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Old 02-19-2021, 10:58 AM
35 posts, read 59,231 times
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I am a 73 year single retiree. I have spent most of my life overseas, and retired about 5 years ago. I currently live in a nice home on the border with Canada, and up until a year ago, I made frequent visits to Vancouver.

I have been looking into picking a 2nd retirement location, and I was strongly considering Panama, Costa Rica and Mexico as options. I ask myself why those countries, and it's because I would be close to the US and still live in a different culture. However, the idea of living in a border city, like El Paso, is an option I am beginning to also consider. I could still use my Medicare health insurance if needed, the cost of living is low, and I would be in a city that has a very strong Latin culture, and that appeals to me. It almost seems to be as good as being in the three countries mentioned without having to deal with visas.

I realize Juarez is not the safest place to be, but the idea of actually being about to walk across the border to a foreign country is very appealing, and the El Paso weather, while hot during the summer, it's a dry heat, and it's great climate during the winter. I lived in San Antonio back in the early 1970's while in the Air Force, and the summers there were hot and humid. No thank you.

El Paso is also high up on the list for retirement locations according to what I read. The cost of living is rising of course, but it's very reasonable. It's not a large city, and I like that. The size is like San Antonio back in the 70's. Looking at home prices, I am really surprised. Homes where I live now are double for the same quality house or condo you can get in El Paso.

Does my reasoning sound logical about being interested in El Paso? It's almost worth buying rather than renting a place, but not sure if that would be smart if I only spend 4-6 months there per year.

Thank you for any thoughts you have.

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Old 02-19-2021, 05:01 PM
Location: Paradise
1,623 posts, read 4,566,459 times
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I think you right on track with all your observations and wants/needs for a 4-6 month stay. I can't address the rent/buy portion, maybe another poster will. Good luck to you
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Old 02-20-2021, 11:09 AM
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ZSP, Thank you very much. It might end up being permanent, but at least start off 4 to 6 months. I'd love to hear from other retirees.
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Old 02-20-2021, 07:47 PM
Location: Alaska
383 posts, read 206,652 times
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I am giving some consideration to El Paso as well for a retirement home.
I currently live in Fairbanks Alaska and I'm ready for some year round warmer weather. I have, like you, been considering living south in the winter and returning north for the summer.

The cost of 2 homes and worrying about my Alaska house during the Winter I think will keep me from the snowbird plan.

I also lived in San Antonio for about a year and a half and it was OK, very humid like you have said. I also like and prefer the desert aspect of El Paso but I have never visited. Through military moves I have lived in Sierra Vista AZ and southern California I like in general the desert south west and maybe the high desert to temper the summer heat.

A recent observation about El Paso. They are connected to the Western power grid and are not suffering the outages of the Texas grid with its lack of weatherization.

No income tax, Yay! but...The biggest drag with Texas for me is the property tax! Yikes!
I might consider right across the Texas border in New Mexico for 1/3 the property tax rate.
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Old 02-22-2021, 05:03 AM
Location: El paso,tx
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El paso is one of the best kept secrets around. I grew up in Fl, Ga and NH. Joined military and traveled/was stationed all over the country.
I settled in El Paso after getting out of the Air Force, and love it here.
I am a Realtor that deals with a lot of military. Almost all of them have heard bad things about El Pado, but they all end up loving it here. Several buyers have stated that they feel like they are on vacation here, and quite a few have decided to retire/get out of the military and stay here.
You can't beat the weather. People are friendly, skiing/(wooded)mountains are only 2 hrs north. The desert mountains are beautiful and change color throughout the day.
Crime is very low here.
Come take a vacation here and see what you think. Mar is windy. Our hottest months are june/july, but even then, you can hike/do outdoor things in morning or eve. If you are in the shade its comfortable. Usually oct/nov are really nice. Winters are short and generally mild.
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Old 02-22-2021, 01:45 PM
124 posts, read 153,688 times
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I've been here for 20 years, and I agree with everything Spottednikes has put forth. I've lived many places in the US-while there may be places that are deemed more "exciting" and "sexy", I realize I do not miss those places. If we, as a family, need a break from the desert we head to the mountains or one of the coasts (San Diego, Corpus Christi, or Puerto Penasco).
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Old 02-22-2021, 02:13 PM
Location: Upstairs
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I’m a late 50s retired white guy (never been in the military) that moved to El Paso in late 2015 and have been here since then for all but one year (I left for a year then returned). Prior to retirement I thought I would be spending time in Mexico, Peru or Ecuador. El Paso to me represented “expat lite”. I could experience a different culture but without all of the difficulties of living abroad. So far I am very happy with my choice. I agree with every positive thing that has been said about the city. I grew up in central Florida so I know all about heat and humidity and it is nothing like that here. I find the weather very pleasant. I have lived all over the US because of work and I feel safer here than anywhere I have ever lived. The high property taxes are a negative but not a big one. There is a property management company named Case that manages several apartment complexes here all over town and with differing price points. I have lived in their properties and felt fairly treated. I mention them because they seem to offer lease lengths that start at 3 months. You could easily come here, rent an apartment for 3 months, furnish it very cheaply and explore the city. I’m using the place as a low cost place to live until I figure out what I want to do long term. I’ve said before it is a diamond in the rough. You could use the word gritty to describe it and I wouldn’t argue. But the people are nice, the crime is crazy low and the cost of living is low. It is a delightful retirement location. The people I would advise against moving here are those that still have to work for a living. Wages are very low. Come check us out! Good luck!
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Old 02-23-2021, 03:00 PM
35 posts, read 59,231 times
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Your comment about "expat lite" really resonated with me. Living in Panama or Costa Rica was my wish, but the hidden costs (expat health care, travel expenses, pet transport, etc) make El Paso seem like a great alternative. I am looking forward to it.

I will also do some research on Case apartments.
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Old 02-25-2021, 01:25 AM
73 posts, read 55,465 times
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I also moved here to retire in 2018 from a very cold climate. Summer is from February to part of December. It's very affordable. Property taxes are high but I rent. Easy to drive to all the cool states like AZ, CA, NM, CO and NV. Living in basically what feels like zero humidity is awesome. West Texas weather is nothing like the rest of Texas.
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Old 02-25-2021, 10:52 PM
632 posts, read 424,494 times
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A lot of people do this particularly in South Texas on the coast where the humidity is gone this time of year. I've seen renters particularly in beach/vacation areas where you can rent what costs $300 a night in the Summer for $1000 a month in the Winter.

Wealthier people tend to buy and make sure to spend six months so they can establish residency and avoid state income taxes(may or may not be an issue for you).

There are Texas retirees(had their career here) that live here but leave for Colorado, Montana, Maine for the Summer.

You are right to focus on healthcare availability so I'd stick to mid sized cities that have professional EMS services as well. In Texas it's the difference between a 3 minute response time or a 30-60 minute response time.

Last El Paso has direct flights to the Mexican hotspots and Costa Rica so if you want to go for a week or two it's not a huge production to get there.
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