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Bellingham, Washington: Worth retiring in????
Old 04-27-2007, 11:20 AM   #1
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Bellingham, Washington: Worth retiring in????

Since within a year we will need to have passports to enter Mexico or Canada, I got to wondering about my cousin and a friend who live in Seattle and Bellingham. They keep trying to urge me to relocate to Bellingham someday, but I don't know...
Other than the radical climate change from Texas, I wonder how difficult it would be then to get into Vancouver, Canada, from Bellingham what with passports needed and all. Anybody have a clue?
And I know that Bellingham is supposed to be 11% high than the Dallas area. It supposedly is a college town (one is a professor there, other sells insurance) with tons of college kids (= low costs for food, anyway) and lots of retirees coming there according to them. True or not? With my luck, the retirees will all be married, too.
Is it really worth the 11% increase it would cost me to live there? Is it really all that that they say?
Vancouver, according to some of the charts I have pulled off this board regarding international cities, is said to have the 3rd highest quality of life in the world! Wow! At least I could visit there...IF we can get in to Vancouver easily once this passport thing passes.
Where are are American cities on that chart ranking cities of the world, I wonder? And how sad that we have slipped so far down the chart in rankings of our cities. Shame on us, America! Now I see why my son wants to go into politics to make changes from the inside. It's depressing almost.
Gosh, I'm so old I can remember when Illinois gave FREE i.q. tests, more than one vocational test (one in Jr. Hi, one in Sr. hi) to all the kids. That was before Illinois became broke and stopped everything.
I even went to college on the Illinois State Scholarship for students who wanted to return to college after 25. It practically paid for my total education. That's gone.
What have we ever done to this State? And country?
Anyway, back to the Bellingham question. Any input on the area would be appreciated. My cousin and friend are biased, and trying to get me there. I tend to half believe their hype sometimes as I think they just want the company...haha! They say I keep them laughing, so maybe it is so boring they just need the entertainment? I can't say as I have never been to Bellingham, let along the State of Washington.
Any input on Bellingham?

Orchidflower
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Re: Bellingham, Washington: Worth retiring in????
Old 04-27-2007, 11:59 AM   #2
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Re: Bellingham, Washington: Worth retiring in????

When you're retired...

You don't need to experience traffic jams.
You don't need to wait at long traffic lights.
You don't need to have problems searching for parking places.
You don't need to wait in long lines at banks.

Why not? Because you don't need to live in a large city or megalopolis, since you don't have a job that ties you there. So unless frequent opera, symphony, or major league sports events are important to you, consider retiring to a much smaller town than Bellingham.
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Re: Bellingham, Washington: Worth retiring in????
Old 04-27-2007, 12:18 PM   #3
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Re: Bellingham, Washington: Worth retiring in????

We've had a few threads on Bellingham, such as this one:

link

It's much different than anything in TX, so you might want to spend a week or so there to get a feel.
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Re: Bellingham, Washington: Worth retiring in????
Old 04-27-2007, 12:30 PM   #4
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Re: Bellingham, Washington: Worth retiring in????

Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl
When you're retired...

You don't need to experience traffic jams.
You don't need to wait at long traffic lights.
You don't need to have problems searching for parking places.
You don't need to wait in long lines at banks.

Why not? Because you don't need to live in a large city or megalopolis, since you don't have a job that ties you there. So unless frequent opera, symphony, or major league sports events are important to you, consider retiring to a much smaller town than Bellingham.

FREEDOOOM!!!
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Re: Bellingham, Washington: Worth retiring in????
Old 04-27-2007, 01:55 PM   #5
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Re: Bellingham, Washington: Worth retiring in????

Orchidflower,

We, too, had Texas in our rear-view mirror.

Lots of activities in B'ham or make your own. Try the Newcomers Club (they post meeting notices in the local paper) for starters. Read the Bellingham Herald on-line at http://www.bellinghamherald.com/

In Texas, you stayed inside because it was hot and humid In B'ham you will stay inside because it is cold and rainy. But no mosquitos. Indoors activities will translate well.

Easy access to Canadistan. ~1 hour to Vancouver by car. If you live in Dallas, Vancouver drivers will not scare you.

Easy access to Seattle, ~90 minutes away. If you can find parking in Houston, you be able to find parking in The Emerald City.

