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Old 12-17-2013, 01:43 PM   #41
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here is a link to USGS groundwater information for NM USGS Groundwater Information - New Mexico Water Science Center
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Old 12-17-2013, 02:08 PM   #42
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The problem with living in a small town anywhere is lack of advanced health services when one gets older. It may not be a big problem when one is in the 50s or 60s, but by the time people are in the 70s, many health issues surface. Of course, some unfortunate people need advanced healthcare quite early, way before their 70s.
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Old 12-17-2013, 10:39 PM   #43
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Brewer/ABQ and others - thanks for the feedback on the water issue. I've been pretty much a city slicker for the past ten years and don't really think much about water (I turn on the tap and it comes out).

I used to do a lot of camping in Ontario but there is so much water there, I kinda just took it for granted.
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Old 12-17-2013, 11:18 PM   #44
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Brewer/ABQ and others - thanks for the feedback on the water issue. I've been pretty much a city slicker for the past ten years and don't really think much about water (I turn on the tap and it comes out).

I used to do a lot of camping in Ontario but there is so much water there, I kinda just took it for granted.
Here is a link to an article saying that conservation efforts in Albuquerque are working so well they have to raise the water rates because there is not enough revenue coming in. Of course IMHO if you stop landscape watering completely and go to all native vegitation or perhaps bare rock you can save lots of water
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Old 12-17-2013, 11:21 PM   #45
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The problem with living in a small town anywhere is lack of advanced health services when one gets older. It may not be a big problem when one is in the 50s or 60s, but by the time people are in the 70s, many health issues surface. Of course, some unfortunate people need advanced healthcare quite early, way before their 70s.
Of course this depends on the size of the region. If you get up to 20-30k then you have reasonable options all be it no level 1 trauma center (they fly folks to San Antonio for that). If you have a big city 60-80 miles away if you need that kind of care you are close enough to get at it. (In some small towns in counties of 4k folks you have to leave town even to find an OB/GYN.
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Old 12-18-2013, 10:07 AM   #46
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Brewer/ABQ and others - thanks for the feedback on the water issue. I've been pretty much a city slicker for the past ten years and don't really think much about water (I turn on the tap and it comes out).

I used to do a lot of camping in Ontario but there is so much water there, I kinda just took it for granted.

Water issues in the West are nothing new and will always be there. If the rest of the package works for you, I would not let it dissuade you. I chose to move to CO and don't plan on leaving. Population growth puts pressure on things, but there are a lot of (potentially unpopular) levers taht can be thrown to improve water supply balance issues. Just about every subrurban yard near me has sprinklers and they are used throughout teh summer. Start shutting that off and you make a huge difference. That is only one way to do it.
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Old 12-21-2013, 11:01 PM   #47
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I grew up in Albuquerque and my parents stayed there until they died a few years ago. My brothers still live there and in Santa Fe. I love to visit, enjoy the food, the art and scenery. The thing I don't like is the crime and feeling that you have to always be cautious. My brother worked in the DA's office for a number of years prosecuting juvenile crime, some of which was horrific. My parents lived in an upper income neighborhood and still, many of their elderly neighbors experienced violent crime in their homes. So we live in West Texas, and just visit. Besides, it is less expensive for housing where we live. Overall it is a beautiful state, but not perfect.
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Old 12-22-2013, 09:26 AM   #48
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Albuquerque has come up in the conversation several times. The Balloon Fiesta is a great time to visit (if you can tolerate the crowds). Check out this time-lapsed video:

Albuquerque's 42nd annual International Balloon Fiesta timelapse. [VIDEO]
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Old 12-22-2013, 12:49 PM   #49
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My wife and I plan on retiring and moving (from Wisconsin) in 5 years. We've begun auditioning potential areas to relocate to (I enjoy the change of seasons, but 5 months of Winter is too much). Our list and current thoughts:
  • PNW (Oregon, Washington): love the area with ocean and mountains nearby, but don't know if I could take the lack of sunshine and rain
  • NoCal: same advantages as PNW with better weather, but taxes and cost of housing would be a big problem
  • Virginia: like easy access to ocean, but not cheap and summers are hot/muggy
  • Colorado (Boulder/Fort Collins corridor): our current leader; love easy access to mountains and shorter, milder winter

What are the pros/cons of New Mexico?
Have you visited the Olympic peninsula? Port Townsend or Port Angeles areas? There are many areas there which get <30" of rain/yr; some <20"/yr. They're in the rain shadow of the Olympic mountains.

