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Best city to retire in?
Old 10-01-2012, 03:19 PM   #1
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Best city to retire in?

Scenario:
1. Late 30's couple due to ER in 2 years
2. Lived in NY, OH, FL, San Fran and WA so far
3. House will be purchased for $600k or less
4. Household income should be $130k
5. Most likely will work part time but not req'd

Requirements:
1. Within a 40 minute drive to a city with sports teams, restaurants, performing arts, and concerts
2. Weather not be extreme in the winter

Ideal:
1. Fairly conservative people
2. Trees and forests near
3. Cute, quaint towns are nice
4. House has .5 acres or bigger lot
5. Within 40 minute drive to an ocean or large body of water

Where would you suggest we look? I have a place in mind, but don't want to say yet because it may sway the answers.
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Old 10-01-2012, 03:50 PM   #2
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Here's an online calculator/comparitor to help you sort through all the choices...

Find Your Spot | Find Your Spot

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We'll instantly provide you with a tailored list of the best cities and small towns that fit YOU. Compare the perfect hometowns and undiscovered havens that match your interests. Dig deeper with colorful reports, job listings, and more. It's fun & easy!
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Old 10-01-2012, 03:52 PM   #3
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I'd live somewhere outside Seattle given your criteria.

I lived in Bellingham for 3 years and loved it. It fits the trees/forests part. It fits the ocean/large body of water part.
(B'ham is just a bit too far for sports - so maybe a bit closer...Lake Stevens?)
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Old 10-01-2012, 05:24 PM   #4
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Since you have two years to go, I would immediately start planning vacations of a week or two in each of the places you have in mind. That will help a lot.
Then, when you pick one, rent for a few months so you can narrow down your preferred part of town.
At that point, you should be ready to either buy your retirement home or decide to look elsewhere.
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Old 10-01-2012, 05:33 PM   #5
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Since you have two years to go, I would immediately start planning vacations of a week or two in each of the places you have in mind. That will help a lot.
Then, when you pick one, rent for a few months so you can narrow down your preferred part of town.
At that point, you should be ready to either buy your retirement home or decide to look elsewhere.
That is my exact plan and have started already, but feel like I may be mission out on somewhere good.
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Old 10-01-2012, 05:43 PM   #6
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I'd live somewhere outside Seattle given your criteria.

I lived in Bellingham for 3 years and loved it. It fits the trees/forests part. It fits the ocean/large body of water part.
(B'ham is just a bit too far for sports - so maybe a bit closer...Lake Stevens?)
After 10 years here on the eastside of Seattle area it is VERY close to being perfect, but the long grey 9 month wait for the summer is too much and when I am retired it will bother me even more I think.
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Old 10-01-2012, 05:59 PM   #7
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Since you are in your 30's for Florida I would suggest somewhere close to either Sarasota , Fl or Gainesville ,Fl..
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Old 10-01-2012, 06:05 PM   #8
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Since you are in your 30's for Florida I would suggest somewhere close to either Sarasota , Fl or Gainesville ,Fl..
Moemg,

Now I'm curious. What, specifically, are some of the factors that are causing you to suggest these two cities versus others in Florida like Naples, Miami, Tampa, etc.?

omni
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Old 10-01-2012, 06:24 PM   #9
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Florida is still very interesting. I lived in the Boca Raton/Delray Beach area for 10 years and still have a lot of friends there. I moved to Seattle from there because I missed trees and mountains, but it is high on my list still.

Miami is too rough for me.
Tampa seems interesting.
Delray Beach was amazing and just got better in the last 10 years.
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Old 10-01-2012, 06:28 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shabby View Post
Scenario:
1. Late 30's couple due to ER in 2 years
2. Lived in NY, OH, FL, San Fran and WA so far
3. House will be purchased for $600k or less
4. Household income should be $130k
5. Most likely will work part time but not req'd

Requirements:
1. Within a 40 minute drive to a city with sports teams, restaurants, performing arts, and concerts
2. Weather not be extreme in the winter

Ideal:
1. Fairly conservative people
2. Trees and forests near
3. Cute, quaint towns are nice
4. House has .5 acres or bigger lot
5. Within 40 minute drive to an ocean or large body of water

Where would you suggest we look? I have a place in mind, but don't want to say yet because it may sway the answers.
If this is your criteria and you want more sun than the NW will provide, you should consider the Carolinas. If trees dominate, live in the mountains on a large lake (and still be 2hrs from the ocean). If large body of water dominates, live in coastal Carolina on/near a sound or the ocean. Besides, better beaches and better weather than the NW. And.....cheaper too.
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Old 10-01-2012, 08:07 PM   #11
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Moemg,

Now I'm curious. What, specifically, are some of the factors that are causing you to suggest these two cities versus others in Florida like Naples, Miami, Tampa, etc.?

omni
They are young and Sarasota is a yuppie haven with lots of the things they want ( arts , theater , restaurants , beaches , sports ) . It also has easy access to Tampa without all the congestion . We have baseball training, The Bucks , The Rays . Lots of sport opportunities for sailing , Kayaking , fishing & some of the top tennis players train here . My second pick was Gainesville which is a college town & home to the Florida Gators . It also offers a more casual vibe but It is not that close to beaches . I think Naples would be too old for them and Miami & Tampa may be more congested then what they are looking for .
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Old 10-02-2012, 07:30 AM   #12
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It's a bit tough to recommend something because you made no mention of the sunshine factor yet threw out the Seattle area because of it, and you did mention trees and forests yet Florida is in play.

