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Old 02-18-2017, 01:23 PM
 
37 posts, read 82,126 times
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My wife and I are looking at Twin Falls or Idaho Falls as our retirement location.
Having lived in a warm weather location most of or life, we are a bit worried about moving to a cold weather retirement area.
My question to the forum would be 1st to those like us, that have moved from warm weather areas to Idaho and how they adapted, and was it difficult?
I would also be in search for input from seniors in Idaho and how they cope with the winters, and what do they actually do in the winter, besides wait for spring.

Thanks.
John
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Old 02-18-2017, 01:54 PM
 
Location: North Idaho
26,151 posts, read 34,650,516 times
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I haven't really moved from a warm climate to a cold climate... well, I have, but the cold climate came first as I was moving around. I've lived in all sorts of climates.

My observation is that people who move to a snow area from a non-snow area, whine a lot about the weather and then they start whining about how the government isn't taking care of all their problems.

If you make your mind up that you are going to deal with snow if you move to a place where it snows, it isn't all that hard to cope with the snow. Snow, in fact, is beautiful to look at and involves many fun snow activities.

You cope with snow and cold by owning the correct clothing. You are going to be happier about snow if you own a snow blower. Shoveling snow is all well and fine, but it becomes less fun as you reach your senior years. It's possible to hire driveways and walkways cleared if you don't want to do it yourself, but they will be cleared more frequently if you do it yourself.

It's easy to learn how to layer clothing so you stay warm but don't over-heat. Probably 3 minutes on google would teach you how to layer. You want good scold weather boots and a hat that will cover your ears.

I recommend studded tires for the winter if you chose a place that has snow and ice. That will make driving safer. Even with the studs, you must slow down and drive with caution. Keep warm blankets and a shovel in your car at all times, in case you get stuck.

I use a set of old ski poles or a set of walking poles when the ground is icy, but cleats for your shoes also work well.

If you are buying, get a house with a large cast iron wood stove. You start accumulating firewood, so that what you are burning has been stacked up and drying for 3-4 years. What I am burning now has been drying for 12 years.

Buy a couple of bags of coarse sand before it snows and sprinkle a handful on your walks and drive (after you shovel) to provide traction.

Last edited by oregonwoodsmoke; 02-18-2017 at 02:02 PM..
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Old 02-18-2017, 02:04 PM
 
Location: Idaho Falls
75 posts, read 71,207 times
Reputation: 80
Hi John.
I often wonder why people who live in nice warm climates would ever want to move someplace cold, and worry about acclimating. I moved out west from Florida about 40 years ago, so I have had LOTS of time to get use to winter. I learned to downhill and cross country ski, I hunted, camped, snowmobiled, and ice fished in the winter. As a scout master, my troops always camped 12 months a year, in tents, snow caves, and under the stars.
I love it here, still spend some time outdoors in the winter, and stay busy. As I get older, and my physical condition changes, I adapt. I have no desire to ever shovel snow again...so I use a snow blower. It's electric start, just like my lawn mower . Someone else shovels the snow off my roof, but I still do most everything else that needs to be done at home all winter.
My wife and I both have 4 WD vehicles, so getting around is no problem all winter, and opens up recreational opportunities in the rest of the year. I like the people here who are mostly easy going, the freedom I enjoy, and the small town atmosphere with big city amenities. If I can't find what I need, there's always Amazon ! We are on the verge of another growth spurt here, and I look forward to all the exciting things that are coming this way soon. I live here because I choose to. My best advice would be to come out for a couple of weeks in the winter, and see how you like it. They say if you don't like the weather. wait five minutes. It's true. This month has seen an unusual amount of snow, temperatures well below zero, and yet today is almost 50 degrees out. That's shirt sleeve weather in Idaho. Over night lows are in the teens, but because there is generally so little humidity, it doesn't feel as cold as it would in a more humid climate.
If you have specific questions, I will respond if I have the answer, or someone else will surely jump in. stay in touch.
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Old 02-18-2017, 04:59 PM
 
423 posts, read 308,984 times
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Moving from a warm climate to Idaho in the winter didn't bother me. In Texas, cloudy and windy in the 30s feels really cold. It was still snowing when I got here but my body almost instantly adapted to the climate change, atmosphere changes ect... it was cold in a different way. The snow only keeps certain people inside all season. There are lots of winter related recreational opportunities.
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Old 02-22-2017, 10:18 AM
 
Location: Southeast Idaho
4,754 posts, read 16,561,212 times
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We moved from a HOT climate to Idaho Falls and we love it. Then again when we made the move in '91 we weren't of retirement age either. We both the Winter, although just as everything it has it's times when it's trying

Dressing for the climate and having at least one vehicle designed for it is the key.

