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Re: Urban/Suburban/Rural Retirement?
Old 04-17-2006, 10:09 PM   #21
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Re: Urban/Suburban/Rural Retirement?

When my sweetheart's grandparents retired they sold their place on Lake Merced here in SF and moved up to Paradise CA (outside of Chico). *They did pretty well up there for about 15 years or so, but when they stopped being able to drive they discovered that public transportation in Paradise sucked. *This saw my sweetheart's mother driving the 180 or so miles each way to take her parents to doctor appointments in Chico. *Eventually, they ended up selling their house in Paradise (which took well over a year) and moving into a small apartment back in SF (all they could afford on his city pension - Paradise property values didn't rise the way stuff here in the city did), and then into retirement centers, and so on as the downward spiral took them.

It may be nice to move to that "dream" location, but some thought should be given to your escape options should things take a turn for the worse.

I've had to make a 911 call, and knowing that there is a fire station two blocks away, and major hospitals within 10 minutes (or less) at ambulance speeds is pretty nice. *If you are having a heart attack, trying to explain to the 911 operator how to identify a sycamore tree so they will know which unmarked/unlighted road to take when they finally get 15 miles out of town may be a bit more than I would care to deal with (and I've lived in a small town (Ruston LA) where I was supposed to find a beneficiary for an interview (I worked for SSA) by turning at a sycamore tree way out in the country, and I never did get there . . .)

Would I like to live in some large stately home on a lovely tree-lined *street in a quiet neighborhood that didn't have trash blowing in from the 7-11 at the corner? *I think so, especially if someone else is going to do all the yard work and leaf raking. *

But the streetcar stops down at that corner across from the 7-11, and we can be downtown on it in about 20 minutes. *We've got plenty of nice eateries within a 5 minute drive and there really isn't much need to get out of our neighborhood and deal with the madness of big city life. *We're also 2.5 blocks away from both the beach and Golden Gate Park.

On the other hand, the son of the lady who lives in the lot behind our next door neighbor did eventually get sent up for murdering a kid in a drug deal down at the corner, and my sweetheart would get pretty creeped out seeing him sitting on his back porch watching her working in the garden (the case took a long time to resolve and he was out "loose", and the breakthrough was having his brother turn state's evidence on him).

But even small towns seem to have murderers these days.

Living in a small town on the outskirts of a city might be a good option. *Of course, it seems like *by the time you hear about one of those great small places to move to, so have 300K other people. *If I'm going to have to deal with big-city traffic and crowding, I'd like to have something other than a Walmart at the end of the drive.

cheers,
Michael
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Re: Urban/Suburban/Rural Retirement?
Old 04-17-2006, 10:20 PM   #22
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Re: Urban/Suburban/Rural Retirement?

Yelnad;
care to give us a hint about where this paradise is?

My favorite thing about college towns is they tend to have good ethnic restaurants at reasonable prices. Also they tend to be a bit more liberal/tolerant, more interesting arts/architecture and more diverse population. I'd put up with the undergraduate pranks and the traffic/parking snarls.

But if you have to get your Italian food in an Olive Garden, that sounds a little iffy... :P
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Re: Urban/Suburban/Rural Retirement?
Old 04-17-2006, 10:43 PM   #23
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Re: Urban/Suburban/Rural Retirement?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ESRBob
Yelnad;
care to give us a hint about where this paradise is?*

ESRBob: Paradise is about 90 miles north of Sacramento, in the foothills, and about 20 miles from Chico. Mostly retired folks, with a population of about 40,000.

Incidentally, Chico (Home of Chico State University) is a very good example of a small college town, (Pop. about 100,000) that offers a very high quality of life.

About 5 years ago, Kiplinger Magazine conducted one of those "Best Places to Retire" surveys, and Chico was on front cover, and their number one pick nationwide.

By the way, Bob, I ordered and read your book about 4 months ago. Excellent job. You covered a lot of bases, and highly recommend it to anybody that may be considering a different way of life.

Regards, Jarhead
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Re: Urban/Suburban/Rural Retirement?
Old 04-17-2006, 11:32 PM   #24
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Re: Urban/Suburban/Rural Retirement?

Yakers,

You didn't mention if you wanted to stay in CA? If so I would look at Chico (mentioned by Jarhead and the Other Michael) and Davis. Both university towns. You just have to be able to put up with the central valley temperatures in the summer. (That is why I would think twice before moving there.) Davis isn't that far from the Sacramento river delta.

