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Choosing A Good Place to Retire
Old 01-25-2008, 02:03 AM   #1
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Choosing A Good Place to Retire

Most retirees stay in their home state. Manheimer says only about 4 percent to 6 percent relocate to a different one. "The general migration pattern is from fairly dense metropolitan areas to less dense metropolitan areas," he says. "That's why you see people moving into smaller towns and suburbs around the big cities."


http://quote.yahoo.com/focus-retirement/article/104282/Weighing-Country-vs.-City-Living-in-Retirement?mod=retirement-lifestyle
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Old 01-25-2008, 03:42 AM   #2
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we drew a 2 hour circle around new york city where we live and decided we dont want to be any further from our kids than 2 hours. bought a house in lake wallenpaupack pa in july. it will be a 2nd home for now but in a few years we will move there full time
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Old 01-25-2008, 05:30 AM   #3
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It's easier for your social contacts to live in an area where you already know people then take off to an area where you have to meet and learn other people...
That was the reason we didn't move very far, only about an hour and a half away. But now we don't have to plan our daily lives around traffic.
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Old 01-25-2008, 05:45 AM   #4
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we drew a 2 hour circle around new york city where we live and decided we dont want to be any further from our kids than 2 hours. bought a house in lake wallenpaupack pa in july. it will be a 2nd home for now but in a few years we will move there full time

After moving to the Raleigh area when I ERd last year from western nj, I do miss the eastern PA area. In fact we were back there over Xmas and the area around Jim Thorpe was a place I really wanted to end up in, but the weather is better down here.
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Old 01-25-2008, 05:57 AM   #5
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Here's a relevant site to suggest places based on what's important to you:

Best Places to Retire Search - US News and World Report
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Old 01-25-2008, 08:27 AM   #6
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I'm still trying to choose a place . I moved to Florida when my late husband retired but my heart is still in the north east . I would love to live closer to my daughter but she lives an hour from Buffalo . So I'm thinking of possibly downsizing in Florida and spending the late summer in her area .
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Old 01-25-2008, 08:30 AM   #7
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Most retirees stay in their home state. Manheimer says only about 4 percent to 6 percent relocate to a different one. "The general migration pattern is from fairly dense metropolitan areas to less dense metropolitan areas," he says. "That's why you see people moving into smaller towns and suburbs around the big cities."
When a job doesn't glue you to a certain location, then choices abound. I think many retirees would prefer an area that doesn't have the high crime levels, traffic, and higher costs of living of many urban areas.

Cities have their advantages, too. Ideally, I suppose one would be close enough to a larger city to drive in and avail oneself of the cultural and other advantages there once in a while.

If all works out as planned, Frank and I will be moving from a city of 250,000 (though the metro area is probably over a million) to a town of 150,000. That is as small a town as I wanted to move to, and as big a town as Frank can tolerate, I think.

I gather that a lot of retirees are moving to college towns, and I think this is a wonderful idea. Many of these colleges offer free tuition to seniors not seeking a degree. College towns tend to have a lot more concerts, lectures, and other cultural/academic activities than similar sized towns without colleges.

As for staying in one's home state, I think a lot of people spend their entire lives in one state. It takes independence, bravery, a spirit of adventure, willingness to adapt, and above all, lots more cash $$$, to move to another state. It's always easier to just hang around nearby the area that is familiar to you. Personally, I think that moving to another state (as I have done many times already in my lifetime) is a drag but necessary for various reasons. The silver lining is that it will keep me really busy during the first few years of retirement, as I learn about and adapt to my new hometown and region. This could keep me from feeling bored during early ER. Also, I have the opportunity to choose (within limits, anyway), which is something that was seldom available to me before.
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Old 01-25-2008, 08:34 AM   #8
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Everybody has a different idea of what they want in retirement, as far as living conditions.

As for me/wife, we live in the N.E. (as you can see). We're both born/raised here, even though we lived in the South (northern Florida) during my "military years".

I've lived/worked in different areas/countries (including France) during the years, but I still return to my area of "birth".

A lot of folks go South (mainly Florida) and that's fine for them. My wife (and me) lived there with the bugs, the heat, and the humidity say "no thanks".

Sure, we could go there for a vacation (but don't) but we still like the idea of the "4 seasons". If you don't like the weather, wait 120 days and it will change...

