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Old 06-24-2015, 07:19 PM   #41
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Oh, I seem to remember someone trying to discourage new arrivals in Texas....
People relocating to Texas would be cheating themselves if they don't check out Terlingua.
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Old 06-25-2015, 12:02 AM   #42
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You left out sharks and alligators!
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Old 06-25-2015, 06:35 AM   #43
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I lived in Huntsville Alabama for 20 years very much enjoyed it, even though it was generally on the conservative side for my taste. It grew tremendously with the space program (home of NASA Marshall Space Flight Center) and more recently with the move of much of the Army's engineering and development activities on Redstone Arsenal. Has become quite a melting pot of Old South with influx of people from all over the US.

  • good climate (warm with no harsh winters). Gets hot in summer but more livable than Washington DC....humidity lower.
  • outdoor activities and access to nature (ocean, lakes, parks, mountains, trees), yep, did a lot of hiking/backpacking in area and in Tennessee
  • good public schools. Depends on area of town you live. SE section and Madison schools were some of tops in state, some other not so
  • diverse demographics (we are Asian)
  • good food, guess this a matter of taste, I had my favorite Chinese, loved Southern barb-b-que (smoked, seasoned, pulled pork for Yankees). But they don't know the joys of good fresh Kielbasa or horseradish.
  • low crime
  • good healthcare facilities,
  • good universities in the area, Univ of ALabama at Huntsville
  • an urban feel
  • Low income and RE taxes would be nice but not necessary. Believe state tax rate is essentially 5% after deductions, XTREMELY low RE taxes.
  • Cost of housing is very reasonable
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Old 06-25-2015, 02:16 PM   #44
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Retiring in the PNW:

There is a quirky town in WA called Blaine right on the border. Personally I think Bellingham, just to the south, is a wonderful town.

As we 'wonder' around on this subject my thoughts focus on access to family, if they are a distance away then you want to locate convenient to an airport that offers decent (relatively inexpensive) service. Folks who live in Blaine and Bellingham have the option of flying out of Vancouver. I have some experience flying out of the Kitsap Peninsula, 'spensive and infrequent service.

The major airports in the NW are Seattle, Portland, Boise and Spokane (in that order).

Around Seattle I recommend Bainbridge Island, although there is no ferry service in the wee small hours making early flights out of SEA a challenge. Gig Harbor across the Tacoma Narrows Bridge is a cute town, decent drive to SEA.

Portland is Portland, Clark County across the Columbia is usually a quicker trip to PDX than say driving from our Silicon Valley.

Boise has grown a lot since is spent time there, others are better sources.

Seattle and Portland have world class health care and Veteran's Admin hospitals. In both metro areas schools vary although the Bainbridge Island School District is consistently top notch.
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Old 06-25-2015, 02:27 PM   #45
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Retiring in the PNW:

There is a quirky town in WA called Blaine right on the border. Personally I think Bellingham, just to the south, is a wonderful town.

As we 'wonder' around on this subject my thoughts focus on access to family, if they are a distance away then you want to locate convenient to an airport that offers decent (relatively inexpensive) service. Folks who live in Blaine and Bellingham have the option of flying out of Vancouver. I have some experience flying out of the Kitsap Peninsula, 'spensive and infrequent service.

The major airports in the NW are Seattle, Portland, Boise and Spokane (in that order).

Around Seattle I recommend Bainbridge Island, although there is no ferry service in the wee small hours making early flights out of SEA a challenge. Gig Harbor across the Tacoma Narrows Bridge is a cute town, decent drive to SEA.

Portland is Portland, Clark County across the Columbia is usually a quicker trip to PDX than say driving from our Silicon Valley.

Boise has grown a lot since is spent time there, others are better sources.

Seattle and Portland have world class health care and Veteran's Admin hospitals. In both metro areas schools vary although the Bainbridge Island School District is consistently top notch.
You didn't mention that lovely golf course the Open was just played on!
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Old 06-25-2015, 04:38 PM   #46
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I am not a golfer but DH is. We watched it under construction. First that course costs a lot to play, second it is very difficult. Why pay so much for torture?