We have mountains. Sometimes you can even see them! We have sea and islands. Also trees. Big trees. Bein' as how you is from Illinois and Texas, you may find these new things unsettling.

There are some single retirees.

We have Mexican food, seafood and I just heard about a new Cajun restaurant downtown.

Bring your gun. Liberals are EVERYWHERE!

Maybe you can buy our house so we can move to Mexico?

Welcome to Bellingham, the city of subdued excitement.
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Re: Bellingham, Washington: Worth retiring in????
Old 04-27-2007, 01:59 PM   #6
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Re: Bellingham, Washington: Worth retiring in????

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed_The_Gypsy
Orchidflower,

...But no mosquitos.
...or scorpions, or rattlesnakes.

Sounds like the place to settle down after retirement.

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Re: Bellingham, Washington: Worth retiring in????
Old 04-27-2007, 02:33 PM   #7
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Re: Bellingham, Washington: Worth retiring in????

The biggest appeal to me (besides some people I already know to hang out with) was the hour away from Vancouver, Canada, where I would spend most of my days.
That's why the passport things concerns me. I have a passport, but I wonder if they will restrict how often you can cross over. And how long that will take? Small concern, but a concern.
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Re: Bellingham, Washington: Worth retiring in????
Old 04-27-2007, 02:39 PM   #8
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Re: Bellingham, Washington: Worth retiring in????

Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo!
...or scorpions, or rattlesnakes.

Sounds like the place to settle down after retirement.

And Ebola,hurricanes....fire ants
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Re: Bellingham, Washington: Worth retiring in????
Old 04-27-2007, 02:40 PM   #9
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Re: Bellingham, Washington: Worth retiring in????

Quote:
Originally Posted by Orchidflower
The biggest appeal to me (besides some people I already know to hang out with) was the hour away from Vancouver, Canada, where I would spend most of my days.
That's why the passport things concerns me. I have a passport, but I wonder if they will restrict how often you can cross over. And how long that will take? Small concern, but a concern.
Border crossing traffic can get bad at times, but you can check how long the wait is before you leave:

link

There's also a train you can take, which is a nice change of pace once in a while.
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Re: Bellingham, Washington: Worth retiring in????
Old 04-27-2007, 02:51 PM   #10
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Re: Bellingham, Washington: Worth retiring in????

You Americans don't need a passport to enter Canada (athough it makes it easier). YOU NEED A PASSPORT TO GO BACK TO THE USA.
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Re: Bellingham, Washington: Worth retiring in????
Old 04-27-2007, 02:55 PM   #11
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Re: Bellingham, Washington: Worth retiring in????

Quote:
Originally Posted by Orchidflower
The biggest appeal to me (besides some people I already know to hang out with) was the hour away from Vancouver, Canada, where I would spend most of my days.
That's why the passport things concerns me. I have a passport, but I wonder if they will restrict how often you can cross over. And how long that will take? Small concern, but a concern.
IMO, there is no way you would want to live in Bellingham and "spend most of your days" in Vancouver. In effect, you woujld devote your “retirement” to super-commuting and waiting in lines at the border. Fun! It's no hour either, except perhaps to the southern outskirts, with no border delay, no traffic, etc., etc.

OTOH, Bellingham is just as satisfactory for spending time as Vancouver.

Ha
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Re: Bellingham, Washington: Worth retiring in????
Old 04-27-2007, 04:25 PM   #12
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Re: Bellingham, Washington: Worth retiring in????

Orchidflower,

Some folks cross the border every day--they work one place, live in the other.

If you want to go to Vancouver all the time, why not live in Blaine or Sumas, literally right on the border, or out in the county. Cheaper than B'ham.

Come on out for a few weeks and see for yourself.

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Re: Bellingham, Washington: Worth retiring in????
Old 04-27-2007, 04:36 PM   #13
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Re: Bellingham, Washington: Worth retiring in????

Thanks for all the information, folks. I really appreciate it.
I lived in Houston for 21 long years, and never even heard of ebola till I came on this board! Yes!!!
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Re: Bellingham, Washington: Worth retiring in????
Old 04-28-2007, 05:25 PM   #14
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Re: Bellingham, Washington: Worth retiring in????

We live in West Vancouver. It is exactly one hour to the border (north Blaine). If you want to live in the US and be close to Vancouver, consider a place in Point Roberts. Regular commuters are expected and so delays are minimal. But the place has the ocean on 3 sides so plenty of beaches and views. And I hear that the postal service is still good (unlike in Canada).

