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Old 03-03-2015, 07:35 AM   #81
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I didn't know that Alabama had those kind of tax advantages. Looks like Mobile might be a good area. Now to find a job for the wife there. That's the tough part.
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Old 03-03-2015, 07:42 AM   #82
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Florida vs. Texas
Yikes, you need better choices.
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Old 03-03-2015, 09:19 AM   #83
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When I lived in (College Station) Texas, which is located between Houston and Austin, the property/school taxes were sky high but the homeowners' insurance was reasonable. Here in Louisiana, the property taxes are very low but the homeowners' insurance is sky high; the two added together aren't much different. I hear that the same is true in Florida. I'm tempted to think that you just can't win although I have read that Alabama does have a great tax situation.

Personally I liked living in Texas, except that the summertime heat was probably the worst I have ever endured. But then, AC takes care of that issue. I really liked the people and down to earth attitudes that I encountered in Texas. Who wouldn't like a whole town full of Aggies? At least, I did and other than the brutal summer heat I liked living in College Station. There wasn't any urban squalor or big city traffic there. Traffic in Houston was daunting (to me) even immediately after moving to that area from Southern California.

I wouldn't recommend New Orleans as a retirement location at all, because we have more urban squalor and crime than most people would care for. Other than that, and the occasional hurricane, I love living here so much.

I have seen others mention Alabama.... I am sure I will get flamed from people there.... but no way I would want to retire there.... it ranks low on almost everything that is measured for states...

This is purely from reading as I have not spent time in either state, but I would prefer South Carolina over Alabama... I do like Florida when we visit... but since I have not lived there I cannot say it is better or worse than Texas...

I will throw out that when people talk Houston, some might not know what they speak of... IOW, talk to the people who went to the Woodlands meetup... in general it is in Houston, but you could live there and not ever get into the real Houston unless you were going to a museum, sporting event or concert/opera etc.... there are places even farther such as Conroe or Galveston that have a smaller town feel, but are in easy driving distance to Houston.... and you can even get smaller towns like Magnolia, Waller etc. that are real small but in driving range if you need it.... you still have the same weather, but not the same traffic....
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Old 03-03-2015, 09:33 AM   #84
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I didn't know that Alabama had those kind of tax advantages. Looks like Mobile might be a good area. Now to find a job for the wife there. That's the tough part.
If it's true about Alabama being retiree friendly: my sister went to college in Mobile, Alabama and when I visited her three times while she was in school it was definitely a surprise in a good way. Nice town, booming industry on the coast. Nearby Fairhope is very nice. Fancier, but perhaps worth looking into if your thing is to be near the water. My sister moved to New Orleans last year after graduating from college, and my wife and I were really impressed with the area's variety when we went for Christmas. I don't mind the grit, since that's largely what give it the uniqueness.

Texas wasn't really my sort of place. It's impressive, but that's the most positive thing I can say about it. I guess I can say the steaks in West Texas were good too. Houston was uncomfortable and personally I don't have anything against some zoning. Dallas wasn't exactly a paradise either. A very corporate town that's functionally in the middle of nowhere. Made me feel sort of trapped for the few years I lived there. Wimberley in the Hill County was nice to pass through. Austin was probably great a decade ago but not really my thing. I've only been to the Florida panhandle, so can't say much about that.
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Old 03-03-2015, 09:40 AM   #85
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I have seen others mention Alabama.... I am sure I will get flamed from people there.... but no way I would want to retire there.... it ranks low on almost everything that is measured for states...

This is purely from reading as I have not spent time in either state, but I would prefer South Carolina over Alabama... I do like Florida when we visit... but since I have not lived there I cannot say it is better or worse than Texas...

I will throw out that when people talk Houston, some might not know what they speak of... IOW, talk to the people who went to the Woodlands meetup... in general it is in Houston, but you could live there and not ever get into the real Houston unless you were going to a museum, sporting event or concert/opera etc.... there are places even farther such as Conroe or Galveston that have a smaller town feel, but are in easy driving distance to Houston.... and you can even get smaller towns like Magnolia, Waller etc. that are real small but in driving range if you need it.... you still have the same weather, but not the same traffic....
If you define driving distance to a city center as 70 miles you can go as far as Huntsville, Tx from Houston. Huntsville has Sam Houston State so there are some local cultural activities as well. Note that unless you want the Houston Cultural activities there is no need to go downtown Houston, as shopping exists at the Woodlands or on the North Side.
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Old 03-03-2015, 09:49 AM   #86
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I have seen others mention Alabama.... I am sure I will get flamed from people there.... but no way I would want to retire there.... it ranks low on almost everything that is measured for states...
As a serious question, if you're a retiree does it matter much if public schools and such rankings aren't good? I get that one should want access to decent healthcare, and want your house to not suddenly be in a ghost town or an unsafe area, but I'm not sure what "rankings" are of much importance. It would seem if you like a town and its occupants and want to live out the rest of your days there then that would be almost the only thing that matters.

