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Old 12-31-2016, 03:15 PM
 
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My wife and I are looking at possibly relocating to the Vancouver area sometime in the next 7 years. We will be retired although I conduct leadership workshops around the country so I would like to be fairly close to
the Portland airport.

Looking for a safe area, shopping opportunities, restaurants, easy access to the city.

Prefer a location outside of the city and probably rent for a few years as we learn the area.

Can you tell me about the weather. Do not enjoy the cold. We live in Minnesota and love everything about MN accept the cold winters. I don't mind the rain but are the temps fairly under control ?

Thanks for any insight !
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Old 12-31-2016, 05:55 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LIFELEADERSHIP View Post
sometime in the next 7 years.
Sounds like you have plenty of time to visit during the winter and make a determination.
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Old 12-31-2016, 08:22 PM
 
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YES, we have time. Where should we go visit and check things out. I'm thinking that we will make a trip out your way
this summer.
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Old 12-31-2016, 08:39 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
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We host lots of MN guests(often retirees), and have many MN friends who relocated to Vancouver area. (We go to MN for Sept family reunions, But tend to avoid MN mid winter and mid summer.). We keep a Hill Country TX place to retreat to. One of many sun destinations, 2- 4 x / winter month. But also go to Asia a lot (for healthcare and friends, volunteering in vocational rehab). I can't deal with drizzle /muddy winter (cuz I'm prairie farm stock, every minute of daylight OUTSIDE). Spouse has no issue with the weather (MN stock). We Love the snow, (4-6x/ yr at 1200', but 0-2x /yr at 300-500' (Vancouver)... but freezing rain is a stretch...(very infrequent in Vancouver, but several days / weeks / yr in Columbia Gorge.)

Have you considered house sitting? We used house sitters last yr while we traveled, there are several WA house sitting gigs listed on websites and hospitality homes.

Do you garden? Look to Pleasant Valley / Glenwood areas. Good soils (sandy loam) not too cold (free from east wind and low lying cold regions). I enrolled in Master Gardeners when I arrived from Colorado 35 yrs ago... we had a fruit farm in Hazel Dell next to WSU extension. That was sweet.... 2 min to shopping and I-5 yet in county, and we had (6) 5 acre parcels with only a few neighbors.

Always get a home with LOTS of south facing windows, and not 'deep in the trees' (moss, mildew, cold, needles, potential falling trees (60,000 - 80,000# & 200+ ft tall)).

We were really sick the first few years, maybe due to renting cold, damp, dark house.

Salmon Creek, Felida, mt vista are close and nice. Some prefer Ridgefield. We prefer the west Gorge (but can be cold and windy). Scenic area, so very little new building allowed, only on pre- existing lots. Our MN neighbor's love it too (they retired in 1974 and built on 72 acres). Great view! Great neighbor's too! (We share produce, such as rhubarb!). I will say a nice view is very enjoyable in retirement. (And will always be ez to resell).

What are your hobbies / interests?
We really enjoy access to the many Vancouver / Portland colleges. (Private and public) and parks. I did a lot of volunteer work at FT Vancouver historical site when we set up heritage garden and orchard. There are many options for volunteering in different venues. As a retiree, it is good to get free concerts / arts by being an usher or other volunteer. Many great public flower gardens with opportunities.

Warning: few potlucks / hotdish get-togethers in PNW. Don't expect the neighbor's to flood you with food when you are ill. Pretty independent bunch, and most prefer to keep it that way. You know you are very special if someone will share their phone number or email with you.

Last edited by StealthRabbit; 12-31-2016 at 08:50 PM..
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Old 01-01-2017, 01:39 AM
 
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Thanks for all the good information, StealthRabbit. House sitting. That is an interesting idea.

My wife loves to Garden. She is a school teacher so when she can retire, gardening is her dream.

We love the outdoors, going for walks, going to parks, traveling, site seeing, concerts, music.

We just do not like the cold weather and are looking for a new adventure in the next 4 - 7 years. We appreciate
input on what areas in the Vancouver region to come visit and check out.
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Old 01-01-2017, 01:55 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
23,825 posts, read 41,489,008 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LIFELEADERSHIP View Post
...
We love the outdoors, going for walks, going to parks, traveling, site seeing, concerts, music.

