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Old 04-26-2012, 09:06 PM   #21
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I retired 6 months ago. I attended the U of Miami and decided to stay in the S. Florida area after graduation. I have now live here 35 years and am thinking of either moving elsewhere or finding a place up north to spend the summers.
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Old 04-27-2012, 11:51 PM   #22
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Retired 8 months ago, rented our house and followed my wife (not yet retired) who took a job in Manila. Don't think I'd like to stay abroad permanently. But spending a few years living and traveling around Asia (or Europe or S. America or whatever) while still young enough to enjoy it has been wonderful so far!
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Old 04-28-2012, 01:13 AM   #23
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We plan on RVing for a while after we kick the teenagers out of our house in about 4 years. We like the area we live in (near Reno, NV), but not the specific location. However, we're open to a new place if someplace grabs us.

We moved here (Smith Valley, NV) about 10 years ago. I used to hunt here as a kid with my dad. It's beautiful, but way too far out fro our tastes. I like to pretend I'm some kind of rural type, but I like coffee houses, movie theaters, golf courses, etc. We have none of those, though we do have two bars and two tractor dealers.

I suggest you maybe try living in the places you put on a short list. Rent a house for a month and read the local paper, get a feel for the town and it's people. See if it has everything you want or at least offers it nearby. For instance, I grew up in Carson City and what Carson doesn't have, Reno does 25 minutes away.

Even if your going to a big city with just about everything, they seem to have there own personalities. Just because everyone loves a place doesn't mean you will.
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Old 04-28-2012, 03:42 PM   #24
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Right after ER, we decided to stay put for at least a year. That turned into 3.

We knew that we wanted a large city and looked for those that had progressive social & ecological policies & reputations, and had real-estate (house price + real estate taxes) we could afford. Researching on the web and talking to people, we thought Seattle, Portland OR, Austin TX, Boulder CO or Madison WI would meet our needs. We visited Seattle, Portland & Boulder and like them all. While in Boulder, we spent a few days in Denver and loved it. So we picked & moved about 9 months later.

We felt it was more affordable & manageable than Seattle, and had a lot more sunshine than Portland or Seattle. We found Boulder too small for our tastes & very expensive.

It has to be a gut reaction. If you don't like vibe of the place when you visit, all the metrics don't mean a thing.
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Old 04-28-2012, 04:05 PM   #25
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I don't necessarily recommend this:

In our first several years of marriage, DW and I thought there must be a better place to live than on the prairies of the midwest. We were committed to earning our living there as we both had j*bs which were relatively unmovable. So, biding our time, we traveled most of the eastern half of the US (east of the Mississippi) on our vacations. We liked much of what we saw, but never fell in love with any place visited. Next, we began exploring the western US (primarily the SW). Again, many great places (to visit) but none to fall in love with.

Finally, because of DW's work, we went to a convention in Hawaii. Honestly, my expectations were relatively low. Walking though the airport and out the front door, we pretty much decided this was it. I can't explain it, but we both had the same feeling. We just fell in love. From then on, though we traveled many other places, we never found a location to "love" (not just live).

Our first overt act of love was to purchase a property to hold our "spot" in Paradise. Years later, when we could see the ER looming, we spent 5 weeks in Paradise and "pretended" we lived there (find the Costco, Walmart, resale shops, ride The Bus, visit churches, visit senior centers, go to remote beaches, live on local foods, get lost, etc. etc.).

We moved to Paradise in two suitcases each and left the bulk of our "stuff" in our old apartment which we arranged to keep in case Paradise didn't work out. We got a good deal on the old apartment as it was the perfect rental property for us (any worse and we wouldn't have lived there, any better and the owner could have charged much more for it - a long story). 4 years later, we still live in Paradise, though we have changed location for many reasons. We still keep the old apartment on the mainland and visit 3 or so months in the summer (for friends and family).

Keeping one foot in one's old life is relatively expensive. However, we thought the cost of keeping an escape plan was worth it. At some point, we will need to make our final decision (Paradise or prairie) but we lean toward Paradise more each year.

