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Old 07-05-2020, 02:57 AM
Location: Tucson/Nogales
23,219 posts, read 29,044,905 times
Reputation: 32626


Try and avoid 55+ communities where, for a long period of time, they're depopulated with too many part-time snowbird residents. The snowbird population in my 55+ community is quite minimal.
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Old 07-06-2020, 11:03 AM
Location: Desert Southwest
658 posts, read 1,336,229 times
Reputation: 945
We have been considering 55+ communities in Tuscon area also. SB is too far from town, but Oro Valley and Dove Mountain seem to be better located, especially since we think we would visit Phoenix (lived there for 9 years in 90's) to visit numerous friends and only 2 hours north. It is definitely cheaper than other areas we're considering, and would be third area on our list, mostly because of brutal summers. Note that property taxes in Tucson (actually Pima County) are nearly double what they are in Maricopa County (Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale). Haven't checked much into health care yet.

Top of list for us is Sacramento area, there are dozens of 55+ between there and Bay Area. Sac has a great gay community but its not ghetto WeHo or Castro, mostly in the midtown area. Prices are higher than in Tucson, but Sac has two rivers running through it, beautiful new and old neighborhoods with tree lined streets, great walking city for restaurants and just getting outside. Plus within two hours of San Francisco, Sonoma and Napa wine country, the Pacific Ocean, Lake Tahoe and Reno to the east. We travel alot, but now wondering if we might cut out much of that as who knows about airline travel going forward. The money we would save staying closer to home and spending oodles less on pricey vacations are thoughts we're having. Property taxes are relatively low, and CA does not tax SS at all. Income taxes really only get high if one is earning over $40K a year when they raise to 8%. Great health care options.

Other area considering is Reno...gorgeous thriving smaller city with 4 tolerable mild seasons, Lake Tahoe at back door, and still close to all NorCal has to offer. Housing about equal to Sac. No state income taxes, no tax on SS and reasonable property taxes.

Last 12 years living in a small rural area 10 miles outside of Albuquerque, good hiking and beautiful area, nice people, good 4 seasons weatherwise. We want to downsize and have less housing maintenance (weather here is brutal on home maintenance). Its a 7 hour drive to either Denver or Phoenix with little in between so extremely isolated. No gay area per se. Santa Fe an hour north, wonderful town and quaint, but small and quite expensive home wise. Unfortunately there is no way we would move into Abq. Even with a beautiful mountain backdrop, Property crime, assault and auto theft are some of highest in country. Downtown is gritty and in my opinion not safe at night. NM is cheaper, (about same as Tucson) if that is ones criteria. NM taxes SS which irritates me to no end.

Like so many others ready for change within a year or two, and just trying to figure it all out!
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Old 07-18-2020, 06:40 PM
32 posts, read 45,450 times
Reputation: 100
Thanks tijlover, and trailtramp!

I've given up on Dove Mountain, as the pricepoint is too high, and the apartments there have really crummy reviews! I do though, appreciate the tips about 'depopulation' (posted by tijlover), and on the subject of 'property taxes' (posted by trailtramp).

Now, trailtramp, I have family near Sacramento, CA, and can offer a few ideas that I hope will answer some of the basics:

Firstly, Sacramento stays around 100-degrees most of the the summer (please, don't trust 'temperature averages'), and allergies are a big deal in the region.

Also, housing prices are much higher than in either New Mexico, or Tucson. In addition, California will soon be raising property taxes, as well as tacking-on more fees and charges to make up for the state's 50B+ deficit (that's billion, with a capital 'B').

Unfortunately, housing prices in the Sacramento region continue to rise; and current taxation-rates (as well as likely tax increases) need to be factored-in to one's budget, because the state's income has been impacted (and will continue to be so for many years) due to the harsh covid closure-orders that CA's Governor has implemented.

A big positive, though, is that the gay community is pretty good for older, active folks; and there are many clubs and groups one can join. There's also not a lot of overt prejudice – of any kind – in the Sacramento area, which is great!

Lastly, I want to mention that, if you're considering other states, Coastal Oregon (around Yachats, up to Newport), is getting a lot of interest from older, gay folks. I have a middle-aged friend who's gay, and he says there's little in the way of gay-prejudice there. Plus, the weather is pleasantly coastal for two seasons, though cold, and blustery in the late fall, and winter. No jobs to speak of, either; but, prices are still reasonable, for a picturesque stretch of the West Coast!

Best –

Dean W.

Last edited by Dean W.; 07-18-2020 at 06:56 PM..
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Old 08-14-2020, 09:27 AM
2,410 posts, read 5,821,055 times
Reputation: 1917
Originally Posted by bkolodzi View Post
I really don't give a damn about color of skin, gender or sexual preference, but I do give a damn about the content of the character of the people I call friends.

What a great statement! Many of us can relate, and thanks for posting!
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Old 10-12-2020, 01:14 PM
21 posts, read 17,405 times
Reputation: 97
I am not myself gay but have family who are, so wanted to know about that here. I'm in Green Valley - the GV Recreation has a social club for gays & family & friends ... tho all that is locked down at present.

However, I would agree that this is a pretty tolerant place ... less liberal than Tucson but a mix of people who are liberal and those who are conservative but people seem pretty tolerant of others different from themselves. For example I noticed the local FedEx has a lot of people who work there and appear to be the gay/trans or whatever young people mixed with some older people, who knows if they are straight or not... but having a mixed crowd like that in a major business seems indicative of tolerance for others.
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Old 11-09-2020, 06:40 PM
32 posts, read 45,450 times
Reputation: 100
Hi Miss Jean,

Yes, I agree that seeing a mixed group of employees does bode well for a given area's level of tolerance.