I will definitely agree with preferring South Carolina over Alabama. Not that you're moving up many tiers on any of the rankings. Beaufort, SC is my top pick there, I think.
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Old 03-03-2015, 01:23 PM   #87
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Living vicariously, I have some experiences to share.

We spent 2 months in 2 consecutive years after retirement in Florida. One on the East coast (Pompano through Key West) and another on the west coast (Naples to Dunedin). We also spent many months in Orlando during our last working years.

Nice weather in November. Some beautiful beaches. Lots of entertaining things to do. Love the history. Not too many bugs.

The rest is vicarious. Spent a week in Dallas and another in San Antonio. Our best friend here has a son in Houston. He has nothing good to say about it and he visits multiple times every year. He has a sister who lives in Branson. We both have a friend who owns in Arkansas. They have a problem with the car-orientation and the indoor culture (AC no windows open). Based on everything I have heard, Austin might be worth a try.

Jacksonville will be cold in the winter and hot in the summer, with bugs. Otherwise it might work out.

(I have no dog in this hunt because we chose Mexico. We have people from Texas and Florida here in the winter. Surprising that they would leave every winter. Many more people from Washington/Oregon/California and Boston/NY/NJ/Buffalo.)
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Old 03-03-2015, 02:07 PM   #88
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When we first arrived in Texas in 1987 one our neighbors, a transplant from Boston warned us about the drivers. He said that Texans had gone straight from the horse to the pickup and they drive their pickup just like they ride their horse.

Last week at 7:30am we were driving to the gym and saw an SUV in the lane on our right veering around a little. At the next light we could see what the issue was. The driver was obviously going to work and had her suit jacket draped over the steering wheel while she wielded one of those lint pickup rollers. I made sure to hang back when we moved off and she continued her wavy journey for a short while before turning right into the town center.
I've seen guys shaving while driving on the expressway in TX, so it seems like personal grooming while driving is a favorite here.
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Old 03-03-2015, 02:10 PM   #89
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I've seen guys shaving while driving on the expressway in TX, so it seems like personal grooming while driving is a favorite here.
Back in the '80's when I first started coming to Texas on business, it was OK to drink and drive provided you weren't drunk. I remember driving down Rt 225 to the refineries and empty beer cans were being thrown out of car and truck windows.
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Old 03-03-2015, 02:20 PM   #90
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Back in the '80's when I first started coming to Texas on business, it was OK to drink and drive provided you weren't drunk. I remember driving down Rt 225 to the refineries and empty beer cans were being thrown out of car and truck windows.
then they changed the "open container" law to state that you couldn't drink while driving, but you could still have a beer in your hand. They actually had to see you drink to cite you. I think they finally fixed it though.

I remember drag racing my WRX in Baytown and the guy in the mustang I was racing against had a beer in his lap.


Way different nowadays, especially here in ID.
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Old 03-03-2015, 02:23 PM   #91
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then they changed the "open container" law to state that you couldn't drink while driving, but you could still have a beer in your hand. They actually had to see you drink to cite you. I think they finally fixed it though.

I remember drag racing my WRX in Baytown and the guy in the mustang I was racing against had a beer in his lap.


Way different nowadays, especially here in ID.
Texas has changed those practices, but we still have our feeder roads and the man-made exit ramps.
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Old 03-03-2015, 02:31 PM   #92
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I will definitely agree with preferring South Carolina over Alabama. Not that you're moving up many tiers on any of the rankings. Beaufort, SC is my top pick there, I think.
I like Beaufort as well. Charming small town, friendly for retirees, positive military presence, and not far from Charleston if you want to eat somewhere nice or go to some sort of cultural activity.

