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Old 02-17-2014, 08:53 PM   #61
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The cruise ship passengers have a prescribed route with only the adventurous going beyond. So yes it is easy to avoid them when in port.

(From PV all year long except summer.)
Yeah, many of the cruisers never get past Carlos & Charlie's, Senor Frogs or Margaritaville. They stumble back to their ship with their balloon hats on after a day of drinking and think they've seen Mexico.
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Old 02-18-2014, 01:46 AM   #62
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So bottom line is, I'm not sure what to do...I don"t know anyone in NM, but then I only have 2 close friends here & there's no state tax. As you can tell by my rambling, I'm in a quandary. Oh, did I say I hate the maintenance of home ownership?
Maybe you should rent a furnished place in Albuquerque or Santa Fe for a couple of months through VRBO before you sell your house in Texas. You would be centrally located and could explore the state and get a better idea whether you want to relocate. September and October are the nicest months to visit. Albuquerque has the best medical facilities and the most specialists in the state. Las Cruces is probably second. While people in New Mexico are generally considered friendly, I have heard newcomers complain that it is hard to form close friendships here.

Lots of Texans vacation or have second homes in Ruidoso and Red River. Ruidoso is nice in the summer and has a casino nearby - probably more affordable than Red River. Spending a few months a year in New Mexico might be a good alternative to relocation.

My brother's property taxes near Katy are about the same as my state income tax and property tax combined in Albuquerque. But my brother in Abilene has very low property taxes.
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Old 02-18-2014, 09:09 AM   #63
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Waterwood Tx. Waterwood WIA - Home

The good, the bad, the ugly. That describes Waterwood. We find it to be the good. It is not a village. It was a master planned community of the 1980's that did not go as planned. If you wan the amenities of a subdivision without all the people, Waterwood is your place. Lake Livingston Waterwood Real Estate is a local realtor. You can see homes at $50,000 and up, and there are interior lots at less than $5,000. Homes and lots on the lake are expensive. Well by our standards. 2,700 sq.ft, on acre lot, $300,000.

Rural living, small town atmosphere, 15-30 min to shopping, one hour to Houston, affordable living. Huntsville movies $3 for seniors! First run movies, 3d, $4 I think. Outrageous!
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Old 02-18-2014, 09:18 AM   #64
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Maybe you should rent a furnished place in Albuquerque or Santa Fe for a couple of months through VRBO before you sell your house in Texas. You would be centrally located and could explore the state and get a better idea whether you want to relocate. September and October are the nicest months to visit. Albuquerque has the best medical facilities and the most specialists in the state. Las Cruces is probably second. While people in New Mexico are generally considered friendly, I have heard newcomers complain that it is hard to form close friendships here.

Lots of Texans vacation or have second homes in Ruidoso and Red River. Ruidoso is nice in the summer and has a casino nearby - probably more affordable than Red River. Spending a few months a year in New Mexico might be a good alternative to relocation.

My brother's property taxes near Katy are about the same as my state income tax and property tax combined in Albuquerque. But my brother in Abilene has very low property taxes.

Thank so much for the feedback, I will check out VRBO. When researching I visited a few times, looked at Belen, Los Lunas...considered Deming and Las Cruces. Ended up focusing on ABQ....what areas are best?
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Old 02-18-2014, 10:23 AM   #65
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Quick thought for any frugaleers who may be watching...

Campgrounds typically allow 185 days per year. Here's what we did for the first 9 years, when we weren't sure we could make it.
6 Months in Illinois - 6 months in Florida. Florida residence wasn't a campground, but very inexpensive.