I've left out some details (a dozen interim visits to Paradise, for instance). Still, finding someplace we could love was more important to us than the financial issues. We would have been willing to delay ER a couple of years to make the dream come true. The fact that we didn't need to delay was a gift.

More than almost any other decision, YMMV. Best of luck.
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Old 04-28-2012, 04:22 PM   #26
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I retired from the Navy in the Baltimore, MD area and because it was easy to get jobs there at the time, we remained there. But my wife and I were both originally from New England and the plan was always to retire there. At one point my daughter and her family moved to Burlington, VT and we made a number of trips to visit them. Although VT was the NE state with which we were least familiar, we decided to move there when I had had enough of working. (We did not dislike the Baltimore area but never felt it was the right fit for us.) We liked what we saw of VT and having family close was a bonus.

About 18 months after we moved to VT, my son-in-law took a new job in MA so that took care of the proximity to them. (Although they are only 3 1/2 hours away now which is a shorter drive than it would have been from Baltimore.) Recently we learned he has taken yet another new job (he is on a fast track in his industry) and will be moving to CA.

Our other daughter, who lives in Boston, is trying to convince us to move closer to her. (Currently 4 hours away.) We are considering it but are not really in a rush to leave VT.
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Old 04-28-2012, 04:55 PM   #27
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We're visiting Colorado soon. Plans do go awry, and only when we finally see the good and the bad, we'll make a choice. Colorado is proper distance from our daughter in Ne an our family in Ca.
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Old 04-29-2012, 12:44 AM   #28
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We have a house in the south which we consider our "safe place". It's not ideal for sure. But we own the house outright, the cost of living is low, we have family and friends in the area, we like the slow paced lifestyle, and we feel very comfortable there. I do think, however, that we will spend significant amounts of time elsewhere in retirement. The house is being converted into a rental for the time being and we will be getting a taste of the west coast for the next few years. After that? who knows. Europe for a while maybe. I don't feel the need to settle in one place just yet.
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Old 04-29-2012, 06:15 PM   #29
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I'm here (Dayton OH area) because this is where I ended up. I think of leaving (after the cat dies) but I don't know where to go. Have been half jokingly asking 'net friends if they want to have me live near them.
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Old 05-07-2012, 11:56 AM   #30
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We traveled all over the east of the Mississippi during the summers from 1977 on. During that time we found a wonderful place that we went back again and again. But even so we had planned to retire in a very rural community that we built a cabin in way back in 1998. One day, the lady who we rented a house from in this other place, asked us why were were retiring in that rural community when we loved this place so much. We just looked at each other and said, "yeah, why" So we talked about it for 11 hours on the way home. We sold our house we built in 1998, and bought a house in the new place that fall. We rented to it pay for the mortgage, and eventually sold our main house in the middle atlantic states, and then moved to this wonder place two hours as the crow flies from the Canadian border.

Its Brigadoon. Its without question, the most wonderful place we have every lived together or separately in 60+ years of life.
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Old 05-07-2012, 06:30 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Koolau View Post
I don't necessarily recommend this:

In our first several years of marriage, DW and I thought there must be a better place to live than on the prairies of the midwest. We were committed to earning our living there as we both had j*bs which were relatively unmovable. So, biding our time, we traveled most of the eastern half of the US (east of the Mississippi) on our vacations. We liked much of what we saw, but never fell in love with any place visited. Next, we began exploring the western US (primarily the SW). Again, many great places (to visit) but none to fall in love with.

Finally, because of DW's work, we went to a convention in Hawaii. Honestly, my expectations were relatively low. Walking though the airport and out the front door, we pretty much decided this was it. I can't explain it, but we both had the same feeling. We just fell in love. From then on, though we traveled many other places, we never found a location to "love" (not just live).

Our first overt act of love was to purchase a property to hold our "spot" in Paradise. Years later, when we could see the ER looming, we spent 5 weeks in Paradise and "pretended" we lived there (find the Costco, Walmart, resale shops, ride The Bus, visit churches, visit senior centers, go to remote beaches, live on local foods, get lost, etc. etc.).