We just do not like the cold weather and are looking for a new adventure in the next 4 - 7 years. We appreciate
input on what areas in the Vancouver region to come visit and check out.
Temps..... sorry, but it is a damp cold in PNW We_tside of Cascades, so I find myself in long-johns almost all winter, vs. a few days / winter when living in Colorado sunny winters. Now is a rare case in PNW down in the teens at night and 20s for high. That has happened 3-5x in my 34 yrs in Vancouver area, but usually a cold clear week in January. Yes, the ONE time you will see stars during winter. Winters are Dark, and quite gray in all of PNW. Even ID gets far less sun than CO, NM, WY. East side of cascades is less rain, but gray.

But... 78 F today Jan 1 in San Antonio and I ate breakfast on the front porch to a gorgeous pink sunrise, accompanied by many deer in yard and lots of birds on my pond. Rode my 41 yr old MC to church.(without a coat). Won't do that in PNW till after July 5th. You will not find me in TX between May and OCT (unless emergency needs). I do shoulder season in Colorado (spring and last week of Sept for Aspen colors) or New Brunswick.(fall) Oct is often great in Vancouver, but have your firewood under cover by NOV 1.

Nice times to visit Vancouver area...(IMHO)
Week before Mother's Day, Rhodes, and Oregon handcraft woodworker show
https://www.portlandoregon.gov/parks...ction=viewpark
Ceramic Showcase | The Nations Largest Ceramic Show and Sale

Rose Festival (Portland) - late June
CMNW. June- July.
4th of July... summer in PNW starts on the 5th, so you can wear your parka or rain gear to 4th
Aug, fresh Salmon and wild berries and Skamania Fair, Brooks Steam-up, Anitque shows in OR. Concerts and movies every night in Portland parks 1/wk in Vancouver and also nearby towns. MN annual picnic IIRC...
OCT, great Orange sunsets at the coast. Forest fire smoke, summer dust in the air

Great hiking, in the drizzle. But very few vistas (as CA and CO alpine hiking have)
This rare vista is walking distance from home. Cape Horn Conservancy - Cape Horn Trail
Cape Horn Loop Hike - Hiking in Portland, Oregon and Washington


Teachers are pretty common housesitters, a plus for a green thumb teacher.

Keep your eyes open for cheap trips. SWA serves MSP, and has frequent sales, free changes, and free checked bags,(2x) 50# EACH. Good for your Tax free Oregon shopping, or bringing home Salmon and berries. We usually get MSP for ~$100 each way. (One of us goes free as companion).

Vancouver area is pretty nice, but not a warm climate. Lots to do with OR coast or Mtn (yr round skiing) within 1 hr.

While your are agile, you could snowbird a few places, then find a place to call home. I am still tempted to get on Becketwood Coop (MSP) housing wait list. We have ONE senior housing coop on left coast, MSP area has 70.

If I need a SNF, I am headed to WY Pioneer Home, on the site of Thermopolis Hot Springs! 1/3 cost of WA SNF.
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Old 01-01-2017, 06:12 PM
 
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So, tell me a bit about San Antonio. That's another area I am looking at. I heard it's not the hottest area in TX come
summer. Is that true ?

What is there to do in SA ? What makes that place nice ?

THANKS.
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Old 01-01-2017, 10:43 PM
 
Location: WA
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Yeah, San Antonio suits your needs more than Vancouver and I say this as a native Northwesterner who recently moved back from Texas to the Vancouver area. Vancouver isn't frigid cold like MN but the winters are long, dark, and damp.

If you want to live near a city but not in it then look to the smaller hill country towns to the north and northwest of San Antonio such as Heliotes or Boerne. And there are a ton of unincorporated subdivisions and such inbetween. The landscape is rolling limestone hills with lots of oaks. Not dramatic mountains as in the Northwest but pretty in its own way.

Generally speaking the more upscale parts of San Antonio are to the north and northwest of the city. The airport is also on the north side if you need to make frequent flights. Although there are large pockets of commercial development along the major highways and freeways, most of the city is full of fairly spread out suburban subdivisions on fairly large lots so it doesn't feel cramped like more eastern cities. So you don't really need to move way out to the suburbs to get a suburban feel.

As for what there is to do in San Antonio? It's pretty much a southwestern Sun Belt city with a large Hispanic flair. If it were not in Texas and overshadowed by the even larger cities of Dallas and Houston, and the trendier capital of Austin I think San Antonio would get more attention. But sitting in South Texas surrounded by larger cities it kind of gets lost.