The Illinois campground has counterparts in many states... where you buy your lot and Park Model home/trailer, and pay an annual fee, and can live there for 1/2 of the year.
Here are the details for our campground "home":
Housing... Park Model Trailer (400 sf, add-a-room, 400 sf, deck 400s.f. and two 8'x8' storage sheds.
Lot... 65' x110' frontage on one of 7 small lakes (27 acres) trolling motors only.
County Taxes $600, Insurance $500. You own the property.
The campground is owned by the property owners. 6000 sites.
Annual dues of $1200 covers water, sewer (12 mo/yr.) and access to all facilities.
Open year round, for summer and winter sports... winter snowmobiling and ice fishing.
Facilities:
7 lakes, 14 miles of hiking trail
41 miles of nicely paved roads
Large nature areas
2 Olympic size swimming pools
8 tennis courts... four mixed courts basket ball, pickle ball, roller hockey etc.
3 large Family meeting/event centers
Large general store, restaurants and a Pizza Hut.
True Value Hardware and lumber yard
Gas Station, Propane station
Bank, Laundr0mat, Bait shop
Nature Center for kids
Large pavilion for concerts, dances... summer weekly major events.
34 member security force (Gated Community).
Tie in with an excellent 18 hole golf course... next door to campground.

Despite the size, the campground is for most persons, a weekend/vacation retreat, and extremely quiet and peaceful. Located in a large black oak forest in a rural county and a town population of 200.

Back to price... $15,000 would buy a nice lot with a used parkmodel and deck... Only a few places over $60K to $100K (mostly lakeside or brand new).
Single lots from $3500 up.

Our first neighbors (when we moved there in 1990) lived the other six months in similar parks in the Tip of Texas, Iowa, Arizona, Florida.

We loved living there... still own it, still use it in the summer. . The low cost made our ER very pleasant and easy and paved the way for security in our later years. Most of this was covered here, Sharing 23 years of Frugal Retirement , but thought to share the other part of our retirement (other than Florida).
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Old 02-18-2014, 11:22 AM   #66
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Imoldenu, you make a good case for park model living. I have been looking online at park models that are designed to look like tiny home / cabins -

How a talented architect makes an RV look like a charming cabin in the woods : TreeHugger

I like the idea of having a very small environmental foot print, and living some place where we could be outside much of the time, and not need a big inside space to take care of.

Here is a related article on people living in Pismo Dunes Senior Park, “Pismodise":

"... finding ways to keep people living on their own, socially engaged, healthy, happy, and out of care isn’t just a personal or family goal—it’s a national priority. Among seniors’ living options, there is one we overlook: mobile homes. Time-tested, inhabited by no fewer than three million seniors already, but notoriously underloved, manufactured-homes can provide organic communities and a lifestyle that is healthy, affordable, and green, and not incidentally, fun."

"Louise tells me that some residents of Pismo Dunes survive on less than $900 a month, while others have monthly incomes of $15,000. "

From: Senior Living: How the trailer Park Could Save Us All

Senior Living: How the Trailer Park Could Save Us All - Mind & Body – Utne Reader
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Old 02-18-2014, 01:19 PM   #67
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Waterwood Tx. Waterwood WIA - Home

The good, the bad, the ugly. That describes Waterwood. We find it to be the good. It is not a village. It was a master planned community of the 1980's that did not go as planned. If you wan the amenities of a subdivision without all the people, Waterwood is your place. Lake Livingston Waterwood Real Estate is a local realtor. You can see homes at $50,000 and up, and there are interior lots at less than $5,000. Homes and lots on the lake are expensive. Well by our standards. 2,700 sq.ft, on acre lot, $300,000.

Rural living, small town atmosphere, 15-30 min to shopping, one hour to Houston, affordable living. Huntsville movies $3 for seniors! First run movies, 3d, $4 I think. Outrageous!
Waterwood was one of a few communities that were built in anticipation of the greater Houston expansion moving far north (maybe someday but right now it is creeping into Magnolia.)
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Old 02-18-2014, 01:36 PM   #68
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BUT the thing that I will not compromise on at this stage in my early retirement years is the ability to walk all of my 100+ rounds of golf each year. That seems to rule out almost all of Florida.
Why would it rule out all of Florida? Are the courses built in such way to discourage walking?
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Old 02-18-2014, 02:10 PM   #69
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Probably way too hot in Summer.
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Old 02-18-2014, 06:04 PM   #70
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We plan on giving Florida a try. We are putting our house up for sale soon. Hopefully we will be able to sell it in a reasonable time and then we plan to rent for a while in the Punta Gorda area. Hopefully after renting for a while we will be able to narrow down the area a little better.
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Old 02-18-2014, 06:42 PM   #71
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Forget The Villages if you're a Democrat:

