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Re: Criteria - Why did you select your ER city/town/community?
Old 02-25-2007, 09:36 PM   #21
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Re: Criteria - Why did you select your ER city/town/community?

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Originally Posted by Retire Soon
We retired last year and wanted to get away from the rat race of Southern California. We became mortgage refugees in a city of 70,000 in the Pacific Northwest, just East of the Cascades, with an annual precipitation and number of sunny days the same as San Diego. There are lakes to fish in, rivers to kayak in, and mountains to ski down. People are not hurried and have time to stop and talk to you. Road rage is a rare occurrence, utilities are much cheaper, neighbors are friendly, and the Ponderosa Pines are breathtaking.
Sounds beautiful!! Is it cold? Not that Springfield isn't, at least for a while each winter.
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Re: Criteria - Why did you select your ER city/town/community?
Old 02-25-2007, 09:49 PM   #22
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Re: Criteria - Why did you select your ER city/town/community?

I haven't retired yet but have done the online polls and read a lot of the magazines. I also have the experience of living all over the country (miltary brat and now serving mysef).
My criteria is

1. Warm weather year round, sunny and dry
2. Reasonable cost of living
3. Big city with lots to do, pro sports etc
4. Mounatins for hiking and biking

My tentative place right now is the Phoenix area

My second choice would be San Antonio, cheaper cost of living but not as sunny or mounatins
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Re: Criteria - Why did you select your ER city/town/community?
Old 02-25-2007, 10:04 PM   #23
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Re: Criteria - Why did you select your ER city/town/community?

Want2retire,

Yes, it is cold, but I'm not less comfortable than I was in San Diego. We just dress for the weather.
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Re: Criteria - Why did you select your ER city/town/community?
Old 02-25-2007, 11:02 PM   #24
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Re: Criteria - Why did you select your ER city/town/community?

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Originally Posted by Retire Soon
Want2retire,

Yes, it is cold, but I'm not less comfortable than I was in San Diego. We just dress for the weather.
But ... it's not as cold as Minnesota.
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Re: Criteria - Why did you select your ER city/town/community?
Old 02-26-2007, 12:34 AM   #25
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Re: Criteria - Why did you select your ER city/town/community?

We haven't pinpointed our final destination, but have put together the following list:

1. Warmth. Nothing beats being able to wear your shorts in winter when the rest of the country is freezing.
2. Water. Much of Australia is currently undergoing water rationing and it is expected to worsen in coming years. As I like long showers and a lush gardens up to the tropics we go.
3. Beach. I like to be near the beach as nothing beats the smell of the ocean. A relaxing walk along the beach each day to clear my head is a real treat.
4. Interesting scenery. My DH's hobby is photography, so to accomodate his desires we need to be within an hours drive of things for him to photograph. We don't want all of the same in every direction we go.
5. Airport. As we plan on travelling we would like to be within a 90 minute drive of a reasonably sized airport.
6. Size. We previously lived in a very remote location in Australia and it didn't work. We are happy to live in a smaller sized town (5,000-10,000) as long as there is a good sized town within a reasonable driving distance. To us that would be 3 hours.

Our most likely destinations are either Port Douglas or Mission Beach on the Great Barrier Reef.
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Re: Criteria - Why did you select your ER city/town/community?
Old 02-26-2007, 02:24 AM   #26
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Re: Criteria - Why did you select your ER city/town/community?

I'm not retired yet but I've given a lot of thought to my ER destination. Absolutely love it here in San Diego area and ideally would like to stay put.

Sometimes, though, I get really itchy to pull the ER trigger and focus on using the home equity to break away. Best alternate spots for me would be Arizona or central Texas, most likely Austin or area to the west of Austin (Hill Country lakes). In AZ, it would be down to Tucson or Phoenix areas. More "authentic" Southwest feel in Tucson but a lot more to do in Phoenix metro. Interesting trade-off. Austin's got a lot going for it. Humid clime is a bummer for me, though.

Other place at top of list would be Hawaii.... but there goes the home equity.

To address the question why did (or in my case would) I select my ER community, I would say generally warm, sunny weather with interesting scenery and terrain and a lively social/cultural environment along with lots of entertainment options.
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Re: Criteria - Why did you select your ER city/town/community?
Old 02-26-2007, 06:49 AM   #27
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Re: Criteria - Why did you select your ER city/town/community?

My wife and I are looking hard at leaving Savannah for Johnson City in NE Tennessee. This is after having already looked hard at Austin and the Texas hill country, north GA, SW Virginia, Columbia SC.

1. Better climate than Savannah: Zero hurricane probability. 66% lower tornado probability than US average. Milder summers paid for with a little colder winters. Result is four definite seasons.The humidity is not significantly different than Savannah's, but the summer temps are often 10F lower.

2. City limits that meet the boundary of the Cherokee Nat Forest. And, while the names change, the NF appears to go SW and NE over 200 miles each way, from northern GA to northern VA. This means boundless opportunities for solitude, treks and exploration.

3. ETSU is located in Johnson City, allowing us continuing education classes. Once we hit 60, their classes are free and their catalog looks broad enough to last a lifetime.

4. The local economy appears to be marginally less costly than Savannah's. House prices look good. Plus no state income tax on earned income.

5. There is a shooting club with a 300M rifle range in Kingsport, w/in 20 miles.

6. There is a mature colonial re-enactment organization w/in 10 miles.

7. ETSU has a medical school and care quality in the community is rated high.

8. The geography of the area is said to be gorgeous. What I've seen of pictures

9. Freeway access from Johnson City is very good - much, much better than Savannah, though air travel access is probably worse (drive to Nashville or Knoxville).

10. Crime levels 150 to 200 points lower than Savannah.
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Re: Criteria - Why did you select your ER city/town/community?
Old 02-26-2007, 09:51 AM   #28
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Re: Criteria - Why did you select your ER city/town/community?

Criteria:
1. four seasons
2. smaller city (than Houston) but close to a large city
3. good schools (I have an 8 year old)
4. reasonable cost of living
5. college town

Community: moving to Fort Collins in June

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Re: Criteria - Why did you select your ER city/town/community?
Old 02-26-2007, 05:03 PM   #29
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Re: Criteria - Why did you select your ER city/town/community?

Donzo it sounds like you have a great place! good for you! Congratulations...

We live mostly in southern climates all over the world. When I visited family last month one of the first things I noticed was the cooler air, the smell of pine needles, and the 'northern' animals! No parrots, no iguanas, no coconuts... I had forgotten how pleasant those 'just a bit northern' climes and animals are!

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Re: Criteria - Why did you select your ER city/town/community?
Old 02-27-2007, 11:38 AM   #30
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Re: Criteria - Why did you select your ER city/town/community?

Criteria:

1) small, friendly town
2) close enough to big city to go to occasional concert, airport
3) close to good skiing, hiking, etc.
4) close to relatives but not too close (day's drive is fine--hour's drive is too close)
5) preferable rural, enough for gardening at least

We ended up in Golden, BC. (actually, Nicholson, about 10k south of Golden) #2 is a bit dicey--we are 2.5-3 hours from Calgary, and up a road that can be nasty in the winter. But it sure meet the other criteria well. In the middle of several national parks, and our place is 20 minutes from the 2nd biggest vertical drop in North America, a relatively undiscovered ski area (Kicking Horse). Plus, for locals, a season pass is only about $450!!

Our home is a 5 minute walk to the paragliding landing zone--it's really fun to stroll down with the dog and watch the gliders come in.

Now if the Nicholson store would only get a liquor license, I wouldn't even need to go 10k into Golden....although I have my 3-tier all-grain home brewery, so for the most part I'm ok
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