Another hidden gem is Edisto Island. About midway between Beaufort and Charleston, and really very nice, if a bit remote.
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Old 03-03-2015, 02:37 PM   #93
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Texas has changed those practices, but we still have our feeder roads and the man-made exit ramps.
I forgot to mention that this was a legal drag race at the racepark in Baytown.
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Old 03-03-2015, 03:07 PM   #94
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I like Beaufort as well. Charming small town, friendly for retirees, positive military presence, and not far from Charleston if you want to eat somewhere nice or go to some sort of cultural activity.

Another hidden gem is Edisto Island. About midway between Beaufort and Charleston, and really very nice, if a bit remote.
I went to College of Charleston and yet never made it to Edisto. Saw the sign so many times between visits to Beaufort, but never could justify turning off knowing that it was still quite a way to go. The remoteness might just be something I'm interested in someday, though I hear there is only one grocery store there now and that might make life a little too different than what I'm used to. I did manage to stay on Seabrook a few times, and once convinced the guards at Kiawah to let me drive around, but there are definitely some wonderful island/peninsulas on that stretch of 17 that I'd suggest retirees who are interested in a more remote, self-sufficient life spent near water.

I love Charleston but don't really know that I'd want to retire there. We've still got 25 years to consider and see how things change.
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Old 03-03-2015, 03:32 PM   #95
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We live on Wadmalaw (just behind Seabrook and a world away, lol). We are 15 miles from the grocery store and 30 minutes from downtown Charleston, so I know what you mean about remote as it relates to Edisto. They have a few little restaurants and a couple of stores out there, but I must say that Beaufort is a bit more developed. I just like the sleepy island nature of Edisto a lot.
Wadmalaw is basically a farming community, with not much commercial development, except the tea farm, a winery, and a few shrimpers who sell their catch off their docks.
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Old 03-03-2015, 04:13 PM   #96
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Touring the tea farm there is a neat way to spend an hour or so. I've discussed needing to explore Wadmalaw a bit with my wife to look at if we should ever consider buying some land there for retirement. Would definitely consider building a house in that sort of landscape. Retirement to us is just rowing, reading, writing, and creating artwork, so we definitely plan on trying to live a more isolated life near some smooth water. We live in dense suburbs and don't know our neighbors, so what's the point of having them be nearby?

For those who haven't been to Wadmalaw, you should watch: Mind of a Chef: Season 2, Episode 7: Low Country BBQ. It's on Netflix and Amazon Prime.
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Old 03-13-2015, 06:09 PM   #97
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Being in a Northern state, I have to ask about the BUGS, here we get mosquitoes in spring and summer if you walking in woods, and there could be deer ticks in the woods as well.
In the suburbs a few mosquitoes, maybe regular ants once in 10 yrs started coming in until I poisoned them. Oh and some spiders in the basement, might see one every couple of months.

What are the bugs in FL / TX / NV like ? I heard people have to poison their house every year
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Old 03-13-2015, 06:13 PM   #98
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What are the bugs in FL / TX / NV like ? I heard people have to poison their house every year
My little sister lived in FL for eight years. They take their bugs seriously down there - she said the mosquitoes can carry off a small child. Roaches are out of a science fiction movie.

Takeaway - if large bugs freak you or your DW out, do not move to FL.
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Old 03-13-2015, 06:25 PM   #99
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Being in a Northern state, I have to ask about the BUGS, here we get mosquitoes in spring and summer if you walking in woods, and there could be deer ticks in the woods as well.
In the suburbs a few mosquitoes, maybe regular ants once in 10 yrs started coming in until I poisoned them. Oh and some spiders in the basement, might see one every couple of months.

What are the bugs in FL / TX / NV like ? I heard people have to poison their house every year
In tx it partly depends on where in the state you are (recall it goes from wet to desert). Likley everywhere you have roaches, and termites. Mosquitoes if in the wet area or a wet year (drought does keep them down). Millipedes, Scorpions in the hill country and west, fire ants everywhere. Chiggers in at least part of the state also.
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Old 03-13-2015, 06:34 PM   #100
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Nowadays, just about every year we get a warning that mosquitoes carrying West Nile have been found in our town. (just north of Houston and I'm signed up for email alerts). This is one of the reasons we leave for the whole summer each year.

I once got really sick, DW had to drive me to the Doc, who called in a colleague to check his findings, and one question I was asked was, "have you been bitten by a mosquito recently?". I was a soccer referee, I get bitten all the time. They thought I had encephalitis. Luckily I only had meningitis
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