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Re: Urban/Suburban/Rural Retirement?
Old 04-18-2006, 07:58 AM   #25
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Re: Urban/Suburban/Rural Retirement?

This urban - suburban - rural retirement thing has got us thinking too......

DW and I, on the brink of RE, would like to have it all, all at once.* We see pros and cons to any location and no compromise where we don't think the cons will get on our nerves over time. Alas, finances probably can't support an urban highrise condo and a remote, lakeside home and a big transportation budget to go back and forth.* *

It took a long time, but we did decide that trying to find a compromise location wasn't the answer.* It's going to be urban or rural, or both, or so it seems at the moment.

We had these thoughts......

1.* Live in the city and get an RV to do extensive travel.

2.* Start in the city but move to a rural location for some period of time or reverse the order.

3.* Get over the dissatisfaction with compromise locations such as college towns, far out suburbs where owning small acreage is possible or something like that.

3.* Stop being so conservative about the percentage of assests tied up in real estate and go ahead and have two places.* Currently, our paid-for home is 10% of our total net worth.* Perhaps, Upping that percentage to 20% and owning two places is the answer afterall?* *:

4.* Go ahead and RE but don't even think about buying, selling, moving, etc. for a year until we understand what RE is really going to be like.

What to do? What to do?



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Re: Urban/Suburban/Rural Retirement?
Old 04-18-2006, 08:04 AM   #26
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Re: Urban/Suburban/Rural Retirement?

Er Ah

Why not get into ER - and then and then - do all of them.

A long enough ER and you can squeeze in several lifestyles - before one gets Tooooo old.

heh heh heh heh heh - had a yard to mow last in 1979 and now back in the burbs 2005 - with a yard.
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Re: Urban/Suburban/Rural Retirement?
Old 04-18-2006, 09:08 AM   #27
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Re: Urban/Suburban/Rural Retirement?

Quote:
Originally Posted by unclemick2
Er Ah

Why not get into ER - and then and then - do all of them.

A long enough ER and you can squeeze in several lifestyles - before one gets Tooooo old.
That sounds like a damn good suggestion unclemick2! Thanks.
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Re: Urban/Suburban/Rural Retirement?
Old 04-18-2006, 09:21 AM   #28
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Re: Urban/Suburban/Rural Retirement?

My perfect plac, sorta in order:

No need for a car. Public transport that's clean and well run.
Nice body of water nearby, especially if it's a thong required beach.
Lots of ethnicity, shops, restuarants, and hey, even the ethnics.
Lots of museums, theater, shops, clubs, libraries, seminars, etc.
Lots of hot young honeys to keep an old man's eyesight worth having.
So that usually means colleges, musical schools, theater training, etc.
Lots and lots of weirdos. Bums, street kooks, mimes, old hippies, young tarts.

Hey, if Paris could be relocated to Baja, ahhhhh but it's impossible.(em-poh-see-bla)
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Re: Urban/Suburban/Rural Retirement?
Old 04-18-2006, 09:25 AM   #29
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Re: Urban/Suburban/Rural Retirement?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarhead*
ESRBob: Paradise is about 90 miles north of Sacramento, in the foothills, and about 20 miles from Chico. Mostly retired folks, with a population of about 40,000.
Jarhead,
Very familiar with Chico -- congrats on living in such a fine area. I have visited the campus on business (former life) and my brother (in Mt Shasta) and his family would meet us in Chico as a midway point when we'd fly out from the East Coast to Sacramento to visit other family.

Glad you liked the book and thanks for agreeing to be profiled.

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Re: Urban/Suburban/Rural Retirement?
Old 04-18-2006, 09:29 AM   #30
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Re: Urban/Suburban/Rural Retirement?

My ideal place, I think, would be a secluded house on a lot of land that seems in the middle of nowhere, but is still a quick drive to larger cities, and also with hospitals, grocery stores, gas stations, etc not TOO far away.

Where I'm at right now is kinda like that...old farmhouse sitting on 4 1/4 acres. And our end of the street recently got down-zoned to keep new construction and subdivision to a minimum. DC's about 20 minutes away, and so is Annapolis. Baltimore's about a half hour away.

And it does seem nice and secluded and quiet. During non-rush hour times, at least. And if you ignore the McMansion orchard up on the hill. Oh, and the spot where the road goes from a 30 foot right-of-way to 4 lanes and a sidewalk! :

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Re: Urban/Suburban/Rural Retirement?
Old 04-18-2006, 10:01 AM   #31
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Re: Urban/Suburban/Rural Retirement?