What does the $130K household income mean, that should be the average of the area, or yours, or ??

How large of a body of water? Just a big enough lake to water ski on, or do you want something where you can't see the other side, like one of the great lakes? Smaller lakes open up possibilities in the Carolinas, Tennessee, Georgia.

How about Annapolis (which I don't know much about), on the Chesapeake and near Baltimore and DC? Or something in the SF Bay area, if you can afford it.

Major pro sports, or are college and minor league teams good enough? Does Oregon get enough sun? It doesn't seem conservative enough though.

Maybe it's time for you to give the place you have in mind. That may give a better clue as to what you are really looking for.
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Old 10-02-2012, 08:31 AM   #13
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I wouldn't presume to advise someone else, but these are the best online resources I've found to narrow your personal list:

Find Your Spot | Find Your Spot +1 above

Best Places to Live | Compare cost of living, crime, cities, schools and more. Sperling's BestPlaces

Stats about all US cities - real estate, relocation info, crime, house prices, cost of living, races, home value estimator, recent sales, income, photos, schools, maps, weather, neighborhoods, and more

I consider these excellent for research, but ultimately you have to hit the road and "test drive" your short list IMO.
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Old 10-02-2012, 09:27 AM   #14
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After 10 years here on the eastside of Seattle area it is VERY close to being perfect, but the long grey 9 month wait for the summer is too much and when I am retired it will bother me even more I think.
You don't like cold, dark, damp weather from late October until April? And no dry place for a picnic from September through early July? I can't imagine why.
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Old 10-02-2012, 09:38 AM   #15
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I re-read the "specifications", and the one area that keeps popping up to me is "Pinehurst Area, NC". Pinehurst has many, many early retirees, so you should be able to find peers.

Requirements:
1. Check: Raleigh and Charlotte
2. Check: just enough winter to make it interesting, but still many snow free winters.

Ideal:
1. Check.
2. Check.
3. Check.
4. Check.
5. Close check. Very close. 40 minutes if you drive fast, but the Atlantic is within an hour.


Of course, "Carolinas" qualify too as someone else mentioned above. I could see scenarios near Jacksonville and near Virginia beach at the south and north extremes that also qualify. SC can be nice, but major league sports tends to be quite a hike.
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Old 10-02-2012, 09:45 AM   #16
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You don't like cold, dark, damp weather from late October until April? And no dry place for a picnic from September through early July? I can't imagine why.
Then when the weather finally gets nice in August/September, half the state catches on fire.

I wanted to see the leaves turn colors in eastern WA, but i didn't want the color to be black
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Old 10-02-2012, 01:10 PM   #17
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It's a bit tough to recommend something because you made no mention of the sunshine factor yet threw out the Seattle area because of it, and you did mention trees and forests yet Florida is in play.

What does the $130K household income mean, that should be the average of the area, or yours, or ??

How large of a body of water? Just a big enough lake to water ski on, or do you want something where you can't see the other side, like one of the great lakes? Smaller lakes open up possibilities in the Carolinas, Tennessee, Georgia.

How about Annapolis (which I don't know much about), on the Chesapeake and near Baltimore and DC? Or something in the SF Bay area, if you can afford it.

Major pro sports, or are college and minor league teams good enough? Does Oregon get enough sun? It doesn't seem conservative enough though.

Maybe it's time for you to give the place you have in mind. That may give a better clue as to what you are really looking for.
Sunshine is important (8 out of 10), being in Seattle, anything will be an improvement. I wouldn't need all that Denver, San Diego, and Florida offer, but it's a big plus.

I will be living on $130k/year

I prefer an ocean, but lake would be fine also. If it's a lake, I would want it within 15-20 minutes.

Oregon does not have enough sun, is way too liberal and grungy, and Seattle is by far a better choice but probably not good enough. I would prefer an NFL team, but would consider a powerhouse college program.

My current thought was Napa/Sonoma. Sun, water, wine, San Fran close, football.
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Old 10-02-2012, 01:45 PM   #18
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I re-read the "specifications", and the one area that keeps popping up to me is "Pinehurst Area, NC".
Thanks for the suggestion. It's places like that I was hoping to hear about since I know very little of the area.
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Old 10-02-2012, 01:47 PM   #19
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Ever checked out the Port Townsend/Sequim area?
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Old 10-02-2012, 01:51 PM   #20
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Ever checked out the Port Townsend/Sequim area?
I love Port Townsend and it has a lot of what I am looking for. Not sure the weather is good enough because it must be the same as Seattle where I am now.
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