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Relocation ideas - Phoenix, AZ vs. Tampa, FL
Old 01-29-2012, 10:01 AM   #1
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Relocation ideas - Phoenix, AZ vs. Tampa, FL

Neither were listed in "best" or "worst" top 10 for retirement.

Maybe in a few years, just playing with ideas of possible semi-ER or ER locations. We're currently in St Paul, MN and I've thought about moving somewhere warmer for awhile now. Even if it's for 5 years or so, I think the experience might be nice. I grew up in the Midwest (St Paul & Chicago).

Family of 4, 2 adults and 2 young kids (6 & 5 in 2012). Probably looking at rent or buy 3BR/2BA place with a community pool. Reasonable distance to major airport for personal travel/visitors and downtown for culture and possible consulting or contract projects to keep me out of trouble.

We have some extended family in both areas and have traveled to both a little. Ok with both, especially if I'm not working.

Both areas got hit pretty hard over the last few years, i.e. jobs, real estate, etc

I know both have "hot" seasons, but is dry heat better than humid heat?

FL has weather/insurance issues, AZ has potential water issues.

DW has alot of family in MN, so we may live somewhere warmer for the school year, then visit MN for a few months each year.

Just starting the research, any good articles/websites you can point me to?
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Old 01-29-2012, 10:16 AM   #2
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Tampa itself and the surrounding areas have a lot of crime. There is a really bad issue with pain clinics and pill mills so you get a lot of associated crime from the drug issues. All of Florida is also a source of a lot of scammers and fraud schemes aimed at bilking the elderly out of their money.

If you were considering that general area I would recommend you move to the beach areas of St Pete instead of Tampa itself or perhaps even further down the coast to the Sarasota area.

The downside for me of that part of Florida is that the weather stinks 6 months a year. April thru mid October the weather is brutally hot and humid. You also will have a brief afternoon shower almost every day.

On the other hand the weather is great the other 6 months per year.
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Old 01-29-2012, 10:22 AM   #3
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Relocation ideas - Phoenix, AZ vs. Tampa, FL
Just decide if you prefer to be baked or boiled, and your choice should be clear.

Ha
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Old 01-29-2012, 10:25 AM   #4
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Tampa itself and the surrounding areas have a lot of crime. There is a really bad issue with pain clinics and pill mills so you get a lot of associated crime from the drug issues. All of Florida is also a source of a lot of scammers and fraud schemes aimed at bilking the elderly out of their money.

If you were considering that general area I would recommend you move to the beach areas of St Pete instead of Tampa itself or perhaps even further down the coast to the Sarasota area.

The downside for me of that part of Florida is that the weather stinks 6 months a year. April thru mid October the weather is brutally hot and humid. You also will have a brief afternoon shower almost every day.

On the other hand the weather is great the other 6 months per year.
Thanks Skyvue. The crime is a concern and it appears that insurance cost and "gated" communities is the result. Also, school ratings are fair except for select/more expensive areas.

I feel Phoenix is the same with weather, hot 6 months out of the year, but it's dry heat. My only experience was during work travel wearing suits in July, so not dependable reference.
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Old 01-29-2012, 10:26 AM   #5
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Spent 9 summers(only summers count) and the rest of the year in the East Valley of the Phoenix area. I am sure you can find plenty of rentals for a 5 year stay. My guess is there are OK east central locations near the airport to live. North/Scottsdale and way east valley/Gilbert are great places to raise children.
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Old 01-29-2012, 10:27 AM   #6
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Just decide if you prefer to be baked or boiled, and your choice should be clear.

Ha
Haha is that the dry witty humor I read about. I prefer blacken catfish

I agree, both are hot, but looking for a change.
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Old 01-29-2012, 10:32 AM   #7
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Spent 9 summers(only summers count) and the rest of the year in the East Valley of the Phoenix area. I am sure you can find plenty of rentals for a 5 year stay. My guess is there are OK east central locations near the airport to live. North/Scottsdale and way east valley/Gilbert are great places to raise children.
Thanks Grasshopper. We were visiting in Queen Creek, AZ and rentals and purchase $$ were extremely affordable with decent school ratings. We'll be taking vacations to the area to explore.
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Old 01-29-2012, 10:43 AM   #8
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I have been complaining about the "dry heat" for 30+ years, but am still here (baked to about medium rare ). Suits in July? OMG, that would be torture!

Anyway, people stay indoors during the hot months of July and August. You would want a garage, so your car does not turn into an oven, being in direct sunlight. If ER, then one would go shopping for groceries in the evening, so that's not too bad. If one feels too cooped up inside the house, then he can get a small RV and make a long trek up north for the summer.

In short, there are ways to deal with the heat, and it is less of a hassle than dealing with snow. There has not been a water shortage, due to water allocation from the Colorado River, as well as from snowfall from upper state. Yes, it snows and is cold in the upper part of the state. In fact, many residents have a 2nd home there for the summer.
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Old 01-29-2012, 10:43 AM   #9
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I've lived in Florida in the Tampa area and now live in the north
Florida area ( 27 years). I've gotten used to the humidity. When I go out to visit my son in the Austin, TX area I'm surprised how much more comfortable it is at high temperatures with the low humidity.
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Old 01-29-2012, 11:28 AM   #10
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You know what I'd do? I'd spend as much time as possible in both Phoenix and Tampa, right now. If you are working, spend all of your vacation time in these two locations.