I visit Bellingham and Seattle regularly. Vancouver is better but I question the schemes that do these rankings. When you are retired, you are not doing many of the things that are important to surveys. Plus you will want to travel.

OTOH being close to relatives is good too. Bellingham has great shopping and easy access to the San Juan Islands. Also to Sidney on Vancouver Island. Summers are fabulous. No sweating. No need for AC. I have AC in my convertible and have only run it twice in 11 years. But it is fabulous country for a convertible. Lots to look up at.

Winters can be a drag so we go to PV MX now that we are retired. We also go to San Diego, cottage country north of Toronto, and one other destination each year: NYC, Europe, OZ, South America.
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Re: Bellingham, Washington: Worth retiring in????
Old 05-04-2007, 02:21 AM   #15
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Re: Bellingham, Washington: Worth retiring in????

I'm in the Vancouver suburbs directly between Bellingham and Vancouver, and I go shopping in Bellingham about once a month or so. From my home it's 45 minutes to Bellingham including average border lineups, 50 minutes to downtown Vancouver if it is not rush hour traffic. So figure an average of 1.5 hours to make the trip. Getting across the border is really no problem for most people, there aren't any limits to how often you can cross. If you're not too concerned about privacy and you are planning to cross often there is a "Nexus" program that will speed you through the border lineups after you have registered.

I did check the other thread someone referred to which is pretty accurate in describing Bellingham. I've actually flown out of the Bellingham airport before, it is pretty small and most flights will transfer in Seattle, but it's also very low-key, friendly and efficient.
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Re: Bellingham, Washington: Worth retiring in????
Old 05-06-2007, 04:48 AM   #16
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Re: Bellingham, Washington: Worth retiring in????

A little off subject... But we took a trip to Washinton a couple years ago in July and went up through the Olympic Penensula and down the cost. We stopped at a nice tourist trap call Long Beach... there are a number of little towns up and down this strip of sand. It seemed quaint.
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Re: Bellingham, Washington: Worth retiring in????
Old 05-06-2007, 06:50 AM   #17
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Re: Bellingham, Washington: Worth retiring in????

Hmmmm - Long Beach was another old stomping ground. 26 years before I realized Yakima wasn't back East and Spokane wasn't a suburb of New York City. UW grad - go Huskies.

Now to get away from all that West Coast crap - someplace Nice like Kansas, Nebraska or dast I say it:

Texas - mabbe somewhere quiet in West Texas?

Psst if you are gonna visit the West Coast - early spring or winter are more interesting weather wise. I remember one spring (living in Kent south of Seattle) the radio was counting down the Biblical 40 days and nights of rain - I believe we made 39 and xxhours - a tad short.

heh heh heh - Why Bellingham when you could have the real thing - like Kansas City and be 8)
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Re: Bellingham, Washington: Worth retiring in????
Old 05-06-2007, 07:17 AM   #18
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Re: Bellingham, Washington: Worth retiring in????

Quote:
Originally Posted by unclemick2

Texas - mabbe somewhere quiet in West Texas?
I've got just the spot for you:

[img width=750 height=561]http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y192/REWannabe/WestTexasI-10.jpg[/img]

Although I haven't checked, something tells me you can still buy property in this area at a reasonable price. I'm sure you and the Norwegian widow could fine lots of peace and quiet out there.

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Re: Bellingham, Washington: Worth retiring in????
Old 05-06-2007, 07:29 AM   #19
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Re: Bellingham, Washington: Worth retiring in????

Wowser - looks beautifull - a tad hilly after 30 years in New Orleans - but at least not nose bleed hilly - ground enough to pick out a nice 'flat spot.'

At least it's away from those pesky Mountains, Oceans and green trees I grew up with - kinda boring after a while.

heh heh heh - Cactus gardening and hold tumble weed races? Litely smoked rattlesnake tastes a little like chicken as I recall.
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Re: Bellingham, Washington: Worth retiring in????
Old 05-08-2007, 02:54 PM   #20
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Re: Bellingham, Washington: Worth retiring in????

I'm not sure why you are asking board members before even visiting the City?
Looked at a map certainly like the proximity to the ocean. My issue would be the weather. I do like Vancouver also. Good luck and go visit!
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