For those that retire and want to move (and have checked it out by living in their prospective "new home" for a period of time), I say great - go for it.

As for me, I'll stay here. If I get too "cold" during the winter, I can always fly somewhere in the world where it is warm (BTW, we're off to Amsterdam/Brussels in the spring to see the tulips bloom ).

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Old 01-25-2008, 08:38 AM   #9
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Here's a relevant site to suggest places based on what's important to you:

Best Places to Retire Search - US News and World Report
Fascinating! It came up with small towns in Missouri (where we plan to ER) and small towns in Pennsylvania, for us. Frank loves Pennsylvania, and it is a state we would consider if Missouri didn't work out for us. This search engine is worth trying! I think it is pretty good.
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Old 01-25-2008, 08:42 AM   #10
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I'm still trying to choose a place . I moved to Florida when my late husband retired but my heart is still in the north east . I would love to live closer to my daughter but she lives an hour from Buffalo . So I'm thinking of possibly downsizing in Florida and spending the late summer in her area .
That's a tough one, M. It will be tough to give up Florida during the 7 good weather months, it's just so beautiful here and the only place you can really enjoy true subtropical living. And two sets of kids are distant for us. We're trying to figure out if RVing makes sense for us half-time or so (vagabonding, settling a couple months near each kid place), maybe combined with a major Florida downsizing.

I'm not too much a fan of these "Best places" ratings. They just miss the mark at the real-world level. Our immediate lives are so dependent on the specific, low level choices we make (neighborhoods, memberships, friends, etc.). I think we can be happy almost anywhere with a tolerable climate, and know plenty who would find a way to be miserable in Shangri La.
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Old 01-25-2008, 09:08 AM   #11
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I like heat and humidity and hate the cold, as does DW. Since we're turning 65 this year, might as well look at senior living communities, preferably in warm weather locations. We looked at one in Florida last year and I thought "I'm not ready for this." But, I'm getting closer each year. There should be a bargain with all this housing mess.

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"The general migration pattern is from fairly dense metropolitan areas to less dense metropolitan areas," he says.
With 77 million baby boomers looming, eventually wouldn't that just create the same situation.

As to moving to another state, thanks to the military, I've lived in 4 countries briefly and several states. It should not be a problem. Hometown of New Orleans has changed dramatically and a visit to see relatives each year is enough.
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Old 01-25-2008, 09:25 AM   #12
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A lot of folks go South (mainly Florida) and that's fine for them. My wife (and me) lived there with the bugs, the heat, and the humidity say "no thanks".
Even much as we dislike cold weather, as a practical matter FL would be too hot. One sister lived near Miami for 8 years and said most of the time it was like the Washington, D.C. area (where we grew up) in August, when one dashes from one A/C to the next.

I did make one discovery upon retirement. The first year there was a 2.5 foot snowfall, and I found it doesn't matter if I don't have to go out in it.
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Old 01-25-2008, 09:26 AM   #13
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We looked at one in Florida last year and I thought "I'm not ready for this." But, I'm getting closer each year. There should be a bargain with all this housing mess.
It would be a great time to pick up a nice small home down here inexpensively. DW is a realtor and locked in two deals this week - great quality houses at 15% to 20% less than past peak prices. She thinks prices in some segments are starting to firm up a bit, but that's just a guess.

When you say your not ready, do you think it's because of the "senior community" thing? If so, you might consider just buying a little house in a nice, generic neighborhood. More variety, less labelling as a "snowbird" or "senior" and you get to mix with all kinds of people. You can be an easly 30 minutes from the beach, downtown, etc. No rule says retirees have to live in retirement communities.
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Old 01-25-2008, 09:33 AM   #14
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And two sets of kids are distant for us. We're trying to figure out if RVing makes sense for us half-time or so (vagabonding, settling a couple months near each kid place), maybe combined with a major Florida downsizing.
That's an issue that a lot of people who move to FL discover. One relative couldn't wait to get to FL and the nice weather, and was constantly inviting others to visit. They had five kids in their late 20's-mid 30's establishing homes & families themselves, and the reality was that the kids just didn't have the leave time to visit more than once per year if that.