My husband's favorite course in the area is Gold Mountain, Bremerton's municipal course. Golf Courses Washington, Gold Mountain Golf Club, Bremerton, WA

FWIW teenagers rate Bainbridge Island as BORING! Sports are a big thing as there are few other diversions - except for parties where they raid their parent's liquor cabinets.
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Old 06-25-2015, 04:43 PM   #47
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I am not a golfer but DH is. We watched it under construction. First that course costs a lot to play, second it is very difficult. Why pay so much for torture?

My husband's favorite course in the area is Gold Mountain, Bremerton's municipal course. Golf Courses Washington, Gold Mountain Golf Club, Bremerton, WA

FWIW teenagers rate Bainbridge Island as BORING! Sports are a big thing as there are few other diversions - except for parties where they raid their parent's liquor cabinets.
When I worked for ARCO in the 80's I used to frequent the refinery in Bellingham for project work. What a great town and lovely area that is!
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Old 06-25-2015, 04:49 PM   #48
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I lived in Huntsville Alabama for 20 years very much enjoyed it, even though it was generally on the conservative side for my taste. It grew tremendously with the space program (home of NASA Marshall Space Flight Center) and more recently with the move of much of the Army's engineering and development activities on Redstone Arsenal. Has become quite a melting pot of Old South with influx of people from all over the US.

  • good climate (warm with no harsh winters). Gets hot in summer but more livable than Washington DC....humidity lower.
  • outdoor activities and access to nature (ocean, lakes, parks, mountains, trees), yep, did a lot of hiking/backpacking in area and in Tennessee
  • good public schools. Depends on area of town you live. SE section and Madison schools were some of tops in state, some other not so
  • diverse demographics (we are Asian)
  • good food, guess this a matter of taste, I had my favorite Chinese, loved Southern barb-b-que (smoked, seasoned, pulled pork for Yankees). But they don't know the joys of good fresh Kielbasa or horseradish.
  • low crime
  • good healthcare facilities,
  • good universities in the area, Univ of ALabama at Huntsville
  • an urban feel
  • Low income and RE taxes would be nice but not necessary. Believe state tax rate is essentially 5% after deductions, XTREMELY low RE taxes.
  • Cost of housing is very reasonable
I was born and raised for much of my life in Huntsville. Point of interest is that Huntsville has the highest average IQ in the nation; obviously driven initially by the Space Program. Lots of people will NOT believe how different Huntsville is from their perception of what all southern cities 'must' be like.
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Old 06-25-2015, 11:58 PM   #49
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This may sound like a strange question, but would Huntsville also just be an interesting place to visit, then, as a travel place, if you just like to see new places ...? It sounds interesting ...I was thinking of possibly relocating when I retire, but I am not sure. I would probably just rather travel a bit and see what is out there..... not even thinking of moving necessarily, just seeing interesting places.
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Where can we retire to?
Old 06-26-2015, 01:10 AM   #50
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Where can we retire to?

I had some good years in Huntsville myself. I would not mind moving back to the area - and we might have to if we are unable to sell our house there! We have been trying to unload that house for a while but the local real estate market sucks at the moment. My wife would not be so pleased because her mom lives there . The demographics are surprisingly diverse. My neighbors were all furiners, Chinese, Korean, Yankees, and I am from Europe. The food scene reflects that diversity. Healthcare, education, employment opportunities (especially for engineers) are pretty good. Taxes are low. The politics are what you would expect in the south, though Huntsville proper is probably more purple than red.

The most interesting place to visit in Huntsville is probably the US Space and Rocket center.
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Old 06-26-2015, 06:35 AM   #51
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Why pay so much for torture?
Isn't that what golf is all about?
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Old 06-26-2015, 06:50 AM   #52
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We chose to move to Bellingham some time ago for all the reasons mentioned. We have found it to have top-notch health care as well. Canadians come south to use our hospital and clinics. Vancouver, BC is the closest major airport, but we have a little one as well.

There is not much to do in Blaine but it is relatively cheap and closer to Vancouver but everyone shops in Bellingham anyway.

People of Asian background will find Seattle and Portland more comfortable at first but after a while I am sure they will find that any population center up here would be OK.
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Old 06-26-2015, 10:04 AM   #53
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When I worked for ARCO in the 80's I used to frequent the refinery in Bellingham for project work. What a great town and lovely area that is!
ARCO was a great company.
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Old 06-26-2015, 10:41 AM   #54
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I was born and raised for much of my life in Huntsville. Point of interest is that Huntsville has the highest average IQ in the nation; obviously driven initially by the Space Program. Lots of people will NOT believe how different Huntsville is from their perception of what all southern cities 'must' be like.
I live an hour from Huntsville. Few outside of the area really know what a great place it is to live--and very affordable.

