human servant
372 posts, read 292,295 times
Reputation: 803
Quote:
Originally Posted by Led Zeppelin View Post
Why not Santa Fe? Much more cultural and arts. Albuquerque has one of the highest crime rates in the country. New Mexico has a lot of other nicer places.
The Albuquerque bashing from people who don’t even live here gets a little tiring. I’ve lived in several states, there are cities with places I would not not go alone even in daylight, and frankly would avoid period. No such places in ABQ. Property crime is a problem but a little common sense goes along way to avoid much of that. Property crime also a problem in other places I have lived. I also question this claim that Santa Fe has no problems with property theft.
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Old 11-27-2018, 11:38 AM
 
Location: The High Desert
10,302 posts, read 5,523,009 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoidberg View Post
Many retirees who consider NM end up choosing southern Arizona (Phoenix, Tucson, etc.) instead.

The deciding factor ends up being the weather. NM's winters are sunny, sure, but they're almost as cold as New York's.
New Mexico's winters are nothing like the cold and snow of upstate New York. I have a goldfish pond and it hasn't frozen over in two years. It might get a little ice for a couple hours in the morning. Typical winter days are above or close to the 50-degree mark and are sunny. They start off cold -- this is the desert -- but they warm up from the sun to sweater weather by afternoon. If OP managed the cold and snow in New York, New Mexico will feel balmy. There is snow here if you want (Taos, Angel Fire) it but we seldom see it in the city and it doesn't last. Winters are relatively short with December being the colder month.

The hottest temperature ever recorded in Albuquerque was 107 degrees. Compare that to the typically hotter climate in Arizona -- with 122 degrees being the record in Phoenix. I can recall 112 degree days and high humidity back in the midwest -- and shovelling snow in the winter. Summers here are reasonably pleasant and most people have evaporative cooling rather than AC because the humidity is so low. The lowest humidity I've noticed is 4% but it is usually somewhat higher.

The only weather factor that I found surprising and a little unpleasant is the windy period in the spring but the tumbleweeds have to go somewhere so it has its good points.

You will have to check into your tax situation in NM compared to NY. My property tax is somewhat less than $3000 and I have a house and 1+ acre in Rio Rancho. There's no personal property tax here. But -- my state income tax went up because NM taxes my retirement (public pension) income when my old state only taxed a small portion. It isn't a hardship for me but it might sway others to reconsider. New Mexico is a "blue" state and has some milder liberal tendencies but it is balanced with some conservative aspects -- it is the most family oriented place I have ever encountered.

Come out for a visit, probably more than once. Make a list of places and check them off as you go.
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