Also, I am still looking at Tucson; but, larger companies continue to relocate to the region – which, in the positive, does raise the 'tolerance-quotient' – but, such large-scale migration raises prices, and increases traffic-congestion – in addition to putting more pressure (no pun intended :>) on long-term water, as well as power, supplies.

Though, after looking at the Tucson area for some time, I now feel that the original SaddleBrooke community – if one's finances allow – seems the best bet for social-acceptance, accompanied by a bit cooler climate than Tucson proper.

Good hunting,

Dean W.
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Old 11-09-2020, 08:48 PM
41 posts, read 63,801 times
Reputation: 246
I am not gay, but have gay friends. I'm shocked that no one has mentioned Bisbee?!?! It's a small town, but 60% LGBT. Bisbee is known as the San Francisco of the Southwest.

Welcome to gay friendly Southern Arizona - GayArizonaGayArizona

Best of luck finding your new home here.
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Old 10-27-2023, 09:56 PM
32 posts, read 45,450 times
Reputation: 100
I haven't posted in a few years, and would like to do so, as I always wonder what happens to folks after they've said they're interested in a given area, but then they rarely follow up. So, I'd like to offer an update about AZ, and hope it can help other retirees who're interested in moving to the state.

Now, for Tucson and Phoenix, I finally had to acknowledge that the high-temps are too much for me to handle. So, my advice here, is that if you're interested in most any place in AZ, go visit for a week during the summer (not the spring, as that season can be seductively pleasant in AZ!) and see how you feel in the 'dry heat'? And if you're looking at a town (like Flagstaff) that gets a lot of snow in the winter, then spend a Christmas there, if finances allow – unless you already feel comfortable living in a high-snow environment.

The key-lesson for me, was learning how I deal with extreme heat, as that was something I hadn't initially given enough thought to – and so if you're interested in AZ, I hope you'll take the time to see how high-temperature 'dry heat,' and very bright sunlight impacts your lifestyle, and quality of life. It's also important to know that your A/Cs (in your house, and car) will be working overtime for most of the year; and so if you're not rolling in cash, it's likely you'll need to budget for the additional expense; and that goes for water-costs as well – especially if you want to keep a lawn (which local, and state authorities largely frown upon).

Now, when it comes to the state's political-environment, Phoenix, as of late 2023, is categorized by pollsters as 'leaning liberal;' and Tucson and Flagstaff are considered to be 'somewhat-to-moderately liberal' – and Prescott, with it's more manageable climate, is demographically thought to be 'moderately conservative,' whereas it used to be a republican stronghold; and Sierra Vista (with its less extreme climate) is also thought to be 'moderately conservative.' Though, in my opinion, I found that both Prescott, and Sierra Vista aren't good choices for those who are liberal, or diversity-minded; but, that Phoenix, and Tucson are solidly workable, if one picks their neighborhood with care. And, if you're gay, it's best not to pussyfoot around the issue; but, instead, find a realtor who's already had proven success in relocating gay clients.

All said, though, I feel that the state of Arizona has many charms to offer retirees, both gay or straight; but, if one is heat-adverse, then this part of the US will not likely be a good fit; though, places like Prescott, and Sierra Vista (both popular with 'snowbird' retirees) have more hospitable climates; but, many I've spoken with think that Sierra Vista, though a genuinely scenic area, is a bit out of the way, and still lacking cultural amenities (which, in fairness, aren't what most small towns are about; so, that's not a knock).

Then there's the issue of medical care; and I have to say the Phoenix has some good care available; with Tucson finally improving, but the city still has a ways to catch-up; though, in my opinion, it's hit-or-miss in Prescott, and Flagstaff – and, in my view, Sierra Vista needs broader medical-services. Also of note, crime is an issue in the state, especially in both Phoenix, and Tuscon; so, do your own research, and make sure that the stats you're looking at are current.

I won't bother covering the subjects of schools, or jobs, as I don't think they much apply to retirees – though, with the economy being what it is, who knows? – but, one last area I do wish to cover is cost-of-living. And it's here that this state shines! So, compared with living in CA, or in any big city on the East Coast, Arizona is much cheaper; but, that's one of the key reasons why so many people from other states are moving to AZ.

So, where did I finally choose to retire? Well, Covid threw me off-the-trail for a bit; but, I am on-the-hunt again, and will be looking at the Western States (excluding CA, due to its high cost-of-living), as the climatic-range is more to my liking. But, for those of you who enjoy, or at least can tolerate a high-solar environment, I think AZ has a lot to offer!

Last edited by Dean W.; 10-27-2023 at 11:16 PM..
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Old 11-02-2023, 04:30 PM
105 posts, read 131,025 times
Reputation: 151
First, kudos for coming back and bringing everyone up to date.

If you haven't visited Bisbee, please do! It's more temperate, very liberal and gay-friendly and to a certain extent, gay-centric in the sense of store and restaurant ownership.

It's a funky town; we owned a home there for 12 years (though for the last 5 years it became our 2nd home).

We bought a home in Pima Co just outside of Tucson in May of this year; because we had often traveled from Bisbee to Tucson for 'big' store shopping and medical specialists, we knew what to expect temperature wise.

Tucson is our 2nd home as we have owned homes in Central Mexico since 2008; we are likely to continue to have 2 homes as it's a lifestyle we enjoy.

Good luck to you wherever you land, but please give Bisbee a visit. If you DM me I can put you in touch with a friend who owns a rental guest house and is active in organizing the annual Bisbee Gay Pride week.
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Old 11-12-2023, 06:06 AM
32 posts, read 45,450 times
Reputation: 100
Thanks, Galeana, for the tip about Bisbee!
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