The question begs, do you have family nearby? If no, you might wish to consider Twin as it's closer to Salt Lake City to be able to fly a little cheaper.
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Old 02-22-2017, 11:18 AM
 
Location: Ammon
146 posts, read 116,283 times
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John,

Winter in Idaho is not to be underestimated, especially for folks who have never lived in cold areas.
If you aren't likely to indulge in any snowy outdoors activities, winter can be completely immobilizing for you.

Besides the necessity of shoveling, plowing or blowing your sidewalk, driveway, walkways, you must also be able to deal with driving in snow, ice, slush, etc., because you have to get groceries, go to appointments, etc. A vehicle that is equipped to do so, and some basic sense as to how to navigate snow and ice are needed. If you aren't able to do your own snow removal at home, you want to make sure you pick a home with less driveway, walkway or sidewalk to clear, so it will cost less to hire it done.

This last winter (not over yet, as it is only late Feb) has been somewhat more severe and had more snow than the last few years, but many will remind you that it is more like things used to be, and the warmer winters of recent years were the anomalies. Until just this week, I hadn't seen my lawn since just after Thanksgiving, due to the endless chain of snowstorms and cold that kept it from melting.

There are quite a few winter activities, if one is hardy and ready to indulge in them.

Idaho State University (ISU) has a senior learning program called "Friends for Learning", which offers quite a few courses, seminars and activities year-round, at only $20 per semester for registration (spring/fall), plus some class costs for material, admissions, etc. One of the "courses" offered is a program called "Hiking, walking and exploring" (HWE), which coordinates ongoing walking groups all-year on Mon/Wed/Fri on the greenbelt along the river (in the mall on nasty weather days or when really icy). The HWE group also coordinates many other outdoor activities, from hikes of all levels of difficulty to bike rides, mountain biking, snowshoe expeditions, to slowcoach trips into Yellowstone, to trips to Moab, Coeur d'Alene, etc for multi-day hiking, biking and exploring, as well as horseback rides, wildflower hikes in spring, ghost town exploration, eagle watching, bear spotting, and on and on.

If you will be new to retirement, you will want to find hobbies, clubs and activities to get involved in, so you can meet more locals and build a network of acquaintances/friends who enjoy similar things.
If you like to fish, (or hunt) you will never run out of places to do so in this area. But then again, there is that pesky "winter" thing that keeps you from fishing for 4 or 5 months a year.

There are chess clubs, book clubs, political discussion groups (of all flavors), garden clubs, etc. as well.

I hope this is of some help in your processing of information regarding retirement planning.
Good luck.
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Old 02-22-2017, 02:31 PM
 
Location: Majestic Wyoming
1,344 posts, read 683,642 times
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We just made the move from Fresno, California where summers are typically in the triple digits for several days at a time, to the Star Valley area of Wyoming. We are roughly an hour and forty minutes away from Idaho Falls, and so I'm familiar with the area you are considering since that's where we go to do a lot of our big shopping.

I was concerned going from a place with zero snow, to a place with lots, especially with zero snow driving experience, but I've quickly adapted. Driving on snow and/or ice means slowing way down and braking and turning slowly. Make sure you keep supplies in your vehicle in case of getting stuck such as a snow shovel, tow rope, extra gloves, jacket, hat, and some nonperishable snacks and water. Also keep your tank at least half full so you can stay warm with the heater on if you need to wait for help.

Dress in layers, it is key to staying warm and your body will adjust. I used to be freezing in Fresno on a fifty degree day, but now fifty degrees is hot and I'm peeling off clothing and wearing a short sleeve shirt. Get some snow boots with good traction. Don't assume the ground is solid, it's going to get icy at times, take it easy and go slow.

Get yourself a snow blower asap. It's going to be a lifesaver when you need to get out of your driveway, shoveling by hand is hard on the back and time consuming.

