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Old 06-11-2006, 10:14 PM
JRR JRR started this thread
Location: Middle Tennessee
4,644 posts, read 2,713,106 times
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We will be retiring in a few years from the Orlando, FL area and Kentucky is at the top of our list. It appears to have what we are looking for in terms of relatively mild four season climate and a reasonable cost of living, along with being close to Ohio where my wife has family. Not interested in a lot of excitement but would like a small city or town that has a college/university for a little stimulation.

We have been through the Lexington area several times on our trips to Ohio and Danville and Berea appear interesting. Many years ago we passed through Murray and thought it was a really nice place.

Any input about those areas would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 06-17-2006, 01:14 PM
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\I work in Danville and know a little about Berea.

In my opinion, they are three very different towns. Which one might best suit you for retirement really depends on what activities you enjoy and would like to continue to be involved in, what your future concerns are regarding healthcare and transportation, and what kinds of social networking you prefer to do (if any.)

As you probably know, Berea is sort of the arts center of KY. It's very much focused on the college and tourism. it is definitely a small town. There's nothing wrong with that, but coming from Orlando, it could be a bit of a culture shock.

On the plus side, Danville has a a highly ranked regional medical center. Community theater and performing arts groups are big here. Centre College contributes many cultural activities. If religion is important to you, there are quite a few churches.
Of course the town is not without problems. No town is perfect. There's small town politics and cliquishness, a growing divide between natives and newcomers and between the poor and affluent, an infrastructure that needs to be updated to support the growth. The area has lost several large employers in recent years with those jobs replaced by lower paying service sector jobs.

I'd suggest subscribing to the local newspapers for a couple of months to get a read on the towns you're interested in. You'll get a more balanced picture from that than from the info sent out by the chambers.

If I were retiring, though, and determined to live in KY, I’d probably pick Danville for it’s variety of activities and proximity to Lexington.
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Old 06-18-2006, 03:34 PM
JRR JRR started this thread
Location: Middle Tennessee
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Thank you for the info. You have reinforced what we have been thinking. The really small town feeling of Berea vs the larger Danville (with more faciliites and activities to offer, along with being closer to Lexington).

During our time together, my wife and I have live in Charlotte NC, Fort Mill SC (population 3500 at the time), Vero Beach Fl, and where we are now, on the north side of Orlando. We both agree that we enjoyed the time we lived in Ft Mill the most, for both the climate and the people. Vero Beach was nice too, until the population explosion happened. Charlotte is way too big now. Orlando, no way. It seems to be a race around here to see which goes up faster; crime or the the cost of living. So the small town atmosphere seems to agree with us more than the large city.

We actually have some land west of Asheville NC that we bought several years ago with the intention of making it our retirement home. But them we started thinking that we should explore other areas also. That is how we decided to take a good, hard look at Kentucky. Got a few more years until this happens, so plenty of time for us to get up there and try to get a better feel for the different areas.
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Old 06-22-2006, 07:33 PM
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I live in Danville, I have been here for a year now and I love it. It is a great town with good people. My husband and I are having to move to Western Kentucky because his job transfered him. Neither of us really want to leave this little town, but we do what we have to. Move to Danville, you will love it.
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Old 06-23-2006, 12:12 PM
Location: Old Louisville
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Glad to welcome you to Kentucky.

1. Murray, Kentucky

Murray is a city in Calloway County, Kentucky, United States. The population was 14,950 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Calloway County and the home of Murray State University. Murray is situated 15 miles (24 kilometers) from the 170,000-acre (690-km&sup2) "Land Between the Lakes" recreational area known worldwide for its fishing, boating,swimming, camping and wildlife population.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/e/e4/KYMap-doton-Murray.PNG (broken link)

offical website:


2. Danville, Kentucky.

Danville is a city in Boyle County, Kentucky, United States. The population was 15,477 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Boyle County. It was the original home of Transylvania University, which soon after its founding moved to Lexington. Later, Centre College opened in Danville, and remains there today. Danville is also home to the Great American Brass Band Festival and to the Pioneer Playhouse, an important part of theater in Kentucky.