Yeah, Andre-
That seems to be the trend -- once you find a paradise like that you notice that it is filling up with concrete, new roads, mcmansions and so forth. Next thing you know they're doing a re-assessment, building a new school, banning horses and hiring more cops with fancy early retirement benefits. (hmm... maybe there is a new path to ER in almost-paradise there for some of our young dreamers...)
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Re: Urban/Suburban/Rural Retirement?
Old 04-18-2006, 10:24 AM   #32
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Re: Urban/Suburban/Rural Retirement?

One stop light, two Post Offices, 4 Hospitals within a half hour, closest is 10 minutes, 3 hours North of Buffalo.

Most new comers are 50+, Semi or early Retired

Housing Costs increasing, $300,000 for an 1,800 sq.ft Bungalow.

http://www.thebluemountains.ca/
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Re: Urban/Suburban/Rural Retirement?
Old 04-18-2006, 10:34 AM   #33
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Re: Urban/Suburban/Rural Retirement?

One observation: I cannot precisely extract the info but it looks like no one has chosen option "B" =the suburbs as their ideal retirement. As I read the numbers something like more than 50% of the US population actually lives in the suburbs, not the city, small towns or rural. Is there something about this popular living choice that doesn't work for retirement? If retirees are fighting to not live there why do so many live there in the first place? Is the "American Dream" a retirement nightmare?

yakers, who lives in Pasadena which was once a small town, then a suburb and now is part of the vast LA conglomeration, but does have subway/public transportation.
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Re: Urban/Suburban/Rural Retirement?
Old 04-18-2006, 10:45 AM   #34
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Re: Urban/Suburban/Rural Retirement?

Andre, that's pretty much why I plan to retire where I am now. Neighborhood is as built up as is allowed, I live in a watershed area for the citys drinking water, rules are very strict so I'm assured of it staying very rural but yet close to everything I want.
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Re: Urban/Suburban/Rural Retirement?
Old 04-18-2006, 10:58 AM   #35
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Re: Urban/Suburban/Rural Retirement?

I plan on staying in the suburbs where I live now. It is pretty close to downtown still, so it is bordering on urban, but the 1/3 acre lot on a lake tells me it's suburban. Whatever it is, we'll be staying here or in this section of town at least.

We have kids too. The schools are top-notch. Good quality of life. Schools, shopping, parks, libraries, and restaurants are all within walking distance. Nice, socioeconomically and ethnically diverse neighborhood and area (I don't want my kids growing up in whitey suburbia where the rich folks live ). Dozens of Mexican/Indian/Thai/Vietnamese/Chinese/Italian ethnic restaurants within a few miles. Traffic ain't too bad most of the time. The ten-lane major highway 1/4 mile from my house isn't too bad. It's usually drowned out by the sound of geese, ducks, herons, birds, frogs, crickets, etc from the lake.

I might consider moving to a cheap foreign country at some point in the future. Probably for a few years at the most though. Suburbia is just too nice for me.

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Re: Urban/Suburban/Rural Retirement?
Old 04-18-2006, 11:04 AM   #36
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Re: Urban/Suburban/Rural Retirement?

Quote:
Originally Posted by yakers
Is there something about this popular living choice that doesn't work for retirement?
I live in a suburban area in NJ. I am on a cul-de-sac by a lake and it is a reasonably pleasant place to live. I hate moving. But when I retire I may well end up moving. Why? It is expensive to live here. Unless I have an awfully large pile of capital, it will be hard to support the relatively high cost of living here.
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Re: Urban/Suburban/Rural Retirement?
Old 04-18-2006, 11:12 AM   #37
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Re: Urban/Suburban/Rural Retirement?

Quote:
Originally Posted by yakers
One observation: I cannot precisely extract the info but it looks like no one has chosen option "B" =the suburbs as their ideal retirement.
I think we chose that option by default when we found our "dream house". Part of that dream is having a nice place to raise a kid, although hopefully that project wraps up in the next five years.

Our house backs on a gulch that gives the illusion of rural greenbelt. We're overlooking a highway bridge with some traffic noise but the subdued rumble blends in nicely with the gulch farmer's fighting cocks roosters. *The highway bridge is supposed to be expanded in the next five years but it's a $125M bogey that keeps losing its budget battle. *We're surrounded by houses but the neighborhood's built out at 15,000 homes and heavily regulated by a homeowner's association. *We're at the end of a cul-de-sac and an adjacent lot holds a small sewage pumping station-- best neighbor we've ever had. *Because of the weird layout at the end of the street we have a 13,000 sq ft lot-- huge for Oahu-- but most of it is steeply sloped and only suited for fruit trees.

