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Old 05-01-2017, 01:04 PM
 
Location: Rural Wisconsin
10,977 posts, read 3,243,743 times
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My husband and I (ages 60 and 63) have always thought we would retire to New Hampshire. We have taken many vacations there and love the climate, scenery, and culture of NH small towns. However, my husband just saw a job opportunity in Wisconsin that is exactly in line with his skills and experience, and although he is not seriously considering a move, he asked me, mostly joking, if I would consider moving to WI.

So "just for grins", I checked out Door County online, and it seems that someone can get twice the house (and land) there for the same amount of money as NH. This greatly appeals to us, as we intend to pay for our retirement home outright (we would like to spend somewhere in the upper 300's), so we would just have the taxes and insurance and our basic monthly expenses.

The only drawback besides mosquitoes that I have heard about rural Wisconsin is that it is full of hunters; and although I am not militantly against hunting, we would not fit in somewhere in which the great majority of the populace thinks a great time is something like ice-fishing accompanied by plenty of alcoholic beverages. (Sorry if that sounds snobbish because we're not, but I just mean that we are the type of people whose idea of a good time is a game of Scrabble.)

Also, any specific recommendations for smallish towns (pop. 2,000 - 10,000) that might appeal to politically moderate agnostics like us would be appreciated! (Not necessarily in Door County, but something similar in scenery and ambience.)

Thanks very much for any and all opinions and advice.
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Old 05-01-2017, 02:26 PM
 
Location: Milwaukee, WI
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I think NH is equally big on hunting. I also don't think everyone in Door County is hunting (many hunters go there only for 9-day period, or even for a weekend of deer season opening) from Milwaukee and other places. It's very lovely and safe place to be.
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Old 05-01-2017, 02:53 PM
 
Location: East TX
2,116 posts, read 2,367,671 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whocares811 View Post
...The only drawback besides mosquitoes that I have heard about rural Wisconsin is that it is full of hunters; and although I am not militantly against hunting, we would not fit in somewhere in which the great majority of the populace thinks a great time is something like ice-fishing accompanied by plenty of alcoholic beverages. (Sorry if that sounds snobbish because we're not, but I just mean that we are the type of people whose idea of a good time is a game of Scrabble.)

Also, any specific recommendations for smallish towns (pop. 2,000 - 10,000) that might appeal to politically moderate agnostics like us would be appreciated! (Not necessarily in Door County, but something similar in scenery and ambience.)

Thanks very much for any and all opinions and advice.
Politically, Wisconsin is quite divided and (in my experience) most people simply do not discuss the topic over holiday dinner anymore because someone will end up with hurt feelings. Agnostic - meh. Wisconsin is largely Catholic and Lutheran, in line with the staunch European heritage across the state. German heritage is strong here. This is also where you may run into the larger problem. Beer and brandy.


If you are challenged by the idea of ice fisherman in a shanty consuming large quantities of frosty malt beverages and cringe at the idea of 350,000 orange clad, firearm toting hunters hitting the brush for 9 days, this ain't the place for you. Not everyone ice fishes, but everyone knows someone who does. Most drink while doing so. In fact, most of the state seems to drink while doing everything. While I do enjoy an adult beverage on occasion, after moving away I realized that the culture in Wisconsin is based on mind boggling quantities of beer. If you don't believe me, click here for a map based on a study of grocery stores versus bars.


Don't get me wrong. I miss the lakes and the towering trees of the Northwoods. Lake Superior and Lake Michigan are amazing, and the bluffs along the Mississippi are grand. Flowing fields of corn in the setting sun across the plains of the states lower half are mesmerizing, as are the rolling hills of the moraine. It is a beautiful place, with a lot of beer.
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Old 05-01-2017, 08:08 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
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I have never been blessed with driving through NH, so I can't offer much opinion on Door County vs NH.

As far as Wisconsin in general, I have to say, it does appear from the outside to be a very beer,cheese, and hunting oriented culture. After living in the Appleton area for four years, I would say that it's an option, but most around here wouldn't flaunt it as a lifestyle. I rarely see camouflage being worn at the Walmart or at a restaurant. I would say it's more beer, cheese, and motorcycles than beer, cheese, and hunting around here.

Another place in Wisconsin to consider that votes as much blue as red and has fabulous scenery is the Bayfield/La Pointe (Madeline Island) area.

If you need something closer to health care, the Winona, MN/La Crosse, Wi area is very scenic.
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Old 05-02-2017, 08:18 AM
 
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Having lived in NH for 22 years and moved back to WI last year I would still be in NH if not for our adult kids and grandkids. NH is a very special place where the mountains and ocean are literally 40 minutes to 1 hour away from most locations. The further from southern NH you go the less congestion and people there are. I believe the home prices in NH are less and acreage increases compared to WI for many areas. Door County is nice but extremely congested during the summer months and then everybody and the shopkeepers disappear for 6 months. The Lakes region in NH is very reasonable for housing and the fall color in NH is unbelievable everywhere in the state and not much in WI unless you are in the Northwoods. NH is the top state to retire to also.
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Old 05-02-2017, 08:33 AM
 
Location: RI, MA, VT, WI, IL, CA, IN (that one sucked), KY
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I'm not much a fan of NH. The only reason I stop there is to hike the whites, or the toll booths (state liquor stores), but its a way to get to VT and ME. But, from what you're describing, I'm not sure it is for you, unless you play scrabble as a drinking game. Hunting and fishing are even more prevalent in Wisconsin as part of the culture than they are in northern New England, although they are popular there too. Door Co is more like Cape Cod with the seasonal population changes, and I, personally, would have a tough time with that.
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Old 05-02-2017, 09:29 AM
 
Location: Rural Wisconsin
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Thanks to everyone who replied. I think we are going to stick to NH because, as I wrote, we have been there very often and everything about NH appeals to us. It is just that the prices for the kind of home we want seem to be much lower in Wisconsin.

Last edited by katharsis; 05-02-2017 at 10:32 AM..
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Old 05-02-2017, 09:51 AM
 
Location: Wisconsin
2,908 posts, read 2,075,692 times
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I would like to know how many of the posters here actually live or have recently lived in Door County, as my DH and I do. He is 75 yoa, I'm 63 and we have lived here happily for three years.

There is much to enjoy here even if, like us, you don't hunt or drink large quantities of beer. We were just talking the other day and agreed that we would not sell our modest home for five million dollars if it meant we had to move.

OP, if you haven't been totally turned off by the responses and you have any specific questions, feel free to PM me.
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Old 05-02-2017, 09:55 AM
 
Location: Georgia
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Depends on whether the door is open or closed!
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Old 05-02-2017, 09:57 AM
 
Location: RI, MA, VT, WI, IL, CA, IN (that one sucked), KY
38,727 posts, read 29,058,122 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irootoo View Post
There is much to enjoy here even if, like us, you don't hunt or drink large quantities of beer. .


There is most everywhere in Wisconsin.


Still, it would be naïve, and really, even negligent, not to acknowledge that Wisconsin is a heavy drinking state and alcohol is a pervasive part of the culture. My friends in Wisconsin often don't think it is all that much. Those that have lived in almost any other part of the country for any serious amount of time realize it is.
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