So they ended up back in Northern Virginia where they had left.
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Old 01-25-2008, 10:24 AM   #15
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Hindsight being 20/20 - working or retired my subconscious mind seems to have me ending up the same place most of the time:

Happy Days the movie - the burbs with a car and roughly an hour give or take from a major metro:

Portland
Seattle
Denver
New Orleans
Kansas City

Growing up out West - driving a few hundred or a thousand miles to do some 'visitin' is a minor nit. Especially now that I'm retired. We did do a hook up the camper and go phase during working years for roughly 15 years.

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Old 01-25-2008, 12:46 PM   #16
 
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There are many best place surveys and most of them end up with different towns & cities so I take them with a grain of salt. The thing to do is list your priorities in order of importance (since it's rare to find a place that has everything that you want be prepared to find that there is no Utopia). I have been working on where to retire to for two years and I have pretty much checked out most of the U.S. plus foreign countries too. There are many web sites that provide information about cities & towns across the country, weather, taxes, etc. If anyone wants the addresses of these sites I would be glad to post them here. I finally pared my list down to Reno, Albuquerque & Las Cruces, NM. Obviously our first priority was no humidity plus reasonable housing costs. We are going to visit these cities this summer to see firsthand if they are places that we want to live for the rest of our lives.
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Old 01-25-2008, 01:07 PM   #17
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I finally pared my list down to Reno, Albuquerque & Las Cruces, NM. Obviously our first priority was no humidity plus reasonable housing costs. We are going to visit these cities this summer to see firsthand if they are places that we want to live for the rest of our lives.
That list once attracted me. I spent some time in the NM places, and no thanks. However Reno really is the "Biggest Little City in the World", and is definitely a contender. If my kids ever left here I woujld be strongly tempted to head down there.

You think stock market speculating is fun- with sports betting you can get a lot more non-correlated bets. And it is way more fun sitting in a sports book looking at the cocktails waitresse legs, eating a Reuben sandwich and drinking a free Heinekin than it is to watch even the Money Honey on CNBC. Though I do agree with Joey Ramone that she brightens up a dull day.

Great outdoor recreation all over too, and a nice walking city. None of these places is exactly low crime.

Ha
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Old 01-25-2008, 01:29 PM   #18
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Leaving CA as soon as we retire. Cost of living/housing sucks and we have no family here. We will probably head back to the Midwest more than likely Missouri is where we are headed. Both of us enjoy the 4 seasons and it will suit us better.
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Old 01-25-2008, 02:18 PM   #19
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I always thought that when i retired i'd move to some scenic part of the country and spend 6 months a year in Florida but now its here (retirement) i realize dont really want to leave all my friends and family so i decided to stay put and just take longer vacations.
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Old 01-25-2008, 02:40 PM   #20
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Cities have their advantages, too. Ideally, I suppose one would be close enough to a larger city to drive in and avail oneself of the cultural and other advantages there once in a while.
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........the burbs with a car and roughly an hour give or take from a major metro....
That's why I'm staying put right where I am. We're about 90 miles from Chicago, Rockford, and the Quad-Cities....about 75 miles from Peoria....and about 60 miles from Bloomington-Normal. And except for Peoria, it's interstate highways all the way. That's plenty close to metro areas for my taste!

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A lot of folks go South (mainly Florida) and that's fine for them. My wife (and me) lived there with the bugs, the heat, and the humidity say "no thanks".

Sure, we could go there for a vacation (but don't) but we still like the idea of the "4 seasons". If you don't like the weather, wait 120 days and it will change...
Same here! I really enjoy our vacations there every winter, but I'd never want to live there. I don't care much for heat & humidity, and I really enjoy all 4 seasons here in IL....even this cold and snow! A reporter for one of the Chicago news shows asked a construction worker last week how he could stand to work in the 'at or below' zero temperatures. He said he'd much rather work in sub-zero weather, than in heat and humidity. He said you can easily dress to stay warm, but you can only undress so far to try to stay cool and then even at that you'll still be hot! I have to agree with him. I've spent a lot of time out in the cold over the years (including this winter!), and it's easy to stay plenty warm.....just layer what you wear.

Anyway, I think our small town here (pop. <20,000) is ideal. Fairly low crime rate, decent weather, nice scenery, nice parks (local & state), easy access to 'big city' stuff, friendly neighbors, just enough social & cultural events for our taste, and very little pollution. Also the community college is only about a 20 minute drive.......yesterday I signed up for a wild flower class in April!
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