The Villages' Democrats Find Second-Rate Citizenry In A Billionaire's Republican Kingdom

According to this article anyway
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Old 02-18-2014, 06:45 PM   #72
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I'm on the Peninsula of the Bay Area, probably the most expensive area in California. Unfortunately I don't own where I live and I can't buy here. Just waiting until I can figure out where to go. Single, not a huge amount of money, but enough. Not used to snow or heat. Want a slower pace but with amenities like good markets and libraries. Have no clue where that is and wonder if I would move where I know no one.
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Old 02-19-2014, 07:36 AM   #73
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Why would it rule out all of Florida? Are the courses built in such way to discourage walking?
The saddest thing about golf in America is that many golf courses, and especially in Florida, DON'T ALLOW WALKING. It has nothing to do with the way the courses are built, it has to do with the expectations that Americans bring to the course. I have contacted several planned developments in Florida and inquired about looking at homes. I always ask if the golf course allows golfers to walk and carry their clubs. About the best one can hope for are rules that allow walking after 3:00 PM, or "in the afternoon". I have yet to visit any of these places.
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Old 02-19-2014, 08:07 AM   #74
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On my Costa Rica trip in Jan, I met a couple who lived in "the village" and I heard all about it. Sounds like a good place to retire.

I live in NE Florida. My uncle moved to the Villages after a 30+ year career as a Chicago cop. He was extremely active in sports and loved the weather. I work with a few middle aged men that play softball on a regular basis and are always traveling south to the Villages for weekend tournaments. They say the Villages are a non-stop party!!!!!

I also heard (and this is not coming from me) that the Villages has one of the highest STD rates in all of Florida. They REALLY love to party there!

Mike
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Old 02-19-2014, 08:09 AM   #75
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Why would it rule out all of Florida? Are the courses built in such way to discourage walking?
Most courses require you to ride prior to noon.

Mike
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Old 02-19-2014, 08:16 AM   #76
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Most courses require you to ride prior to noon.

Mike
I believe they consider it a "pace of play" issue.
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Old 02-19-2014, 08:18 AM   #77
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I live in NE Florida. My uncle moved to the Villages after a 30+ year career as a Chicago cop. He was extremely active in sports and loved the weather. I work with a few middle aged men that play softball on a regular basis and are always traveling south to the Villages for weekend tournaments. They say the Villages are a non-stop party!!!!!

I also heard (and this is not coming from me) that the Villages has one of the highest STD rates in all of Florida. They REALLY love to party there!

Mike
We stayed a week in TV looking at various places. There is a ton to do, lots of rec centers and golf. A bit too organized for us and way to many rules.

Have seen those same STD stories...............
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Old 02-19-2014, 08:36 AM   #78
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I believe they consider it a "pace of play" issue.
Exactly......and as competitive as the golf industry is in Florida each course needs to get as many players moving as quickly as they can. I feel bad for those that still want to walk and play for the exercise. Trying to walk starting at noon during most of the Florida months can get a bit warm!

Mike
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Old 02-19-2014, 09:40 AM   #79
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To me, this sounds like H3LL on Earth. Plus, I gather, you pretty much live on top of each other, and thus can't avoid people you were stupid in front of the night before.

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I also heard (and this is not coming from me) that the Villages has one of the highest STD rates in all of Florida. They REALLY love to party there!

Mike
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Old 02-19-2014, 09:50 AM   #80
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Exactly......and as competitive as the golf industry is in Florida each course needs to get as many players moving as quickly as they can. I feel bad for those that still want to walk and play for the exercise. Trying to walk starting at noon during most of the Florida months can get a bit warm!

Mike
Except that study after study shows that walking is faster than carts, especially when courses limit carts to paths only. My regular foursome, all over 55 with one woman can easily play 18 holes in 3 hours - if there are no people in carts in our way.

But that isn't the perception.
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