Olympic Rain Shadow Map and Location
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Old 12-27-2013, 02:12 PM   #50
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My mother lives in Paradise, CA, which is North of Sacramento in the Sierra foothills. Property is relatively cheap. The city of Chico is nearby (~100K people). The weather is hot in the summer and not too bad in the winter (Paradise, being higher, gets a bit of snow, while Chico does not). You're 2 hour drive from Sacramento and a 3 hour drive from San Francisco.
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Old 12-27-2013, 09:42 PM   #51
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Check out Sequim, Washington. It is on the pennisula and an area popular with retirees due to being in the rain shadow. It is close to the coast and the Olympic Mountains. Or, you can check out Cle Elum and Walla Walla on the eastern side of the state. Cle Elum is an easy drive to Bellevue and Seattle and known for it's outdoor activities. Walla Walla is also a college town and known for its wineries and close proximity to Oregon. Bellingham, WA is also popular with retirees. It is a college town and close to the Canadian border for quick trips to Vancouver and the San Juan Islands!
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Old 12-27-2013, 09:45 PM   #52
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+1 for Port Townsend, Port Angeles as mentioned earlier, and Sequim. These places are nowhere as wet as Seattle. I almost bought a place up there.
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Old 12-28-2013, 07:24 AM   #53
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OP-

Suggest you visit Darrow Kirkpatrick's blog. He and his DW just relocated to Santa Fe, and he writes about it extensively in his blog. Might give you some insight from a recent relocatee. Try the 'moving west' posts.

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Old 12-28-2013, 07:36 AM   #54
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Just so folks realize - it's only wet on the western third of Oregon and Washington states. On the eastern side of the Cascades it's very, very dry, although mountain fed rivers provide plenty of fresh water, sunny, hot in summer and cold in winter. Great wine country so who's complaining.
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Old 12-28-2013, 05:38 PM   #55
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Also, very important if you are considering NM, make sure you can tolerate the elevation. I cannot sleep at that elevation. My BIL/SIL live there and several of their friends had to move after suffering ill health due to the inability to sleep. My husband usually has no trouble, but last time we were there he had trouble as well.

Also, very high tax rates, one of the highest. It is very beautiful and lots to do. For me the #1 issue is elevation. Albuquerque is not much lower.
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Old 12-28-2013, 05:39 PM   #56
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When BIL/SIL visit us in Mass, they tell us how good they feel getting a solid night's sleep. They used to own a ski place at Breckenridge, CO, and had to sell due to inability to sleep.
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Old 12-28-2013, 05:41 PM   #57
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I love Colorado. Longmont is nice, Boulder is great, but expensive. Longmont is the bedroom community to Boulder. My dad lives in Ft Collins, right near the WY border, it is OK, I prefer Longmont because it is closer to Denver/airport/arts and it is more liberal. Ft Collins in red.
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Old 12-28-2013, 09:11 PM   #58
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+1 for Port Townsend, Port Angeles as mentioned earlier, and Sequim. These places are nowhere as wet as Seattle. I almost bought a place up there.
Seattle 38"/yr
PA 25"/yr.

Both places grey all winter. Seattle vibrant, everything to do, all services from multiple sources. PA a depressed industrial/fishing town with a beautiful Hurricane Ridge just behind it, and the Straits of Juan De Fuca out front. Seattle surrounded by high mountains, with Elliott Bay on the west and Lake Washington on the East. In the central city it is an easy walk between these two bodies of water.

Seattle, nationally ranked hospitals, PA community hospital. To travel from PA to Seattle takes the Hood Canal Bridge, and the Winslow Ferry. (shortest trip) Very crowded in summer. Not fun if one has to commute for cancer treatment for example.

If you want sun in WA, move to Tri-Cities. Truly sunny, warm in summer and not bad in winter, and the mighty Columbia rolling by. Plus, hydro races and famous nuclear contamination at Hanford. Regional center, not just a retirement spot.

Sequim (pronounced Squim) is mostly annoying retirees from California, and zero to do. Give me a good storm to break the monotony any day.

Everyone has different ideas, but I you are over 50, give some thought to how it might be if one of you gets sick, or dies. I once lived on an island that was mostly a retirement spot, and I have never seen a community with more real estate turnover. When I think of all the dumb decisions I almost made over the years, I am so glad I mostly decided not to act on these fantasies.

It was pure luck. Like many young people, I ignored good advice all day long.

Ha
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Old 12-28-2013, 10:15 PM   #59
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Seattle 38"/yr
PA 25"/yr.

Both places grey all winter. Seattle vibrant, everything to do, all services from multiple sources. PA a depressed industrial/fishing town with a beautiful Hurricane Ridge just behind it, and the Straits of Juan De Fuca out front. Seattle surrounded by high mountains, with Elliott Bay on the west and Lake Washington on the East. In the central city it is an easy walk between these two bodies of water.

Seattle, nationally ranked hospitals, PA community hospital. To travel from PA to Seattle takes the Hood Canal Bridge, and the Winslow Ferry. (shortest trip) Very crowded in summer.

Sequim (pronounced Squim) is mostly annoying retirees from California, and zero to do. Give me a good storm to break the monotony any day.

Ha
DH and I looked there once but decided not to be 2 more annoying California retirees.

Somewhere I read that "Sequim = old people and their parents." 😀

Plenty of Alzheimers' facilities there, too. It is pretty but very quiet.
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Old 12-29-2013, 12:02 AM   #60
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The lack of hospitals may be a deterrent, come to think of it. The lack of "vibrancy" is not, to me.

I ended up buying my 2nd home in the AZ high-country boonies, a place which makes Sequim look like a very crowded town. We are surrounded by evergreens and a national forest. Retired full-timers like this place for solitude.

I thought about retiring up there and selling my metropolitan home, then I realized the healthcare issue. I decided to keep both, one as a summer place and the other for winter. When we get old and need constant care, will sell the boonies place.
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