Then, once you have retired, if you still don't know I'd spend six months (or a year, if that is necessary due to your kids being in school) at each place, renting. At that point you can make an informed decision. If both cities still have equal appeal, then it probably doesn't matter which one you choose.

Other people can tell you their opinions of both places, but it seems to me that what really matters is YOUR opinion, not theirs.

We were lucky - - when we were looking for a retirement location, we did extensive internet research and narrowed it down to our top 3 locations. When we visited all three, we instantly "fell in love" with one and felt pretty lukewarm about the other two. I think that physical factors including layout and topography of a town were a lot more important to us than we had realized. After numerous visits we still love Springfield. It will probably be our ultimate retirement destination, even though we decided to stay put for the time being.
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Old 01-29-2012, 11:42 AM   #11
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Personal preferences will come into play, like Ha said. Me personally, coming from a humid summer climate, I really like the dry heat climate of desert southwest. Vegas is tolerable in summer, but Phoenix which is usually 10-15 degrees warmer, takes it over the top. 115 degrees in "dry heat" is still unbearable. The 2 items that tip me to wanting to live in SW is when the sun goes down, sitting on the porch at 100 degrees is not bad at all. But in humid climates it is still sweaty despite " cooler" temps. Another thing about SW I like is I dont have to constantly swat at bugs sitting outside, like I do in more humid summer climates.
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Old 01-29-2012, 11:51 AM   #12
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If you are working, spend all of your vacation time in these two locations.....

Other people can tell you their opinions of both places, but it seems to me that what really matters is YOUR opinion, not theirs.
Agreed, we have several weeks planned for Orlando/Tampa area later this year for Disney, etc. AZ will have to wait until 2013. Renting will be the first option, but I always look for foreclosures etc which have + and -

Yup, my DW and my opinion is what matters, but just looking for suggestions or comments from those that know the area(s). It will not be the only consideration. Thanks.
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Old 01-29-2012, 11:53 AM   #13
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Another thing about SW I like is I dont have to constantly swat at bugs sitting outside, like I do in more humid summer climates.
I dislike bugs so I eliminated Texas as a consideration per REW's comments Thanks
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Old 01-29-2012, 12:07 PM   #14
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I dislike bugs so I eliminated Texas as a consideration per REW's comments Thanks
If you don't want bugs you may want to consider the Arctic Circle. Despite REWahoo's efforts to convince everyone that all the bugs are in Texas, they seem to have lots of family in all 50 states...
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Old 01-29-2012, 12:14 PM   #15
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If you don't want bugs you may want to consider the Arctic Circle. Despite REWahoo's efforts to convince everyone that all the bugs are in Texas, they seem to have lots of family in all 50 states...
It's an Artic Circle here in MN however it's been a very mild winter thus far. Bugs within reason are ok.
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Old 01-29-2012, 12:18 PM   #16
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If you don't want bugs you may want to consider the Arctic Circle. Despite REWahoo's efforts to convince everyone that all the bugs are in Texas, they seem to have lots of family in all 50 states...
Yes, I should be more specific. Mosquitos and other flying biting bugs dont seem as prevelant out in AZ. and NV. I go out there 5-7 times a year and dont know if I have ever been bit. Other types of bugs dont bother me at all. Of course I have not encountered a scorpion yet!
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Old 01-29-2012, 12:40 PM   #17
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Of course I have not encountered a scorpion yet!
Neither have I, since I left work.
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Old 01-29-2012, 01:20 PM   #18
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Check out Prescott, AZ, 1 hour north of Phoenix and a mile high. Still warm but not nearly as warm as Phoenix. It does snow in the winter but the snow is melted and gone in a few hours.
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Old 01-29-2012, 01:24 PM   #19
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Yes, bugs are rare in AZ, which does not have much standing water. Due to the porous rock formation, most of the precipitation seeps underground.

The low humidity is a big contrast compared to the east coast and the south. When the kids were young, we went to Florida one summer. In Ft. Lauderdale, they spent an entire day playing in and out of the ocean water. Here in AZ, even when the air temperature is 110F, when you first get out of the swimming pool, evaporation of the water off your skin will chill you and cause you to shiver!
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Old 01-29-2012, 02:20 PM   #20
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Thanks Skyvue. The crime is a concern and it appears that insurance cost and "gated" communities is the result. Also, school ratings are fair except for select/more expensive areas.

I feel Phoenix is the same with weather, hot 6 months out of the year, but it's dry heat. My only experience was during work travel wearing suits in July, so not dependable reference.
We like Tampa and the gulf coast a lot. Crime and undesirable activities are here but seems to be lower than or comparable to most major urban areas. Weather is near perfect half the year and the sultry summers are long and sticky, but we are habituated well - strenuous tasks in the cooler morning hours, air conditioning, and hang around the pool. Many take refuge in the Smokeys each summer to cool down.

We used to live in Tucson and prefer Tampa.

Check out Tampa Pinellas county, Sarasota, Venice. As to "advice," I'd pay more attention to those who have lived in one or the other location.
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