There are lots of restaurants, theater, museums, and other cultural stuff. The downtown area is becoming revitalized with new walking neighborhoods, bike paths, bike share, and all that kid of stuff you see in MN. Except you can wear shorts 10 months out of the year.

San Antonio isn't that far from the ocean. The Gulf Coast is certainly very easily reached, especially if you are retired and not restricted to weekends. So fishing, beaches, sun and sand. South Padre is a bit of a drive. It's the most developed beach resort location. But there are lots of smaller areas that are less developed and closer to San Antonio. Port Aransas is probably the closest nice beach area and would be an easy 3 hour drive depending on which side of San Antonio you start from. When my parents would come visit us in Texas they would usually spend a few days down in the Aransas area doing birdwatching as the Aransas Wildlife Refuge is a world famous birding area along the Gulf Coast.
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Old 01-01-2017, 11:25 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
23,825 posts, read 41,489,008 times
Reputation: 25706
Quote:
Originally Posted by LIFELEADERSHIP View Post
So, tell me a bit about San Antonio. That's another area I am looking at. I heard it's not the hottest area in TX come
summer. Is that true ?

What is there to do in SA ? What makes that place nice ?

THANKS.
Primary reason for our TX location is managing very lucrative RE cash flow investment props. ~ 2x better cash flows than our PNW investment props.

SA and Austin /Hill Country area is a nice compliment to retirement life and activities, but I would not want a full time dose. I have enjoyed Hill Country Christmas' and Thanksgiving season for 25 yrs. Bluebonnet season is nice too. (Every so often when winter rains are adequate for flowers) Austin is the Portland of TX, but more music. People are really nice (most places in TX), some 'ethno-centric' towns can be cliquish. Hill Country is TX resort, camp, recreation, festivals, conferences... My location is very 'centered' so we can enjoy weekly activities in 5 major but very different (small) towns within 25 min. SA is 1 hr, Austin 1 hr. BBQ is great, and I am active, so still at high school weight (width is evasive). All of TX is HOT, SA is not hottest, we are higher, and 10F cooler than SA in general, Fredericksburg, still cooler, but still too hot. Snakes and bugs... scorpions and tarantulas. But chiggers are my enemy #1. I blister up, 33 bites on one hand due to simply picking up branches with some Spanish Moss. (with gloves).

PNW has far more variety of terrain, weather, National Parks, Canada, ... if you can enjoy the drizzle and still be active, it offers a lot. Worth a trial run. Other exciting high activity, engaged peers, retirement locales I have found are near US National Labs. They are often in beautiful spots, and workers who retire... stay, and really add a lot to the community. (Arts, hobbies, edu, community services)

No place is perfect (except San Diego). I was enjoying $19.90 direct flights PDX >SAN, down at 5am, Back at midnight, no need for hotel or rental car. but prices went up to $38, now $78. Sale dates.

As a Couple we will never agree on a perfect retirement destination / home, so we are each very flexible, and we do a lot of solo trips. (One likes to camp, so they have a campervan, we do a lot of Fly-drive, and we meet up in various parts of USA, and world.) so far it works (retired pre-age fifty 10+ yrs ago), eventually we will find a home. It will likely be PNW, till one of us croaks, then we each have more preferred destinations, but not worth the hassle of moving 100% of 'stuff'. Farms take many semi loads and several months to move. And years to establish soils, trees, buildings, ponds, fences... too old to do that too many more times.

TX and WA are each fully equipped, Colorado is for short visits. TX will be sold by age 80. Colorado could be ideal, but too much political strife, and high growth for 60 yrs means they are very short on water, and recreation is crowded. WY and SD are my favorites, but I have been told I will be very lonely there.

No medical means most likely we will have to move overseas anyway if we need higher level of care. (Likely, we have well exceeded or predecessors, so each living on 'borrowed time'.)

Vancouver / Portland has a very wide range of excellent care options if you have coverage. SA is very good if you are a Military or federal retiree.
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Old 01-03-2017, 10:10 AM
 
68 posts, read 64,895 times
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Thank you so much for the information. This is SO helpful as we search for options. I'm a little freaked out by the Snakes and bugs... scorpions and tarantulas. Where do they appear ? Anyway to stay away from them ?
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