We moved to Paradise in two suitcases each and left the bulk of our "stuff" in our old apartment which we arranged to keep in case Paradise didn't work out. We got a good deal on the old apartment as it was the perfect rental property for us (any worse and we wouldn't have lived there, any better and the owner could have charged much more for it - a long story). 4 years later, we still live in Paradise, though we have changed location for many reasons. We still keep the old apartment on the mainland and visit 3 or so months in the summer (for friends and family).

Keeping one foot in one's old life is relatively expensive. However, we thought the cost of keeping an escape plan was worth it. At some point, we will need to make our final decision (Paradise or prairie) but we lean toward Paradise more each year.

I've left out some details (a dozen interim visits to Paradise, for instance). Still, finding someplace we could love was more important to us than the financial issues. We would have been willing to delay ER a couple of years to make the dream come true. The fact that we didn't need to delay was a gift.

More than almost any other decision, YMMV. Best of luck.


I can understand your choice... Hawaii is wonderful and ranked high on our list as well.

In our case we worked out a set of criteria ( we enjoy boating and nature, I enjoy fishing, we wanted to be reasonably near a major international airport, wanted a reasonably safe place, etc, etc ), assigned each criterion a weight adding up to 100 and rated several locations all over the world against those... came up with 3 finalists and one of the locations turned up to be much easier (I know, we should have made that a criterion too, right?) than the other two, so that was it! We built a house there and are now only a few months away from FIREing... can hardly wait!
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Old 05-07-2012, 09:34 PM   #32
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Like several others here, we have lived many places and traveled a fair amount in the normal course of life. Years ago, we decided we wanted to go back to the Pacific Northwest--somewhere--and we did. The house and the kids are still there but we are still out and about.

We have not done any specific hunting for a retirement place since then. I have done a lot of research for a Plan B in case of dire emergency (which could still happen), but DW will want to stay where we settled until it is too late.
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Old 05-08-2012, 11:59 AM   #33
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We moved from Toronto to Vancouver in 1995 to avoid winter. Then in 2007, we purchased in PV. Now we spend winters here. We maintain our place in Vancouver but it is sublet while we are away. We also travel to Europe every September. We have a permanent world health policy (because the yearly ones require yearly qualification).

We consider the Vancouver place a luxury, and if we get around to it, we will probably divest of it and the contents and spend 2-3 months there in a rental, then a month each in 3-4 other places. We have enough connections in San Diego, San Francisco, NY, Toronto to justify an annual visit.
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Old 05-08-2012, 12:13 PM   #34
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It was easy for me. Once I left the old family home, I never lived anywhere that I was not reasonably happy. As time went on, my ex and I decided SoCal beach, or SF, or Seattle was going to be permanent. Our kids started working here in Seattle, and family is more important to me than a few weather variables, so here I am and will remain.

I sometimes feel like I am seeing a whole other world when I read about the many here who go to great effort and make charts, etc to decide where to live. I figure my heart would know after 10 minutes in a place, though it takes much longer to know exactly which neighborhood, etc. This is also complicated by the fact that we ourselves are not constant, nor are our social and health realities.

Ha
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Old 05-08-2012, 02:46 PM   #35
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I sometimes feel like I am seeing a whole other world when I read about the many here who go to great effort and make charts, etc to decide where to live. I figure my heart would know after 10 minutes in a place, though it takes much longer to know exactly which neighborhood, etc. This is also complicated by the fact that we ourselves are not constant, nor are our social and health realities.
As someone who happily researches things to death, you're probably right. I told DW a few days ago, 'you know we've moved all over the country with my job transfers, to places we'd never have picked and been perfectly happy.' In fact where we are now was my 40th choice of 44 locations I could have been transferred with former Megacorp - we've now been here almost 20 years and aren't in a hurry to leave. I don't know about 10 minutes, but a few days are probably more than enough indeed...

And then the 3500 sf 'house we really wanted' in our neighborhood but were outbid at the time. We bought a 2300 sf house instead, and when I often drive by the other place now I think 'thank God the fates kept us from buying that monster!'
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