Where can you find a university with continuing education courses on advanced rocketry and planet inventory systems? And the town's not just supporting the Space Station and building rockets.
Huntsville's the think tank for armaments and missiles that will be used in future warfare.
All U.S. Army helicopter research and development has been moved there. The parts of IED's from all over the world are studied, fingerprinted and DNA from them put into data banks.
The U.S. Army's moved their operations there--bill paying.
Advanced night vision systems are designed and built in Huntsville.
And Redstone Arsenal's expecting employment to double in the next 10 years.

North Alabama is a place with a very high standard of living and incredibly low taxation. The highly educated population has demanded and received a great culture--theatre, music, etc.

It's a place of mountains and lakes, with 4 major impoundments on the Tennessee River. And due to the low cost of living, it's hard to find a better place to retire early.
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Old 06-26-2015, 07:15 PM   #55
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I live an hour from Huntsville. Few outside of the area really know what a great place it is to live--and very affordable.

Where can you find a university with continuing education courses on advanced rocketry and planet inventory systems? And the town's not just supporting the Space Station and building rockets.
Huntsville's the think tank for armaments and missiles that will be used in future warfare.
All U.S. Army helicopter research and development has been moved there. The parts of IED's from all over the world are studied, fingerprinted and DNA from them put into data banks.
The U.S. Army's moved their operations there--bill paying.
Advanced night vision systems are designed and built in Huntsville.
And Redstone Arsenal's expecting employment to double in the next 10 years.

North Alabama is a place with a very high standard of living and incredibly low taxation. The highly educated population has demanded and received a great culture--theatre, music, etc.

It's a place of mountains and lakes, with 4 major impoundments on the Tennessee River. And due to the low cost of living, it's hard to find a better place to retire early.
I was born and raised in South Alabama, have resided in North Texas for the last 30+ years. During that time I made a few trips for work to Redstone Arsenal and was pleasantly surprised at how different Hunstville is from the southern part of the state. It is definitely a melting pot of cultures, not nearly as humid as the southern part of the state and a lot more interesting terrain-wise. It is definitely on my list of possible retirement locations.
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Old 06-26-2015, 09:32 PM   #56
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Yet more Huntsville; Traveled there plenty from the NE and it is on our list for an extended stay. It has plenty to offer; good jobs, weather, outdoors activities, some culture, traffic reports without much traffic-lol, etc. The part I don't get is why housing is so soft. A 3500sf, 5brd, 4bath, land, in good neighborhood and good schools is 400k. Hope a previous poster sells soon.
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Old 06-26-2015, 09:49 PM   #57
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Yes, Sugar Land (two words) is out side of Houston. I've rediscovered it since I retired, everything I need is within a 10 miles radius. Unfortunately, it's traffic is growing as well as population and major hospitals which have been built in SL. This part of Texas is flat, not scenic, humid, hot, floods and hurricane season is June -November. I'd like to move back east where I grew up....but I don't think I can afford it, plus Texas winters have spoiled me.
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Old 06-26-2015, 10:08 PM   #58
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We chose to move to Bellingham some time ago for all the reasons mentioned. We have found it to have top-notch health care as well. Canadians come south to use our hospital and clinics...
I know Canadians like to come down to Bellingham to shop, but how can they afford US health care, being so used to "free" service in Canada?

By the way, I passed by Bellingham many times on road trips to Vancouver, but only visited the town recently. We took a walk along Lake Samish shore, and thought it would not be a bad place to live.
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Old 06-27-2015, 07:18 AM   #59
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Another echo:
When I lived in southern Alabama (Montgomery area) for about a year, I often found myself heading up to Huntsville for a dose of a more sophisticated environment. I belonged to the Apple user group and I remember the excitement of learning at one of their meetings about the new 3.5" rigid floppy disks that replaced the old 5.25" floppies.

As for Bellingham, I have to say that one of my favorite brewpubs in the world is there, so I'll use any excuse to visit.
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