Despite being surrounded by suburbia we're still in a transportation black hole. *Our home is two miles away from the nearest traffic-light intersection. *We're 10 minutes by car from the local shopping center (40 minutes on foot) and unfortunately the nearest bus stop is nearly the same distance. *There's a neighborhood trolley that makes stops a little closer to home, or we could pay for Handi-Van pickup service. *So I guess this "dream house" could turn into a problem in the next 50 years. *If I hang up the car keys in 2050 I'm gonna have to figure out another way to get my longboard to the beach...

But we based our decision on the house & schools, not so much the convenience of the local infrastructure. *We enjoy the ambiance, the neighborhood kids get along well, and the high school is only a couple miles away. *Right now the advantages outweigh all the potential drawbacks.
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Re: Urban/Suburban/Rural Retirement?
Old 04-18-2006, 12:13 PM   #38
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Re: Urban/Suburban/Rural Retirement?

Here's a new MarketWatch article on the top 15 places to retire if you like living near a metro area. The list actually includes a total of 30 locations:

Top towns in 15 metro areas -- if money's no object

* In the Boston metro area: New Castle, N.H.
* In the New York metro area: Point Lookout, N.Y.
* In the Philadelphia area: Newton Square, Pa.
* In the Washington-Baltimore area: Pikesville, Md.
* In the Atlanta area: Decatur, Ga.
* In the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area: Palm Beach, Fla.
* In the Detroit area: Farmington, Mich.
* In the Chicago area: Lake Forest, Ill.
* In the Dallas-Ft. Worth area: Highland Park, Texas.
* In the Houston area: West University Place, Texas.
* In the Minneapolis-St. Paul area: Edina, Minn.
* In the Phoenix area: Fountain Hills, Ariz.
* In the Seattle area: Mercer Island, Wash.
* In the San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose area: Belvedere-Tiburon, Calif.
* In the Los Angeles area: Bradbury, Calif.

Top towns that are also a good value

* In the Boston metro area: Sandwich, Mass.
* In the New York metro area: Southbury, Conn.
* In the Philadelphia area: Jenkintown, Pa.
* In the Washington-Baltimore area: Boyce, Va.
* In the Atlanta area: Monticello, Ga.
* In the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area: North Palm Beach, Fla.
* In the Detroit area: Rochester, Mich.
* In the Chicago area: Michigan City, Ind.
* In the Dallas-Ft. Worth area: Lindale, Texas.
* In the Houston area: Bellaire, Texas.
* In the Minneapolis-St. Paul area: Paynesville, Minn.
* In the Phoenix area: Sun City, Ariz.
* In the Seattle area: Greenbank, Wash.
* In the San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose area: Martinez, Calif.
* In the Los Angeles area: Yucaipa, Calif.

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Re: Urban/Suburban/Rural Retirement?
Old 04-18-2006, 01:17 PM   #39
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Re: Urban/Suburban/Rural Retirement?

I see Mpls/St. Paul, where I would prefer to retire, is a money is no object area.

Ford announced recently that it is closing the Ford Ranger plant in St. Paul. I believe that plant employes a couple of thousand people. The spin off employment has to be pretty high. I wonder if this closing, slated for 2008, will effect housing prices.
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Re: Urban/Suburban/Rural Retirement?
Old 04-18-2006, 01:30 PM   #40
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Re: Urban/Suburban/Rural Retirement?

When we moved last year we wanted to stay in the west in a place with a warm, dry climate that had the amenities of a bigger city without all the hassles. Moved to Sedona, AZ. Love it.

Housing is high but still lower for comparable places in northern California where we came from.* Sedona is a cultured, progressive "town" that seems bigger than its claimed 12,000 or so permanent residents. Downside: traffic congestion on the two main streets. However, neighborhoods are very, very quiet. Safe. Scenery is stunning and we are able to walk to almost everything: spa, most stores, many restaurants, the post office. Uptown area where we are is an ideal location. Close to everything (town is a five-minute walk down a gentle hill).

You want snow? Flagstaff is only 28 miles up the hill from us. Prescott is 60 miles south. That's another place we looked at but it seems to be growing too fast without a whole lot of smart planning.
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