In 2001, Danville received a Great American Main Street Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/0/0d/KYMap-doton-Danville.PNG (broken link)

official site:

http://ci.danville.ky.us/ (broken link)

3. Berea, Kentucky.

Berea is a city in Madison County, Kentucky, United States. In 2004, the city population was 12,738. Its most prominent institution is Berea College, which owns a substantial percentage of the city's land. It is also one of the fastest growing towns in Kentucky. By 2010 Berea is on pace to have a population of 17,068 by 2010, a 73% increase over the town's census 2000 population of 9,851. Berea is home to the Mid-May Kentucky Craftmen's Guild Annual Fair.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/6/64/KYMap-doton-Berea.PNG (broken link)

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Old 06-24-2006, 04:04 PM
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If I had land outside Asheville already? Well, no contest.
But then I lived in western NC and loved it there.

It's ok here. We plan to move on in a couple years. My spouse and I were both raised in more culturally and racially diverse areas, and we are very conscious of diversity issues here. Of the three towns you mention though, it's probably less noticable here than the other two.
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Old 06-27-2006, 07:06 PM
Location: Woodstock, GA & Butler county KY
237 posts, read 783,199 times
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Danville is a great choice. I was born & raised in Orlando and had family in Danvile, used to visit during the summer. If you are looking for a comfortable slower lifestyle I highly reccomend it. My wife & I live in Atlanta but plan to retire in Kentucky too but that is about 15 years away. We have some property in Butler county on the green river that is goregeous!
There is nothing better than seeing the seasons change in Kentucky!


Last edited by Digger57; 06-27-2006 at 07:16 PM..
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Old 07-08-2006, 06:55 PM
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Don't ignore Murray. It is on the smaller side (around 15,000), but it's home to a university that brings diversity and entertainment to the community. It's approximately 20 minutes from the Land Between the Lakes, a recreational area great for camping, boating, hiking, hunting and fishing. Access to larger cities is easy - 1 hour to Paducah, 2 hours to Nashville, 3.5 hours to St. Louis, 4 hours to Louisville.
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Old 07-12-2006, 07:53 PM
JRR JRR started this thread
Location: Middle Tennessee
4,644 posts, read 2,713,106 times
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Default Thanks for the info everybody

We are planning on getting a week next spring to go up to Kentucky. At least we can spend a couple of days in each area and get out and talk to people. Maybe at least find out where we would not want to live. I've found that in the right situation, most people are glad to share their thoughts on where they live. We stopped in a hardware store last fall in a small North Carolina mountain town and the gentleman there happily talked to us for 45 minutes (in between customers). Hopefully Kentucky people will be that friendly.

We intend to visit Berea, Danville and Murray. Got to see Murray because since 1977 (when we were last there) my wife has been saying "You know, I really liked that town. We should at least consider it for retirement".

If anyone knows of any other small city areas (under 25,000) that we should look at, please let me know. Looking for something not too rural (increasing age dictates that should be in reasonable distance of a hospital) but definitely not big city. A college would be nice, but not a deal breaker. Not in serach of Utopia, just a nice place to live
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Old 07-15-2006, 03:06 PM
43 posts, read 194,136 times
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Another thing you might consider is keeping an eye on the local newspapers for all three areas on-line. That will gvie you a more even look at the towns than you will ever get from the info the local chambers and realtors hand out. After all, they want you to move there, so they may not tell you the less-than-postive things. For example, Danville makes a huge deal out of the Brass Band Festival. It's just not that big a deal to many of the locals (the working ones, the more affluent ones love it.) They'll tell you all about the Main St awards, but no one mentions that the buildings behind those lovely facades are desperately in need of repair or the tensions between college and town.

I'm not telling you this to disuade you. It's still a nice little town and it's problmes are no more or less than other towns it's age and size. Just saying that it's often hard to get the "real" picture.
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