The snow is beautiful and sparkly. It's textures change from powdery snow to a dense wet snow good for snow balls. I see the beauty in having four real seasons, and when everything is covered in white it is amazing to behold. Snow living is not for everyone, definitely visit in winter and see if you like it and the rewards and challenges it presents. Our family has no regrets yet, and by local standards this has been one doozy of a winter.
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Old 02-23-2017, 10:03 AM
 
Location: Southeast Idaho
4,754 posts, read 16,561,212 times
Reputation: 2697
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy4Chickens View Post
We just made the move from Fresno, California where summers are typically in the triple digits for several days at a time, to the Star Valley area of Wyoming. We are roughly an hour and forty minutes away from Idaho Falls, and so I'm familiar with the area you are considering since that's where we go to do a lot of our big shopping.

I was concerned going from a place with zero snow, to a place with lots, especially with zero snow driving experience, but I've quickly adapted. Driving on snow and/or ice means slowing way down and braking and turning slowly. Make sure you keep supplies in your vehicle in case of getting stuck such as a snow shovel, tow rope, extra gloves, jacket, hat, and some nonperishable snacks and water. Also keep your tank at least half full so you can stay warm with the heater on if you need to wait for help.

Dress in layers, it is key to staying warm and your body will adjust. I used to be freezing in Fresno on a fifty degree day, but now fifty degrees is hot and I'm peeling off clothing and wearing a short sleeve shirt. Get some snow boots with good traction. Don't assume the ground is solid, it's going to get icy at times, take it easy and go slow.

Get yourself a snow blower asap. It's going to be a lifesaver when you need to get out of your driveway, shoveling by hand is hard on the back and time consuming.

The snow is beautiful and sparkly. It's textures change from powdery snow to a dense wet snow good for snow balls. I see the beauty in having four real seasons, and when everything is covered in white it is amazing to behold. Snow living is not for everyone, definitely visit in winter and see if you like it and the rewards and challenges it presents. Our family has no regrets yet, and by local standards this has been one doozy of a winter.
Hello, "neighbor". We also moved from Fresno to escape the heat and other things several years ago. Is this your first Winter in WY?
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Old 02-23-2017, 02:30 PM
 
Location: Old Mother Idaho
25,689 posts, read 17,136,830 times
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If you were to move here, Pier, it would probably take you a couple of winters to become accustomed to them.

It's not difficult, but there is a lot to learn at first, and your body needs time to adapt, too.

The responses you've gotten are real good. What hasn't been mentions so far is the probability you will spend your first winter either thinking it's wonderful or terrible, depending on your preparation and state of mind. Since Idaho is further north that Florida, the thing most newcomers like the least about winter isn't the cold, it's the shorter daylight hours.

The days grow very short as the winter solstice approaches, so more and more daylight activity is done in the dark until the days begin growing longer after the solstice.

The real winter misery for all is a blizzard- snowfall with high winds. They happen about as much as a violent summer rain storm; none at all some winters, and typically one or two during a winter. The rest of the snowstorms are like rainstorms; some wind, but more precipitation falling from the sky than the wind.

Snow is nothing but cold rain that stays put. Once you learn to live in it and deal with it, it's always a chore to some degree, but not necessarily a big deal.
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Old 07-23-2017, 12:30 AM
 
232 posts, read 126,842 times
Reputation: 575
I am over 55 and although I stay relatively fit for my age, this past 2016 winter kicked my butt. I bought my house 6 months before our nasty winter smacked us around Dec of 2016. Of course my 50's brick house has an extremely long driveway! I agree with all the other folks who posted about snow blowers! I didnt have one and the difficulty (and soreness involved) of having to shovel heavy wet snow off the driveway sometimes twice a day was a tough one! We did have a record breaking snowfall here in the Treasure Valley but it could repeat itself this winter so if you relocate keep this is mind. The weather in general across the US has been all over the place. Navigating snowy winters in my opinion, just takes some practice. This past one was a doozy because we got so many varied types of snowfall...some days wet, slushy and high and other days icey and hard to steer on. I am from California originally (way back when) but I have lived in Colorado where snowfall is usually heavier than Idaho. If you hate cold and snow and layering and boots, you probably will not be happy here. Many folks from Texas come here and I hear them complain all winter how awful it is. I enjoy the four seasons so much and aside from shoveling snow and the occasional difficulties on the roads, I really like living in Idaho, even in winter. The last thing I would add is to make sure you invest in some good boots, probably a couple of different pairs to accomodate the different types of precipitation. I have some heavy waterproof boots for shoveling and some boots to get me from the car and into the grocery store. Hope this was helpful.
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